Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Inside Out: Forum film discussion

I'm hosting a short film discussion at UCCF's Forum conference in September on the track designed to showcase to students how they can use the arts in CU events.

The film I've chosen to show is Inside Out, directed by Tom and Charles Guard.

Here are a first draft of some questions I've come up with for the discussion afterwards. They've been written so that they can be fairly easily transferred to a discussion after pretty much any film:

1. What was your initial reaction to the film? What was it that prompted this reaction?
2. What impressed you most about the film? (e.g. plot, script or screenplay, an acting performance, film making technique, cinematography, soundtrack etc.)
3. Did any part of the film stand out to you as particularly meaningful or powerful in any way? Why?
4. What is the message of the film, or view of life and the world that is presented in the story as it unfolds? (Try to state this in a sentence). How did the film-maker’s technique seek to make this message plausible or compelling?
5. To what extent do you agree with the message of the film?

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on my questions... or on the film for that matter!

Inside Out is availableto buy on the excellent Cinema16 collection of short British films.


Scott Thomson said...

I think they're very good questions. Sounds like a good track!

With the last question, do you aim to get the group to highlight the inconsistencies and flaws in the worldview/message presented? That is how you get to the gospel through it I assume? I wonder if the last question could be fleshed out or reworded a bit to give a bit of direction. Although I suppose you'd hope that would come from the Christians present anyway?

peterdray said...

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your comments. I guess there were a few things that I was trying to achieve with these questions - in particular, there were two things:

1. To help the Christians to appreciate the aesthetic value of the artists (the direction, acting and so on). Too often I think we're quick to get to 'the moral of the story' without appreciate the artistic value. Even films that have a message that vehemently denies Christianity can be endorsed for its artistic value. (This is where I was digging with Questions 1-2, and the second part of Question 3).

2. To arm the Christians to be able to discuss the film with non-believers. This is why I put in Questions 3-5. I have found it helpful to encourage film viewers to try and summarise the message of a film in one sentence and then just ask, "Do you agree with the film? Why / why not?" Given that films inevitably touch on issues into which the gospel and a Christian worldview speak, this can lead to very fruitful conversations without the feeling of crowbarring conversations.

As I look over the questions again, perhaps I need to make the 'why?' stronger. But I would hope that most CU students would be able to articulate their feelings on a film when it touches upon gospel issues and just start to begin pointing to the coherency of the Christian worldview and towards Jesus.

I'll be fascinated to see what people say after this film.

Chris said...

love it! - thanks for the cinema16 link - I've ordered those shorts!