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Author Topic: Avoid pornography - yes; but if in worthy movies?  (Read 19162 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 08, 2010, 02:54:04 PM »

Dear Folks,

What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?

I am thinking about this because just yesterday night, Lesya and I saw Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris." We both liked this 1972 film tremendously: it has a very unusual, deeply tragic plot; it is masterfully made, and the acting of the actors who played the three main characters, Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Léaud, is superb. But there are some rather graphic episodes where raw, violent, brutal sex is shown rather explicitly, "naturalistically." (We saw an American R-rated version, which is shorter than the original European version, rated X in the USA and therefore impossible to get via Netflix; but even in the "softened" American version there was still a lot of that stuff.)

I know for sure that if I deliberately look at pornographic images (for example, buy a porno magazine, view pornographic Web sites, etc.), then I am committing a sin. But what about looking at images that can hardly be, technically, called anything but "pornographic," if these images are "woven" into the texture of an interesting, complex, thoughtful piece of art such as Bertolucci's "Last Tango?"

Thank you for your thoughts!

G.
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, 03:01:59 PM »

I'm going to be incredibly original here in my contribution: AYP?  angel
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 03:05:41 PM »

I'm going to be incredibly original here in my contribution: AYP?  angel

Sorry, I am not familiar with this abbreviation...
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 03:18:51 PM »

Sorry, I am not familiar with this abbreviation...

I'm guessing it's "Ask Your Priest".
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 03:20:02 PM »

Dear Folks,

What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?

I am thinking about this because just yesterday night, Lesya and I saw Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris." We both liked this 1972 film tremendously: it has a very unusual, deeply tragic plot; it is masterfully made, and the acting of the actors who played the three main characters, Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Léaud, is superb. But there are some rather graphic episodes where raw, violent, brutal sex is shown rather explicitly, "naturalistically." (We saw an American R-rated version, which is shorter than the original European version, rated X in the USA and therefore impossible to get via Netflix; but even in the "softened" American version there was still a lot of that stuff.)

I know for sure that if I deliberately look at pornographic images (for example, buy a porno magazine, view pornographic Web sites, etc.), then I am committing a sin. But what about looking at images that can hardly be, technically, called anything but "pornographic," if these images are "woven" into the texture of an interesting, complex, thoughtful piece of art such as Bertolucci's "Last Tango?"

Thank you for your thoughts!

G.

I'll give it a shot. Apparently, the saving grace of the movie is that "(it has a) very unusual, deeply tragic plot; it is masterfully made, and the acting of the actors who played the ...main characters...is superb." I also would love to see a movie with those attributes; in fact, I strive to do that as often as possible (well, may be the nature of the plot is a variable with me). However, I would submit that there are many movies out there that qualify without having the pornographic element. I think it is instructive that somebody posted this in the Wiki entry:

"Schneider subsequently stated that making the film was her life's only regret, that it "ruined her life," and that she considers Bertolucci a "gangster and a pimp." Much like Schneider, Brando "felt raped and humiliated" by the film and told Bertolucci, "I was completely and utterly violated by you. I will never make another film like that."
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 03:31:25 PM »

I'll give it a shot. Apparently, the saving grace of the movie is that "(it has a) very unusual, deeply tragic plot; it is masterfully made, and the acting of the actors who played the ...main characters...is superb." I also would love to see a movie with those attributes; in fact, I strive to do that as often as possible (well, may be the nature of the plot is a variable with me). However, I would submit that there are many movies out there that qualify without having the pornographic element. I think it is instructive that somebody posted this in the Wiki entry:

"Schneider subsequently stated that making the film was her life's only regret, that it "ruined her life," and that she considers Bertolucci a "gangster and a pimp." Much like Schneider, Brando "felt raped and humiliated" by the film and told Bertolucci, "I was completely and utterly violated by you. I will never make another film like that."

Good point Second Chance! So often we are concerned with how something may cause us to sin, and the ramifications we may face, but we don't think about how the same thing affects those actually potraying the act in the film/magazine/etc.

So although watching such a film may not cause the viewer to sin, it obviously caused harm to others.

In a day and age where we are concerned about buying "fair trade" coffee, "clean diamonds trade", "organically grown" food, and all these other things that "save" the environment, perhaps we should be aware about how our purchases may impact or "save" souls.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 04:03:37 PM »

Yes, I have read some pretty gruesome stuff about how "Last Tango" was filmed; however, I don't think we should be so "one-sided," blaming entirely Bertolucci. In fact, Maria Schneider admitted that some sexual scenes (particularly the notorius "butter scene") were NOT conceived by the director at all - they were actually Marlon Brando's...

But still, this film is just one particular case... More generally, how should we treat works of art where there is violence, sex, bad language? Is it sinful, for example, to watch movies of my beloved Quentin Tarantino?  Embarrassed
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 04:17:45 PM »

Sorry, I am not familiar with this abbreviation...

I'm guessing it's "Ask Your Priest".

Thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2010, 04:22:06 PM »

Yes, I have read some pretty gruesome stuff about how "Last Tango" was filmed; however, I don't think we should be so "one-sided," blaming entirely Bertolucci. In fact, Maria Schneider admitted that some sexual scenes (particularly the notorius "butter scene") were NOT conceived by the director at all - they were actually Marlon Brando's...

But still, this film is just one particular case... More generally, how should we treat works of art where there is violence, sex, bad language? Is it sinful, for example, to watch movies of my beloved Quentin Tarantino?  Embarrassed

Let's examine the words of our Lord:

Quote
Matthew 5:29-31 (New King James Version)
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Bearing this in mind, I think what you would have to ask yourself is "are these movies causing me to sin?" Do you act violent or lustful after watching them? (Don't answer me, but rather, your Spiritual Father.) If they are causing you to sin then "cut them off."

Also, (and I put myself in this boat when I say this) we should be more conscience about the movies we choose and what they are saying about society, and if we agree with it. For example, in the new movie "It's Complicated" Meryl Streepe and Alec Baldwin are a divorced couple having an affair. Is this something, as Christians, we should endorse?

I'll admit that I have a love for Mob movies. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and Casino, are all some of my favorite flicks. But are they edifying to me as a Christian? Do they benefit the spiritual state of my soul? Do they damage it?

I'm not sure these are answers that can be found on a forum, but they are something to be considered.
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2010, 04:28:03 PM »

Art is supposed to be beautiful but beauty is also supposed to lead you upwards (toward God). If the movie edifies you, then its licenteousness might be acceptable.  At the same time I would say, what are those scenes teaching us?  Is it premarital sex? is it adultery?

I'm not saying stop watching movies, but since you asked I think we need to look at it critically. 
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2010, 04:33:15 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Personally, I think it is unwise to tempt our senses and stoke our passions with 'any' pornography nor even to look at women or men lightly dressed or acting or dancing too suggestively.
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 04:35:54 PM »

My first hurdle is my rule about sex scenes and violent scenes etc: If you take them out of the picture, and I can still follow the plot, they weren't necessary but were put in just to excite baser instincts.

I thought the movie "An Immodest Proposal" was a Christian one, but you wouldn't have guessed from the summary: a man makes a deal with a billionaire for a million dollars so he can spend a night with the poor man's wife. The way the plot developed, however, showed the moral of the story.

I just saw a movie on Ted Bundy.  I was quite disturbed by it.  I did like how they showed his end, shivering like the coward and low life he was.  But I also said prayers for his victims: how many people remember them now? Memory eternal!
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 04:42:09 PM »

Yes, I have read some pretty gruesome stuff about how "Last Tango" was filmed; however, I don't think we should be so "one-sided," blaming entirely Bertolucci. In fact, Maria Schneider admitted that some sexual scenes (particularly the notorius "butter scene") were NOT conceived by the director at all - they were actually Marlon Brando's...

But still, this film is just one particular case... More generally, how should we treat works of art where there is violence, sex, bad language? Is it sinful, for example, to watch movies of my beloved Quentin Tarantino?  Embarrassed

Let's examine the words of our Lord:

Quote
Matthew 5:29-31 (New King James Version)
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Bearing this in mind, I think what you would have to ask yourself is "are these movies causing me to sin?" Do you act violent or lustful after watching them? (Don't answer me, but rather, your Spiritual Father.) If they are causing you to sin then "cut them off."

Also, (and I put myself in this boat when I say this) we should be more conscience about the movies we choose and what they are saying about society, and if we agree with it. For example, in the new movie "It's Complicated" Meryl Streepe and Alec Baldwin are a divorced couple having an affair. Is this something, as Christians, we should endorse?

It depends. Are they remarried?  And if they are, the question them becomes: does this movie tell us something, as I might argue Christian, about the divorce mistake?



Quote
I'll admit that I have a love for Mob movies. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and Casino, are all some of my favorite flicks. But are they edifying to me as a Christian? Do they benefit the spiritual state of my soul? Do they damage it?

I'm not sure these are answers that can be found on a forum, but they are something to be considered.

I just saw the film Leon or "The Professional" in the US. Very violent. In it a reluctant hit man befriends a teenage girl, who then decides she wants to become a hit man. There's a scene where he sends her off, and she refuses to go saying that he is just sending her away so he can get killed alone.  He protests, saying that he has changed, that he now wants to be able to sleep in a bed, etc.   A conversion on his part.  The movie was also rather well made, and the violence was well integrated in the plot.

Btw, I think Godfather II is a masterpiece.  But it depends on not identifying with the main characters as role models, but understanding their motives

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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 04:45:55 PM »

I'll admit that I have a love for Mob movies. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and Casino, are all some of my favorite flicks. But are they edifying to me as a Christian? Do they benefit the spiritual state of my soul? Do they damage it?

Ah, but the three arern't of the same category, I guess... "Godfather" is a work of art, a masterpiece. The other two, indeed, are flicks, you don't really lose much if you miss them. "Godfather," however, is a must-see, a classic.
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 04:48:29 PM »

Art is supposed to be beautiful but beauty is also supposed to lead you upwards (toward God). If the movie edifies you, then its licenteousness might be acceptable.  At the same time I would say, what are those scenes teaching us?  Is it premarital sex? is it adultery?

I'm not saying stop watching movies, but since you asked I think we need to look at it critically. 

I don't think art really "teaches" so directly, in a primitive way. Does "Anna Karenina" "teach" adultery? Does "Tess of D'Urbervilles" teach murder? Does "Romeo and Juliet" teach deceiving parents?
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2010, 04:52:07 PM »

Bearing this in mind, I think what you would have to ask yourself is "are these movies causing me to sin?" Do you act violent or lustful after watching them? (Don't answer me, but rather, your Spiritual Father.) If they are causing you to sin then "cut them off."

Well, I can actually answer you, just as well: no, they do not. I am "wired" kind of strangely, in that pornography generally does NOT excite me sexually. (That's not any "achievement" on my part, it's just my strange peculiar sort of "wiring"). Also, the sex scenes in "Last Tango" are really harsh, rough, even, I'd say, ugly. I can't even imagine that they would make anyone "lustful" - they frighten...
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2010, 04:55:47 PM »

Art is supposed to be beautiful but beauty is also supposed to lead you upwards (toward God). If the movie edifies you, then its licenteousness might be acceptable.  At the same time I would say, what are those scenes teaching us?  Is it premarital sex? is it adultery?

I'm not saying stop watching movies, but since you asked I think we need to look at it critically. 

I don't think art really "teaches" so directly, in a primitive way. Does "Anna Karenina" "teach" adultery? Does "Tess of D'Urbervilles" teach murder? Does "Romeo and Juliet" teach deceiving parents?

That's true.  I was just trying to think out-loud more than anything.  Good point though. 
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2010, 05:00:14 PM »

My first hurdle is my rule about sex scenes and violent scenes etc: If you take them out of the picture, and I can still follow the plot, they weren't necessary but were put in just to excite baser instincts.

That's a difficult question because it depends on what do you expect from cinematography... Of course one can cut all sexually explicit scenes from "Last Tango" and still "follow the plot." But the plot in that movie is so simple that it can be told in one line. A man's estranged, adulterous wife commits suicide. This man looks for an apartment and suddenly bumps into a young girl who also looks for an apartment in the same building and accidentally opens the door of the apartment he is checking out. They stick together, become roommates, lovers. But there is a tremendous struggle in the girl's soul because she wants to get married to another man, much younger than her roommate (her own age). At the end she kills her roommate, making the murder look like self-defence. That's all.

But that makes this movie a boring, cheap melodrama. What makes is a work of art, IMHO, is not the plot but the characters. And the character of the main hero (played by Marlon Brando) is really tragic and enormously, terminally damaged by his wife's suicide and by his wife's unfaithfulness that had preceded her suicide. To show the depth of the hero's tragedy, Bertolucci uses this raw, brutal, ugly sex. Again, one can take it away without any damage of formal following of the "plot" by the viewer; but then it would be a very different motion picture and NOT, I believe, any sort of masterpiece but a cheap "flick."
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2010, 05:03:54 PM »

Also, the sex scenes in "Last Tango" are really harsh, rough, even, I'd say, ugly. I can't even imagine that they would make anyone "lustful" - they frighten...

So I take it you've never been a fan of any of the movie versions of the Story of OCheesy
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 05:12:10 PM »

I was going to start a topic about it! The Ukrainian is always one step ahead of me. Smiley

My first hurdle is my rule about sex scenes and violent scenes etc: If you take them out of the picture, and I can still follow the plot, they weren't necessary but were put in just to excite baser instincts.
Ting. Someone just hit the nail on the head.
(Your motivational poster is also relevant to Christianity. The Bible offers many examples of what-not-to-do-people.)

It doesn't matter if it's pre-marital sex or not; it's sex, that's what matters. Because, then, according to this kind of reasoning, we could go on watching porn movies starring married couples. Tongue

I believe that the words that HandmaidenOfGod quoted are perfect. If you think that it leads you astray from God, do not watch it. But that's a tricky one, because you may end up fooling yourself that you're not getting temped, while you actually are. Go figure.
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2010, 05:12:29 PM »

Also, the sex scenes in "Last Tango" are really harsh, rough, even, I'd say, ugly. I can't even imagine that they would make anyone "lustful" - they frighten...

So I take it you've never been a fan of any of the movie versions of the Story of OCheesy

No. Bondage and humiliation does not attarct me. But I think I know what you mean, - that there perhaps are people to whom rough play of the sort shown in "Last Tango" is sexually stimulating. Well, that perhaps is true. But they don't HAVE to act sinfully just because they see something on the screen that intensifies their blood flow in certain areas, right?
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2010, 05:22:42 PM »

Yeah. I dunno. I mean, it's interesting. There are people who could watch a sex scene and not get aroused. And then there are people who could just see a certain "normal" body part and have a fetish for it and get aroused. Some people would get aroused by certain activities, others would find the same activities repulsive. I guess it depends on the person...
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2010, 05:46:02 PM »

I'll admit that I have a love for Mob movies. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and Casino, are all some of my favorite flicks. But are they edifying to me as a Christian? Do they benefit the spiritual state of my soul? Do they damage it?

Ah, but the three arern't of the same category, I guess... "Godfather" is a work of art, a masterpiece. The other two, indeed, are flicks, you don't really lose much if you miss them. "Godfather," however, is a must-see, a classic.

I think you missed my point. While we may disagree on the artistic elements of these three films, they are all violent films with sex, murder, extortion, lying, etc.
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2010, 05:50:35 PM »

Bearing this in mind, I think what you would have to ask yourself is "are these movies causing me to sin?" Do you act violent or lustful after watching them? (Don't answer me, but rather, your Spiritual Father.) If they are causing you to sin then "cut them off."

Well, I can actually answer you, just as well: no, they do not. I am "wired" kind of strangely, in that pornography generally does NOT excite me sexually. (That's not any "achievement" on my part, it's just my strange peculiar sort of "wiring"). Also, the sex scenes in "Last Tango" are really harsh, rough, even, I'd say, ugly. I can't even imagine that they would make anyone "lustful" - they frighten...

Then if it is not causing you to sin, you have your answer. Now, should you be endorsing a film that by their own admission hurt them? That's different issue. I think that plays into a bigger role of how our consumerism affects the world. Is buying "fair trade" coffee morally superior to "Folgers"? If I buy facial tissues that have not been made out of recycled material am I sinning? Is it sinful to buy clothes from companies that employ child laborers? I don't know. I guess that's the part of the "known and unknown" part of the prayers of repentance.

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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 06:37:35 PM »

I would revisit the original question: "What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?"

In light of Heorhij's admission that he is " 'wired' kind of strangely, in that pornography generally does NOT excite (him) sexually," I believe the answer for most people (who are normally wired) should be a "yes."
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2010, 06:49:06 PM »

I would revisit the original question: "What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?"...
I believe the answer for most people (who are normally wired) should be a "yes."
I dunno.  This answer seems incomplete to me.  There are equally graphic scenes in the Old Testament.  By the exact same logic, are we to avoid those books entirely, even though these graphic, prurient passages are woven into the tapestry of good, interesting, worthy literature?
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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2010, 07:36:59 PM »

Just a tentative thought, but surely there's a big difference between thinking, 'Ok, I really want to watch this film' and thinking, 'I will now buy/download something for the explicit, premeditated purpose of sexual gratification. I'm sure it's quite possible to read the Song of Songs and be moved by the sensuality of the imagery, and I find it a darn sight more attractive than the rather icky pictures you catch glimpses of on the top shelf in the newsagents!
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2010, 07:39:50 PM »

I would revisit the original question: "What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?"

In light of Heorhij's admission that he is " 'wired' kind of strangely, in that pornography generally does NOT excite (him) sexually," I believe the answer for most people (who are normally wired) should be a "yes."

I find it very hard to accept that it is 'normal' to be sexually excited by pornography of the kind one sees in newsagents etc.
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« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2010, 09:35:57 PM »

Though the word porneia [sp?] does appear in the New Testament, I'm not sure if the Ekklesia has definitively said what constitutes pornography.  My inclination is to approach it from a simple standard: if you wouldn't watch it in Church, you might not want to watch it outside of church.

Here's a brief definition of the Biblical word found at http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/porneia.html

Definition

   1. illicit sexual intercourse
         1. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
         2. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
         3. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,
   2. metaph. the worship of idols
         1. of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

I would speculate that if we are to avoid participating in these activities, we should probably refrain from watching them as well.
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« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2010, 10:01:51 PM »

Dear Heorhij,

We should avoid all impurity, because it estranges us from our Heavenly Father, and leads us in the hands of the evil one.

There are all sort of impure things mixed with interesting and good things, and watching them is a sin, You both committed a sin by watching those impure things in the movie, and justifying yourselves thinking it's not the same as looking as "adult" smut material.

It is a good thing to protect ourselves against this sin, even the the slightest impurity must not touch our senses, which are, entrance doors to our souls. We must pray, turn our eyes the other way or close them, do the sign of the cross, etc. in order to keep the impurities away from us.

In guise of art, fine "erotism", or shown directly as in "adult material", filth is filth, and we must not accept it not even for a moment. If we look at it, we sin and allow filth into our souls. Looking to filthy things is a sin.


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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2010, 10:03:59 PM »

Dear Heorhij,

We should avoid all impurity, because it estranges us from our Heavenly Father, and leads us in the hands of the evil one.

There are all sort of impure things mixed with interesting and good things, and watching them is a sin, You both committed a sin by watching those impure things in the movie.

It is a good thing to protect ourselves against this sin, even the the slightest impurity must not touch our senses, which are, entrance doors to our souls. We must pray, turn our eyes the other way or close them, do the sign of the cross, etc. in order to keep the impurities away from us.

In guise of art, fine "erotism", and shown plain as hard core, filth is filth, and we must not accept it not even for a moment. If we look at it, we sin and allow filth into our souls. Looking to filthy things is a sin.



 




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« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2010, 10:34:35 PM »

Yes, I have read some pretty gruesome stuff about how "Last Tango" was filmed; however, I don't think we should be so "one-sided," blaming entirely Bertolucci. In fact, Maria Schneider admitted that some sexual scenes (particularly the notorius "butter scene") were NOT conceived by the director at all - they were actually Marlon Brando's...


I think this probably highlights how people get carried away with such a project; apparently to their later regret. I've never seen the film, so can't really comment on the artistic merit of the sex scenes.

Quote
But still, this film is just one particular case... More generally, how should we treat works of art where there is violence, sex, bad language? Is it sinful, for example, to watch movies of my beloved Quentin Tarantino?  Embarrassed

I can't really speak for you, Heorhij, or anyone else, but if a film makes me feel uncomfortable in any way, I turn it off.
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« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2010, 10:56:34 PM »

Though the word porneia [sp?] does appear in the New Testament, I'm not sure if the Ekklesia has definitively said what constitutes pornography.  My inclination is to approach it from a simple standard: if you wouldn't watch it in Church, you might not want to watch it outside of church.

Here's a brief definition of the Biblical word found at http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/porneia.html

Definition

   1. illicit sexual intercourse
         1. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
         2. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
         3. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,
   2. metaph. the worship of idols
         1. of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

I would speculate that if we are to avoid participating in these activities, we should probably refrain from watching them as well.

 Just wanted to add, dear brother, that I wasn't passing judgment; I apologize if I came across that way.  Embarrassed  Lord knows (and all y'all as well) I'm no saint...  Tongue Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2010, 11:27:29 PM »

Dear Heorhij,

We should avoid all impurity, because it estranges us from our Heavenly Father, and leads us in the hands of the evil one.

There are all sort of impure things mixed with interesting and good things, and watching them is a sin, You both committed a sin by watching those impure things in the movie.

It is a good thing to protect ourselves against this sin, even the the slightest impurity must not touch our senses, which are, entrance doors to our souls. We must pray, turn our eyes the other way or close them, do the sign of the cross, etc. in order to keep the impurities away from us.

In guise of art, fine "erotism", and shown plain as hard core, filth is filth, and we must not accept it not even for a moment. If we look at it, we sin and allow filth into our souls. Looking to filthy things is a sin.



 




How do you feel about violence and hate?
Why do you ask?
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« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2010, 11:29:03 PM »

Quote

I can't really speak for you, Heorhij, or anyone else, but if a film makes me feel uncomfortable in any way, I turn it off.


I think this is good advice. I myself rarely watch any films at all. They bring very little pleasure. I would have far rather experienced life myself than have to live vicariously through actors.
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« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2010, 11:57:56 PM »

Dear Heorhij,

We should avoid all impurity, because it estranges us from our Heavenly Father, and leads us in the hands of the evil one.

There are all sort of impure things mixed with interesting and good things, and watching them is a sin, You both committed a sin by watching those impure things in the movie.

It is a good thing to protect ourselves against this sin, even the the slightest impurity must not touch our senses, which are, entrance doors to our souls. We must pray, turn our eyes the other way or close them, do the sign of the cross, etc. in order to keep the impurities away from us.

In guise of art, fine "erotism", and shown plain as hard core, filth is filth, and we must not accept it not even for a moment. If we look at it, we sin and allow filth into our souls. Looking to filthy things is a sin.



 




How do you feel about violence and hate?
Why do you ask?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25166.0.html
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« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2010, 12:34:49 AM »

I saw "Last Tango in Paris" many years ago. The movie is little more than glorified pornography, "artistically" done.

First of all, any Christian that watches a Hollywood movie without realizing that satanic ideas will most likely be communicated in that movie - either overtly or subtly - is very naive. Now that doesn't mean that we should avoid all Hollywood movies. But we have to approach them with a prejudicial mind. We have to assume prima facie that immoral and godless philosophies will be promoted in these films, and then we can perhaps watch some of them without being mentally and spiritually corrupted.

I always assume that foul language and gratuitous sex will be in every movie that is not rated "G." Even if the movie is a children's cartoon, if it's rated PG, then I know there will be some sort of sexual inuendo or such in the movie. Just ask yourself this question: Why would they make a children's cartoon that needs a PG rating? That should tell us all we need to know. There is a demonic attack on our children, and we have to be on guard. I will not let my children watch any movie that is not rated G.

Now as for us, as adults, we have to realize that there is a demonic attack on us too. Satan is a great marketer, and he will wrap his filth in slick packaging. So, why should we as Christians assume that pagan Hollywood has our best interest at heart? Why should we naively subject ourselves to their brainwashing?

But if we presuppose that a certain movie will be laced with demonic ideology, then we may be able to watch the movie with our guard up and discern the evil from that which may be of artistic or moral value. But the key is to be prejudicial and discerning.

Of course some movies are outright evil and morally worthless on the surface. Sometimes satan doesn't even try to hide himself. But often he shrewdly weaves his lies into movies that seem very innocent and are actually very artistic. And the minute we think that we are invulnerable to these lies and deceptions, then we become victims of his insidious schemes.

Look, I love good movies. And part of what I love about a good movie is how it captivates me, stirring my emotions and effecting my thoughts. And I admit that I have watched movies that I know contain immoral ideas or that have provocative scenes. And yet some of those movies also conveyed some very redemptive themes. But I try to be on guard and watch them with a prejudicial eye. Yet I have to admit that I am still being affected, and maybe more profoundly than I realize.

But IMHO, if we know that a movie has overt sexual content or overt sexual themes, then I firmly believe we should avoid it. For example, I remember when the movie "Eyes Wide Shut" came out. I had always liked Stanley Kubrik as a director, but there was no way I was going to see that movie. It was clear from the previews and description that the movie revolved around some very demonic sexual themes. And in spite of all the justifications about how the moral of the movie was a warning against adultery and fornication, I knew that it was in essence an immoral movie that I had no business seeing. And I'm glad I didn't.    

And BTW, I feel the same way about violence.

That's my two cents, FWIW.

Selam
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« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2010, 09:27:14 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Personally, I think it is unwise to tempt our senses and stoke our passions with 'any' pornography nor even to look at women or men lightly dressed or acting or dancing too suggestively.

And some of us with a certain fetish should also avoid looking at priests or nuns in their vestments...
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« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2010, 09:28:52 PM »

I would revisit the original question: "What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?"

In light of Heorhij's admission that he is " 'wired' kind of strangely, in that pornography generally does NOT excite (him) sexually," I believe the answer for most people (who are normally wired) should be a "yes."

I am very abnormally wired because certain activities that involve my wife and me arouse me, and nothing else does...
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« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2010, 09:31:06 PM »

Quote

I can't really speak for you, Heorhij, or anyone else, but if a film makes me feel uncomfortable in any way, I turn it off.


I think this is good advice. I myself rarely watch any films at all. They bring very little pleasure. I would have far rather experienced life myself than have to live vicariously through actors.

Of everything I've ever seen on the screen, one film that disgusts me most is "Home Alone." A little kid delighting in another human being step with a bare foot on a broken glass. This same kid delighting while burning another human being's bald head with the flame of an acetylene burner. YESSSSS.
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« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2010, 09:48:23 PM »

^^That sounds awful. I've never seen that movie, but remember the other kids talking about it a lot when I was attending public school. I guess I should be thankful in this case that I grew up without televison or movies.
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« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2010, 09:50:05 PM »

^^That sounds awful. I've never seen that movie, but remember the other kids talking about it a lot when I was attending public school. I guess I should be thankful in this case that I grew up without televison or movies.

It's generally considered a "good FAMILY movie" in the US.  Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry
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« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2010, 10:00:47 PM »

I saw "Last Tango in Paris" many years ago. The movie is little more than glorified pornography, "artistically" done.

First of all, any Christian that watches a Hollywood movie without realizing that satanic ideas will most likely be communicated in that movie - either overtly or subtly - is very naive. Now that doesn't mean that we should avoid all Hollywood movies. But we have to approach them with a prejudicial mind. We have to assume prima facie that immoral and godless philosophies will be promoted in these films, and then we can perhaps watch some of them without being mentally and spiritually corrupted.

I always assume that foul language and gratuitous sex will be in every movie that is not rated "G." Even if the movie is a children's cartoon, if it's rated PG, then I know there will be some sort of sexual inuendo or such in the movie. Just ask yourself this question: Why would they make a children's cartoon that needs a PG rating? That should tell us all we need to know. There is a demonic attack on our children, and we have to be on guard. I will not let my children watch any movie that is not rated G.

Now as for us, as adults, we have to realize that there is a demonic attack on us too. Satan is a great marketer, and he will wrap his filth in slick packaging. So, why should we as Christians assume that pagan Hollywood has our best interest at heart? Why should we naively subject ourselves to their brainwashing?

But if we presuppose that a certain movie will be laced with demonic ideology, then we may be able to watch the movie with our guard up and discern the evil from that which may be of artistic or moral value. But the key is to be prejudicial and discerning.

Of course some movies are outright evil and morally worthless on the surface. Sometimes satan doesn't even try to hide himself. But often he shrewdly weaves his lies into movies that seem very innocent and are actually very artistic. And the minute we think that we are invulnerable to these lies and deceptions, then we become victims of his insidious schemes.

Look, I love good movies. And part of what I love about a good movie is how it captivates me, stirring my emotions and effecting my thoughts. And I admit that I have watched movies that I know contain immoral ideas or that have provocative scenes. And yet some of those movies also conveyed some very redemptive themes. But I try to be on guard and watch them with a prejudicial eye. Yet I have to admit that I am still being affected, and maybe more profoundly than I realize.

But IMHO, if we know that a movie has overt sexual content or overt sexual themes, then I firmly believe we should avoid it. For example, I remember when the movie "Eyes Wide Shut" came out. I had always liked Stanley Kubrik as a director, but there was no way I was going to see that movie. It was clear from the previews and description that the movie revolved around some very demonic sexual themes. And in spite of all the justifications about how the moral of the movie was a warning against adultery and fornication, I knew that it was in essence an immoral movie that I had no business seeing. And I'm glad I didn't.    

And BTW, I feel the same way about violence.

That's my two cents, FWIW.

Selam

Thank you, Gebre, brother, I pretty much knew what you would write, and, as you perhaps know, nothing of the above convinces me one bit, and I still think that saying about films like "Last Tango" that they are "glorified pornography" is simply a lie. Not that you lie deliberately - I know you do not, but I think you are repeating lies.

Generally, again, pretty much like always, I very strongly regret that I touched this topic on this forum. Thank you all for replying, but I don't think I made my point. The scenes in the film did NOT make me "uncomfortable" in that they did not - and could not - make me do something sinful or even as much as feel sexual arousal. The only thing in this case and in many other cases that makes me feel uncomfortable is the general notion that if there are bare body parts or a peculiar activity on the screen, I should not watch it BECAUSE it is SUPPOSED to make me feel lustful etc. And it does NOT. But I am still "not suppsed to." And I feel guilty. And I do not know how to reconcile this with the general, "all-size-fits-it-all" (or "all-size-is-supposed-to-fit-t-all") teachings of the Gospels and Fathers and what not.
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« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2010, 10:03:00 PM »

Quote

I can't really speak for you, Heorhij, or anyone else, but if a film makes me feel uncomfortable in any way, I turn it off.


I think this is good advice. I myself rarely watch any films at all. They bring very little pleasure. I would have far rather experienced life myself than have to live vicariously through actors.

Of everything I've ever seen on the screen, one film that disgusts me most is "Home Alone." A little kid delighting in another human being step with a bare foot on a broken glass. This same kid delighting while burning another human being's bald head with the flame of an acetylene burner. YESSSSS.

This reminds me of those "Funniest videos" shows - you know where children or animals are caught on film hurting themselves so that everyone can have a good laugh!  Angry  Angry Angry
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« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2010, 10:11:12 PM »

Generally, again, pretty much like always, I very strongly regret that I touched this topic on this forum. Thank you all for replying, but I don't think I made my point. The scenes in the film did NOT make me "uncomfortable" in that they did not - and could not - make me do something sinful or even as much as feel sexual arousal. The only thing in this case and in many other cases that makes me feel uncomfortable is the general notion that if there are bare body parts or a peculiar activity on the screen, I should not watch it BECAUSE it is SUPPOSED to make me feel lustful etc. And it does NOT. But I am still "not suppsed to." And I feel guilty. And I do not know how to reconcile this with the general, "all-size-fits-it-all" (or "all-size-is-supposed-to-fit-t-all") teachings of the Gospels and Fathers and what not.

I think you did make your point, Heorhij - at least I thought so. I just think that people have the right to use their own discretion when picking which films they watch or which books they read. I really don't think there is a general one-size-fits-all when it comes to how literature, films, whatever affects any human being and I basically tire of people trying to tell me what I can or can't do. If people are senstive to something, then it's fine for them to stay away. I just don't want them insisting that I do the same in the name of religion.

But hey, I'm the one who LOVES vampire films!!  laugh  laugh
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