Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
goneganesh

Fox Launches New "Fox Faith" Label

Recommended Posts

If you get to the screener, it will be interesting to see if you like it better than those at Rottentomatoes so far -- 0% with 14 reviews.

To a Disciple elist I wrote: I suppose that is my major beef with Fox Faith -- they expect us to accept mediocrity (or worse) because it has some Christian connection. It's like those beat up couches that fill youth rooms in every church. We're church, we don't need quality. There was a time that Christian art was done by Michelangelo. Now it's being done on the cheap and we're expected to enjoy it because it has a Christian label. Meanwhile there is plenty of Christian content in film -- it just isn't labeled as such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally watched Thr3e tonight. Oh my. I just have to ask, did Ted Dekker write this novel before, or after, he saw Adaptation. (2002)? (Hmmm, Amazon.com indicates Dekker's novel was published in June 2003 ... about six months after Adaptation came out. I guess that solves that. Or maybe he saw a copy of Charlie Kaufman's screenplay?)

Not that I want to give anything away or anything like that, but, um, remember Donald Kaufman's proposed screenplay for a movie called The Three? Yeah, that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought occurs to me.

What are we to make of the idea that FoxFaith (or whoever) is specifically making films based on the works of Christian novelists?

I mean, why make films only based on novels? And especially on relatively recent novels?

It almost makes one think that the real point of the new "contemporary Christian cinema" is NOT to stimulate filmmaking in any particular way, but to give lucrative movie deals to those who are involved in the more primary, more "legitimate", forms of Christian pop culture.

I'm vaguely reminded of how, when Steve Taylor started the Squint label and said he intended to make movies as well as music, one of the label's sponsors (a Myrrh VP) spoke as though the primary purpose of making a movie would be to promote the music (which caused Taylor to do a double-take).

We're creating opportunities for new Ron Howards, but what about new Stanley Kubricks? (Actually, every single film of Kubrick's post-1956 was based on a novel or short story, but he was hardly in the business of cranking out pedestrian film adaptations of recent best-sellers.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just catching up on some of this. FFF has done a mediocre job at best regarding the films they did. I will say I read Thr3e long before seeing Adaptation and would also say, don't judge Dekker by the movie. The movie was as poor a representation of Dekker as one could get. I am linking here my review and interview with him that was conducted long before the release of the movie.

http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/comments/furches/blog.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread is as good as any for this. Film Week on KPCC spent its first half hour on the trend of making and marketing faith based films. It can be podcast from the KPCC site.

"Godsplotation" is a term I like.

Edited by Darrel Manson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent last weekend asking industry professionals, filmmakers, and film educators about the emergence of "faith-based film divisions" at major studios.

I was surprised at the mix of opinions they shared with me.

Here's the result: Christians as a "Niche Market"?

And here's how it starts:

As Hollywood continues to catch the "faith wave" by making and marketing more movies to Christians, some of the industry's major players gathered at a conference in Los Angeles last weekend to discuss the pros and cons of the relatively new trend.

While some are excited about the potential of these efforts, some are also frustrated about the "bad art" that has already spun out of these initiatives

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we to infer that That 70's Show is good art? Much as I appreciate Dean's perspective, I really must ask...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh.

Well, I'm sure Batali knows that That 70s Show was a sitcom... and as sitcoms go, That 70s Show is one of my favorites. It was consistently much funnier, with an unusually talented team of actors and some of the most memorable sitcom chemistry since Newhart. I think it the show was vastly superior to Friends (although I know that isn't necessarily saying much).

Batali also had a hand in the writing for early Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes, so his work experience is in better-than-average commercial television.

But that doesn't mean he's disqualified from commenting on good art. Heck, Roger Ebert wrote that Valley of the Dolls film, but I still listen to what he says about art films.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and Jeffrey, did you catch any flack related to CT? I wondered, for instance, if you connected with Brian Bird, whose involvement with The Last Sin Eater might give him a perspective similar to Michael Landon, Jr's (discussed in another thread). As part of the Christian-goldmine-Hollywood theme, did criticism from Christians seem welcome? To ask another way, how many delegates expressed support for CT Movies, and how many expressed some negative response? Or did it come up at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm dying to go to bat for Dean, or at the very least, elaborate on some of his perspectives, which he shared with a group gathered for another recent conference. But I was sworn to secrecy at the end of that event. "No blogging" was our marching order. (I assumed that this was shorthand for no discussion-forum posting as well.)

Within days of the conclusion of the event, the event coordinator blogged about it, as did another notable participant. :)

But for the lowly attendees such as myself, rules are rules.

Jeffrey: Maybe you could encourage Dean to stop by and elaborate for us?

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Here's the result: Christians as a "Niche Market"?

FWIW, Jeff, I recently got around to reading this article, and was a little surprised by (or unsure what to make of) the fact that pretty much all of these people who were calling for excellence had produced such singularly non-excellent work -- at least based on the works of theirs that I have seen. (Has Mark Joseph produced anything? And Dean Batali's in the clear, in my books, because I've never seen any of his TV shows.)

Anyway, the reason I came to this thread is because I've been going through some of the Fox Faith DVDs recently, and I was struck by the fact that they include completely secular films (e.g. Night at the Museum), Protestant films that take a dim view of the 16th-century Catholic church (Luther), studio films that take a basically positive view of the 16th-century Catholic church (The Agony and the Ecstasy), and so on -- it's quite a peculiar mix. And then there are films that Fox Faith does NOT distribute, even though they are religious in theme and were produced by 20th Century Fox (Brigham Young). So "Faith" is basically a euphemism for "small-o orthodox Christian", except when it includes essentially secular, non-religious, non-Christian films that happen to be "family-friendly". Weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark Joseph has written books about the Christian music industry, published a regular column, and coordinates the Damah Film Festival. Dean was a writer for "Buffy" and "That 70s Show."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, I'm aware of Batali's stuff; I just haven't watched any of it. And it sounds like Joseph hasn't produced any films or TV shows himself, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The website still says The Redemption of Sarah Cain is "coming soon". But Christians in Cinema and the IMDb say the film has been re-named Saving Sarah Cain and is premiering on the Lifetime Network this coming Sunday. Fox Faith, as a video distributor, is still definitely a going concern, but has Fox Faith Movies (i.e. the theatrical division) been abandoned?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Movie gets tagged as 'Christian' and loses out

There were other reviews, good and bad. Still, the nastiness in strategic corners of the media caught veteran producer Rick Eldridge off guard, in large part because he thought that he was producing a mainstream movie, with mainstream talent, that was going to have a chance to reach a thoroughly mainstream audience.

What he didn't count on was getting stuck with two dangerous labels -- "Fox" and "Faith." Those words can turn your average media insider into a pillar of salt.

That's what happened to "The Ultimate Gift," turning this quiet cinematic fable into a cautionary tale for others who want to make movies that can appeal to viewers in Middle America, including folks who frequent sanctuary pews.

Terry Mattingly, Scripps Howard News Service, August 22

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently, "some reknowned Christian filmmakers" almost "bought the lie" in Terry Mattingly's aritcle. But then Ted Baehr set them straight, and disaster was averted. Hallelujah.

Driving the point home, [Mattingly's] article fallaciously states, "Movie producers do not enjoy seeing America's most influential newspaper crucify their films." In other words, Christian producers should just duck and cower by removing any mention of faith and values in their movies no matter how slight, innocuous and understated. On the other hand, I have been to a lot of marketing meetings where the movie studio debated how they could stir up controversy for their movies, including two movies being released in October of this year. People at these meetings were asked if they could get the same groups who blasted the "Passion Of the Christ" to attack their movies.

This article published by Scripps-Howard could be dismissed except that some renowned Christian filmmakers were asking me about it at a film festival. They bought the lie of the article that if a movie gets labeled Christian, then it will lose money at the box office, because they did not think through the absurdity of this ill-conceived, illogical attack on movies with faith and values. So the article almost succeeded in deterring some talented filmmakers who might even produce the next "Facing the Giants," one of the most profitable and the most Christian movies of 2006.

I hope Terry Mattingly doesn't feel too stung. Baehr says Mattingly's opinion doesn't hold any water, but it sure makes a lot of sense to me.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This bit of news came out today:

Rupert Murdoch is out to prove that you can serve God and mammon after all. The media tycoon's Fox Entertainment has bought beliefnet, the largest online faith and spirituality network.

And here's one pertinent sentence:

Fox said the network would give the company an online platform to distribute faith-based programming from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; plus products from other parts of Murdoch's News Corporation family, including Harper Collins's Zondervan imprint, which specialises in Christian books, and HarperOne, which publishes a selection of religious and spirituality titles.

Full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/dec/0...newscorporation?

Edited by Stephen Lamb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apparently, "some reknowned Christian filmmakers" almost "bought the lie" in Terry Mattingly's aritcle. But then Ted Baehr set them straight, and disaster was averted. Hallelujah.

Driving the point home, [Mattingly's] article fallaciously states, "Movie producers do not enjoy seeing America's most influential newspaper crucify their films." In other words, Christian producers should just duck and cower by removing any mention of faith and values in their movies no matter how slight, innocuous and understated. On the other hand, I have been to a lot of marketing meetings where the movie studio debated how they could stir up controversy for their movies, including two movies being released in October of this year. People at these meetings were asked if they could get the same groups who blasted the "Passion Of the Christ" to attack their movies.

This article published by Scripps-Howard could be dismissed except that some renowned Christian filmmakers were asking me about it at a film festival. They bought the lie of the article that if a movie gets labeled Christian, then it will lose money at the box office, because they did not think through the absurdity of this ill-conceived, illogical attack on movies with faith and values. So the article almost succeeded in deterring some talented filmmakers who might even produce the next "Facing the Giants," one of the most profitable and the most Christian movies of 2006.

I hope Terry Mattingly doesn't feel too stung. Baehr says Mattingly's opinion doesn't hold any water, but it sure makes a lot of sense to me.

I just noticed this now. The funny thing about Baehr's commentary here is that the REASON Facing the Giants was so profitable arguably had a lot to do with Terry Mattingly making a big deal of the film's PG rating. At least, when I interviewed that film's director, he seemed to credit Mattingly for all the attention, i.e. publicity.

So, if filmmakers are taking Mattingly seriously, they would not necessarily avoid being labeled "Christian". Indeed, they might hope not only to be labeled "Christian", but to see a lot of controversy as a result of being stuck with that label.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...