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Ted Baehr, Tom Snyder, and Movieguide

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(It also appears as if Tom Snyder has already noticed the article.)

 

Oh, lord. Apparently disagreeing with Movieguide means claiming that you're "supersmart" and they're "idiots."

 

 

Part of me hopes this poster is just using Snyder's name to troll with. The larger--sensible--part says it isn't. [And, considering what Snyder posted on the public FB wall, looks like the sensible part of me wins.] Crimeny. 

Edited by NBooth

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Okay, I'll bite.  Did MovieGuide really give Pan's Labyrinth, to quote Mr. Snyder, an "insightful and serious review?"  I can't seem to find it on their webpage.

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Just a guess, but are they the source of this quote?

 

Some are proclaiming this to be a glorious fairytale for adults. However, media-wise people of faith should be encouraged that, although this foreign movie may gain the temporary rewards and applauds of men, the movie's mixed pagan worldview and violent depictions of life without the hope of Christ have dire eternal ramifications.

 

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Who else would write "media-wise people of faith?"  So in answer to my question: No.

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Loved this article.

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I was curious about Snyder's claim to have a PhD in Film Studies, so I did a quick search of the ProQuest Theses & Dissertation database. That pulled up a Thomas Lee Snyder who wrote a dissertation in 1984 at Northwestern entitled, "Sacred Encounters: The Myth of the Hero in the Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy films of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg." Now I kinda want to read it.

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Just a guess, but are they the source of this quote?

 

Some are proclaiming this to be a glorious fairytale for adults. However, media-wise people of faith should be encouraged that, although this foreign movie may gain the temporary rewards and applauds of men, the movie's mixed pagan worldview and violent depictions of life without the hope of Christ have dire eternal ramifications.

 

 

 

This site suggests that, yes, it came from them. http://columbus.indymedia.org/node/11907

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Anders wrote:
: I was curious about Snyder's claim to have a PhD in Film Studies, so I did a quick search of the ProQuest Theses & Dissertation database. That pulled up a Thomas Lee Snyder who wrote a dissertation in 1984 at Northwestern entitled, "Sacred Encounters: The Myth of the Hero in the Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy films of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg." Now I kinda want to read it.

 

Me too! (Well, if I had more time, at any rate.)

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Anders wrote:

: I was curious about Snyder's claim to have a PhD in Film Studies, so I did a quick search of the ProQuest Theses & Dissertation database. That pulled up a Thomas Lee Snyder who wrote a dissertation in 1984 at Northwestern entitled, "Sacred Encounters: The Myth of the Hero in the Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy films of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg." Now I kinda want to read it.

 

Me too! (Well, if I had more time, at any rate.)

 

Exactly. As someone who is currently trying to finish writing my dissertation, and has a newborn baby and a toddler I don't have time to waste.

 

Still, now I can add "working for Movieguide" to my list of things I can tell people I can do with my graduate film degree.

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Just a guess, but are they the source of this quote?

 

Some are proclaiming this to be a glorious fairytale for adults. However, media-wise people of faith should be encouraged that, although this foreign movie may gain the temporary rewards and applauds of men, the movie's mixed pagan worldview and violent depictions of life without the hope of Christ have dire eternal ramifications.

 

 

 

This site suggests that, yes, it came from them. http://columbus.indymedia.org/node/11907

 

It is indeed from their review, but I don't understand - why not just check on their site? It took me all of twenty seconds... I use a lot of websites I don't necessarily approve of...

 

Actually, one of the best bits of the review is another addition to the eclectic 'nudity' descriptions:

 

brief naturalistic upper shoulder nudity  of little girl in the bath tub although nothing sensual

which is a real gem.

 

Edit - I just saw Tom Snyder's comments on the New Yorker article, and had a good laugh.

 

 

Overstreet is a being a jerk and an ignoramus. He's also a movie snob. And, I have a Ph.D. in Film Studies from Northwestern University, so I'll put my expertise against his any time!

Just goes to show that a PhD and 50+ years of life experience don't necessarily prevent one sounding like an hormonal tweener on a Twilight IMDB forum.

Edited by Anodos

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It really *is* amazing how Snyder goes straight from "He's a snob!" to "And he's not as educated as I am!" without pausing for a moment's breath.

 

For some reason I'm reminded of the time I worked on the Labour Force Survey for Statistics Canada, and I interviewed someone who took great exception to one of the standard introductory questions, which was do you rent your home or do you own it. "I have THREE DEGREES!" she said with great indignation over the phone, as though somehow it was an insult to suggest that anyone as educated as her might not own her own home.

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Just a guess, but are they the source of this quote?

 

Some are proclaiming this to be a glorious fairytale for adults. However, media-wise people of faith should be encouraged that, although this foreign movie may gain the temporary rewards and applauds of men, the movie's mixed pagan worldview and violent depictions of life without the hope of Christ have dire eternal ramifications.

 

 

 

This site suggests that, yes, it came from them. http://columbus.indymedia.org/node/11907

 

It is indeed from their review, but I don't understand - why not just check on their site? It took me all of twenty seconds... I use a lot of websites I don't necessarily approve of...

I searched their site for it, but I only got error messages when I did.

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Just a guess, but are they the source of this quote?

 

Some are proclaiming this to be a glorious fairytale for adults. However, media-wise people of faith should be encouraged that, although this foreign movie may gain the temporary rewards and applauds of men, the movie's mixed pagan worldview and violent depictions of life without the hope of Christ have dire eternal ramifications.

 

 

 

This site suggests that, yes, it came from them. http://columbus.indymedia.org/node/11907

 

It is indeed from their review, but I don't understand - why not just check on their site? It took me all of twenty seconds... I use a lot of websites I don't necessarily approve of...

I searched their site for it, but I only got error messages when I did.

 

 

Same here. I also Google searched for "Movieguide" and "Pan's Labyrinth," with no results.

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Actually, one of the best bits of the review is another addition to the eclectic 'nudity' descriptions:

brief naturalistic upper shoulder nudity  of little girl in the bath tub although nothing sensual

which is a real gem.

 

What about this part under content:

people have lottery tickets

 

 

And I know it has been mentioned by countless others, but how can anyone seriously write the following and turn around and praise The Passion of the Christ to high heaven?

 

The writer/director, Guillermo del Toro, creates a dark world with stunning imagery that is both fantastic and, regrettably, all-too-sadistically realistic.

Relying too heavily on depicted violence rather than implied violence, the movie ceases to be imaginative and creative. It becomes a gross second-place substitute of what could have been a really enjoyable movie for adult moviegoers. The stronger and more media-wise choice would have been to leave more to the audience’s imagination. Unhappily, rather than creatively implying Captain Vidal’s cruelty and lack of human compassion, the director instead bludgeons viewers with graphic imagery (much like Captain Vidal). This seems contradictory and hypocritical.

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Just goes to show that a PhD and 50+ years of life experience don't necessarily prevent one sounding like an hormonal tweener on a Twilight IMDB forum.

 

 

 

It really *is* amazing how Snyder goes straight from "He's a snob!" to "And he's not as educated as I am!" without pausing for a moment's breath.

 

For some reason I'm reminded of the time I worked on the Labour Force Survey for Statistics Canada, and I interviewed someone who took great exception to one of the standard introductory questions, which was do you rent your home or do you own it. "I have THREE DEGREES!" she said with great indignation over the phone, as though somehow it was an insult to suggest that anyone as educated as her might not own her own home. 

 

 

The founder seems to have 3 degrees as well, and to have attended several more institutions. This probably is snobbery on my part, but I'm having trouble reconciling Dartmouth, Cambridge and NYU law with the reduction of film to inane lists: 

heavy, graphic violence includes a young girl has a bloody nose, a man grips the little girl’s arm very hard, military captain uses a bottle to crush the skull of a prisoner, captain shoots another prisoner, many soldiers are shot in graphic battle sequences, prisoners are shot point blank execution style, a giant mythical toad explodes, man’s leg needs to be amputated and a doctor begins to saw into it, a horrific mythical creature is shown with his eyes placed in his hands and depictions of him eating children are painted all over the walls, creature viciously eats the heads off two fairies, young girl bites her finger to give drops of blood to a root

 

 

If, by their very nature, such reviews are aimed only at the religious right crowd, then almost no one else is going to care enough to read or discuss them.

 

My impression is also that outside of the industry, few Christians who are not part of that crowd even know they exist. I do, barely, because of these forums and it's hard for me to see beyond the outlandishness and humor. But the approach isn't really funny, it's artistically and spiritually illiterate and pushes us to equate *good* art and its depictions of weakness and suffering and brutality with decadence. And it's unmindful of beauty ( or poetry, I think Overstreet says in the blog.) 

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Evan C wrote:
: And I know it has been mentioned by countless others, but how can anyone seriously write the following and turn around and praise The Passion of the Christ to high heaven?

 

Snyder says he wants to restore the old system which forbade all films that would now be rated NC-17 or R, and most of the films that are now rated PG-13 as well. The Passion of the Christ is the first thing I always think about when culture warriors start making that sort of argument. (Woman Thou Art Loosed, which came out the same year, too.) There once was a time when I entertained the hope that R-rated Christian films like those would encourage American Christians to give up their obsession over the R rating. (Non-American Christians, of course, don't have to deal with the MPAA ratings at all, not directly at any rate.) But that now seems like it was so long ago...

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Highlights from the tweets of Thomas L. Snyder, PhD. "FilmDoctor":

 

Tim Tebow

 

Musical discernment

 

Nelson Mandela

 

Barack Obama

 

Climate change

 

Politics

 

Television

 

Send us money so Jesus will find a way into Hollywood

 

Political activism

 

Tim Tebow again

 

And that's why they call him... @FilmDoctor!

 

One more: My personal favorite.

Edited by Overstreet

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This is one doctor that isn't going to heal a whole lot of people.  

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He really does write like a 'troll'! All those unnecessary exclamation points!! As though his thoughts are so breathtaking they deserve to arrive with an extra boost! I'm just SURPRISED he hasn't discovered the JOY an arbitrary application of CAPS LOCK can BRING!

 

More tweets from FilmDoctor:

 

 

 

Obama says he's not as liberal as Nixon. Does this mean liberals are corrupt, like Nixon? Is Obama corrupt, like his mentor, Nixon?

This is so stupid I don't know where to begin. Illogical, unfunny... just utterly inane.

 

And this:

 

 

My next movie - 8 YEARS A SLAVE: MY OPPRESSION UNDER BARACK OBAMA.

You poor, poor oppressed doctor. How my heart bleeds for you.

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The man who demanded a public apology from me for being "mean" toward Movieguide tweeted: "Did Obama give Clinton a Lewinsky?"

Edited by Overstreet

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I still find it fascinating that Baehr and Snyder get so much press for their organization--and then I reflect on how my step dad interacts with the world at large, and his politicization of his faith and I know how Movieguide continues on.  One generally sees this type of organization laid low by scandal, whence ten more spring up, hydras in the sheepfold. 

 

At what point did the evangelical church get so entangled with this type of adversarial engagement with society?  I know, of course, that many folks here are not evangelical protestants, but I am--and I'm still just boggled by what I see as obvious fallacies perpetuated by a group who claims the authority of scripture as the primary guide for understanding how to view the world.  There is clearly no engagement with scripture except to proof-text, if even that.  When the emblem of Snyder's twitter handle is a cross shaped American flag, we see an old idolatry repackaged--worship of the state replaces building the kingdom and belies a terribly flawed understanding of what the kingdom and the gospel actually are.  Even as a gun-owner, I can tell you that #pro-gun is about as stupid a connection to biblical christianity as one can make.  

 

I guess this is a me-too post (boo Movieguide--you are false prophets!) but I would generally love to know what change would look like here--how does the evangelical church supersede such foolishness as Movieguide, temperance movements, Ken Ham-sandwich slop with the transformative power of the gospel?  Is engagement with Movieguide on their terms even a useful strategy? 

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If their terms look anything like Tom Snyder's tweets, it's probably a lost cause. 

 

I've often found myself incredulous at the appalling condition of the right-wing Evangelical subculture - and the distressing ease by which they can be picked out by their stereotypes - and I'm often forced to turn a blind eye, if not for my own good. I can't let what is so clearly antagonistic, antagonize me. Their layers of warped complexes are utterly impenetrable, as far as I'm concerned. I would think the WORST thing you could do is engage them. Let them to their own vices. Their hypocrisy is self-evident. 

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Buckeye.  I'm not sure if this stuff can be changed anytime soon.  What's going on her is the complexity of a different worldview in several ways, not just one.  The lies all work together to keep people caught in the same lies.  It's a circular system I guess one could say.  It's enhanced by the idea that anybody who disagrees is a "left wing", "cummunist", "marxist", "anti-Christ", "pagan."  

Edited by Attica

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