. hello. and on behalf of the archdiocese of san francisco, welcome to mosaic. we though the word evangelist and related words and we associate these are religion preaches. back up into the root parts of the word and it looks less narrow in focus. it indicates a messenger and a message. and the front is a greek particle of two letters, a tiny one with a large means that means good, welcome. a person bringing a welcome
message, glad tidings, good news, use. information. is it only preachers? no. this is a scholar and teacher who will discuss how makers of art and literature fiction, film, poetry are bringing us good news and revealing to us truths to help us live wisely and well if, that is, we know how to read the books and watch the films. how do we watch and read the products of our secular culture to grow in wisdom and faith and grace? stay with us as we talk with dr. margaret about is fiction, film, and faith around us and the depths of rich human insight found in the best of the arts.
in systematic theology and a doctoral degree in theology as well. you are a learned scholar and experienced teacher and writer. i know that. what do you want to talk to us about today? evangesm film and art. we know as a catholic outreach about the faith. where to film and literary arts come in? >> john, i would like to suggest that the serious screen play writer and movie director and novelist, fiction writer, that they're all in the business of revelation. >> okay. >> and by that, i mean that these serious screen play writer and movie director, they apply their imagination and their talents to the task of bringing others to see.
now to see more thanks thanks-packed sequences and scenery. writer ofs screen play writer, primary aim to bring others to see a vision of life and light. i'm mindful of what joseph conrad had said. joseph conrad is a novelist as you know. perhaps his best known work is if novel heart of darkness. it inspired the movie apocalypse now. he suched up his task in this way. he said, my task is to bring you to feel. and above all, to make you see. tohe goes on.
he says my stories are concerned with nothing less than the whole point of living. >> right. >> the whole point of living. >> that is serious art. >> that's serious. so the serious screen play writer, the serious novelist, they're intent upon intensifying the capacity to feel. but to feel what it is that we truly hunger for, thirst for. what it is we long for, hope for. they're intent upon deepening our capacity to see. to see what makes life worth living. to see what makes life fully human. and leads to authentic happiness. >> now, that's interesting in that i've mentioned the word evangelize and we think of that
as giving a religious message to someone to accept or reject. what you're talking agent is whether conrad or any artist is a catholic or not, serious, deep, artist is trying to get us to see, trying to get us to feel. in other words, not to adopt a position about something. maybe not even to assent to a metaphysics. but to see and feel. >> yes. and intensify their experience of being human. >> what seems like a paradox to me, being human is such an intense experience already we tend to defend ourselves against it. i think we develop a little crust. >> yes. . >> we develop a shell. is the artist breaking us out of the shell and taking the scales off our eyes? >> absolutely. referring back to conrad, my
task is to make you feel, make you see at a depth as never before. o'connor as well. >> american writer. >> yes. >> active in the mid 20th century. famous catholic. >> i know that you know of her works well and she'll admit that her method, her literary method involves a shock tactic. she has to shock her readers to come to a spiritual awakening. to see the human condition. especially in its contemporary setting. as never before. >> yeah. >> we think we see. we think we feel. but we are riddled with so many blind spots. we're hampered by so much spiritual blindness. >> and let's talk about that, the contemporary situation that
dates back to flannery o connor. endless media and movies and videos and books. every kind of mode we're discussing here. so much of it, we have to guard against it. what is the challenge to the makers of the products to in this age of ours, what's missing? it seems to me the structure of christianity as the narrative of our world has sunk in importance, yeah? >> yes. yes. so i'm sorry, john, you want me to address the challenge? >> yes. >> faced by -- in the first place, you're saying the christian artist, writer of fiction, the christian screen play writer, but also his or her reader ship. the audience. again, if i might have
recourse to the wisdom of o connor and rely on her experience, she remoaned the fact today is world is like the dark night of the soul. the world in its increasingly secular condition is losing its capacity to see, to see the presence of god. the stirrings of grace. as well as conversion experiences. >> hold that thought and we will take a brief break. we'll be back again shortly with dr. margaret turek and talk about faith, fiction, and film.
and welcome back. we're talking about evangelizing. and that is not only preaching the christian message, but seeing the christian truth and finding unexpected ways in which to see it. you mentioned o' connor and her enkaps lags as a writer. >> she set up one point the primary gift she needed as a catholic writer was the vision. the capacity to see. and to see prophetically. not the capacity to read the future, but the capacity to see what is hidden. >> yeah. >> and again, for her, it's primarily the hidden presence of god. our god is with us. but in our increasingly secular age, god is less and less visible.
more and more easily forgettable. >> uh-huh. >> and so god is becoming increasingly hidden. and what she needs to do, she says, is find ways in this secular culture to impregnate her stories with the presence of god. often the presence of god is best seen or recognized by the negative pointers that she embeds in her text. she forces you to face the seeming absence of god. >> right. the seeming void. this desert experience of our contemporary and secular culture. >> the desert experience meaning there's not really nourishment for the soul available. and we're talking about film and first.
there's lots of escapist literature and erotic literature. and you said, car crashes and various other things. but the serious art is perhaps having a struggle. >> yes. >> now, you mention -- you told me about you do teach or hold seminars on watching film and sharpening your vision to see what's in the film. you do this for all ages. >> i do. high school students and their teachers. i've done it at the college level, at the graduate level, at the seminary, st. patrick's most recently. and i've also gone out to parishes throughout the bay area and i've given presentations, full days of retreat. a weekend where i train the eye to see god, to find god and recognize his patrons of relating to us. and to recognize the stirrings
of grace and the promptings of grace. god is always trying to lure us back to himself, to see him with us under any condition. and since the current condition is mostly in the dark, we have to develop a night vision. the capacity, this prophetic vision, to see god in the dark, to recognize stirrings of grace, opportunities for conversion in the shadows, in the twilight. yeah. with a faith of vision. >> i think it is difficult to develop a humane sensibility these days. the human race is more or lesslr divided on the planet's health. where are the affirmation of my
soul, where can that be found? films are a specialty of yours. you mentioned groundhog day. is that an examination of a despairing world? >> yes. yes. as i see and interpret groundhog day --. >> which everyone knows a film from the '80s. bill murray. lives the day over and over again. >> yes. stars bill murray and andy mcdowell. it's a portrait that's about the whole point of living. so it's a wonderful illustration of conrad's point in film. this story is about the whole point of living, what makes life worth living. and as the movie opens, phil connor believes he knows what makes his life worth living. and as i view the movie and
there's a variety of ways in which you can view it, i see phil connors initially illustrating a freudian theory of the ultimate motivating is the pleasure, we seek pleasure. and in today more than ever, erotic pleasure, sexual pleasure. so phil connors initially goes about his life seeking sexual pleasure. and he does so quite winningly, we could say. but it's not enough. you watch his character because according to the story,
he has to live this day again and again. he's forced to live out an intensifying concentrated form this theory of life. and he comes to realize soon enough experiencely, the pleasure principle is not enough. phil will choose to kill himself. choose to stop living rather than be forced within this one theory. it's not enough. it's not -- the pleasure principle is not worthy of phil's humanity. >> he's better than that. let's pause that thought. we'll take a break and come back soon for the final segment of this program and
oscar winner," gravity", a space movie. >> the movie at the surface level, it's a survival story about a woman who survives a life threatening accident in outer space. but the story is really about much more. it's really about the whole point of living. the title gravity in my mind, this is my interpretation, it alludes to gravitas, the weight, the depth, the fullness, meaningfulness of life. we need it. meaningfulness. sufficient to prompt us, motivate us to say yes to our next life that is in darkness and often confronts us with very tragic, very heart breaking events. so in this movie, it begins
with a dark screen. the screen is black. and then the stark letters in white emerge. and it says, basically, life in space is impossible. it is impossible. now, space is a metaphor for -- outer space is a metaphor for inner space. what the woman is living on earth. and the condition of her life on earth is impossible. it's impossible to affirm it and endure it in any meaningful way. so what the filmmakers do i life is about. it is cold, it is dark. it is so to carry sound.
so it's a state of isolation, silence, noncommunication, darkness, coldness, and so forth. well, that's really the state of dr. rhinestone's life on earth. but in space, she's now living this out in a way that's magnified for us dramatically. and what the story brings us, what her story as she endefers to survive in outer space, the themes that become prominent are themes such as the importance of being tethered, in communion with others. we learn on earth she lost her daughter. >> yeah. >> her fter died a very tragic, accidental death. and from that moment on,
dr. would wake up and go to work and she would just drive. it was purposeless. it was aimless. it was dark and cold. in outer space, she finds herself following this accident adrift, aimless. >> an accident, her life is at risk. >> and she is time and again, she is trying to communicate with houston. say houston, i'm calling. i'm in the blind. i'm in the blind. i'm running out of air and i'm adrift. and that describes her life on earth. >> and that's a wonderful moment to stop there. because i think now in the position in the midst of life, i'm in a dark woods and lost my way. you would recommend that everybody watch it. >> absolutely. and look for the cues.
this filmmaker is quite deliberate in bringing you to see that she is going through a journey in the dark towards conversion from spiritual blindness to spiritual insight. everything depends on the discovery of everything being tethered. not only to the comrade, but she remains tethered to her daughter in the afterlife. she is always tethered to god. she talks about prayer and no one trained her in the way of being tethered t god who provides the tethers with each other, the communion of love and life that makes this life worth living and that endures in the afterlife. >> margaret, we have about 60 seconds left. and i know that you told me that
whether you have developed your vision in various ways and have the eye to see, you should return over and over again to scripture, to read those better and better. >> yes. the best authors of novels and poetry and of screen plays are those who have learned something from sacred scriptures, salvation history, the human drama as portrayed there as never before. and they will embed the works of art with hints and clues that lead you to see and experience the moments. you recognize the illusions to the meanings. >> developing your vision for art you dust off the old scriptures and go back to them with renewed interest. thank you for coming up from
. now at 6:00, southern california still reeling from the strongest quakes in 20 years. what you should know if the big one hits the bay area. plus, thieves in a stolen fire fire truck lead the chp in a wild chase. the joyride that ended in a blowout. 6:00 a.m. on sunday, july melissa cane. >> looking gray and gloomy. it's not that way everywhere. this is pretty much for areas right and along the bay. the closer to the golden gate, look at the view of the bridge. we have the low clouds coming in. that's the scene over one bridge. the bay bridge l