Showing posts from October, 2020

Salma Hayek and the Sexual Cost of Stardom

After two decades in Hollywood, actress Salma Hayek did an interview with The Orange County Register . She was asked if she realized being a sex symbol was the only way to open doors in the entertainment industry, or if she “found out later and had to accept.” She answered, “I did not know that in advance, but I saw that it was the only way to sneak in.” [1] When she moved from Mexico to Los Angeles back in 1991, the only way for her to “sneak in” was through the use of her body as a bargaining chip. She discovered Latino actresses like her were “typecast as the mistress maid or local prostitute.” Being viewed primarily as a sexual object didn’t just last for a brief stint. It lasted for years. In 1995, Hayek got a big break as a lead actor in Desperado , but this career advancement came at a high cost: having a sex scene sprung on her. Says Hayek , “[The scene] was not in the original script, I have to say. I think it was one of the notes that came after they showed the screen test

The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen

“There’s nothing to watch.” How many of us have said that? More importantly, how many of us have made that complaint while scrolling through hundreds of options on our television? The problem really isn’t that there’s nothing available—only that there’s nothing good available. That’s the elusive nature of visual media—finding something good to watch. Movie trailers can be helpful, but they can also be misleading. A particular trailer might steer you away from a film you wouldn’t like, but it won’t necessarily provide a guarantee of what you will like. That’s one reason why I follow a small handful of film critics. Reading their collective thoughts on a film of particular interest can help me better ascertain whether or not said movie will please my emotional and mental palette. And one of those critics has just made finding the right movie a lot easier. A NEW AND WELCOME RESOURCE There’s a new book in town: The Best Movies You Never Saw . Recently released by film critic Joseph

Should You Criticize Movies You Haven’t Watched?

It is inherently problematic to condemn a specific film or television show from the sidelines, without personal experience of what that work of art communicates. When Christians dismissed Darren Aronofsky’s 2014 film Noah , for example, many of them did so on erroneous grounds, not knowing what was actually in the movie . Blind condemnation is dangerous and unhelpful. When it comes to pornographic content, however, we move away from the debatable and ambiguous elements of artistic merit, and toward more solid distinctions between right and wrong. Hypersexualized storytelling methods are an aspect worth criticizing. A Christian can—and should—condemn pornographic material without having to engage each instance on a case-by-case basis. Thus, I am comfortable and confident to condemn pornographic techniques used in any mainstream film, whether I’ve seen that film or not. Such condemnation is not unfair to the work as a whole. That is why I have spoken up about certain films I haven’t

An Incarnational Approach to Racial Sympathy

It’s a scandalous concept: Hebrews 2 tells us, “[Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest…” (v. 17). God the Father is even said to have made the Son “perfect through suffering” (v. 10). The very thought is baffling. What was it about the perfect son of God that needed perfecting? Nineteenth century theologian  Albert Barnes  provides some helpful commentary: [Christ’s] subjection to his humble condition…made him such a Saviour as man needed, and qualified him fully for his work. There was a propriety that he who should redeem the suffering and the lost should partake of their nature; identify himself with them; and share their woes. It was necessary, Scripture tells us, for God the Son to experience human life and suffering, which somehow perfected His ability to sufficiently sympathize with us (see also  Heb. 4:15 ). Jesus didn’t relate to us from afar; He drew near, suffering  with  humans,  as  a human—and