Saturday, December 22, 2007

2 Corinthians 4:18

"17 For our light affliction which is but a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

I've included verse 17 here as a context-giver, though it opens up discussions and implications as to the temporal aspect of film that I don't want to discuss here (I still haven't read Tarkovsky's book, either). Verse 18 has been going over and over in my mind since I happened upon it again a few months ago. These acts of seeing and looking (important that there is a distinction, I believe) are central to cinema as it is primarily a visual art. How does LDS doctrine address this act of seeing? Here, Paul adds a spiritual and other-worldly approach to the discussion: the things which are seen are temporal, the things which are unseen are eternal. The directive part is that we, as a body of Christ, look only at the eternal, and we do NOT look at the things which are seen.

So, if we only take this verse, our cinema should be via negativo and only that. Do we only show the thing we are not talking about? I'm not advocating anything one way or the other, but it seems to me that that is the way to read this.

Now, one thing that Sunday School conversations about anything biblical seem to do is fall back on the Joseph Smith Translation and the 8th article of faith. Is the JST a divine, inspired source? YES. But too often if there isn't a JST translation we tend to just throw it out. We even do that WITH the JST translation sometimes. All I ask is that we consider this verse and the implications it has for our medium.

Hopefully more on this to come.

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