Superman, Star Wars, The Great Escape, and the Sound of the Music; these four movies were a major part of my childhood as every Easter, Christmas, or bank holiday it would be these movies which were shown on TV and I would watch them again and again, much to the annoyance of my family. It was through these movies that my passion for cinema was born and when I started earning my own money as a teenager I got my first VCR and started amassing a pretty large collection of movies. Then when I got my first full time job my passion for movies really took off as each week when I got paid I would be straight down the shops to snap up the bargains, often adding five videos to my collection at a time. It wasn’t just the collecting of movies I loved as there were the posters, books, and movie magazines as well as the technology which back then cost a small fortune.
Over the years my love of movies had never really dwindled, yes my movie collection may have fluctuated as ended relationships saw some left behind but they were often replaced by DVDs. The only thing which really changed was what I enjoyed to watch; where as a teenager I would love 80s action movies, ashamedly the more violent the better, I now prefer to watch the simple entertainment of Hallmark movies. In fact for the last few years, before reconnecting with my faith, I have been writing movie reviews which can be found on The Movie Scene, where I often focus on made for TV movies rather than cinema releases.
But since reconnecting with my faith I have found myself challenged by my life long love of movies to the point that now I have little interest in watching most movies. The first thing I found myself challenged by was my obsession with watching and reviewing as many movies as I could. I use the word obsession because most days I would watch and review two or three movies with that being more important to me than anything else. Secondly I found myself being challenged by the sort of movies I would want to watch and review, yes I am on about horror movies. And on top of that I have found myself challenged by watching movies which have been illegally uploaded to Youtube, be it a cinema release or a movie shown on US TV which wouldn’t be shown here in the UK.
The thing is that, and all praise to God for this, when I reconnected with my faith God simply changed my heart and that desire to watch one movie after another vanished, any interest in horror movies disappeared and I found myself feeling guilty every time I even considered watching a movie which I knew had been illegally uploaded to Youtube. The thing is that I didn’t ask God to do this, although like many I did pray and ask him to use me in which ever way he wanted. But I believe God knew that for me to really reconnect and grow as a Christian that desire, that love of cinema had to go to make way for my new life.
But on top of this change of heart, this disinterest in something which for so long had defined me, I also found myself challenged by whether movie reviewing was a self serving job or was I really contributing anything useful to this world. Now if some one had asked me this question back before reconnecting with my faith I would have said of course I am, I am helping people to know whether a movie is worth watching or not. In truth all I was doing was trying to create content so people might visit my website click on an ad or buy something from an affiliate link. It is why whilst for now I still run my movie review website I found myself creating the Slanting-N as I began to realise that the things I have gone through in my life might be of more use to someone or at least more useful than reading a movie review I churned out. To put it simply, after years of thinking all about me when it came to what I do I found myself seeking to do something useful for others and show how great God is.
Now this isn’t a post telling you movies are bad, although some truly are and we need to think carefully about what we watch. But this leads me to the point in my life I am at right now which I am sure many can empathise with as they want to make a difference but feel torn by the needs of 21st century living. Firstly remember that God can use you in your workplace to make a difference to show how great God is without preaching to your colleagues in your lunch hour, as such we should do our jobs as if we are working for God. But now I have adopted this mindset which says that reviewing movies is just a means to an end and it helps support me so that I can do things which makes a difference, or at least I pray they do. And who knows, well God does, but maybe some day this will change but this is where I am at now.