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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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|E M E R G E N C Y
H E L P
N E E D E D!!!
UPDATED August 28, 2003
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|ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.|
(2003), PG-13 -- ... we ALL need love and compassion ...
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): IFC Productions, Jersey Films, John Wells Productions, Killer Films, Laughlin Park Pictures
Distribution (US): IFC Films
Director(s): Todd Graff
Producer(s): Allen Bain, Holly Becker, Danny DeVito, Caroline Kaplan, Miriam Kazdin, Richard Klubeck, Pamela Koffler, Daniel S. Levine, Katie Roumel, Jonathan Sehring, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Bradford Simpson, Christine Vachon, Jonathan Weisgal, John Wells
Written by/Screenplay: Todd Graff
Cinematography/Camera: Kip Bogdahn
Music: Stephen Trask, Todd Rundgren
Film Editing: Myron I. Kerstein
Casting: Will Cantler, Victoria Pettibone, Bernard Telsey, David Vaccari
Production Design: Dina Goldman
Art Direction: Richard Burgess
Viewed At: United Artists - Hulen 10
Imagine a "gay" film with a token straight boy, Vlad (Daniel Letterle) under sort of "reverse discrimination", all smothered in the "modern world" and you will have an impression of this film. Camp was able to convey that we ALL need love and compassion in spite of our chosen behaviors, but it failed in conveying the Truth about some of our chosen behaviors. And it failed in explaining the difference between loving the doer while not loving the deed. It set the protagonists of homosexuality and those blase about it on pedestals and the antagonists in pits [1Cor. 6:9-10].
The story is about a summer camp for wannabe performing artists. Set in Stagedoor Manor in upstate New York, renamed Camp Ovation for this film, a gaggle of teens with all the angst and social warfare associated with Hollywood's impression of teen life gather to strut their stuff and conduct warfare with the "establishment" and each other as they vied for top cool Some of their "stuff" is quality performances by sharply talented performers. It was very powerful and touching in some ways but misleading and corruptive in others.
Probably the best performance was delivered by Robin de Jesus as Michael Flores, a homosexual practitioner who went to his high school prom in full drag [Deut. 22:5]. The story elevated Michael's chosen behavior with a "whipped puppy" image while pasting his remote father into the dialogue as bigoted, intolerant and hateful; as if a father is to be proud and appreciative of his son wearing a formal dress to a prom. Even I was touched by De Jesus' performance, finding myself sympathetic of "Michael" and wanting to do something to comfort his pain but realizing by his delivery that such would not be possible (aside from the fact this is all fantasy) because it would be expected of me to set aside my love of God and His Word. I cannot do that. One of the features of knowing God's love is the ability to love the one whose behavior is sinful (even ourselves) but not love the sin (not even our own). And there lies the foundation for a "mini-sermon."
There is nothing wrong with being tolerant if tolerance is being shown righteously. Tolerance does not require one to trash his/her faith. We must not be tolerant of sin. Not even our own. We must not embrace the sin as we embrace the sinner nor should we be expected to do so. One does not have to accept the sin to accept the sinner. We do not have to participate in or encourage or ignore the sin to "reach" the sinner. To do so is to cause the sinner to sin which is a sin on ourselves. And to stick our heads in the sand about the sin of the practice of homosexuality or any other sin is a sin on ourselves. We must love the practitioner enough to have the intestinal fortitude to tell him/her the Truth as we must love even ourselves enough to tell ourselves the Truth. Not in one single case did Jesus ever participate in or even encourage our participation in a sin to teach us about it. Jesus loves us deeply, truly and truthfully. Not in one case was Jesus ever afraid to tell us the Truth. He loves us more than we could ever imagine, in spite of our sins. Enough to permit the blade to pierce His ribcage for our sake. Enough to permit the whip to tear ribbons of flesh from His back for our sake. Enough to spend three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. He was thinking of you and I, not Himself as mortal life was oozing from Him. He loves us so much that while He was hanging on the Cross with His mortal life dripping out of Him, suffocating in His own body fluids, putting His weight on the spikes in His ankles and pulling on them through His wrists to lift Himself enough to get a small breath, He was thinking of us. You and I. Yet some of us choose to justify some of our behaviors with situational redefinition, counterfeiting and conditional application of His Word, comforting ourselves doing so with "It's all a matter of interpretation."
The "very powerful and touching" properties of the portrayal of sinful behaviors is the problem. To embed a message of warmth, love, and crisis management under a flooding of ignominy is a very powerful way to proselytize people to accept and even embrace the ignominy; to even mimic it. Homosexuality is not innate. We are not born with it. God does not make mistakes and poor choices. We do. Homosexuality is caused by homosexuality, usually in the form of sexual abuse during childhood, in most cases caused by one behaving with homosexual mannerisms. Please do not let such high-powered performances move you in such a way as to start thinking that what God says is sinful may not be sinful after all. [John 14:15; Isa. 5:20]
There are also the usual plethora of sinful behaviors typically saturating a PG-13: twenty-two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, much of it by teens; drinking and drunkenness; "I'm only human" to excuse sexual immorality, being mastered by the drive rather than being strong enough to be master of it. What is extreme in this movie in comparison to most PG-13 movies is the brutality of Vlad stripping (unseen) before Michael to taunt and entice him, teaching drag to a small child, "gay" lust and many other matters forcing attention on the practice of homosexuality favorably. From Camp, one might get the impression most performing artists choose to be "gay." Yes, it is a choice to be "gay." Every single non-autonomic movement of the human body is a choice. No exceptions. No debate.
The full listing of findings is provided in the Findings/Scoring section which is the heart of the objective CAP analysis model.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Single Christian Network
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|