Oscar World

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Last night was the 82nd annual Academy Awards,
or The Oscars.
As millions sat at home and watched about two thousand (complete guess sounds good though) people filled the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. The separation was obvious not only from the screens that separated us but the movies and culture that we were watching. As I sat there watching these awards and trying to figure out how I had never seen 75% of the movies that were up for awards I could not help but think one of two things:

1) Either I am very uncultured
2) There is a huge disconnect between hollywood & America

The answer is probably both, but an industry that has only people to thank for taking them to where they are today has became out of touch with common people.

A good story is what we are after. Whether it be in the movie (Hurt Locker) or about a real life story (Blind Side, Invictus). A story can cut through any race or class divide and bring people close. But for some reason “good” seemed to get lost in translation. I was reminded of this as I tried to figure out why I had never heard of movies such as An Education, Precious, A Serious Man, and other movies. I wonder if it was my fault that I did not do my job of paying attention to the newest releases or if it was Hollywood’s fault for choosing to promote movies such as the Hangover over a movie about a young African American girl who is trying to make it through life (Precious). When it comes down to it, certain things sell and we are left with award shows like the MTV movie awards instead of the Academy Awards.

Why is it called the Academy Awards? Probably because an academy of 6000 people vote on what they think is the best film of the year, who was the best actor or actress, etc…  As I sit at home in my sweat pants, button up flannel shirt and house shoes watching and waiting to find who had the best film of the year I was reminded of the disconnect between me and the people who are wearing dresses that were worth more then the house that I sit in.

Here is where I bring in the spiritual side of things. You will have to forgive me for this. Mainly because I usually make fun of people who try to over spiritualize everything or for that matter stretch as much God out of something that is divinely possible. But I am going to go out there on a limb and raise this question:

Has the church become so out of touch with the ones watching that the greatest story every told is being lost?

If that doesn’t make sense, let me know. Say something like “hey Kyle, somewhere your thoughts from your head did not transfer to your fingers and I am confused on what you are asking.
Or maybe it made perfect sense and you wanted to weigh in on how this story is not being lost and what you are doing to make sure that others get to hear and see the story in action.

Give me some feedback…


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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

    No your question makes perfect sense. First let me give you my thoughts about the movies that are marketed. Granted I haven't seen every movie that came out in 2009, but I did like Avatar and Inglorious Basterds. My favorite movie of the year was (500) Days of Summer. It wasn't mass marketed the way the other 2 were. I think the reason movies like The Hangover are more marketed are along the same reasons that ice dancing was chosen over the first USA-Canada Hockey game to be on NBC. Ratings, or in movies case, people who will go to the movies to watch it.

    The church in America has been losing “viewers” for years while other parts of the world are seeing massive growth. Some churches probably take the same strategy that Hollywood takes and tries to appeal to the masses. Does this mean they are leaving out parts of the story? Well Joel Osteen certainly is not in touch with the real story.

    I wouldn't say the church as a whole has lost touch with the story, but I feel the focus is not where it should be. If it was, poverty wouldn't be an issue, but sadly people are more worried about political issues than they are the poor. Is it because talking about political issues gets more “viewers” than ones about the least of these?

    If there was an award show for Best Christian, etc., but instead of the academy choosing the awards, God did, who would win? Would it be the pastor with the largest attendance at his church? Would it be the church that saw the biggest growth? The Christian Politician? The leader of the political activist group (aka FotF)? Or would it be the church with the highest percentage of people actually going out in the real world and helping those in need?

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      I like that last question you asked there in paragraph two: Politics definitely gets more views.
      the last part is a great question as well. I have my thoughts and will come back to respond but I am interested to see what the community here is saying about these questions.

  • http://denisefath.com/ Denise Fath

    It's definitely a fair question. And if the state of things in America is any indication, the church is definitely losing the battle. But I don't think it's because the church is out of touch – but more because she's drowned out by a million other distractions.

    So many Americans are unhappy (just look at the number of anti-depressants and sedatives prescribed each year) and they're desperate for the church, they just haven't heard “the greatest story ever told” (or they've heard perverted versions of it). All the more reason we've got to get out there, not be ashamed of our faith, and share it with others!

  • http://www.contentunderpressure.net/ Josh

    The question makes sense. I'm afraid we'll be asking this question a lot as time goes on. It's unfortunate. But, the time is now to be a part of something different.

    The Gospel is the greatest story ever told. We've not just watered it down….we've omitted entire chapters. Why do I say this? Because I don't see a response. My life is included in this statement as well. The Gospel requires a response. Whether it's direct opposition or life-changing direction, it demands something. That's what you see in the early church in Acts. When the Gospel was spread, things didn't stay the same. Things got heated. Lives were changed. People were persecuted, beaten, beheaded even.

    I think we see a lot of the same over and over. This should be very telling to all of us. I know that, for myself, it's extremely convicting.

  • http://www.randrambles.com Rand

    Well, entertainment is one of the things I focus in, I mean, that's what I like the most and read more about. That may be why I watched 6 of the 10 movies nominated for Oscars. The Academy Awards is basically that, awards given by the Academy not People's Choice awards but things other than plain likability are taken into consideration. I believe a movie like The Hangover could've been nominated, plainly because it was comedic excellence, and most critics agree, but the Academy voters focus on other things that this movie may have not been able to achieve.

    Sadly, this is my question regarding church. Is wellness being marketed more than redemption. Is health promoted more than forgiveness and grace; and prosperity is cherished and given more attention than the blood of Jesus. If so, we need to go back to the basics, even if they don't get awards.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Good questions to ask at church

  • http://godlysheep.com Brett Barner

    Great question. I completely see the disconnect of Hollywood vs real life. I think a lot has to do with them being completely “into” Hollywood. There is no idea what the typical American thinks because they seem stuff that we don't. They are involved in politics, who's who, and all that fun stuff.

    We do the same thing in the church. We critique, judge, become involved in politics, the who's who, etc.

    I find it interesting how important we hold our own Christian community's ideas over what people outside the church is telling us. To me, isn't that an important demographic of the people we are supposed to reach?

  • http://betterthingsahead.blogspot.com/ N.A. Winter

    One might question whether Hollywood blockbusters can really be considered “cultured” :) I think the other side of the coin (for both church and Hollywood) is that sometimes we get so focused on giving people what they want, that we forget the real reason we're doing what we're doing.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Great point…we do get focused on the consumers that we start to hand feed them and give milk instead of meat.