A failed-presidential candidate and darling of the waning Christian-right, Rick Santorum might not seem the ideal candidate to be a movie executive. Yet as the new CEO of EchoLight Studios, a Christian film company that bills itself as a creator and distributor of “quality” Christian films, Santorum will be doing exactly that.
Santorum seeks to be making movies that “rival any good Hollywood films”, in order to be competitive with said films in the cultural marketplace. Santorum reprimanded Christians who attempted to ignore the influence of pop culture in American life. He stated that his ultimate goal is to fight the “pervasive” influence of popular culture and instead “shape the culture” – presumably in a Christian way.
Of course, Santorum isn’t the first one to have this idea – and he’s probably not going to be the last. He is also probably doomed for failure. After all, the reason that Hollywood makes good movies is that they’re generally more concerned with telling you a good, complicated story than driving home a point. The reason “Christian movies” are so continually unsuccessful outside of the Christian world is because they rely on perpetually jamming their point down your throat.
This not only makes for a crappy movies, it also causes people to reject the points being made by the movies. Acting as though the only way to communicate a Christian message is by an openly Jesus-y story is dumb. If you tell a good story and let the philosophical points take the background, I think people are actually more likely to listen and learn. (For example, see about half of Hollywood’s output – a lot of which are doing a good job of injecting Christian themes into culture, although maybe not the values that Santorum wants to see).
Still, I shouldn’t judge before I watch. Thus, in my next post, I will take it upon myself to watch some of the trailers for EchoLight Studios’ movies and share my thoughts. It twill be an adventure.