This story comes from Nashville, Tennessee, and the annual convention of the NRB. What is the NRB? The acronym stands for the National Religious Broadcasters, and some people call it a “Christian media” gathering. However, I disagree with that label, because how can media be Christian? Did media have a religious experience a summer camp and make a profession of Christian faith? Maybe Medea did, but not media. So, I’ll call it a big media gathering for Christian people.
Anyway, this is a gathering where people get together and talk about what’s going on in the world of media, and how it impacts Christians in particular, and people of faith in general. For example, this is the place where Mel Gibson took The Passion of the Christ to get the approval of America’s religious faithful back in 2005. So, it makes sense that Noah would make an appearance this year, and it did, in the form of trailers and a discussion. No full-film screening this time.
One of the big stories to come out of the NRB with relations to Noah is that President Jerry Johnson has called on Paramount films to put a disclaimer at the start of the film that states that the film is an adaptation of the book of Exodus, similar to the disclaimer at the start of Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt.
Considering all the pre-screening negative press this film has been getting (unjustifiably), I don’t think this is such a bad idea. It acknowledges that the filmmakers know they weren’t making a literal retelling of the story of Noah (not sure how you’d do that, anyway), and that they’ve taken license in the process. It also acknowledges that the filmmakers understand that lots and lots of people consider the story to be an important story, and they’re not just thumbing their noses at religiously dedicated people by purposefully mucking up this story that belongs to everyone (why would they do that, anyway?). Finally, it points people in the right direction if they want to find out what the text says in the first place. I agree completely with this suggestion, and hope that the suits and Aronofsky are listening and can see the value.
What really impressed me from this convention was the overarching message that seemed to be coming out of it: let’s give the movie a shot; if nothing else, viewing this movie is one way to open a dialogue with people who don’t believe the same way that we do.
While I’m sure there were some who disagreed, I think it’s a pretty healthy point of view.
Now, if only the Pope would return Russell Crowe’s tweets…