Is "Hollywood" more driven by liberal secularism or money? (Regarding Hannity's new film)

Yes, if you haven’t heard Sean Hannity is now a film producer with Let There Be Light, a traditional values movie opening this weekend.

Predictably, the reviews are not kind to it:

Of course the political right is angry at such a dismissal. - blaming “Hollywood secular values”, like usual.

But isn’t Hollywood about money and profit?

Isn’t the title blasphemous ?
Some directors seem to have regarded themselves as little gods in the dim past, but…

Not seeing a discrepancy here. Plenty of movie critics are perfectly willing to pan or “dismiss” movies that they think are crap, regardless of how well those movies do at the box office or how “secular” they are. Plenty of movie critics who are secular liberals are also perfectly willing to praise the artistic merits of films that happen to be religious in nature. The US “Christian film industry” tends to draw a lot of criticism primarily because most of its movies are hokey, clumsy, self-glorifying crap.

Saying that crap movies that happen to represent a religious outlook only get panned because the critics are secular liberals is merely a tactic for boosters of such movies to avoid recognizing that their movies are crap.

There are plenty of better movies on religious themes that have been more favorably regarded by critics, including the 2014 Noah, 2015’s Woodlawn, and 2016’s The Promise.

Definitely they are all about the money. One has but to look how they have bent themselves into pretzels to appease the CCP and be one of the limited number of movies (legally) shown in China each year to see it’s all about the money. Hannity is, as usual, full of shit. Big surprise I’m sure. :stuck_out_tongue:

Money, of course.

How many abortions do you see in movies? It’s sometimes an option, but the character almost invariably chooses to stay pregnant. The only exception I can think of is Fast Times at Ridgemont High, although I’m sure there are others. On the other hand, there are tons of Christmas movies.

Is it the violence that has that blowhard talking? The Passion of the Christ was a super-violent movie, but the faithful flocked to it.

I think that many in Hollywood are liberal secularists (or Scientologists, I suppose), and that comes through in some of their work, basically in their assumptions. But, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about money. Money, money, money.

Heck, consider Hollywood’s most bankable Scientologist, who as we speak is of course working on a sixth MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film because the other five made so much money. The character he plays – who is he? Is he a Christian who believes God so loved the world that He sent His only son to die for the sins of the fallible? Is he an atheist who mockingly insists there is no God? Is he a Jew who splits the difference by believing in God but thinking all that “Jesus” stuff is laughable?

Is he a Scientologist?

If I remember right, none of this ever comes up.

We learn – over the course of the story – that he “is really good at climbing stuff”. That he “runs while chopping the air”. That he “sure doesn’t seem to want WMDs, be they biological or nuclear, to get detonated by criminal organizations”. But there’s not much else there. They don’t slow the plot down so he can have a one-minute chat with someone about the day he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, nor do they toss in a devout supporting character so our hero can toss in a “yeah, I haven’t believed in any of that crap since I was five years old.”

Instead, it’s all just ‘okay, we have a job to do, or a lot of people are going to die.’ There’s never a throwaway line about having battled alcoholism with prayer and a belief in a higher power, or about his mom writing him out of the will when he stopped going to church; they could, but they don’t bother with either.

Because – why would they? Either way, where’s the money in that?

This question suffers from being nonsensical.

Hollywood is not a single entity. Therefore any declaration about it as though it is, is inherently false or at least meaningless.

I do not see where the OP actually addresses the question of the thread’s title.
Hollywood tends to be “driven” by the money. (You will find that pretty much every industry is driven by money–it is how companies stay in business.) Hannity’s movie, for example, is directed to a specific demographic from which he hopes to get a good financial return because they will come out to see it, (or will have their churches rent it for local display for the next twenty years).

“Liberal secularism” is not driving Hollywood. It may be true that a disproportionate number of Hollywood producers are, themselves, “secular liberals,” (although I would suspect confirmed mammonites, myself :smiley: ), but they are following the money, not the ideology, just as Hannity is.

Cronenberg’s The Fly had a maggot abortion dream sequence. As well as an actual abortion plot point.

It’s not a True right wing prodution without some pussy grabbing. Is there pussy grabbing?

I can just imagine what those who want to treat this snowflake of a movie with kid gloves would say if it were remade with Christian and atheist swapped.

As for the OP - Money.

If you want to send a message, use Western Union - Jack Warner.

Do you suppose Hannity made that film, expecting it to lose money?

The same thing happens with movies with ostensibly “conservative” sensibilities. Some critics panned American Sniper because it was a dull, filtered look at a guy’s life that stripped away any context or nuance from his heroism or the events surrounding them. This is, in many regards, a fair critique. The response? Complaints about snobbish liberal film critics by Sarah Palin (around 2:20 in the video).

There are plenty of religious, even overtly Christian movies, that critics love. Critics fucking loved Hacksaw Ridge, even though it was ostensibly about how incredible a particular Christian was specifically because of his beliefs. It’s just that if your work is garbage like 99% of what Kirk Cameron and related filmmakers who are Christians first and filmmakers second puts out, pointing to its Christianity won’t get you far with film critics, who care about movies not sucking. It might get you somewhere with the right-wing lecture circuit who cares an awful lot about the culture war, though.

Hollywood is about money, that’s why it promotes secularism.

That’s about the long and short of it. The whole Christian-inspirational genre isn’t about evangelism or reaching out to people - it’s preaching to the choir and reassuring them of what they already believe to be true. We’re told by the movie that the atheist characters are bad people, but we’re never shown them doing bad things because the filmmakers fear that even portraying that behavior will glorify it. The Christian characters are self-righteous, constantly quote chapter and verse in ways that noone lacking a degree in theology ever could, and are always right about everything. And of course, the ending is telegraphed from the beginning, because you’re never going to see a Christian inspirational movie where the big bad atheist doesn’t find God in the end.

The genre is formulaic enough that the parody of this movie actually managed to come out before the movie itself.

Well, like I just said I see plenty of movies where, yes, okay, maybe our hero never actually mentions that he’s Christian – but, likewise, they never have him declare for secularism and atheism and et-cetera-ism. They could; it’d be the work of a moment; but they don’t, and I’m guessing that’s because they don’t figure there’s money in it; I’m guessing they figure there’s money in sidestepping that.

Do you disagree?

Would there be any dramatic reason for the character to declare this? Sounds like Chekov’s Protestation of Faith.

Films are like short stories; due to the restrictions of the form be good the writer should avoid anything which does not advance the plot.

A more likely reason they don’t is that it is just not even in the ballpark of crossing their mind. It doesn’t even begin to bubble up to the surface because there is no bubbling. There is no sidestepping because the subject just doesn’t even exist. This is not a commentary on their values or other people’s values, at all.

Do you really think that while they are shooting a scene of a guy chasing a robot monster they stop and have a discussion between the director and star, “Wait wait, how does this scene promote my western agnostic liberalism. I know you are more inclined toward traditional values conservatism. But we want to sell this to the Asian market, so we have to include some nod to Eastern Buddhist and socialism values, so we can make more money. Ready? Go on one!”

Um, no.

Maybe he should have had Clint Eastwood direct it instead of Kevin Sorbo?

But that’s kind of my point: in any such movie, I agree that they’re not trying for the “promotes secularism” goal like WillFarnaby said: they’re not shooting for that, it’s not something they try to shoehorn in; as you say, it maybe doesn’t even cross their minds – and neither does the opposite, promoting a religious message.

If they don’t have to mention whether our hero believes in God, I think they’re glad not to bother, because that’s not why they’re making the film; they’re not usually trying to promote Christianity, and they’re not usually trying to promote secularism.