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In A New Light: Spirituality and the Media Arts

Author(s): Ron Austin

ISBN13: 9780802807731

ISBN10: 0802807739

Publisher: W.B.Eerdmans

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  • Tinseltown is tarnished. Hollywood, while embracing creativity, seems to be shutting out morality and community. Can those with a Christian perspective find anything of value in such an environment , or contribute anything worthwhile to it? Eyeing the landscape from an insiders perspective, Ron Austin answers a firm yes.

    Austins In a New Light unpacks the spiritual principles underlying the art of film, including a historical survey of how cinematic art was shaped by the crisis of modernity. A veteran of the industry , having worked nearly half a century in its environs , Austin goes a step beyond the now-popular course of critiquing current films from a Christian worldview, espousing that the key to confronting evil in the media arts lies in the Christian attitude toward suffering.

    Based on several years of Austins filmmaking courses, In a New Light explores a spiritual foundation for creative film work and seeks ways to find common ground on which to build creative relationships. Austins inside look will prove fascinating not only to students and practitioners of the media arts but to anyone interested in this aspect of popular culture.

  • Ron Austin

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    'Ron Austin, an experienced and insightful creative artist, opens a door to the wonder and the spiritual foundations essential to art, religion, and life itself.'

    - John Furia, former president, Writers Guild of America

    'In a New Light opened my eyes to the rich history of cinema and the many ways art and spirituality have been linked through film over the last century. Ron Austin writes with subtlety and depth as he explores such themes as evil, transcendence, hope, sacrifice, imagination, and redemption. This is a work of broad thinking and deep faith.'

    - D. Michael Lindsay, author of Faith in the Halls of Power

    'Ron Austin calls himself a survivor of Hollywood, but he is so much more than that. Like Melvilles Ishmael floating on the vast ocean after the catastrophe, Austin has attained hard-earned wisdom and a remarkable simplicity of spirit. He calmly cuts through the incessant chatter about moviemaking and restores us to the essence of film: a loving attention to the world, including the fragile beauty of the human face, and the drama of conflict and violence being transcended by forgiveness and mercy. Just as he learned from Charlie Chaplin and Jean Renoir, so Ron Austin ought to become a guide to a whole new generation of filmmakers , artists capable of making films that are more deeply spiritual precisely because they are more deeply human.'

    - Gregory Wolfe, editor of Image

    'With humanity, generosity, and a wisdom that comes from a lifetime of experience , as a child actor with Charlie Chaplin himself, as a screenwriter in Hollywood, and as a professor at USCs film school , Ron Austin explores the spiritual foundations of cinema. His brief spiritual history of film in this book is superb and should keep your Netflix list full for a year. Here is a small work that is anything but slight.'

    - Robert K. Johnson, author of Reel Spirituality

    'As Ron Austin knows so well, the cinematic arts are capable of rescuing us from what Robert Bresson called the school of inattention and reviving our capacity for deep emotion and serious reflection. Rons marvelous meditation reminds us that the art of filmmaking remains important because we humans must be in the mood for truth , and film is capable of putting us in the mood.'

    - Gil Bailie, founder and president of Cornerstone Forum


In A New Light: Spirituality and the Media Arts