Expert Offers Tips For Families Looking for Cinema That Matches Their Morals
Since the days of the first movie serials and double features that would open with a Bugs Bunny cartoon, the movies have been a part of Americana.
We can’t get enough of movie stars, the Internet is loaded with trailers and movie news, and every weekend, millions of Americans take that time-honored stroll through those velvet ropes – down the aisle that’s lit from the floor – to a plush seat looking up to that giant silver screen.
But one expert, a mother AND screenwriter, believes that as the movies reflect more of the violence, sexuality, drug use and corruptive influences found in our society, they are ceasing to be an experience that families can enjoy together.
“I grew up loving the movies, so much so, that I wanted to write them,” said Teri Haux, author of Movie Viewer Extraordinaire: Discerning the Influences of Movies on Your Freedom, Family and Happiness, from Book surge (www.movieviewerextra.com). “When I had children, one of the first things I wanted to pass on to them was an appreciation of the movies, but I discovered that there were precious few movies in the firmament that were appropriate for a family audience. I realized that I was going to have to do some research to figure out how to give my kids the movie bug without exposing them to stories that ran contrary to my family’s values.”
Regulate ALL media that you and your family experience – For all the people who want to ban certain films and television shows, the truth is that it is far easier to simply choose and guide what your own family watches. Movies that feature more sex or violence than we would like will always be around. We simply don’t have to watch them – the natural extension of that is being a vigilant parent who knows not only what your kids are doing, but also what they are watching.
Reinforce positive influences and minimize the negative – Short of editing the movies yourselves, you likely won’t eliminate all vestiges of the negative elements of modern movies. Talk to your kids about some of the things that they see, and ensure they understand the context of the actions.
Trust your feelings – Movies more than entertain. They touch our emotions, so if we are previewing a movie, and it feels wrong (or right), chances are it is. These are individual choices, and we need to trust our guts sometimes.
Use movies to complement dreams, interests and talents – Since we already know that children emulate what they see on film and television, why not expose them to a diet of movies that actually inspires them and speaks to interests and talents they may already exhibit. One of the most valuable things movies do for us is that they take us to new places and show us things we might never see on our own, allowing us to live our dreams vicariously through the cinematic experience. When we choose movies that connect to our aspirations, the potential for inspiration is limitless.
“If you follow these tips, and work to match your values with the vast history of cinema modern technology allows us to access, you can teach your family how to become extraordinary movie viewers,” Haux said.
Teri Haux has been a screenwriter for nearly a decade. Her scripts have been optioned for production and she has placed as a finalist in the Scriptapalooza and the Bluecat Screenwriting screenplay competitions. Author of : “Movie Viewer Extraordinaire: Discerning the Influences