NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: While we’re on the subject of Listening In, a preview of this week’s edition.
Ken Boa is an author and teacher who heads Reflections Ministries, based in Atlanta. He writes about Christian living. But he’s also developed a thoughtful way to evaluate movies: in a ten-step process.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Host Warren Smith asked Ken Boa to explain the process, starting with understanding the film’s genre, and then figuring out who the protagonist is.
WARREN SMITH: So he’s going from Point A to point B, and he’s changing in the process. Is that what you’re trying to tell us?
KEN BOA: That’s correct. In almost every kind of film—it can be comedy or tragedy—there’s going to be a story arc. Sometimes it’s interesting that story arcs can move from a person who needs to have greater depth of character and clarity or humility, but sometimes the story arc can be negative. It’s interesting that one of the TV series that was such a big award winner, Breaking Bad, there were two story arcs. One was one character who moved from a good to a bad, and the other from a bad to a good and they overarched each other. It was a fascinating dynamic. But if you think about a film, the person at the end of the film, if it’s a good story, if it’s literature, if it’s a play, will not be the same person after conflict because conflict is the stuff of story and so without conflict and adversity, there’s not much of an interesting story. So how do they respond to the story? And then that brings things out and forces them often to move from what they want to what they should actually wish to have; in other words what they really need. So even if it’s a comedy, the people at the end are not the same as the people at the beginning. They’ve been shaped by that. And often it’s adversity that we see in any kind of literature and film. It’s this adversity that becomes redemptive, at least it ought to be, in a good story where a person learns through their setbacks, through their pains, through their problems.
EICHER: That’s Ken Boa speaking with Warren Smith. To hear the full interview, check out Listening In using your favorite podcast platform. The program goes live tomorrow.