Category Archives: Film Series

Cinema and Religion Continues for Fifth Season

Fifth Season of Cinema & Religion Informal Class for the Community Begins January 22, 2018
Free series returns to The Moviehouse & Eatery on Monday Nights at 6:30 PM

Hymnboard with dates

Austin, Texas—For the fifth consecutive season, Concordia University Texas (CTX) will offer the informal course Cinema and Religion to the community on Monday nights beginning January 22, 2018. The class is held each week at 6:30 p.m. at The Moviehouse and Eatery in The Trails at 620 Shopping Center across from the University. Continue reading Cinema and Religion Continues for Fifth Season

Lenses Informal Class Back for Third Season

CHECK BACK SOON for information on the FALL 2018 Series.

(Fall 2017) Concordia University is pleased to announce the return of Lenses, our popular Informal Classes for the Community starting Monday, September 11, 6:30 PM at The Moviehouse and Eatery. Thanks to the ongoing support of many of the cinephiles who have taken one or more of these classes on film, the series is again offered free to anyone who registers. The class meets Mondays through November 27 at the Moviehouse, located in the Trails of 620 Shopping Center just west of the Concordia campus. (Note that the series will pause on October 9 and November 20 for fall and Thanksgiving breaks respectively.)

The Lenses informal class is designed to help develop media literacy skills in the community. Meeting alongside traditional students each Monday, community participants will closely examine a carefully selected popular film artifact using one of ten distinct perspectives (lenses). Professors from the university and other featured respondents will help conduct a brief discussion after each screening. Together, the participant will employ these various lenses in achieving rich and deep interpretations of each film’s content. Continue reading Lenses Informal Class Back for Third Season

FAQ About Informal Classes on Film

FAQs

Q: How does the informal class differ from a traditional college class?

A: In essence, this class does much more than just study film. More importantly, we must fully examine both our personal and the societal responses to the messages found in these artifacts. As such, Concordia University has rented the theater as a suitable classroom for examining films in their most natural and powerful state. Unlike a movie you attend for entertainment purposes, we include a lively discussion that helps us all understand the experience we’ve shared.

Note that we have both traditional Concordia students (who are registered for a formal version of the course) learning alongside our community participants. One major difference is that the traditional students attend a lecture prior to the examination of the selected film that prepares them to analyze it critically.

Q: Do I have assignments if I attend the Informal Class?

A: No. Just enjoy the discussion after the film or feel free to add your insights as well. For your benefit, we’ve provided some of the formal course’s lecture notes in a pre-class slideshow running in our theater. You may also call the various student-led radio shows during the week on Tornado Radio (ctxtalk.com, 512-234-3335. The schedules are TBA).

Q: Do I get academic credit?

A: This is a non-credit Informal Class, so the registrar at Concordia does not maintain a formal academic record of this class. The class is for your own edification.

Q: Why are you examining R-rated films?

A: Our approach is not to ask if we should show films like these, but ask if these more difficult scenes and themes somehow make the film exempt from serious examination. We find that many R-rated films are in need of a close, scholarly analysis.

Q: May I bring someone with me?

A: All participants must register. Use this form to reserve your seat (along with up to three other registrants).  The form will allow you to edit the number or names after you submit it. Listing a potential participant on this form registers them for the class.

Q: Can I order food and drinks as I normally do when watching a film?

A: Of course! But we do not pick up the tab for refreshments.

Q: What if the weather is bad?

A: Check your email. If you confirmed your participation in the Informal Class via email, you will receive a message if the event is postponed or canceled.

Concordia University Announces Fourth Season of Film Series

Cinema & Religion Informal Class for the Community Returns to The Moviehouse & Eatery on Monday Nights
Series kicks off with a special screening hosted by the director and producer of the film.

Austin, Texas—Concordia University Texas (CTX) will again offer the informal course Cinema and Religion to the community on Monday nights beginning January 23, 2017. The class is held each week at 6:30 p.m. at The Moviehouse and Eatery in The Trails at 620 Shopping Center across from the University. The series begins with a special screening of the 2016 film The Vessel, starring Martin Sheen. Concordia is pleased to announce the filmmakers Julio and Marla Quintana gave agreed to participate in a discussion after the screening.

The course will begin January 23 and will run every Monday through April 10 at the Moviehouse & Eatery. (The class will not meet on March 13 during Spring Break.) The non-credit course is free and open to registered members of the public who are invited to develop media literacy as co-learners alongside traditional college students. Through close examinations of popular films, the course helps people develop skills in discovering and analyzing religious themes in popular media fare.

The course is built around specific religious themes repeatedly found encoded in our culture’s popular cinematic narratives. Each week the class will examine an outstanding story artifact—a film that raises one or more of these profound religious questions for viewers. The experience will equip film audiences to analyze the story’s suggestions concerning the character of God, the search for transcendence, the struggle between revenge and forgiveness and the means and nature of redemption.

The class features a discussion following the examination of each night’s film lead by CTX professors Dr. Jake Youmans and Dr. Philip Hohle. Details on an additional special screening and other guests are pending, but this site will update these as they are confirmed.

To register for any or all of these class sessions do not contact The Moviehouse & Eatery directly. Instead, simply email Professor Philip Hohle at <cinema@concordia.edu> to register for the free course and to reserve a seat. Community learners have no assignments or attendance requirements. No college credit is awarded for the informal course.

FAQs

Syllabus (Traditional Students)

# Date Topic/Film Reading Questions Length
1 Orientation: No Film <http://www.religionfacts.com> afterlife in film <https://vimeo.com/110624203>
Group Planning
MLK Day
Group Planning
2 1/23/17 Unit 1: Basic Methodology Reel Spirituality: Introduction
The Vessel Must we wear our grief? 86
3 1/30/17 Unit 2: Core Questions Reel Spirituality: The Power of Film
Gran Torino How fulfilling is it to live a life to oneself? 116
4 2/6/17 Unit 3: Three ways to compare religions Reel Spirituality: History of the Church and Hollywood
Hacksaw Ridge Can you compromise your fatih and still be religious? R 139
5 2/13/17 Unit 4: The Monomyth Reel Spirituality: Theological Approaches
Take Shelter What if there really is a supernatural? 120
6 2/20/17 Unit 5: Christ Figures Reel Spirituality: Why look at film?
Birdman 119
7 2/27/17 Unit 6: Man vs. Monster Reel Spirituality: Are Movies Art?
Dead Poets Society Can God’s law be emancipating? 126
8 3/6/17 Unit 7: The Redemptive Cycle Reel Spirituality: In Film, Story Reigns Supreme
Anna Karenina How patient is God’s love? 129
9 3/13/16 SPRING BREAK – NO CLASS
SPRING BREAK
10 3/20/17 Unit 8: The Quest for Transcendence Reel Spirituality: Image and Music
Blue Like Jazz What is the Christian’s place in the world? 108
11 3/27/17 Unit 9: Herophobia and Heroic Teleology Reel Spirituality: Becoming a film critic.
Se7ven How does one pay the wages of sin? 127
12 4/3/17 Unit 10: Religious Ideology in Film Reel Spirituality: Responding to Film Ethically
Ex-Machina Why does the creation rebel against the creator? 108
13 4/10/16 Unit 11: Postmodern Influences Reel Spirituality: Responding to Film Theologically
Guardians of the Galaxy Who protects you from evil? 121
14 4/17/16 EASTER BREAK
Unit 12: Wrap up/Blackboard Clean Up Reel Spirituality: An Exercise in Dialog
15 Final Exam (at CTX): TBA

Cinema and Religion at The Moviehouse & Eatery (Spring ’16)

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Informal Class for the Community Returns for Third Season: Cinema and Religion at The Moviehouse & Eatery

Austin, Texas— Concordia University Texas (CTX) will again offer the informal course Cinema and Religion to the public on Monday nights beginning January 25. The series takes place weekly at The Moviehouse and Eatery in The Trails at 620 Shopping Center across from the university. The course objectives are designed to help people develop skills in discovering and analyzing religious themes in popular movies. The non-credit course is free and open to members of the public who are invited to develop media literacy as co-learners alongside traditional college students.

The course is built around 12 specific themes repeatedly found in our culture’s popular cinematic narratives. Each week the class will examine a different film selected specifically as an outstanding artifact where profound religious questions are raised in the story. CTX professors Dr. Jake Youmans and Dr. Philip Hohle will facilitate the discussion of each film’s theme and questions. Other film and religion experts from the Austin area are also slated to contribute. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. and will end after a short discussion following the examination of each night’s film.

The experience will equip film audiences to explore questions concerning the character of God, the search for transcendence, the struggle between revenge and forgiveness and the means of redemption as they are found encoded within these narratives. For the upcoming series, these themes are found in a wide range of popular movie titles, including Stand by Me and Her. The series will include exploration of relatively unexamined films such as The One I Love as well as those already universally recognized for having rich religious themes like The Matrix and Noah. Other films currently tabbed for examination include The Lego Movie, The Fifth Element, Shallow Hal, American Beauty, Kumaré, Whiplash, and Black Swan.

For the public, the course will begin January 25 and will run every Monday through April 18 at the Moviehouse & Eatery. A special event planned for the Monday during the South By Southwest festival in mid-March, which is during the university’s spring break. To register for any or all of these class sessions do not contact The Moviehouse & Eatery directly. Instead, simply email professor Philip Hohle at cinema@concordia.edu to register for the free course and to reserve a seat. Community learners have no assignments or attendance requirements. No college credit is awarded for the informal course.

Lenses at The Moviehouse & Eatery (Fall ’16)

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Concordia University Returns to The Moviehouse for Lenses—A Film Series Designed to Cultivate Media Literacy

Contact: Philip Hohle 512-313-5409

cinema@conocrdia.edu

Mondays in the fall will be special for the Northwest Austin community, as Concordia University is offering a new film series titled Lenses. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in partnership with The Moviehouse & Eatery, the series is an informal class for the community and is free to anyone who registers.  The series begins on Monday, Sept. 16 and runs through Dec. 5. at the Moviehouse in the Trails of 620 shopping center just west of the Concordia campus. (Note that the series will pause on Oct. 10 and Nov. 21 for fall and Thanksgiving breaks.)

The purpose of the series is to develop media literacy among people. The class will give the student-participant new skills in interpreting popular movies. Each session will involve an examination of a film from one of ten unique lenses. The practice will serve to develop tools in the viewer in fully appreciating or critiquing the media messages they encounter. Faculty members from the college will be on hand for a brief discussion after each screening to guide the audience in interpreting the films from these perspectives.

Communication professor Dr. Philip Hohle curates this series just he produces the Cinema and Religion series offered at The Moviehouse each spring. Both are extensions to traditional classes and according to Hohle, “The participants from the community really enjoy the interaction with our traditional students. I think it works both ways. We always enjoy great synergy— some nights it is hard to wrap things up because the discussions are so lively.”

The primary lens used on each night is supported by key questions that will frame the experience. Beginning on Sept. 16, the viewer will use the lens of accuracy to ask if the film Captain Phillips is truthful.  History professor Dr. Matt Bloom will be on hand to help the student-participant work through the facts presented in this film. Examinations using lenses focused on values, genre expectations, socio-cultural interaction, psychological consciousness, and critical ideology, will follow each week. The lens of religion is used more thoroughly in the spring series. Films by acclaimed directors are slated for examination, including Austinites Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez.

Space is limited, and as it has been with the Cinema and Religion series, participants will be required to register by emailing cinema@concordia.edu. For more information, visit <parabolicmedia.com/cinema>.