Category Archives: Film Series

Entertainment as a Second Language Informal Classes for the Community

2020 Cinema and Religion

2020 Cinema & Religion Series Marks Seventh Season

Classic movie stars on screen seeming to argue about religion.

Thanks to our dedicated patrons and participants, the Cinema & Religion will again be offered this Spring on Monday nights at the Moviehouse & Eatery in the Trails of 620 shopping center on RR620. The series is an informal class for the community offered in conjunction with a college course at Concordia University.

Now in its seventh season, this informal class is produced by film scholars Dr. Philip J. Hohle and Dr. Jake Youmans. Hohle is a professor of Mass Media at Mary Hardin-Baylor University. A member of the prestigious Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image, Hohle has authored two books on viewer responses to movies. Youmans is a professor of religious studies at Concordia University Texas. He also has published works on the religious implications found in popular films.

In The Filmmaker's Prayer: Cinema & Religion, Hohle argues that virtually all movies project a surprising degree of religiosity. “Most good films subtly express a certain worldview, a statement about the human condition—Who am I? Am I a good person? What is my redeeming purpose in life? Certainly, those are some of the fundamental questions of religion, and many movies invite an examination from that perspective. If we don’t, we miss some profound ideas and lessons.” Noted Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Seminary, Dr. Robert Johnson has stated that the cinema’s storytellers have become the new priests of our culture. As such, the movie theater has become another great competitor for the church because great movies inspire people in profound ways.

The ten-week class is sponsored by Parabolic Media and Concordia University Texas. The course concept is similar in approach to an ESL class for non-native speakers of English, but in this case, it is entertainment as a second language. This series was designed to help viewers develop a higher sense of media literacy and fluency in interpreting the films they see. Similarly, Cinema & Religion is designed for anyone who wants to develop a higher awareness or appreciation for the inspirational power of movies.

A reduced registration fee of $50 includes a choice of Youman's and Hohle's books, including The Filmmaker's Prayer, which was written as support for this course. The course will feature ten free screenings of selected films at the Moviehouse each week. Every movie is followed by an open discussion led by Hohle and Youmans. “There is no better setting to truly consider the richness of the film narrative than in a comfortable movie theater with an audience,” Hohle said. “While our respondents primarily speak through the lens of Christianity, we really learn from each other as we take the time afterward to unpack and share the personal religious experience the film provides for each of us.”

The series begins on February 3 and runs through April 13 (no class on March 9). REGISTER BELOW NOW BEFORE THE CLASS IS FILLED.

For more information, email philip@parabolicmedia.com or visit the frequently asked questions page.

Fall 2019 Movies

Lenses: Entertainment as a Second Language

The title of the movie we select for discussion will be posted here one week in advance (including starting time and theater number).

Nov. 18th, 6:00 PM, Theater 2

Jojo Rabbit

From IMDB [Fox Searchlight] "Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism." PG-13, 1 hr. 48 min. View trailer here.

 

Past Movies Discussed

Nov. 4th 6:00 PM, Theater 3

THE CURRENT WAR

Oct. 28th 6:00 PM, Theater 10

MALEFICENT — MISTRESS OF EVIL

Oct 21st 7:00 PM, Theater 1

Gemini Man

Oct 7th 6:30 PM, Theater 8

Joker

Sept. 30th 6:30 PM, Theater 9

Judy

Sept. 23rd 6:00 PM, Theater 10

Downton Abbey

Sept. 16th 7:00 PM, Theater 2

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Sept. 9th 6:00 PM, Theater 3

The Peanut Butter Falcon

 

Lenses: Entertainment as a Second Language

LENSES Informal Class for Community Learners

 


Parabolic Media is pleased to announce the return of Lenses, the popular Informal Classes for the Community starting Monday, September 9th.  6:30 PM at The Moviehouse & Eatery. For the Fall 2019 LENSES Series, there is no registration fee. Simply purchase your ticket at the box office or online on the Moviehouse & Eatery website. The series runs Sept. 9 through Nov. 18 (excluding Veterans Day on Nov. 11).

New for the Fall 2019 season, participants will be viewing CURRENT films being offered by The Moviehouse & Eatery. Due to fluctuations in distribution, the movie, start time, and theater number will be announced no earlier than one week prior to each class. Watch our web page for updates. Note that the opinions expressed in LENSES do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moviehouse's owners, managers, or employees.

Poster announcing series on Monday nights at the movies house and eatery.

 

Participants will explore and practice ten valuable lenses that can make them fluent in their media consumption—better at making sense of the messages and meanings behind their favorite movies. Improve your media literacy—become fluent in reading popular film.

The Lenses series is parallel to the Cinema and Religion series offered at The Moviehouse each spring. Focusing on film, the two classes provide examinations of this compelling media form in the context of an actual movie theater with an audience—the most pure and powerful viewing environment.

For more information, visit the FAQ page.

 

Class logo

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

FAQ About ESL Classes on Film

FAQs

Q: What does ESL stand for?

A: You may see a church from time to time offering a class in conversational English for immigrants—helping them make sense of a world in which an unfamiliar tongue is spoken. Essentially, these series are classes to help improve the media literacy and fluency of people. There are currently two different series, Lenses (fall) and Cinema & Religion (spring).

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

A: In essence, this 10-week class does much more than just study film aesthetics. More importantly, participants will fully examine both their personal and societal responses to the messages found in popular movies. As such, Parabolic Media has made arrangments with The Moviehouse & Eatery to use the theater as a suitable classroom. This enables us to examine films in their most natural and powerful state. Unlike a movie you attend for entertainment purposes, we include a lively discussion afterward that helps us all understand the experience we have shared.

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

A: No. We only suggest that you become familiar with the course material offered (the books) for your own sake. In our discussion, you can add your voice to the mix or just quietly enjoy the discussion. All opinions are welcome.

Q: Do I get academic credit?

A: The class is for your own edification. However, those who attend at least seven screenings will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion upon request.

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 critical examination. We find that many R-rated films are in need of close, scholarly analysis. However, if you normally avoid such films, you can simply skip the screening that week.

Q: How do I register?

A: Fill out the form found here. An invoice will be sent.

Q: May I bring someone with me?

A: For both series, we highly encourage everyone to bring guests, but all participants must register. (Stay tuned for information about registration for the LENSES Series in the Fall of 2020.)

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. Don't forget to tip your server.

Q: What if the weather is bad?

A: Check your email. We will send announcements to the email address you used in your registration if the event is postponed or canceled. You are welcome to email Philip Hohle with questions anytime.