Ten Weeks/Ten Movies @ The Moviehouse & Eatery, Austin, TX
Led by media scholar Philip J. Hohle, PhD

Classes sponsored by ACTS Church Lakeline.

Entertainment as a Second Language

The language of popular culture can be strange and confusing. At the same time, it is immeasurably influential. Core tenants and convictions are often concealed in irresistible forms of entertainment. In particular, the movie is the most broadly influential and subtly powerful means for change in western society.

  • How is it that two people can watch the same movie but experience two completely different stories?
  • What is it about great movies that seem to stir the soul?
  • How does one unearth the concealed arguments embedded by the filmmaker?
  • What important details are easily missed, clues that give new meaning to the story?
  • What in the film triggered this remarkable disruption/empowerment?

Participants will explore and practice tools 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. In the Lenses course, participants are equipped with ten separate lenses by with they can interpret movies. With the Cinema & Religion class, participants focus on the single lens of religion (the Lens of Ideology).

Registration includes:

  • A media literacy curriculum that was created for each class, a book written with the informal class participants in mind (for full series registrants).
  • Weekly screenings at The Moviehouse, which are followed by a community discussion. (Screenings are free, but participants much reserve a seat each week via our online form.)

Read the FAQs about the class.


Films Studied in the Fall 2018 LENSES Series

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Lens of Accuracy)
  • Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (Lens of Form)
  • O Brother Where Art Thou? (Narrative Lens)
  • Isle of Dogs (Socio-Cultural Lens)
  • Manchester By the Sea (Psycho-analytic Lens)
  • Mud (Semiotic Lens)
  • No Country for Old Men (Lens of Value)
  • V for Vendetta (Rhetorical Lens)
  • Cirque du Soleil—Worlds Away (Ideological Lens)
  • Christmas Vacation (Lens of Genre)

Films Studied in the Spring 2018 CINEMA & RELIGION Series

  • Song to Song
  • Captain Fantastic
  • Up in the Air
  • Inside Out Unit
  • The 6th Sense
  • Last Days in the Desert
  • The Big Sick
  • Jurassic Park
  • Arrival
  • The Man Who Wasn't There
  • The Great Beauty
Hymnboard with dates
Classic movie stars on screen seeming to argue about religion.

Cinema & Religion Informal Class — Spring 2019

A choice of Moviehouse Locations and Nights


Classic movie stars on screen seeming to argue about religion.

LENSES Informal Class—Fall 2019 (Tentative)

(Ten Lenses to Interpret Movies)

Class logo

Media Fluency for People and Organizations