Tag Archives: community

Faith and Film Movie Titles for October

Faith and Film at the Palace

This is a list of movies we will examine in the class along with some key questions the films raise.

(Note: Movies are subject to change if circumstances warrant.)

Sunday, October 8

  • An Oscar-worthy movie hailed by critics
  • An overlooked gem
  • A beloved cinematic classic
  • A movie greatly influencing young people

The Notebook (2004)

From IMDb: A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom. However, social differences soon get in the way..”

Respondent: Angie Goeke

Angie Goeke is an influential writer, musician, and speaker living in Katy, Texas. She previously served as the co-founder and executive director of Not In Our City, a network of moms fighting human trafficking. Her not-for-profit provides preventive education for students in middle school through high school. Her husband, Paul, is the pastor of Crosspoint Community Church in Katy, Texas. Angie authored A Girl and Her Warhorse: Reveal False Hope. Restore True Balance, which is available on Amazon.

Questions this film raises:

  1. What is your definition of commitment? Can one have a partial commitment?
  2. Metaphorically or literally, what stories from your younger days have you begun to forget? 
  3. What forms of dementia does our society suffer from today? What have we forgotten?
  4. What is your (metaphorical or literal) notebook? What power do the words have?
  5. What would it mean to have someone to write you love letters and notes every day?
  6. Who is your protagonist in this film?
  7. What would you change if you were the director? What would make this film more satisfying?

Sunday, October 15 

  • An Oscar-worthy movie hailed by critics
  • An overlooked gem
  • A beloved cinematic classic
  • A movie greatly influencing young people

Vengeance (2022)*

From IMDb: “A writer from New York City attempts to solve the murder of a girl he hooked up with and travels down south to investigate the circumstances of her death and discover what happened to her.”

Respondent: Dr. Jacob Youmans

Youmans is a professor of ministry at Concordia University Texas. He was a co-founder and regular respondent for the film series Cinema and Religion, which ran for seven years at The Moviehouse & Eatery in Austin. He has authored five books, including Talking Pictures, a manual for using film as a way to connect viewers to the Gospel message. His blood runs Dodger blue.

Questions this film raises:

  1. What cultural conflicts are evident in this film?
  2. In what ways are the main characters transitional? What change of values are depicted?
  3. What does the depth of Ben’s relationship with Abby represent?
  4. Consider the symbolism of the cracked mirror and the music playlist.
  5. One character claims that life is nothing more than a series of regrets. How true is this statement?
  6. What statement does the filmmaker make about taking vengeance into one’s own hands? In pop culture today, how often is vengeance an acceptable response to grief or offense?
  7. What statement does the filmmaker make about the state of journalism and truth in our world today? How different is this story from other journalist-as-hero stories?
  8. Who is your favorite character, and why?
  9. What would you change if you were the director? What would make this film more satisfying?

*Another movie with a familiar Texas setting.

Sunday, October 22

  • An Oscar-worthy movie hailed by critics
  • An overlooked gem
  • A beloved cinematic classic
  • A movie greatly influencing young people

Jesus Christ Superstar (1974)**

From IMDb: Film version of the musical stage play, presenting the last few weeks of Christ’s life told in an anachronistic manner.

Respondent: Dr. Jacky Dumas

Dumas is the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where he teaches courses in literature, rhetoric, and composition. He is a regular presenter at the Pop Cultural Association’s annual national conference. Dumas is also a vocalist and actor. In his early career, he played Judas in a stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Questions this film raises:

  1. Is it reasonable to expect a play or movie about a Biblical character or story to be accurate? How much literary license is acceptable?
  2. What differences can be noted between the Gospel’s depiction of the events of Holy Week and the movie’s?
  3. Why does the filmmaker have Jesus feeling overwhelmed by the crowds who come for healing? Similarly, His relationship with his disciples is strained. He is admittedly in the dark about the purpose his impending death will serve. Are the filmmaker’s assumptions plausible?
  4. Likewise, Mary Magdaline is depicted as being confused by her vague romantic feelings for Jesus, whom she calls “just a man.” What perspective might her attraction serve to promote in the movie?
  5. Considering the filmmaker as an artist, how is the Last Supper framed or staged?
  6. How do you interpret the last scene in the movie? Does it simply end with Jesus’ death?
  7. What spiritual impact did this musical have on you when you first heard it?
  8. What would you change if you were the director? What would make this film more satisfying?

**We expect this screening will be a fun singalong.

Sunday, October 29 

  • An Oscar-worthy movie hailed by critics
  • An overlooked gem
  • A beloved cinematic classic
  • A movie greatly influencing young people

Five Feet Apart (2019)

From IMDb: “A pair of teenagers with cystic fibrosis meet in a hospital and fall in love, though their disease means they must avoid close physical contact.”

Respondent: Rev. Ted Doering

Doering is the pastor at Narrative Church of Round Rock. He and his wife Chelsey are new parents of adopted siblings. Together, they co-wrote the book Myth of the Millennial: Connecting Generations in the Church.

Questions this film raises:

  1. The teen protagonists in this movie are victims of cystic fibrosis. If you were to substitute COVID, how especially relevant would this film become, especially with the knowledge it was made a year before the recent pandemic?
  2. Consider how separation is like a disease.
  3. What significance does the movie’s title have?
  4. What would you risk to connect or stay connected to the ones you love?
  5. How important is human touch to the human condition?
  6. Many young people today are struggling with their mental health. In this movie, can one find hope? What is the source of that hope?
  7. Who is your favorite character, and why?
  8. What would you change if you were the director? What would make this film more satisfying?

Series Curator

The Faith and Film Series is led by Dr. Philip J. Hohle, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio-Television-Film from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Arts in Speech Communication from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. from Regent University in Virginia Beach in Communication Studies. A member of the Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image, he has presented in the U.S., Finland, and Spain on how audiences interpret the movies they watch. He has also published two books and several articles on viewer response theory. Currently, he teaches at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Faith and Film at the Palace Theater (Informal Class for the Community)

Faith and Film at the Historic Georgetown Palace Theater

Three years after being shut down due to the pandemic, Cinema & Religion returns as Faith and Film, hosted at The Palace Theater* on the historic square in Georgetown, Texas. The series is split in two, meeting four Sundays in July and four in October.

Now in its eighth season, this informal class is produced by film scholar Dr. Philip J. Hohle, an adjunct professor of Mass Media at Mary Hardin-Baylor University. A member of the prestigious Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image (SCSMI), Hohle has authored several books and articles on viewer responses to movies.

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 eight-week class is funded through a grant by Zion Lutheran Church and School of Walburg, 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. Faith and Film is designed for anyone who wants to develop a higher awareness or appreciation for the inspirational power of movies.

The course will feature free screenings of selected films at The Palace each evening. Every movie is followed by an open discussion led by Hohle and other area scholars and theologians. “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 resumes Oct. 8 through 29 at The Palace. Registration is open for the July class. (Link will take you to Zion Lutheran events page.)

REGISTER HERE. (Registration for October series opens Sept. 12)

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

*The Faith and Film Informal Class is a production of Parabolic Media, made possible through grants from Zion Lutheran Church and School and other patrons. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, governing board, or patrons of The Georgetown Palace Theater.

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


Oct. 28th 6:00 PM, Theater 10


Oct 21st 7:00 PM, Theater 1

Gemini Man

Oct 7th 6:30 PM, Theater 8


Sept. 30th 6:30 PM, Theater 9


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