The Catholic Culture Podcast: 139


Aug 12, 2022

In a recent video on the
Pints with Aquinas
channel, Gregory Pine, O.P. voiced
his concern that mass entertainment, particularly music and movies,
is often an obstacle to achieving the heavenly end of contemplation
for which we are made. What is noteworthy is that unlike the
typical Catholic commentary on pop culture, Fr. Pine does not focus
so much on the moral content of music and movies as how their very
form affects us bodily, psychologically and spiritually.

In this discussion inspired by
Fr. Pine’s points, host Thomas Mirus and filmmaker Nathan Douglas
specify some elements of music and film which are obstacles to the
contemplative life, but also suggest how, rather than simply
eschewing music and movies, we can engage with better art in a
deeper way which serves the contemplative end of man.

Timestamps:

0:00 Intro

6:31 Fr. Pine video
recap

11:08 Risks of treating media as
“junk food” rather than demanding better media

14:44 Cultivating openness to
more artistic films

17:31 Discursive reasoning is
not the highest mode of contemplation

20:26 Music is the most simply
contemplative art form

22:58 The relation of film to
reality

25:13 Advertising and glossiness
in modern cinema

29:38 Problem with putting
Catholic content into Hollywood forms

31:28 A film’s editing rhythm
can hinder contemplation

38:24 Learning intuitively to
tell hackwork from good craft

42:15 Rhythmic excitement
doesn’t equal mediocrity

46:23 Conclusion of film
discussion

48:02 Applying Augustine’s
theory of evil as privation to art

49:34 The necessity of both
lower and higher forms of music

55:46 In what sense should
Catholics “engage with pop culture”?

59:33 Pop music dominated by
computers, focused on lyrics, lack of melody

1:07:53 The personal element in
art

1:12:08 Music, the senses, and
contemplation beyond words

1:18:22 Music’s stimulation of
the body

1:22:45 Using music to indulge
emotions

1:27:09 Can music be
“immoral”?

1:32:06 Mistaking slow for good
in film

1:34:11 Educating the faithful
for artistic depth

1:43:50 Can sense images serve
the spiritual life?

1:49:18 What music communicates
about reality

1:56:20 There’s no formula for
beauty

2:01:08 Simple receptivity to
God’s beauty

2:03:54 Recommended resources

Resources:

Fr. Gregory Pine, “I stopped
listening to music.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVh4rHubNOc

Elizabeth-Paule Labat,
The Song That I Am: On the
Mystery of Music

https://litpress.org/Products/MW040P/The-Song-That-I-Am

Etienne Gilson,
The Arts of the
Beautiful

https://www.amazon.com/Arts-Beautiful-Scholarly-Etienne-Gilson/dp/1564782506

Criteria: The Catholic Film
Podcast

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/category/criteria

CCP #126: How Charlie Parker’s
Music Changed My Life

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/126-how-charlie-parker-changed-my-life

CCP #28: An Introduction to
Maritain’s Poetic Philosophy w/ Samuel Hazo

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/episode-28-introduction-to-maritains-poetic-philosophy-samuel-hazo

Nathan Douglas,
The Vocation of
Cinema
https://vocationofcinema.substack.com

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