Lectures

The Movies and America
Lecture

The Movies and America: What the Academy Award Nominees for Best Picture Tell Us About Ourselves

Date
02/24/2017
Time
6:00–7:15 p.m.
Location
Center for Christian Study

Why do we enjoy talking about good films so much? Many reasons come to mind: because we like a good story, an engaging character, a trip to an exotic land or place that can take us out of ourselves for a few hours and give us an experience that stretches us as people.

But movies also help us to recognize the problems our society faces and the benefits it enjoys, and they give us a platform to discuss these with friends, fellow workers, and even strangers on a bus. Recognizing the power of film as a significant shaper of American society has become a commonplace in cultural discussion in the last half century.

This popular lecture, delivered annually for fifteen years in a variety of church, school, and other public settings, seeks to understand this phenomenon. Dr. Trotter makes a case for the Academy Award nominees for best picture as both a barometer of, and an influence on, current American moral and intellectual standards. He looks at common themes expressed in these and other films of the year and relates those ideas to societal norms and questions present in America today.

Media Resources
Movies and America 2006: Crash. Brokeback Mountain. Goodnight, And Good Luck. Capote. Munich.
02/01/2006
Movies and America 2008: No Country for Old Men. Atonement. Juno. There Will Be Blood. Michael Clayton.
02/22/2008
Movies and America 2009: Slumdog Millionaire. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Frost/Nixon. Milk. The Reader.
02/10/2009
Movies and America 2010: The Hurt Locker. Avatar. The Blind Side. District 9. An Education. Inglorious Bastards. Precious. A Serious Man. Up. Up in the Air.
02/24/2010
Movies and America 2011: The King's Speech. Black Swan. The Fighter. Inception. The Kids Are All Right. 127 Hours. The Social Network. Toy Story 3. True Grit. Writer's Bone.
02/15/2011
Movies and America 2013: Argo. Amour. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Django Unchained. Les Miserables. Life of Pi. Lincoln. Silver Linings Playbook. Zero Dark Thirty.
02/15/2013
Movies and America 2016: Spotlight. The Big Short. Bridge of Spies. Brooklyn. Mad Max: Fury Road. The Martian. The Revenant. Room.
02/26/2016