What James hath wrought in the Times

I have been watching for several days to see what kind of online reaction screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi might offer to the long-awaited piece in The New York Times about the state of covert right-wing operations in Hollywood. Alas, Barbara appears to be away from her computer keyboard for a few days. Must be talking strategy with Vatican operatives.

As noted in the comments section on the previous chapter in this saga, reporter James Ulmer’s “On the Right Side of the Theater Aisle” came out over the weekend.

The story confirms several shocking facts.

(1) There are quite a few people on the right (as on the left) who want to make agenda-driven documentaries that club people over the head. What this has to do with mainstream entertainment is not explained in the article. Thus, it is best to ignore all of the references in Ulmer’s piece to people who want to make documentaries.

(2) Many people of faith are convinced that Hollywood doesn’t understand them. Most are upset about this.

(3) There are cultural conservatives/people of faith in the film industry who want to learn how to do a better job of working in mainstream Hollywood on its own terms, producing products that millions of people want to buy (as opposed to lots of family movies featuring babies). These people are even, for example, willing to work with Disney to do so. These religious believers think it is time to stop whining and learn how to do a better job of telling good stories.

That’s it folks. So, here is what ended up in print about Nicolosi and her Act One army, including that “Catholic activist” thing and its link to a meeting in California — organized by the Wilberforce Forum and some other culturally conservative movie lovers in Washington, D.C. — to discuss issues of faith and entertainment.

A co-host for the Santa Monica gathering was Act One, a nonpolitical group of Christian screenwriters based in Los Angeles and led by Barbara Nicolosi, a Catholic activist and former nun. Ms. Nicolosi said one of the goals of the meeting was “for Wilberforce to find some intersection of policy and story ideas” for future Hollywood content.

Ms. Nicolosi added that while religiously motivated filmmakers can “obviously find it difficult enough” working in Hollywood, “some of us think we should stop calling ourselves Christians, it’s become such a political liability here.” Building political connections hasn’t been easy, either. “The Christians in Washington just don’t trust us, because we’re part of the Great Satan called Hollywood,” she said.

Here is Nicolosi’s first somewhat sarcastic reaction to the Times piece:

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • ceemac

    tmatt et al,

    Hve you seen this article in the New Yorker about Patrick Henry College.

    http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/050627fa_fact

    It includes this relvant passage

    But students are not expected to avoid the secular world entirely. Farris told them at chapel recently that one day “an Academy Award winner will walk down the aisle to accept his trophy. On his way, he’ll get a cell-phone call; it will be the President, who happens to be his old Patrick Henry roommate, calling to congratulate him.”

    Farris is the president/founder of PHC


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