They are in control. And we've allowed it. Who are 'they'? How can we break free from their control or avoid it altogether? And exactly why are they interested in control? Teri Haux endeavors to answer such things in her book, Movie Viewer Extraordinaire.
First, let's all admit that cinema is a big part of American life. Jonathan Culpeper discussed the similarities between British and American English in his book History of English. He made the observation that the two were growing closer, due to improved communications and "the impact of American culture, notably through television and film."
I've been a junkie since I was young, and I fear I'm passing that legacy on to my children. With the advent of Netflix, it has become easier (and less expensive) to watch movies — and even TV. Yes, I ditched my satellite subscription and happily watch TV shows on DVD commercial free, albeit a little late.
However, we don't watch just anything that comes our way. Our family feels it's important to be discriminating; we're not just mentally gobbling up everything put in front of us. That is basically what the book advocates. Watch movies, learn from them, but be discriminating.
According to her, the media is out to get us and the media is controlled by the rich and powerful with socialist agendas. She drags in Communism, Nazism and even the Illuminati — all these groups have used film to launch attacks and promote their own form of domination. Today, the modern disciples of these groups and others are still attempting to control the masses by telling them what morals are acceptable and by creating an atmosphere of fear — fear of increasing violence or just fear of making judgments. Whether that conspiracy exists is left for you to decide, but she may not be far from the truth.
She writes with conviction, even if she gets a little vehement at times and a little too nostalgic regarding the films of yesteryear. She's done a decent analysis of some films. Here again, you'll have to make your own decision as to whether the analysis is a little overboard or not. She is a screenwriter and does have some experience in the media that she's writing about.
Her viewpoints are designed by her faith, and that becomes clear in her text. I appreciated and agreed with these viewpoints: she defends the traditional family arrangement and is appalled by the attack against it being made by the media. She has designed five Movie Viewer Guidelines to help moviegoers discern how a film will affect them and their family. I won't divulge the five rules here — you can get the book for that — but these five rules can really be effective tools. She encourages family discussion of movies and that in itself is invaluable.
Also very helpful is the historical information regarding the Will H. Hays Movie Production Codes. These codes are outlined in the book’s appendix and they are very enlightening. If movies followed these codes today, they would be far different. The appendix also includes the MPAA Movie Rating Guidelines. It's worth the time to review these ratings. Comparing the Production Codes and Rating Guidelines is also an effective way to see how times have changed.
While we may dispute the intimations of world conspiracy and purposeful corruption on the part of filmmakers, I find myself unable to dispute the effects of film on society or the fact that there is a battle raging for the minds and values of humanity. Haux is very correct in her estimation of how people react to movies, internally or externally. Cinema has truly been declining in moral content for decades. This book is an excellent addition to any family library and certainly worth repeated reading.