Reflections and Poetry

Elvis, cinema, and this Christian’s walk: a reflection

Elvis, Cinema, and this Christian’s walk

I came from the Elvis movie last night (at time of writing) — no spoilers I promise. I woke up this morning quite troubled. This has happened a few times lately. I’ve watched Elvis, cinema, and this Christian’s walk has taken a knock.

It isn’t that the cinema I’ve been watching is nasty or full of demons. Elvis is rated 12A. I’ve been avoiding anything 15 or higher rating, because I find my spirit steps away from my consciousness when I do.

My viewing

I’ve watched a number of biopics lately, especially those that straddle the 60’s and 70’s. And… this is a surprise but actually, what strikes me the most after watching these films is that I mourn the loss of the natural. Driving in a sedan, walking down a road, black and white tv, and technicolour film all harken back to a time which was modern but pre-“e-technology”. In spite of drugs inevitably taking part in the story of many of the rich and famous at this time in the 20th century, that seems to pale in comparison to our entire society having become completely transformed: dependant upon the internet.

I can practically feel my headspace being given space, relief from cerebral stress, when I watch these stories of a bygone era. I suppose there is a correlation to my own memories; I was a child in the 1960’s and stories about JFK or Elvis or other talent and politicians from that era, takes me back to my own childhood and youth, which was so much slower and simpler than what children and teens are growing up with now. No wonder depression is on the rise. No wonder many struggle with mental illness. There is nowhere to “stop” — the roller coaster of life is 24/7 and that is NOT a GOOD THING!

I am discovering that looking at old films is making me aware of how far we’ve drifted from reality: the physics of what is concrete material, and the etherial of the supernatural are two sides of the same version of the reality in which I grew up, and which are under threat. It’s ironic that although these two aspects seem to conflict, they are actually what is real, whereas today’s technology: satellite and cyber are the more intangible, like a hologram that floats and drifts but cannot actually stabilise into a fixed image.

How to cope

As I lay in bed this morning to process the heaviness and sadness I felt after viewing the Baz Luhrmann ELVIS (not because the film is bad but because it is good, and the exciting and tragic life of Elvis Presley is beautifully represented on the screen), I recognised this has happened a few times recently, each time following the the viewing of a documentary or a biopic of the bygone mid 20th century: about JFK, about Aretha Franklin , about Elizabeth Taylor for example. Each of these stories straddled the ’60’s and each had tragedy and death. It is no wonder that I felt emotionally drained afterwards.

But why I am relating this has a much more spiritual reason than it has psychological or sociological.

What do we do with the hyper speed unreality of satellite influence?

All things work together for good for those who love GOD and are called according to His purpose.… (Romans 8:28)

Rather than bemoan my uncomfortable consciousness, I analyse it and compare it to a mind at peace. I become aware… and blow the trumpet to say, 

“Worse than climate change, the erosion of our minds is gradually erasing our humanity!”

The world is racing to its collapse. We the people need to slow down. Never ever before has “be still” so resounded in my soul. “Be still for the presence of the LORD, the Holy One is here”, is a great worship song. We had Covid to slow us down. But now we are racing on. “Stop and smell the roses” — that’s another echo from the past. It is what we need.

Even children’s cinema is plagued by speed

Most everything we watch is fast and furious. I love adventure films like Indiana Jones and the Star Wars films. But we are racing and can’t keep up with ourselves. And I’m reminded of this as I linger on stories of the past. Not even so far past as Jane Austin or David Copperfield, but only 50 years ago things were still by comparison to now.

Can we get slow back?

How can we slow down in a world that is spinning out of control, as if adrenalin and speed boosters are dictating our pace? 

We just have to choose.

Shalom my friends, bless you and hoping for comment amidst awareness that even posting this on the internet is contributing to the problem. Such irony.