New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:
Thanks for the review, it makes me excited to go see Oppenheimer, which my wife and I are planning on doing next weekend.
I think the real question I’m left with after this episode, is, will Sanity at the Movies review Oppenheimer’s big sister, Barbie?
While I really do get (and agree with, on a practical level) the overall Romans 14 position that you brothers take, I find myself wishing you had treated more thoroughly and seriously the position that Christians simply ought not watch these sorts of movies. You say that you didn’t personally feel unclean, even with a scene (presumably a nude scene?) that was sudden and unexpected and difficult to avoid seeing. Fair enough, but regardless of whether you’ve felt the subjective response of lust, on an objective level you’ve still exposed something shameful to your eyes, and are arguably participating in that man or woman’s degrading of him/herself. And even if you’ve closed your eyes to avoid looking upon their nakedness, you’re presumably still hearing in booming studio surround sound an unmarried couple graphically pretending to have sexual relations, which is almost as degrading and inappropriate as their visible nudity. I didn’t feel that those concerns (among others I’m sure I’m missing off the top of my head) were really addressed, although your analyses of the issues of personal lust and material cooperation with evil were good and useful.
I was dismayed by the sex scenes. Call me whatever but I really appreciated that this director was making a series of fun and technical movies that are of interest to older children. I won’t be showing this one unless I’m confident I remember where to skip.
And, I do not agree that sex scenes are effective at portraying a character’s lust and adultery critically. The audience has a relation with the bodies, not the other characters in the scene, and that impedes understanding the characters outside the line between the viewer’s eye and the nudity. Ridiculous as it looked, the one in the conference room actually worked as a symbol for the shame of having Oppenheimer’s sins revealed to the world by the hearings. That’s not because Kitty Oppenheimer was shown imagining it. It’s because we all were watching it.
Also, I have to agree with the Indian government that shoehorning the Bhagavad quote anecdote into a sex scene was disrespectful to a great poem. Plus, it wasn’t even Oppenheimer’s favorite quote from it.
What if they had given us, at the Trinity encampment, the one he quoted to Bush:
In battle, in forest, at the precipice in the mountains,
On the dark great sea, in the midst of javelins and arrows,
In sleep, in confusion, in the depths of shame,
The good deeds a man has done before defend him.
Finally, this is better, that one do
His own task as he may, even though he fail,
Than take tasks not his own, though they seem good.
To die performing duty is no ill;
But who seeks other roads shall wander still.
This is not known to be a favorite but would have fit the pressure of the energy committee:
Marred is the Intellect which, knowing right and knowing wrong, what is well to do and what must not be done, yet understands nought with firm mind, nor as the calm truth is.
Evil is Intellect which, wrapped in gloom, looks upon wrong as right, and sees all things contrariwise of Truth.
Re: Spielberg, I think he could have handled Oppenheimer’s Judaism well in a movie centered on that. It affected his politics, family relationships, romantic interests and the decision to build the bomb.