Tinseltown is tarnished. Hollywood, while embracing creativity, seems to be shutting out morality and community. Can those with a Christian perspective find anything of value in such an environment -- or contribute anything worthwhile to it? Eyeing the landscape from an insider's perspective, Ron Austin answers a firm yes.
Austin's In a New Light
unpacks the spiritual principles underlying the art of film, including aáhistorical survey of how cinematic art was shaped by the crisis of modernity. A veteran of the industry -- having worked nearly half a century in its environs -- Austin goes a step beyond the now-popular course of critiquing current films from a Christian worldview, espousing that the key to confronting evil in the media arts lies in the Christian attitude toward suffering.
Based on several years of Austin's filmmaking courses, In a New Light
explores a spiritual foundation for creative film work and seeks ways to find common ground on which to build creative relationships. Austin's inside look will prove fascinating not only to students and practitioners of the media arts but to anyone interested in this aspect of popular culture.
— former president, Writers Guild of America
"Ron Austin, an experienced and insightful creative artist, opens a door to the wonder and the spiritual foundations essential to art, religion, and life itself."
D. Michael Lindsay
— author of Faith in the Halls of Power
"In a New Light opened my eyes to the rich history of cinema and the many ways art and spirituality have been linked through film over the last century. Ron Austin writes with subtlety and depth as he explores such themes as evil, transcendence, hope, sacrifice, imagination, and redemption. This is a work of broad thinking and deep faith."
— editor of Image
"Ron Austin calls himself a 'survivor' of Hollywood, but he is so much more than that. Like Melville's Ishmael floating on the vast ocean after the catastrophe, Austin has attained hard-earned wisdom and a remarkable simplicity of spirit. He calmly cuts through the incessant chatter about moviemaking and restores us to the essence of film: a loving attention to the world, including the fragile beauty of the human face, and the drama of conflict and violence being transcended by forgiveness and mercy. Just as he learned from Charlie Chaplin and Jean Renoir, so Ron Austin ought to become a guide to a whole new generation of filmmakers — artists capable of making films that are more deeply spiritual precisely because they are more deeply human."
Robert K. Johnson
— author of Reel Spirituality
"With humanity, generosity, and a wisdom that comes from a lifetime of experience — as a child actor with Charlie Chaplin himself, as a screenwriter in Hollywood, and as a professor at USC's film school — Ron Austin explores the spiritual foundations of cinema. His brief spiritual history of film in this book is superb and should keep your Netflix list full for a year. Here is a small work that is anything but slight."
— founder and president of Cornerstone Forum
"As Ron Austin knows so well, the cinematic arts are capable of rescuing us from what Robert Bresson called the 'school of inattention' and reviving our capacity for deep emotion and serious reflection. Ron's marvelous meditation reminds us that the art of filmmaking remains important because we humans must be in the mood for truth — and film is capable of putting us in the mood."