Interesting thoughts from David Di Sabatino

Below is the complete text from an email update from the guy that made the movie on Lonnie Frisbee.

I always find David’s thoughts challenging (even if I generally agree!). Enjoy!

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From: David Di Sabatino [mailto:sabbi@socal.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 1:25 PM
To: marc@vcwaterville.org
Subject: PBS date for Frisbee

Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher will be broadcast on October 29th on PBS-affiliate KQED in San Francisco. This will be the first showing of a three-year run on that channel, so if you are in that broadcast area please tune in. Finally, at that time we will also be selling the DVD.

This summer the documentary will be making some pit stops in Europe, having been invited to play at the Freakstock festival (www.freakstock.de), the Greenbelt festival (www.greenbelt.org.uk) and the zero28 Project in Ireland (www.zero28.org). So, if you are in that neck of the woods, please stop by. I will be at all three of those events with my brother.

Frisbee is playing at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Festival (www.phillyfests.com). I will not be attending this date.

We’re still tooling with the “Making of Frisbee” DVD, so, my apologies for being a little naive on the release date. It shouldn’t be much longer. And we so appreciate your patience with us. We are most often a one-man team, for now, (he said hoping one day to be a two or three person brigade).

Thought I’d throw something out there for those listening to think about. I was recently at a documentary group where the speaker was a cinematographer who had been in Hollywood for 25 years. The question that was posed to him was “Will Hollywood Steal Your Soul?” or something to that affect. I think it was an ad hoc question since he was a last minute replacement, but I did so appreciate his answer that I thought I would pass it along.

He started off by suggesting that Hollywood was no different than any collection of people, be it Microsoft employees, the church or a gathering of one-eyed midgets (sorry… came to mind). He said that in his 25 years therein he met a whole range of people; some of good and excellent character and others whom when you shake their hands you have to count your fingers, just in case. His point being was that Hollywood was no different than any other place, except that it allowed you certain opportunities to monkey with stuff that you might not get to anyplace else. He suggested that this culture war nonsense was just that, nonsense, and that like any other business these people were there to make money, to find creative outlet for their ideas and to find some purpose to their lives.

I appreciated his comments, especially in light of the DaVinci Code onslaught of drivel that emanated from the larger Christian culture who seemed to be saying that Opie and Forrest Gump were in league with the antichrist.

I am no expert on the film industry. In the last year and a bit I have gained a little understanding of the film festival circuit and the realities of finding a home for a project that has a spiritual story at its base. I feel like I have just scratched the surface, too, and that there are 1001 learning curves ahead as I continue. But I can agree with that speaker that night. I met some strange and wonderful people along the way, not all of whom agreed with my take on things, and the majority who would never dare step foot in a Christian church. And they were good and decent people. They didn’t have a satanic agenda or look for outlets to mock the Christian faith or any of the various things that I have heard ill-informed preachers tell their parishioners in an effort to whip up a frenzy. They were interested in good storytelling and moviemaking.

I have no doubt that the spirit of antichrist does exist in Hollywood. I too get saddened by the themes of hedonism that reverberate from movie screens and televisions. But make no mistake, I have met the antichrist in church and s/he is often dressed up like an angel. How sad that people with supposed spiritual discernment spent so much time and effort shouting down a hoax (isn’t that what the DaVinci Code really was?). Are we certain there is an “us” that has anything to say to “them”?

On another note. A theme that is most interesting to me is how Christians infuse their work into mainstream culture. Here is an interview with a fellow named Doug Pinnick who fronts an interesting rock band called King’s X. For years, King’s X struggled to get their work outside of the world of contemporary Christian music (CCM) and has really struggled doing so.

www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=52609

Another interesting article in this vein is a recent interview with Phil Keaggy who is lamenting his being known as a “Christian guitarist” instead of just a guitarist.

www.christianitytoday.com/music/interviews/2006/philkeaggy-0506.html

I found his comments a little problematic on one count. It wasn’t the industry that saddled Phil with being a “Christian guitarist” but moreso his own actions. In 1971 he was involved in an amazing guitar trio called Glass Harp (a midwest version of Eric Clapton’s Cream). As his faith started to deepen, Keaggy made the decision to leave his perch “in the world” and to concentrate on making music for Christian people. Which he did. Which he has. I can’t help thinking that he is kicking himself when he comments on Bono’s music as “dangerous,” wondering what might have been had he stayed in Glass Harp and continued the trajectory they were on at the time. They would have been huge. (I think the subtext of this interview is a message to aspiring artists; Do NOT sign with a Christian company).

One last note, we are presently shooting a couple of other documentaries that will wrap up in time for September dates for Sundance and other major festivals. More news to follow.

Sincerely,

David Di Sabatino
www.lonniefrisbee.com

Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. The author of "Ask Without Fear!®," he is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and FundraisingCoach.com. He's also the executive director of TheNonprofitAcademy.com and an Advisory Panel member of Rogare, a prestigious international fundraising think tank. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook. To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to http://thenonprofitacademy.com/21waysebook

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Steve S.

    This post took me on an internet journey that ended up at an interesting blog. http://www.robbymac.org and the link on his page (http://www.robbymac.org/charismatic/) to what ammounts to an online book (it is just shy of book-length) detailing both the history of, and the response to, abuses in the charismatic movement. It is thoughtfully done by someone who is apparently charismatic in theology and practice, yet wanting to remove himself from publicly perceived abuses in the movement. Wimber quotes are sprinkled throughout.

  2. Marc A. Pitman

    Thanks for the link! I’m looking forward to examining it at some point.

    Marc

  3. Rob

    Thenks for opening up new avenues for me Marc. It also took me on an internet journey that led me to David’s article on U2’s Bono “Why I would follow Bono into Hell”. In particular though, I found David’s thoughts on the struggle of CCM musicians with public perception of Christians and one’s personal outward expression of being Christian to be most timely for me. I’m working on a post at livingcatholic.blogspot.com on this very subject. Stay tuned.

    Thanks again

  4. Marc A. Pitman

    Yay! I love having a post that leads people down multiple roads!

    Looking forward to your post!

    Marc

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