Communication Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2016

Journal Title

Journal of Media and Communication Studies

ISSN

2141-2545

Volume

8

Issue

7

First Page

71

Last Page

82

Article Number

58CB49261049

DOI

10.5897/JMCS2016.0500

Abstract

This thesis analyzes the story structure of two films, The Tree of Life (2011) and Courageous (2011), and their similarities and differences in storytelling and Christian themes. Using screenwriting scholar Robert McKee’s theories on story structure, this comparative analysis highlights the plot elements, conflicts, dialogue, and overall execution of the two films in order to identify their agreement or disagreement with established screenwriting theory. Results from this analysis indicate how both films align with and diverge from McKee’s theories, finding in conclusion that these motion pictures not only provide insight on differences in portraying Christian faith in film but also the importance of dramatizing conflict in filmmaking. This insight bridges a divide in the faith-based film industry between mainstream and evangelical filmmakers seeking to ask spiritual questions in their work.

Keywords

Alex Kendrick, Christian film, courageous, Robert McKee, story structure, Terrence Malick, the tree of life

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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