Seeking for the Good (in film): Praise and Report

In this third installment of my series on using the 13th Article of Faith as a guide for media production and consumption, I will explore the ideas of good report and praiseworthiness as they apply to film. I thought about doing a separate post on each, but it seemed they were just too closely intertwined. That statement actually begs a question that makes a good place to start.

What is the difference between a film that is “of good report” and one that is “praiseworthy?”

After all, isn’t the existence of a good report evidence that a film is worthy of such praise? Once we’ve praised a film, isn’t it from thenceforth “of good report?” Those questions should show that the two terms are not necessarily interchangeable. In the former case, one is left wondering who the author of the good report may be and what kind of “good” is reported. From the latter, it is clear that a praiseworthy film is not of good report unless someone actually gives the report. I’ll address those issues in greater depth later, but for now lets follow the convention I’ve instituted in previous posts by establishing a working definition for our two terms.

Of Good Report – This, to me, means that a film has been well spoken of. Again, this leaves the issues of by whom and how useful that report is, but we’ll set those aside for the moment. A good report might be a favorable review, an endorsement from a friend, a laudatory quote on a DVD cover, an MPAA (or other) rating of which we approve, or any other information, public or private, human or divine, that denotes positive value in a given film.

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