The Disney movie, Secretariat, demonstrates the collaboration of two art forms, music and film, that combine to create an irresistible artistic moment. I wish I could create these moments in oil paint, but I fall short by 32 lengths--Secretariat's wining margin at the '73 Belmont Stakes.
The crowning scene of the movie swims in Edwin Hawkins's song, O Happy Day, and adds the psychological and spiritual punch that has brought many viewers to tears. Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane, wins over all adversity, and crosses the finish line of faith with the great horse. It's a great story and worth watching. The actual event carried tremendous weight in 1973 and needs little embellishing to have effect 40 years later.
"O happy day when Jesus washed my sins away"....."He taught me how to fight and pray"... and so on. What does a horse race have to do with Jesus washing my sins away and teaching me how to fight and pray? From a theological perspective it has to do with the answer to every prayer, the fulfillment of every hope and dream, the making plain of every good and just cause. All who watch the movie Secretariat are carried to victory in a cinematic moment--good stuff. I want Jesus to wash away all of the superficial crap that my art portrays, and I want Him to teach me how to fight and pray for what is true and good in art--to say nothing about my corrupt soul! As representational oil painters let's learn from this story and try to paint a few irresistible moments of our own. That's it in a nutshell. Watch this clip, then watch the movie, or re-watch it, and tell me what it does to you. See ya down the road--Don