Discussion questions for Get Low
- Discuss your first impressions of Get Low. What does watching this film leave you thinking about?
- What do you think Felix means when he announces “It’s time for me to get low”?
- The original tagline for the film wasn’t the one that survives on most Get Low posters–“A True Tall Tale”–, but “Every secret dies somewhere.” What is Felix’s secret? Does his need for the secret to become known strike you as believable? Why or why not?
- Scott Seeke, a Lutheran minister, collaborated with Chris Provenzano in writing Get Low’s screenplay. On his blog he writes, “I think the reason I wanted to tackle this topic is because guilt is something we all deal with but that has become taboo in our culture. We don’t know how to deal with it. That includes all churches except the traditional mainline ones. These usually open their worships with a “Confession and Forgiveness.” Everyone else avoids the topic as much as possible. Church experts will tell you that people don’t want to come to church and hear how bad they are. They don’t want to come to church and be confronted with things they have done wrong. Instead, they want to hear a positive message. Which is fine. I get that. I don’t want people to come to church and be beaten over the head with talk of their sin and how much they suck.
But when do we talk about guilt?
Because it’s there. People feel guilty about things they’ve done. Even in the era of moral relativity, there is still guilt and shame. There is still a need for forgiveness. Guilt and forgiveness is a core part of the human experience. That has not changed and will never change. But we don’t know how to handle it anymore.” Discuss this quote.
- One critic disparaged Get Low saying, “Nothing happened for too long.” Did the film’s pace seem slow to you? Why?
- When Mattie sees her sister’s picture on the wall of Felix’s cabin, she is shocked and leaves. Do you understand her reaction? Do you agree with it?
- In Owen Smith’s New Yorker review he writes, “Had I been in that crowd, I would have been tempted to shout, Don’t tell us, old man! Keep your mystery, and your land, to yourself! Duvall could have done it; imagine him bending down to whisper his guilt into Spacek’s ear, with Murray close by, eavesdropping, and the rest of us shut out. Or imagine if Felix had died beforehand, leaving his baffled mourners to do the whispering. Get Low is deftly played, and it rarely mislays its ambling charm, but what a forbidding fable it could have been if the truth about Felix Bush, rather than emerging into sunlight, had slunk back into the woods.” Discuss this quote. Do you agree with him?
- In James 5 we are instructed “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” In the protestant tradition we’ve had a tendency not to take this admonition to heart. Discuss your experiences with confession and reconciliation. Is it, as the old saying goes, “Good for the soul”?