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Articles 1 - 30 of 223

Full-Text Articles in Religion

Blinded By The Light, Amir Hussain Aug 2019

Blinded By The Light, Amir Hussain

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Blinded by the Light (2019) directed by Gurinder Chadha.


Seeing Like The Buddha: Enlightenment Through Film, Skyler Osburn Apr 2019

Seeing Like The Buddha: Enlightenment Through Film, Skyler Osburn

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a book review of Francisca Cho's Seeing Like the Buddha: Enlightenment through Film.


Of God, Humanity, And The World: Reflections On "The Truman Show", Robert S. Gall Apr 2019

Of God, Humanity, And The World: Reflections On "The Truman Show", Robert S. Gall

Journal of Religion & Film

Popular analysis of The Truman Show generally has focused on the comments the movie is making about our media culture and corporate influence in our lives. However, as the names of the lead characters (Truman, Christof) suggest, there is more to the movie than a critique of corporate media culture. With echoes of stories of the Garden of Eden, the Book of Job, and promises of heaven, the movie raises interesting and troubling questions about the nature of God and his relation to humanity in the Western tradition. With echoes of Descartes’ “evil genius” and how we come to know ...


Touched By Grace? A Look At Grace In Bergman's Winter Light And Martin Luther's Writings, Kjartan Leer-Salvesen Apr 2019

Touched By Grace? A Look At Grace In Bergman's Winter Light And Martin Luther's Writings, Kjartan Leer-Salvesen

Journal of Religion & Film

Ingmar Bergman holds a prominent place in the lineup of directors who have used cinema to investigate the meaning of life in a godless world. The so-called “Trilogy of God’s Silence” is often identified as the place where Bergman struggled most profoundly with core themes from the Christian faith. In Winter Light, he explores the topic of doubt, devastatingly, through a minister’s religious and existential crisis. This article, however, proposes that Martin Luther’s theology may provide resources for reappraising Bergman’s canonical film.


Who Is Like God? The Deer Hunter As Angelic Allegory, Nicholas J. Schaser Apr 2019

Who Is Like God? The Deer Hunter As Angelic Allegory, Nicholas J. Schaser

Journal of Religion & Film

Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter utilizes Christian contexts and biblical motifs in order to present an allegory in which Michael (Robert De Niro) represents an angelic being. While Michael displays powers that parallel those of biblical angels, his lack of religious reverence and divine self-perception lead to a metaphorical fall in Vietnam. Michael’s friend Nick (Christopher Walken) is also an allegorical symbol for imperiled humanity in need of salvation. When Michael is unable to rescue Nick from a Russian roulette table in Saigon, Cimino’s film emerges as a theological statement about the problem of human violence and ...


The Farewell, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

The Farewell, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of The Farewell (2019) directed by Lulu Wang.


Lapü, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Lapü, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Lapü (2019), directed by Juan Pablo Polanco and César Alejandro Jaimes.


Dolce Fine Giornata, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Dolce Fine Giornata, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Dolce Fine Giornata (2019) directed by Jacek Borcuch.


Divine Love, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Divine Love, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Divine Love (2019) directed by Gabriel Mascaro.


Sister Aimee, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Sister Aimee, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Sister Aimee (2019), directed by Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann.


Them That Follow, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Them That Follow, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Them That Follow (2019) directed by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage.


Hala, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Hala, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Hala (2019), directed by Minhal Baig.


Abe, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Abe, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Abe (2019) directed by Fernando Grostein Andrade.


Hail Satan?, John C. Lyden Jan 2019

Hail Satan?, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Hail Satan? (2019) directed by Penny Lane.


Markie In Milwaukee, William L. Blizek Jan 2019

Markie In Milwaukee, William L. Blizek

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Markie in Milwaukee (2019) directed by Matt Kliegman.


Report From The 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, William L. Blizek Jan 2019

Report From The 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, William L. Blizek

Journal of Religion & Film

This is the Introduction to the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival.


Eternal Now: Recent Time Loop Movies And The Sanctity Of The Moment, John C. Lyden Dec 2018

Eternal Now: Recent Time Loop Movies And The Sanctity Of The Moment, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

I will examine three time-loop films—Source Code (2011), About Time (2013), and Before I Fall (2017)—to suggest that while they all look to this world as the place where meaning can be found, they do not entirely reject transcendence. The hero of Source Code actually transcends the cycle only when he accepts to exist in it fully, suggesting a view like Buddhism that one only finds transcendence when one stops looking for it. In About Time the hero learns that he must accept certain things that he cannot change, and that his ability to relive the past without ...


Neo-Gnosticism At The Movies, Michael Kaler Dec 2018

Neo-Gnosticism At The Movies, Michael Kaler

Journal of Religion & Film

A number of American films released in the mid/late 1990s drew on, or have been discussed in the context of, gnosticism—a loose, imprecise umbrella term usually applied to a number of heterodox early Christian literary traditions. The Matrix is the most famous of this group of films, which also includes such films as Pleasantville, Dark City, The Truman Show, and Thirteenth Floor. This curious trend would not have been possible had it not been for the emergence of gnosticism in mainstream culture generally; as well, gnosticism’s emphasis on the spectacular, constructed and ultimately illusory nature of apparent ...


Screening Religiosity In Contemporary Polish Films. The Role Of Religious Motifs In Visual Communication., Mariola Marczak Dec 2018

Screening Religiosity In Contemporary Polish Films. The Role Of Religious Motifs In Visual Communication., Mariola Marczak

Journal of Religion & Film

In the paper the Polish contemporary cinema has been explored as a vehicle through which films can reflect and communicate social issues, such as religiosity of Polish society, the character of it, the ways of expression and values promoted by it. The main components of modern Polish religiosity are shown as they are exhibited in film works perceived as part of modern visual culture. The examination also comprises most frequently and typically tools used for communicating or revealing the transcendent sphere in the contemporary Polish films, such as Christ-figures - including apocryphal ones and parables. They are considered as a narrative ...


Visual Grandeur, Imagined Glory: Identity Politics And Hindu Nationalism In Bajirao Mastani And Padmaavat, Baijayanti Roy Dec 2018

Visual Grandeur, Imagined Glory: Identity Politics And Hindu Nationalism In Bajirao Mastani And Padmaavat, Baijayanti Roy

Journal of Religion & Film

This paper examines the tropes through which the Hindi (Bollywood) historical films Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018) create idealised pasts on screen that speak to Hindu nationalist politics of present-day India. Bajirao Mastani is based on a popular tale of love, between Bajirao I (1700-1740), a powerful Brahmin general, and Mastani, daughter of a Hindu king and his Iranian mistress. The relationship was socially disapproved because of Mastani`s mixed parentage. The film distorts India`s pluralistic heritage by idealising Bajirao as an embodiment of Hindu nationalism and portraying Islam as inimical to Hinduism. Padmaavat is a film about ...


‘Love-Jihad’ And Bollywood: Constructing Muslims As ‘Other’, Nadira Khatun Dec 2018

‘Love-Jihad’ And Bollywood: Constructing Muslims As ‘Other’, Nadira Khatun

Journal of Religion & Film

In the postcolonial nation state that is India, cinema has become an important tool for propagating the idea of nationalism. In recent times, one of the most controversial components of Hindu nationalism has been the hate campaign against what is termed as ‘love-jihad’, which is deployed as a weapon to mobilize, polarize, and communalize citizens. The Indian Hindi-language film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, has also become a controversial site. In this paper, I argue that if ‘Indian nationalism’ is to be represented as ‘Hindu nationalism’ and ‘Indian culture’ as ‘Hindu culture,’ it logically follows that this majoritarian construction needs ...


Myth And Monstrosity: Teaching Indigenous Films, Ken Derry Dec 2018

Myth And Monstrosity: Teaching Indigenous Films, Ken Derry

Journal of Religion & Film

The past few times that I have taught my course on religion and film I have included a number of Indigenous movies. The response from students has been entirely positive, in part because most of them have rarely encountered Indigenous cultural products of any kind, especially contemporary ones. Students also respond well to the way in which many of these films use notions of the monstrous to explore, and explode, colonial myths. Goldstone, for example, by Kamilaroi filmmaker Ivan Sen, draws on noir tropes to peel back the smiling masks of the people responsible for the mining town’s success ...


Representations Of Nineteenth Century Mormonism In A Mormon Maid: A Cinematic Analysis, Elisabeth Weagel Dec 2018

Representations Of Nineteenth Century Mormonism In A Mormon Maid: A Cinematic Analysis, Elisabeth Weagel

Journal of Religion & Film

During the first quarter of the 20th century there was a trend in Hollywood to make films about Mormons. Practices such as polygamy created just the kind of sensationalism that attracted filmmakers (even Thomas Edison contributed with his 1902 film A Trip to Salt Lake). Many of these were B-pictures, but the 1917 film A Mormon Maid stands out because it was produced by a major production company (Paramount) and was backed by top director Cecil B. DeMille. It is often given passing reference, but very little genuine scholarship has been done on the film. A hundred years after its ...


Ask The Beasts Of The Southern Wild: Exploring Human Identity As Beast, Being And Beholder In Ask The Beasts: Darwin And The God Of Love And Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Stephanie Cherpak Clary Dec 2018

Ask The Beasts Of The Southern Wild: Exploring Human Identity As Beast, Being And Beholder In Ask The Beasts: Darwin And The God Of Love And Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Stephanie Cherpak Clary

Journal of Religion & Film

Anthropocentrism and hierarchical dualism together encourage a dangerous anthropology where human primacy among creation and the prioritization of certain humans leads to destruction for all. During a time when suffering caused by climate change continues to intensify, it is increasingly important to find compelling ways to share the stories of those who suffer most. I will explore how Beasts of the Southern Wild (Zeitlin, 2012) contextualizes the ecofeminist theology found in Johnson’s Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love (2014), specifically the idea of humans identifying as beasts, beings and beholders. Furthermore, I will discuss how the ...


Trickster Ambivalence In Kwaw Ansah’S Praising The Lord Plus One, Adwoa Opoku-Agyemang Dec 2018

Trickster Ambivalence In Kwaw Ansah’S Praising The Lord Plus One, Adwoa Opoku-Agyemang

Journal of Religion & Film

Kwaw Ansah’s film Praising the Lord Plus One revolves around a crooked charismatic preacher. This paper examines him as one of the manifestations of the West African trickster. Though the figure of the trickster is bound to West African folktales, his familiar, contradictory and ultimately funny features transcend the oral tale to manifest in other media. The article examines Gabriel’s self-transformation into a miracle-maker, his utilization of that identity, and his unmaking. It looks at how biblical exegesis and Christian rites, while apparently major aspects of the film, are reduced to marketing tools for sustaining the trickster ethos ...


Solidarity Beyond Obligation: Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri, Grace Chiou Dec 2018

Solidarity Beyond Obligation: Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri, Grace Chiou

Journal of Religion & Film

In his film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, writer-director Martin McDonagh creates a compelling parable regarding suffering, justice and solidarity. This unfiltered and witty, dark comedy examines the interlaced connections between humans and non-human agents during periods of anguish. Frequently, the ensuing communication includes abusive or belittling language and violent physical attacks. These extraordinary assaults are then contrasted with small gestures of kindness. While the film has faced various critiques, this piece of cinema creates a dynamic narrative to consider the human experience of grief and experiencing grace from one’s enemies. In doing so, Three Billboards paints an inclusive ...


Reason (Vivek), J. Barton Scott Oct 2018

Reason (Vivek), J. Barton Scott

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Reason (Vivek) (2018), directed by Anand Patwardhan.


Ad Vitam, J. Barton Scott Oct 2018

Ad Vitam, J. Barton Scott

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Ad Vitam (2018), directed by Thomas Calley.


A Star Is Born, Sherry Coman Oct 2018

A Star Is Born, Sherry Coman

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of A Star is Born (2018), directed by Bradley Cooper.


Myth And Ritual In Moonrise Kingdom, Sarah F. Haynes Oct 2018

Myth And Ritual In Moonrise Kingdom, Sarah F. Haynes

Journal of Religion & Film

This essay examines religious themes in Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom. An analysis of the film reveals the characters utilize ritual and myth as a means of creating knowledge and as the catalyst for a transformation of self. This essay argues that Anderson’s characters construct and interpret their reality, of self and world, by engaging with ritual, myth, and community.