Religion and Film: An Introduction

Religion and Film: An Introduction

by Melanie J. Wright
Pub. Date:
I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited


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Religion and Film: An Introduction

From silent films to contemporary blockbusters, religion has always proved a popular theme for the cinema. However, all too often religion and film are discussed from narrowly confessional perspectives, with the result that the field has long been dominated by the question of a film's fidelity to a religious text or worldview, or its value as a tool in ministry and mission. Religion and Film: An Introduction seeks to redress this balance, and argues for a new, holistic approach to the subject that draws on work from cultural studies, religious studies and film studies alike. Wright argues that the 'meanings' of a film are not encoded by its textual organisation, but are bound up with its interpretation by viewers in specific contexts. Focusing on religiously diverse films like The Ten Commandments, La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, Lagaan, My Son the Fanatic, Keeping the Faith, The Wicker Man and Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ, the author looks at varied screen representations of religion; at films shaped by strong convictions about the place of religion in society; and at the roles that audiences play as consumers of film. The book will have strong appeal to students as well as general readers interested in all aspects of the inter-relationship of religion and the cinema.

About the Author:
Melanie J Wright is Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations and a Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901850438860
Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date: 12/26/2006
Series: Introductions to Religion Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Melanie J Wright is Academic Director of the Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations in Cambridge and an affiliated lecturer in Divinity at the University of Cambridge.

Table of Contents

Preface     1
Some Trends in Religious Film Analysis     11
Opening Shots     11
Motivations to Religious Film Analysis     12
On Dialogue     15
Film Selection     16
Methods of Study     20
A Proposal     22
Conclusion     30
La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc   Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928     33
The Remarkable Story of La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc     33
Film Narrative     35
Film Style     40
Cultural and Religious Context     46
Reception     49
The Ten Commandments   Cecil B. DeMille, 1956     55
Moses at the 'Movies'     55
Screening the Scriptures     60
Why the Slaves Don't Cross the Red Sea     64
Trailing The Ten Commandments     67
Reception     71
The Wicker Man   Robin Hardy, 1973     79
To See or Not to See? The Importance of Distribution     79
Christianity as Tomorrow's Paganism?     82
Scotland the Movie     90
English Horror(s)     94
Reception and the Cult of Fandom     100
My Son theFanatic   Udayan Prasad, 1997     107
Cinema and Diaspora     107
Filming Fundamentalism     110
It's Different for Girls     117
Hit the North     119
The Burden of Representation     123
Keeping the Faith   Edward Norton, 2000     129
Reception: Once More, With Feeling     129
A Priest Walks Into a Bar...     130
Jewish/Christian Romance at the Cinema     135
A 'Women's Picture'?     138
Lagaan   Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001     143
Hooray for Bollywood     143
Seeing and Believing     148
Unity and Diversity     153
It's Not the Taking Part, It's the Winning That Counts     157
Reception     161
Conclusions     167
Notes     175
Bibliography     205
Film Index     235
Name and Subject Index     239

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