Faith in Film: What could I add?
Been thinking about the movie Silence. I am trying to think of movies with profound theological themes, beyond the usual stuff like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, The Shack, or, most especially, the host of cheap and preachy evangelical movies out there. The key is to have movies that have subtle sophistication but have overt religious themes, not just a movie cherry-picked for religious illustrations. Help me out. Here are the ones I have thought of:
Existence of God: Life of Pi
Nature/use of Scripture: Book of Eli (use of the Bible for power or encouragement)
Faith and Providence: Signs, Count of Monte Cristo
Freedom and Providence: The Adjustment Bureau
Divine Attributes: Watchmen (Impassibility, namely in Mr. Manhattan), Bruce Almighty (Omnipotence),
Nature and Grace: Tree of Life
Humanity: Blade Runner (human essence and dignity), Interstellar (survival), Ex Machina and Transcendence (capacities for self-deification and destruction), Revenant (God, conscience, and revenge), Big Lebowski (Meaninglessness, nihilism), Gladiator (death and eternity).
Mortality: Dead Man Walking (redemption, repentance, mortality), A Walk to Remember (mortality, love, redemption)
Christology: Last Temptation of Christ (humanity of Christ), Jesus in Montreal (living out Christ)
The Cross: Apocalyspe Now (nature of sacrifice, the scapegoat, and violence), Gran Tourino (atonement), The Mission (forgiveness), Hacksaw Ridge (pacifism), Silence (theodicy)
Faith, Doubt, Theodicy: The Tree of Life, Silence
Sin: Seven (seven deadly sins), Unforgiven (mortal sin).
Faith and the Demonic: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Religion: The Apostle (pastoral leadership and its failures), Fight Club (masculinity, meaning, belonging), Equilibrium and The Golden Compass (religious repression and oppression), Calvary (priesthood and its failures)
Eschatology: Shawshank Redemption (hope), The Road (apocalypse, character amidst hopelessness), Apocalypto (Apocalypse), What Dreams May Come (afterlife, heaven and hell)
For fun: Dogma (God, angels, etc.), Life of Brian (Messiah-figues, false religion), Year One (Bible and historicity), Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (God, heaven, death), Saved (Religious hypocrisy), Blue Like Jazz (Faith responsibility in college)
What am I missing?
Great list Spencer. Here are a bunch more…The films of Andre Tarcovsky, Andrie Rubalov, Solaris, the stalker…etc The films of Carl T Dreyer The passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr, Day of Wrath , Ordet.. etc. The Bicycle Thief, The third Miracle, friendly persuasion, Tender Mercis, a trip to bountiful, black snake moan, Babettes feast. Chocolate. 13 conversations about the same thing, couple great theological thrillers ,,, The Prophecy, flatliners, stigmata, hell raiser inferno, just to mention a few more…
Thanks Brad! I’ll look those up.