Religious Essay, Research Paper

In this survey, the usage of “ spiritual ” as a movie genre is meant to denote 1 ) dramatisations of characters and events from the holy books of universe faiths ; 2 ) lifes of saints and clergy ; 3 ) movies in which the principal characters are members of the clergy ; and 4 ) movies that deal straight with religious inquiries and beliefs. The spiritual movie is one of the oldest of all genres, get downing in 1897 with The Passion Play, an American cinematography of the one-year production in Horwitz, Bohemia. Other movies rapidly followed, including Louis Lumiere ‘s The Life And Passion Of Jesus Christ ( 1897, aka The Passion ) and The Passion Play Of Oberammergau ( 1898 ) , which was really staged in New York City. Along with his legion trick-photography phantasies, George Melies besides made Le Christ Marchant Sur Les Flots ( 1899 ) and Jeanne D’Arc ( 1900 ) , an luxuriant 12-scene play with 100s of supernumeraries. American one-reel movies included a 1907 version of Ben-Hur and a 1908 version of Salome. Movies about Jesus continued to be made, with such Gallic productions as The Life Of Christ ( 1906 ) , The Life Of Jesus ( 1907 ) , The Birth Of Jesus ( 1909 ) , and The Kiss Of Judas ( 1909 ) . An luxuriant three-reeler from France, The Life And Passion Of Jesus Christ ( 1908 ) , achieved broad popularity and was re-released in 1914 in an expanded, hand-tinted version called The Life Of Our Savior ( and reissued once more in 1921as Behold The Man! , with a modern, bordering narrative ) . A series of theatrical tableaux in the tradition of Melies, the movie efficaciously employed its new colourss, lucubrating them into flamelike moving ridges for the angel that protects Mary and Joseph during their flight to Egypt, while astutely maintaining Christ ‘s robes in unadulterated white, doing him stand out in such colourful crowd scenes as his entryway into Jerusalem or his visual aspect before Pontius Pilate. A greater edification defined spiritual movies by the teens. Sidney Olcott, who had co-directed the 1907 Ben-Hur, journeyed to Egypt for location sequences in his fine-looking history of the life of Christ, From The Manger To The Cross ( 1913 ) . Italy ‘s Enrico Guazzoni directed Quo Vadis? ( 1913 ) , an eight-reel version of Henryk Sienkiewicz ‘s novel about Nero ‘s persecution of the early Christians. The international success of this heroic poem inspired D.W. Griffith to do his first feature-length movie, the stirring Judith Of Bethulia ( 1914 ) , in which Blanche Sweet played the Old Testament heroine who decapitates the invading warlord Holofernes. Among the four narrations of Griffith ‘s chef-d’oeuvre Intolerance ( 1916 ) was the life of Christ, and these Judean scenes, rich in item and of course staged, rank among Griffith ‘s finest work. Howard Gaye, who movingly portrayed Jesus in Intolerance, went on to reiterate the function under his ain way in Restitution ( 1918 ) , in which Christ battles Satan and his latest ally, Kaiser Wilhelm. Thomas H. Ince ‘s pacificist fable Civilization ( 1916 ) featured Jesus prophesying peace as two great states ready for war ; after America entered World War I, he re-edited his movie to back up the war attempt. In Joan The Woman ( 1916 ) , manager Cecil B. De Mille and author Jeanie Macpherson combined the life of Joan of Arc with a loyal history of a soldier contending in World War I. Other modern play that employed spiritual visions were Light At Dusk ( 1916 ) , The Unbeliever ( 1918 ) , and The Eternal Magdalene ( 1919 ) . American dramatisations of scriptural characters included Mary Magdalene ( 1914 ) , Samson ( 1914 ) , and Theda Bara as Salome ( 1918 ) . The 1920s saw several landmark spiritual movies. Carl Dreyer ‘s Leafs From Satan ‘s Book ( 1921 ) depicted the life of Christ as one of its four narratives. Robert Wiene ‘s history of Jesus, I.N.R.I. ( 1923 ) , included scenes filmed in Palestine ; manager Errett LeRoy Kenepp besides journeyed to the Holy Land for his The Man Cipher Knows ( 1925 ) . Cecil B. De Mille once more combined historical and modern-day narrations with his popular epic The Ten Commandments ( 1923 ) . Alla Nazimova starred as Salome ( 1923 ) in a fashionable, provocative version of Oscar Wilde ‘s drama. A ten-reel Italian remaking of Quo Vadis? ( 1925 ) , directed by Arturo Ambrosio and starring Emil Jannings as Nero, failed to capture the enthusiasm that greeted its predecessor ; the twelve-reel American Ben-Hur ( 1926 ) , nevertheless, proved to be a arousal success, thrilling audiences with its luxuriant sea conflict and chariot race. Fred Niblo directed this munificent version of Lew Wallace ‘s novel about a Judaic slave whose way intersects Christ ‘s. That same twelvemonth, manager Raoul Walsh dramatized the Old Testament narrative of the Prodigal Son with The Wanderer ( 1926 ) . The very terminal of the soundless epoch saw two classics of the spiritual movie. The King Of Kings ( 1927 ) , directed by De Mille and written by Jeanie Macpherson, starred H.B. Warner in a nuanced and traveling public presentation as Jesus. Arguably DeMille ‘s finest movie, the manager easy moved from simple and intimate scenes, such as Christ foremost being glimpsed by a unsighted miss he has healed, to dramatic representations of the crucifixion and Resurrection ( the latter filmed in two-strip Technicolor ) . Carl Dreyer ‘s La Passion De Jeanne D’Arc ( 1928 ) was a arresting history of Joan of Arc ‘s test and executing. Working with a grim series of realistic close-ups, Dreyer gave the movie an about newsreel sense of immediateness. In her lone movie visual aspect, Maria Falconetti was unforgettable as Joan, conveying to life both the humanity and the spiritualty of this airy immature Frenchwoman who was martyred for adhering to the function ordained for her by the spirit voices that had led her to victory on the battleground. Possibly because of the greater pragmatism created by sound, the early talking pictures marked an initial diminution in spiritual movies. Noah ‘s Ark ( 1929 ) , a partial-silent directed by Michael Curtiz, repeated De Mille ‘s expression from Joan The Woman and used spiritual sequences & # 8212 ; here, the Old-Testament history of the inundation & # 8212 ; alongside a modern narrative of World War One. Two popular historical narratives contrasted heathen orgy with the aristocracy of the early Christians: The Sign Of The Cross ( 1932 ) , directed by De Mille, having Charles Laughton as a surprisingly uncloseted Nero, and The Last Days Of Pompeii ( 1935 ) , directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack and produced by Merian C. Cooper, with Basil Rathbone as a guilt-haunted Pontius Pilate. Julian Duvivier wrote and produced Golgotha ( 1935, aka Ecce Homo ) , with Robert Le Vignan as Christ and Jean Gabin as Pilate. More unusual religious-themed movies of the period include the unexpectedly homo- ( and hetero- ) titillating experimental short Lot In Sodom ( 1933 ) by James Watson and Melville Webber, and The Green Pastures ( 1936 ) , an version of Marc Connelly ‘s hit drama, co-directed by William Keighley and Connelly ; an all-black dramatis personae starred in this history of Heaven combined with several Old Testament narratives, all related in the parlance of rural African-Americans. The 1940s saw several unusual play based on spiritual subjects. Susan And God ( 1940 ) , directed by George Cukor, starred Joan Crawford as a adult female whose spiritual ardor alienates her household ; Anita Loos adapted the Rachel Crothers drama. The Razor ‘s Edge ( 1946 ) , directed by Edmond Goulding, adapted Somerset Maugham ‘s novel of a immature adult male ‘s hunt for religious significance. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger ‘s Black Narcissus ( 1947 ) was a fashionable psychodrama of Anglican nuns in an stray convent in the Himalayas. The Fugitive ( 1947 ) , directed by John Ford and adapted by Dudley Nichols from Graham Greene ‘s novel The Power And The Glory, starred Henry Fonda as a priest combating anti-Catholic repression in Mexico. Roberto Rossellini ‘s The Miracle, the 2nd episode of his bipartite L’Amore ( 1948 ) , was denounced at the clip as profane, but is really a sensitive and religious narrative of a simple-minded Italian provincial adult female, played by Anna Magnani, who believes she is transporting the Christ kid after she ‘s made pregnant by a soundless roamer whom she ‘s taken to be St. Joseph ; Federico Fellini wrote the scenario and played the cryptic “ saint. ” More conventional postwar spiritual movies include manager Victor Fleming ‘s concluding attempt, Joan Of Arc ( 1948 ) , starring Ingrid Bergman ; De Mille ‘s Samson And Delilah ( 1949 ) , with Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr ; and The Lawton Story ( 1949 ) , a cinematography of the one-year Passion Play held in Lawton, Oklahoma, directed by William Beaudine and Harold Daniels and produced by development male monarch Kroger Babb. Rossellini made one of the finest spiritual movies of the fiftiess with Francesco & # 8212 ; Giullare Di Dio ( 1950, aka The Flowers Of St. Francis ) . Again composing with Fellini, Rossellini brought fear, wit, and imaginativeness to his narrative of St. Francis of Assisi. With his then-wife Ingrid Bergman, Rossellini besides filmed the Arthur Honegger cantata Joan Of Arc At The Stake ( 1954 ) . Robert Bresson ‘s Diary Of A Country Priest ( 1951 ) , an version of the Georges Bernanos novel, was a memorable history of a immature priest ‘s hard ministry in rural France. Ordet ( 1955 ) , Carl Dreyer ‘s version of Kaj Munk ‘s drama, stands as one of the decennary ‘s chef-d’oeuvres, an history of spiritual intolerance in Denmark, which pivots on an insane adult male who believes he is Jesus. American movies, more literal-minded, had God talking straight to the universe over the wireless in The Following Voice You Hear ( 1950 ) , directed by William A. Wellman ; the Deity even eliminated Soviet communism in Red Planet Mars ( 1952 ) . John Brahm directed a pious history of a 20th-century sighting of the Virgin Mary in The Miracle Of Our Lady Of Fatima ( 1952 ) . Graham Greene adapted George Bernard Shaw ‘s drama for manager Otto Preminger ‘s Saint Joan ( 1958 ) , the movie introduction of Jean Seberg. Audrey Hepburn played a nun who finally leaves her convent to fall in Belgium ‘s anti-Nazi resistance in manager Fred Zinnemann ‘s The Nun ‘s Story ( 1959 ) . Otherwise, most American spiritual movies of the ’50s were big-budget heroic poems, inclu

donging manager Mervyn LeRoy ‘s Quo Vadis ( 1951 ) ; David And Bathsheba ( 1951 ) , directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward ; Salome ( 1953 ) , directed by William Dieterle, with Rita Hayworth dancing to salvage ( ! ) John the Baptist from Charles Laughton ‘s Herod ; the first CinemaScope movie, The Robe ( 1953 ) , an version of Lloyd C. Douglas ‘ novel, with Richard Burton as the Roman soldier who gained ownership of Christ ‘s robe after the crucifixion ; The Robe ‘s subsequence, Demetrius And The Gladiators ( 1953 ) , directed by Delmer Daves ; and The Silver Chalice ( 1954 ) , directed by Victor Saville, with Paul Newman in his movie introduction as a Grecian sculpturer who fashions the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Two major Hollywood managers ended their callings doing spiritual movies: King Vidor with Solomon And Sheba ( 1959 ) , starring Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida, and Frank Borzage with The Big Fisherman ( 1959 ) , an version of Lloyd C. Douglas ‘ novel about Simon Peter, with Howard Keel playing to an offscreen Jesus. Two remakings, both starring Charlton Heston, base as the decennary ‘s genre landmarks: De Mille ‘s munificent, effects-laden The Ten Commandments ( 1956 ) , and manager William Wyler ‘s every bit deluxe Ben-Hur ( 1959 ) . The box-office success of these two extravaganzas assured that the scriptural heroic poem would pound into the 1960s, even though the consequences were constantly critical and fiscal failures. The life of Jesus received two respectful, drawn-out, big-budget, and star-crammed cinematographies: King Of Kings ( 1961 ) , directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Jeffrey Hunter as a immature and magnetic Christ, and George Stevens ‘ The Greatest Story Ever Told ( 1965 ) , with Max von Sydow as a dignified, otherworldly Jesus. Director Robert Aldrich offered audiences a Sodom And Gomorrah ( 1963 ) more deluxe but far tamer than Watson and Webber ‘s. Barabbas ( 1961 ) , directed by Richard Fleischer and adapted by Christopher Fry from Per Lagerkvist ‘s novel, starred Anthony Quinn as the stealer who was pardoned while Jesus was condemned to decease. Fry besides adapted the first 22 books of Genesis for manager John Huston ‘s The Bible ( 1966 ) , a multi-episode movie most successful in its delicious Noah ‘s Ark sequence. Lower-budget, necessarily Italian-made attempts include Joan Collins and Richard Egan as Esther And The King ( 1960 ) for manager Raoul Walsh, and John Drew Barrymore playing both Jesus and Judas in manager Irving Rapper ‘s Pontius Pilate ( 1962 ) . Italy besides produced a true classic of the genre: Pier Paolo Pasolini ‘s Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo ( 1964, aka The Gospel Harmonizing To Saint Matthew ) . Working in hapless Southern Italian locations with a non-professional dramatis personae, Pasolini brought to life Matthew ‘s Jesus as a radical denouncing a spiritless consumer society. Other memorable foreign movies of the ’60s include Robert Bresson ‘s The Trial Of Joan Of Arc ( 1962 ) ; Satyajit Ray ‘s Devi ( 1960, aka The Goddess ) , in which a immature adult female is taken for the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess and is finally goaded insane ; and Roberto Rossellini ‘s five-part Acts Of The Apostles ( 1968 ) . Two popular historical play in which spiritual work forces are martyred for adhering to their religion against the political relations of the tribunal were manager Peter Glenvile ‘s Becket ( 1964 ) , an version of the Jean Anouilh drama starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton, and A Man For All Seasons ( 1966 ) , directed by Fred Zinnemann and adapted by Robert Bolt from his ain drama. Other play of the clergy included Jean-Pierre Melville ‘s Leon Morin, Priest ( 1961 ) , starring Jean-Paul Belmondo ; Jerzy Kawalerowicz ‘s Joan Of The Angels ( 1962 ) ; The Cardinal ( 1963 ) , produced and directed by Otto Preminger ; and La Religeuse ( 1965, aka The Nun ) , Jacques Rivette ‘s version of Denis Diderot ‘s controversial 18th-century novel, with Anna Karina as the anguished heroine. Approaching the terminal of his calling, Roberto Rossellini scrutinized the lives of two great Christian minds with Augustine Of Hippo ( 1972 ) and Blaise Pascal ( 1978 ) ; his concluding movie was a thoughtful history of Jesus, The Messiah ( 1978 ) . Franco Zeffirelli made a colourful but superficial biopic of St. Francis, Brother Sun, Sister Moon ( 1973 ) . However, with Jesus Of Nazareth ( 1978 ) , a life of Christ written with Anthony Burgess and Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Zeffirelli made one of the genre ‘s best movies, a handsome and absorbing narrative — for all its fear, length, large budget, and preference for celebrated guest stars — which boasts a dynamic public presentation from Robert Powell as Christ. Other ’70s movies about Jesus include The Gospel Road ( 1973 ) , produced and written by vocalist Johnny Cash, with manager Robert Elfstrom as Christ, and Jesus ( 1979 ) , a dramatisation of the St. Luke Gospel starring Brian Deacon. The Passover Plot ( 1976 ) , an version of Hugh J. Schonfield ‘s controversial book, argued that the Resurrection was a fraud plotted by Jesus and his adherents ; Zalman King starred as Jesus ( called by the Hebraic name Yeshua ) . The Gospels were besides filmed twice as musicals in modern-day scenes: Stephen Schwartz ‘s Godspell ( 1973 ) , directed by David Greene, and Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘s Jesus Christ Superstar ( 1973 ) , directed by Norman Jewison. Wayward nuns gained popularity in the ’70s, with Eriprando Visconti ‘s The Lady Of Monza ( 1970, aka Una Storia Lombarda ; The Nun Of Monza ) , starring Anne Heyward, and Ken Russell ‘s surreal The Devils ( 1971 ) , starring Vanessa Redgrave. Peter Brook looked at the life of theologian and mysterious G.I. Gurdjieff in Meetings With Remarkable Men ( 1979 ) ; Guy Green directed Luther ( 1974 ) , an version of John Osborne ‘s drama, with Stacy Keach as Martin Luther ; Burt Lancaster starred as Moses — The Lawgiver ( 1975 ) . Non-western faiths were besides represented in movies of the ’70s: Conrad Rooks went to India to movie Siddhartha ( 1973 ) , his version of Herman Hesse ‘s novel of a immature Indian Brahmin ‘s hunt for significance ; the beginnings of Islam were examined in Mohammad, Messenger Of God ( 1977, aka The Message ) , a movie which met with protests and even terrorist act from the faithful, despite its attachment to Islam ‘s pronouncement against any ocular representation of Mohammad. Comedies that poked merriment at faith proliferated in the late ’70s and early ’80s. George Burns played God for managers Carl Reiner ( Oh, God! , 1977 ) , Gilbert Cates ( Oh, God! Book II, 1980 ) , and Paul Bogart ( Oh, God! You Devil, 1984 ) . Televangelists became mature for sarcasm in Marty Feldman ‘s In God We Tru $ T ( 1980 ) and Beth B ‘s Redemption! ( 1987 ) . But the classic was the screaming and divine Life Of Brian ( 1979 ) , a New Testament send-up from England ‘s Monty Python ‘s Flying Circus. Almost as amusing — albeit less deliberately — were Richard Gere frolicing as King David ( 1985 ) for manager Bruce Beresford, and Bill Murray seeking for the significance of life in the 2nd cinematography of The Razor ‘s Edge ( 1984 ) . More noteworthy religious-themed movies of the ’80s include Salome ‘s Last Dance ( 1988 ) , Ken Russell ‘s inventive version of Oscar Wilde ‘s drama ; Mickey Rourke as St. Francis of Assisi in Liliana Cavani ‘s Francesco ( 1989 ) ; and manager Peter Brook ‘s heroic poem history of the Hindu universe, The Mahabharata ( 1989 ) . Fact-based histories of priests martyred for their political activities included To Kill A Priest ( 1988 ) , directed by Agnieska Holland, and Romero ( 1989 ) , directed by John Duigan. Priests and nuns besides continued to fight unsuccessfully against enticement in such melodramas as Monsignor ( 1982 ) , directed by Frank Perry, Luciano Odorisio ‘s Sacrilege ( 1986 ) , and Maurice Pialat ‘s Under The Sun Of Satan ( 1987 ) . The life of Jesus has continued to intrigue film makers. Ermanno Olmi made a charming and humourous re-enactment of the journey of the Magi with Camminacammina ( 1983 ) ; Franco Rossi speculated on Christ ‘s boyhood in A Child Called Jesus ( 1989 ) . In Search Of Historic Jesus ( 1980 ) , a pseudo-documentary openly oppugning Christ ‘s deity, met with small protests in an epoch of worldwide spiritual fanatism. Two famed film makers, for all their echt fear, were far-less fortunate and provoked international contention with their original contemplations on Christ. Jean-Luc Godard ‘s Je Vous Salue, Marie ( 1985, aka Hail, Mary ) looked at the Holy Family as a modern-day female parent, male parent, and kid, and earned a denouncement from Pope John Paul II, who had n’t seen the movie. The Last Temptation Of Christ ( 1988 ) , directed by Martin Scorsese and adapted by Leonard Schrader from the Nikos Kazantzakis novel, pictured Christ as a adult male confused and tormented by the holy mission set before him. This inventive, profoundly felt movie met with protests throughout the United States and was rapidly hounded out of American theatres. Recent movies have regarded organized faith with intuition. Two prophylactic narratives of the mayhem wrought by missionaries appeared in 1991: At Play In The William claude dukenfields Of The Lord ( 1991 ) , manager Hector Babenco ‘s version of the Peter Mathiessen novel, and Black Robe ( 1991 ) , directed by Bruce Beresford. Spike Lee ‘s biopic Malcolm X ( 1992 ) dramatized Malcolm ‘s interruption with Elijah Muhammad ‘s subdivision of Islam over issues of corruptness. Steve Martin played a fake revivalist in Leap Of Faith ( 1993 ) . John N. Smith ‘s The Boys Of St. Vincent ( 1994 ) depicted a true narrative of physical and sexual maltreatment endured by male childs at a Catholic orphanhood in Canada. Yet spiritual narrations persist. The Magyar movie The Annunciation ( 1993 ) achieved uniqueness by reciting Christ ‘s life with an all-child dramatis personae. Small Buddha ( 1994 ) , directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and written by Mark Peploe and Rudy Wurlitzer, returned to the De Mille expression of uniting modern-day play with period spiritual narrative, and intercut its history of the life of Siddhartha with a narrative of American parents whose immature boy is declared the reincarnation of the Dali Lama by a group of Tibetan monastics. Despite the occasional contentions they may excite, spiritual movies in the ninetiess are as lasting a fixture as they were in the 1890s.


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