Films from Literature ENG 2400, Fall 2021 OL 0550

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  • #75560

    Prof. Masiello
    Participant

    Some background, first. I try to insert brand new film clips whenever they are relevant. With all the excitement about Dune, I was hoping to find some scenes that would work in this presentation on religious items in films. The novel Dune has Islamic and Biblical references but they are largely erased in how the film is presented, so there is nothing from Dune here.

    Speaking of Steven Spielberg, it is widely known that he is Jewish, yet he has used interesting Christian symbolism in some of his popular works.

    (When you were watching the clips from Romeo and Juliet, you may have noticed that Juliet wore a cross. Again, as with other female characters we have discussed, such a costume detail is deliberate and is supposed to be meaningful…)

    Regarding this compilation of religious symbolism in films:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/np3xs4xh6ecjkdf/Religious%20Symbolism%202021.avi?dl=0

    1) Did this presentation surprise you in any ways? Explain.

    2) Prior to this presentation, mention any times while watching films on your own where you sensed there was some religious intent–but not obviously in religious movies like The Ten Commandments or Jesus Christ Superstar, i.e, in a non-religious story.

    3) Were there any scenes in the presentation that you liked or disliked and why?

    4) Does it enrich your film viewing to find examples of symbolism (remember we looked at Sexual Symbolism weeks ago)? Please explain.

    #75567

    Gabby
    Participant

    1) Did this presentation surprise you in any ways? Explain.

    The two Spiderman scenes played by Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland surprised me in the fact that they’ve both done the famous Jesus position, even though they don’t exactly hold any religious meaning behind it. But the way Tobey gets carried from the front of the train car to the back makes me think think that like Jesus, they both were willing to sacrifice themselves for what they believed in, and in this case, it’s to save people.

    2) Prior to this presentation, mention any times while watching films on your own where you sensed there was some religious intent–but not obviously in religious movies like The Ten Commandments or Jesus Christ Superstar, i.e, in a non-religious story.

    E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is really the only one I know, when the young kid and E.T. touch fingertips. But I’ve seen lots of films where they see the protagonists as Gods or they themselves have God complexes. And the movie Carrie (1976) has a very obvious feature of religion (the mother) but as the horror progresses, Carrie is basically surrounded by religious meanings that end up causing what goes down at the end of the film.

    3) Were there any scenes in the presentation that you liked or disliked and why?

    The scene in Constantine (2005) was super interesting. The idea that the guy is in the stance of Jesus when he was crucified, and then throws the middle finger while in the face of what I assume was a glimpse of heaven.

    4) Does it enrich your film viewing to find examples of symbolism (remember we looked at Sexual Symbolism weeks ago)? Please explain.

    I’m definitely more interested in re-watching some films to see if I missed any religious symbolism, but I’ve never been someone crazy about religion. It’s definitely interesting, but I’m more interested in sexual or general symbolism than in religious symbolism.

    Thanks for your comments. The super-hero religious imagery, especially with Superman, are quite apparent and even discussed within the films talking about the Man of Steel being a savior.

    #75569

    weipeng lin
    Participant

    1) Did this presentation surprise you in any ways? Explain.

    In the scene of The Graduate 1967, I’m surprised how he tried to take the bride with him and randomly grabbed a weapon which he got the cross sign attacking the people that aren’t letting him go with the bride and at the end, he uses the cross sign to lock up to door. At last, he has successfully taken his lover with him. The cross sign reminds me of Jesus and the cross sign is a symbol of feeling safe and having hope.

    2) Prior to this presentation, mention any times while watching films on your own where you sensed there was some religious intent–but not obviously in religious movies like The Ten Commandments or Jesus Christ Superstar, i.e, in a non-religious story.

    I did watch Spiderman 2 (2004) at a young age and thought that in the part where Spiderman is trying to hold up the train the structure of how Spiderman holds up the train reminds me of Jesus on the cross sign. And I’m guessing that the meaning behind this is to take a risks and hope for the best.

    3) Were there any scenes in the presentation that you liked or disliked and why?

    In the scene of Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) and Spiderman 2 (2004) I find this scene amazing of how Spiderman holding up the ship and how Spiderman 2 (2004) was holding up the train with a symbol of how Jesus was positioned on the cross. Both scenes of Spiderman are heroes saving others and taking the risks of what it takes.

    4) Does it enrich your film viewing to find examples of symbolism (remember we looked at Sexual Symbolism weeks ago)? Please explain.

    Now, this is interesting how certain scenes in a film or tv show has a message behind the scene. I personally just watch the film and don’t think much as what’s the gist behind it. But now it’s interesting how certain parts of scenes in any film can or may have a message behind them.

    Thanks, Weipeng. As I wrote in the prolog of the presentation, not everyone notices or interprets the symbolism. Sometimes the same physical position that one would say looks like a crucifixion pose just doesn’t work within the context of the scene or the person in that position. I picked ones that I felt were done on purpose and seemed to work.

    #75570

    Shania Tennant
    Participant

    1) Did this presentation surprise you in any ways? Explain.

    The number of references in ‘E.T The Extraterrestrial,’ such as the “Hand of God” in the movie poster and when he was treating the little boy’s finger, and “The Sacred Heart of Jesus,” was astonishing. I also had no idea that ‘x’s’ or crosses were used when people were killed.

    The use of X’s in the 1930s Scarface was explained as a reference to using X to refer to Jesus back when Christianity was new and controversial.

    2) Prior to this presentation, mention any times while watching films on your own where you sensed there was some religious intent–but not obviously in religious movies like The Ten Commandments or Jesus Christ Superstar, i.e, in a non-religious story.

    I never thought to seek for other symbolisms in movies, therefore I didn’t notice anything, although I’ve seen several films where actors stretch their arms out. The only thing that really struck out to me was in ‘Batman V Superman,’ where everyone regarded Superman as if he were God, which he is if you think about it.

    3) Were there any scenes in the presentation that you liked or disliked and why?

    I didn’t enjoy the sequence in ‘Tommy’ since it seemed to make a mockery of Jesus.

    The main theme in Tommy is that people worship success, hence the church of Marilyn Monroe. Tommy himself is a good person. The religious imagery was done in the film, but not really a thing in the original rock opera nor in the Broadway version that was created several after the film from 1975.

    4) Does it enrich your film viewing to find examples of symbolism (remember we looked at Sexual Symbolism weeks ago)? Please explain.

    I now enjoy viewing movies over and again, seeking for different types of symbolism that I may have missed the first time around. I didn’t use to care about looking for them, but it’s amusing to point out how well concealed and subtle some are and how obvious others are.

    #75996

    Asher Derry
    Participant

    1) Did this presentation surprise you in any ways?
    Having spent the last decade in a field where cultural intelligence was part of my daily life, I have been acutely aware of the role symbology (religious and otherwise) plays in film for quite some time. This background removed any element of surprise from this presentation.

    2) Prior to this presentation, mention any times while watching films on your own where you sensed there was some religious intent–but not obviously in religious movies like The Ten Commandments or Jesus Christ Superstar, i.e, in a non-religious story.
    Perhaps cliche, the symbology of the Matrix trilogy is clearly religious. I do believe it is often missed that although some elements of several religions can be detected in the film’s characters, plot, and imagery, it is heavily laden with Jewish mysticism extending all the way to the core plot line of life existing in a simulation.

    3) Were there any scenes in the presentation that you liked or disliked and why?
    I found some of the crucifixion-like scenes to be a bit overdone. many scenes actually depicted a neutral body position rather than a crucifixion, similar to the position naturally assumed while floating. This position is nearly universally perceived as vulnerable or defenseless, even in cultures far removed from Christian imagery. Some of the selected scenes and plot lines were certainly meant to invoke cultural perceptions of religious figures or associated emotions commonly found in the viewing audience. In some cases this appears to have been a vector to invoke emotion, in others it seems to be an allusion to a more direct message.

    4) Does it enrich your film viewing to find examples of symbolism (remember we looked at Sexual Symbolism weeks ago)? Please explain.
    Film is an expressive art that communicates messages through a variety of sensors to audiences. As symbology is by definition one of the core components of culture, it plays a central role in multi-sensory communication including film. Recognising use of symbology allows viewers to have a more complete understanding of the artist’s intent and message. I believe this takes a similar gravity as recognizing the selection of color palates in paintings.

    #76179

    Tatiana B.
    Participant

    1) Did this presentation surprise you in any ways? Explain.

    While viewing this presentation I noticed both Titanic 1997 and Crank 2007 use the crucifixion pose as a sense of freedom. The crucifix pose in these movies does not seem to have any religious implications. Furthermore, E.T. The Extraterrestrial 1982, implies Gods hand can be interpreted as ‘The Sacred Heart of Jesus’ came as a great surprise to me.

    2) Prior to this presentation, mention any times while watching films on your own where you sensed there was some religious intent–but not obviously in religious movies like The Ten Commandments or Jesus Christ Superstar, i.e, in a non-religious story.

    In the film Spiderman 2004 and Spiderman: Homecoming 2017, you see the use the crucifix position as it related to Jesus’s positioning on the cross. Additionally, we can see in the 1976 Carrie film the prominent feature of religious symbols that result in the characters demise.

    3) Were there any scenes in the presentation that you liked or disliked and why?

    I disliked the use of religious analogies in Superman TV rendition Smallville. The show was advertised with a dark haired blue-eyed man than did not have on much clothing who was adhered to a cross. The heightened notion that Clark Kent is referenced to Jesus is a bit unsettling. Although It is clear how he can be viewed in a God like image.

    4) Does it enrich your film viewing to find examples of symbolism (remember we looked at Sexual Symbolism weeks ago)? Please explain.

    This presentation largely peaked my interest in watching the films mentioned. It is interesting to not how large a role religious symbolisms and messages influence the way we view films. By appreciating the use of symbolism allows an individual to be fully receptive to the director’s message that is intended to be communicated through the film.

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