Lights, Camera, Religion!
Season 19: Episode 26
Can Saturday night at the movies remind you of Sunday morning at church or Friday night at temple? Sure thing, if you see Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull a passion play and the goofy comedy Groundhog Day as a deeply religious film. In this episode, we explore the movie theatre as a place of worship.
For a list of surprisingly spiritual movies and more...What do you need to have a good religion? A strong moral code. A sense of ritual. A congregation of worshipers, settling into their seats, looking up at the altar. And of course, popcorn.
When you go to the movies, are you tapping into some kind of religious experience? Our guests tackles that question. John Lyden is the editor of The Journal of Religion and Film. Geoff Pevere is a writer and critic in Toronto.
John and Geoff see spirituality in these classics:
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Groundhog Day
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- The Star Wars Trilogy
- The world of Star Trek
- Raging Bull
- The Matrix
- Harry Potter
- The Godfather
Later on the show: casting the Hindu gods and goddesses as real people. Photographer Manjari Sharma did just that. Her exhibit, Darshan, is a take on classic images of the Hindu deities. She builds elaborate sets. She employs costume designers, lighting technicians, and make-up artists. Then, she brings a striking model onto the scene and gets to work with her camera. The result - photographs, on six foot tall canvases, all in exquisite detail:
The making of Lord Ganesha:
Finally, for 12 years, Liel Leibovitz spent virtually every weekend immersed in the game Dungeons and Dragons. Leibovitz recently made an inspired connection between D&D and his other religion, Judaism, in an article for Tablet, where he is a senior writer.