Epiphany Talks: Faith in Film, this Sunday, May 16
How often is the story of Jesus told in films? Is it always obvious? Is it always intentional? Through the cinematic language of light and lighting, camera angle, editing, and character archetypes, let’s look at how some of the most iconic characters in films have some traits of Jesus, and consider how some of them may not appear be as honorable in every way.
The sacrifice that came from the death and resurrection of Jesus has found its way in many mainstream, secular films. How do they draw from certain aspects of the Gospel? Is there a value in looking at these works to search for examples of faith in film?
What was the intention on the part of the screenwriters? Are they merely “ripping off” elements of the greatest story ever told, so that their heroes, and at times, antiheroes, can pack more of an emotional punch for their audiences?
Here are some of the short clips for review and discussion.
*Please note that the language and imagery can be rough at times.
The Green Mile:
Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings:
The Father, his Son:
Superman - Marlon Brando and Susannah York sending Kal-El - YouTube
Jaws: The worship of mammon, putting profit before your fellow person, the “scapegoat,” “loan voice in the wilderness,” the Everyman--and the enemy of the people:
Chief Brody as the Scapegoat, and the Everyman, who takes the sins of his community upon him:
The man with no name, nicknamed “joe,” helps Marisol and her child. A Fistful of Dollars:
The Godfather warning his son about Judas:
Then, following the death of the Father, Michael has ascended, the new heir to the throne. The Godfather has been resurrected, but via nefarious means. Hypocrisy, gaining the world yet losing his soul.
The Godfather I (1972)- Baptism Scene, Michael Kills all the heads of the other families - YouTube
Michael as the “resurrected, strong” Don, the new Godfather, and Cain and Able, after his brother has been redeemed, and teaches others how to fish: