Epiphany Talks: Faith in Film
Exploring Cinema, Exploring Faith: Resurrection as found in surprising places. A look at some case studies in films.
Many scholars as well as members of the general public have found that religion, and in particular, the gospel, finds itself in a variety of mediums and texts, including films. This can be found in the faith-based genre, or in the unequivocally religious-in-themed Cecil B. DeMille epics. But what about in films where the narrative isn’t expressly and overtly religious? Can one find central theological messages of faith within the structures of films which may at first seem to be merely escapist entertainment?
Beginning this Sunday, join Mother Elise and Guy Perrotta for three sessions where we will explore the basics of “Cinema Studies” and how themes such as “resurrection” can turn up in a variety of cinematic experiences. Guy will be on hand to provide a framework for the exploration of film where you can understand more fully how the elements of film combine to present, support, or develop ideas, specifically how films communicate, specifically on themes relating to resurrection and faith. You can also interact with film by watching films and reacting in Zoom sessions, which will help further develop your perceptions, and strengthen your critical awareness of the film experience.
For our first session, we will learn about some of the basics of "cinema studies," including some of the elements of what is called, the "cinematic language." We will also consider the differences between the "explicit" vs. "implicit" meanings, and learn more about "genre" and "mise-en-scene." We will also consider how to view films through a new lens, and examples of seeing faith in surprising places. As scholar Edward McNulty has pointed out in his book, Faith and film: A Guidebook for Leaders:
. . .the God who spoke to the patriarch Joseph through dreams and to Moses through a burning bush continues to speak in unexpected ways and places to those who have ‘eyes that see and ears that hear’ (1).
The first film is directed by Albert Lamorisse. The Red Balloon is a beloved 1956 short film from France. It won numerous awards, including an Oscar for Lamorisse for best original screenplay and the Palme d'Or for short films at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. The film has been used in educational institutions since its release. This is the only short film to win the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
You may find the film on Amazon:
or at this link:
Zoom info to join:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 212 737 2720
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,2127372720# US (New York)
About Guy: Guy has taught cinema studies at the University level for years. His most recent courses have been at Marymount Manhattan College where he teaches on intercultural relationships in cinema, representation and culture in James Bond, and the basics of film appreciation. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the National Television Academy, the International Documentary Association, and is a Fellow Member of the Explorers Club, where he serves on the Film Committee. Guy is married to fellow parishioner Jane Ferguson, who works in the film and television industry.