Film and the Sacred

  • Author(s): Joseph Cunneen
  • When: 1993-04
  • Where: CrossCurrents
  • Although the struggle of movie enthusiasts to gain acceptance of film as a serious art form has long been won — just consult the catalogue of courses at most major universities — I feel somewhat embarrassed at introducing the subject of film and religion. After all, in many areas of the country a few generations ago defenders of family values were devoting their considerable energy to preventing the showing of movies on Sunday. More seriously John Dixon's article in this issue is a sobering reminder of the caution anyone should exercise in making any statement about religious art. In painting, sculpture, or music, however, there is at least a long tradition in which religion offered unifying themes for the preeminent artists of the age; people unreflectively accept as religious the work of Giotto or Bach, or the cathedral builders of Chartres, without worrying about the complex relationship between form and subject.

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