Cool nun wants you to watch movies the Catholic Church condemned

The Story of Temple DrakeThe series opens Thursday at 8 p.m. with “The Story of Temple Drake” (1933), an adaptation of a William Faulkner novel about a woman (Miriam Hopkins) who’s raped by a gangster and becomes his moll. So notorious was this pre-code film that it wasn’t even shown on TV until a couple of years ago.

It drew one of the Legion’s first “condemned” ratings, but Sister Rose says, “I actually like the film. It’s 83 years old and you can still watch it because of the writing, acting and brooding cinematography. The Catholic Legion of Decency didn’t trust that Catholic audiences would figure out that the woman didn’t want to be a prostitute and that she’s shown as a victim, even though this predicament is as old as the Bible.”

God’s Not Dead 2: New Trailer Stars Melissa Joan Hart in Eastertime Christian Drama Movie

As an upcoming movie starring actress and director Melissa Joan Hart as a Christian teacher who is forced before a judge for answering a question about Jesus in the classroom, “God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive” tackles several ethical and freedom of religion dilemmas facing society today. In the movie, the principal and superintendent join forces with a zealous civil liberties group, and the teacher faces an epic court case that could cost her a career she loves and expel God from the classroom.

Christian Filmmakers Question YouTube’s Decision To Remove Video About Religious Persecution

Film director and producer Josh Troester is asking why YouTube removed his short movie about the persecution of Christians. According to the filmmaker, YouTube took down his work because it is inappropriate and violates the site’s policies.

Troester’s film, titled “Chased,” is a 30-minute movie that centers on a Christian family. Since the protagonists live in fictional American community where their religion is illegal, they are forced to practice their beliefs in secret. According to the director, his intention with the film is to teach the audience about religious persecution, Christian Today reported.

‘Spotlight’ Shows a Community at Its Worst, and Journalism at Its Best

SpotlightThe team discovers that child abuse at the hands of God’s self-appointed disciples is no secret. In fact, it is widely known among Boston’s politicians, prosecutors, and other powerful parishioners who knew or suspected the prevalence of sexual crimes committed by priests against children but chose not to speak out. Their fear of spiritual and social excommunication allowed the abuse to fester. It takes a village to raise a child, observes Mitchell Garabedian, an irascible lawyer skillfully played by Stanley Tucci, who represents many of Boston’s child victims. And it takes the silence of a village to perpetuate such abuse.

The film bravely acknowledges that the Globe itself was among those powerful institutions that did all too little for far too long. The Globe, having been purchased by the New York Times in 1993, beset by layoffs and declining subscribers and revenue, was focused on other news before it finally confronted the horrifying truth that it had declined to pursue for decades, while the number of shattered lives mounted.

Where We Stand – The Mormon Feminists Fighting for Women’s Right to Join the Priesthood

Kristine Stolakis is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker who wants to make the world a better place. In a culture saturated with irony, Stolakis is a refreshing wellspring of sincerity; there is nothing cynical about her work. Before embarking on a graduate degree in documentary film at Stanford, she studied cultural anthropology at NYU and worked as a teaching artist and program manager for youth in underserved communities….

Her latest, Where We Stand, is the story of a controversial group of Mormon feminists fighting for women’s ordination in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The documentary follows Abby Hansen, a stay-at-home mom turned vocal advocate for Ordain Women, as she navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism against her church in her predominantly Mormon suburb. Stolakis is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise completion and distribution funds. The full film will premiere in film festivals this winter.

‘Global Baba’ exposes the nexus between religion and politics

Global BabaA social satire,”Global Baba’ shows the treacherous ways in which con men, under the guise of religious gurus, win the blind faith of people. Directed by Manoj Tewari, it tells the story of Chillam Pehelwan (Abhimanyu Singh), a seasoned criminal who takes refuge in the world of religion, after losing protection of his political bosses.

Within no time, he becomes ‘Global Baba’ and attracts a huge following of devotees. The rational-minded minority of his opponents get a chance to contain him only when he plans to enter politics. How a handful of people stage a charade to expose his true face forms a thrilling climax. Sanjay Mishra (Bhola Pandit), Sandeepa Dhar, (a forthright TV reporter), Pankaj Tripathi (Damru, Global Baba’s right hand), Ravi Kishan (Jacob, a cop) and Akhilendra Mishra (Dallu Yadav, a politician) play pivotal roles in the film.

Films That Explored Religious Abuses Won Big at the Academy Awards

A Girl in the River: The Price of ForgivenessTonight’s winners at the 88th annual Academy Awards included a couple of films that exposed the worst practices within certain religious communities.
Spotlight, the film about Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, took home awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay….

But perhaps the most understated win came in the category of Best Documentary Short. It went to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for her film A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness — a movie about faith-based honor killings.

Review: The Witch

The WitchEvil lurks in the shadows throughout the film, with mention of “Satan” trying to sabotage the family’s farm. Classic symbolism gives “The Witch” a fairytale feel with a twist, like something from the Brothers Grimm. Think less Snow White, more creepy Norwegian folk tales.

The film’s eerie religious tones are enough to get your skin crawling, but that’s not all. Animal symbolism like a spooky black goat and a crazy-eyed rabbit turn up whenever something formidable takes place. The bleak, decrepit setting near a dark forest and the score that gets your stomach lurching, make “The Witch” one of the greatest horror films 2016 will give us.

Articles added to this site in 2015

  1. ” And You Were There”: A Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road with the Academic Study of Religion by Laurel Zwissler (2014-10)
  2. Anti-Feminism in Recent Apocalyptic Film by Joel W. Martin (2000-04)
  3. The Apocalyptic Cosmology of Star Wars by John Lyden (2000-04)
  4. Appalachia on Film: “The Making of” Sergeant York by David D. Lee (1981-04)
  5. Armageddon at the Millennial Dawn by Conrad Ostwalt (2000-04)
  6. Beyond the limits of the law: a Christological reading of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight by Timothy D Petersa (2015-10)
  7. The Binding of Abraham: Inverting the Akedah in Fail-Safe and WarGames by Hunter B. Dukes (2015-01)
  8. Blood-Suckers! The Concepts Revisionist and Anti-revisionist Mythology Introduced by the Vampire- and Werewolf-tetralogy Underworld (2003-2012) by Stefan L. Arvidsson (2014-10)
  9. Broken by God: Fate and Divine Intervention in Breaking the Waves by James Martel (2015-04)
  10. Bruce Willis as the Messiah: Human Effort, Salvation and Apocalypticism in Twelve Monkeys by Frances Flannery Dailey (2000-04)
  11. Cannibalism, Communion, and Multifaith Sacrifice in the Novel and Film Life of Pi by Michael Thorn (2015-03)
  12. Children of Men’s Ambient Apocalyptic Visions by Marcus O’Donnell (2015-03)
  13. Climbing a ladder to heaven. Gnostic vision of the world in Jacob’s Ladder (1990) by Fryderyk Kwiatkowski (2015-10)
  14. Close Encounters: The Gospel According to Steven Spielberg by Andrew Gordon (1980-04)
  15. Cloud Atlas’ Queer Tiki Kitsch: Polynesians, Settler Colonialism, and Sci-Fi Film by Gabriel S. Estrada (2014-10)
  16. Con Men and a Conned Society: Religion in Contemporary American Cinema by John R. May (1977-07)
  17. Confirmation of Prophecy by Proxy: Audience Anticipation and Reception of the 2014 Movie Left Behind and its Relevance to the Dispensational Premillennialist Worldview by Andrew R. Burns (2015-05)
  18. The Conversion of the Jews by Lester Friedman (1981-07)
  19. Cults, Cant, and Converts: An Ideological Issue in Xena:Warrior Princess by Wim Tigges (2015-03)
  20. Decoding the mise -en -scène of contemporary secular spirituality: a research monograph. Part I: context, approach and relevant literature by Graham Rossiter (2014-07)
  21. Deliverance: Four Variations of the American Adam by Robert Armour (1973-07)
  22. Derek Jarman’s Renaissance and The Devils (1971) by Rowland Wymer (2014-10)
  23. Discrimination towards Nasira as a Muslim woman and Rochel as an orthodox Jewish woman reflected in Arranged by Tri Wasiul Hakim (2013-06)
  24. Dystopian narratives and humanism. what a zombie makeover really looks like by Jordan Ryan Goings (2015-03)
  25. Eucharistic Imagery in Film: Two Patterns of Usage by Caesar A. Montevecchio (2015-01)
  26. Evil Looks Right Back at You: Portrayals of Catholicism in American Horror Story: Asylum by Mariana Colin (2015-05)
  27. An Evil Threat to Marriage, Children and the Future: Queer Theory, “The Passion of the Christ,” and Evangelical Political Rhetoric by Richard Wolff (2015-01)
  28. The Failure of a Pseudo-Christian Community in a Nation-State in Crisis: 28 Days Later by Karl E. Martin (2014-10)
  29. Faith Under the Fedora: Indiana Jones and the Heroic Journey Towards God by Chris Yogerst (2014-10)
  30. Faith, Doubt, and Chiasmus in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue I by William Bartley (2014-10)
  31. Firefly – So “pretty” it could not die by Michael W. Marek (2008-02)
  32. Gabriel, Abortion, and Anti-Annunciation in The Prophecy, Constantine, and Legion by Jeffrey M. Tripp (2015-03)
  33. The Gendering of Pastors in Contemporary Nordic Films: Norms, Conventions and Contemporary Views by Sofia Sjö (2015-10)
  34. The Ha-Ha Holocaust: Exploring Levity Amidst the Ruins and Beyond in Testimony, Literature and Film by Aviva Atlani (2014-11)
  35. Holocaust Humor, Satire, and Parody on Israeli Television by Liat Steir-Livny (2015-08)
  36. ” Holy Book of Job, Batman!” by Little Raven (2015-06)
  37. How to Be a Genuine Fake: Her, Alan Watts, and the Problem of the Self by David L. Smith (2014-10)
  38. ” I Ain’t So Sure but What the Lord Done Put These Folks in Our Path for a Reason”: Latter-day Saints Building Communities Through Dancing in John Ford’s Wagon Master by Ian Dwayne Pettigrew (2015-10)
  39. I Dream, Therefore I Am: What Dreams May Come by Susan L. Schwartz (2000-04)
  40. ” If you can hold on…”: counter-apocalyptic play in Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales by Marcus O’Donnell (2014-10)
  41. Imperialism in New Testament films by Jeremy Punt (2014-12)
  42. Iranian Women, Iranian Cinema: Negotiating with Ideology and Tradition by Najmeh Moradiyan Rizi (2015-01)
  43. Is Slumdog Millionaire a Retelling of the Ramayana?
    by William L. Blizek (2015-10)
  44. Islam in Turkish Cinema by Bilal Yorulmaz and William L. Blizek (2014-10)
  45. John Huston’s Wise Blood (1980) : On Southern prophets and con men by Anne-Marie Paquet-Deyris (2015-07)
  46. Joseph McBride on Three Godfathers by Joseph McBride (1973-07)
  47. ” Like You Could Read What Was Inside of Me”: Genocide, Hermeneutics, and Religion in The Wizard of Oz by Ken Derry (2014-10)
  48. Make Way for Youth: The American Jewish Committee and the Social Problem Film by Art Simon (2013-10)
  49. Media Review: Bollywood Religious Comedy: An Inaugural Humor-neutics by Sheila J. Nayar (2015-07)
  50. The Menace of the Religious Movie by A. W. Tozer (1974-01)
  51. Missionaries, modernity and the moving image: re-presenting the Melanesian Other to Christian communities in the West between the World Wars by Stella Ramage (2015-02)
  52. Modern Mythology: 2001 AD: A Space Odyssey by John M. Hood (1974-03)
  53. The Movie Mogul, Moses and Muslims: Islamic Elements in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) by Michael D. Calabria OFM (2015-01)
  54. Muslims in Film and Muslim Filmmaking in the United States by Hussein Rashid (2014-12)
  55. Myth, Religion, and the Man Behind the Curtain by Michael Ostling (2014-10)
  56. The Non-Place between Sacred and Profane: Utopian Gestures in the Apparatus of Semiocapitalism in Laurent Cantet’s L’emploi du temps by Tamas Nagypal (2015-01)
  57. On Teaching “Jesus in Fiction and Film” by Darren J. N. Middleton (2015-04)
  58. A Path Less Traveled: Rethinking Spirituality in the Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky by Adam Breckenridge (2015-10)
  59. ” People in Hell Want Slurpees”: The Redefinition of the Zombie Genre through the Salvific Portrayal of Family on AMC’s The Walking Dead by Joshua D. Ambrosius & Joseph M. Valenzano III (2015-04)
  60. Personal Identity and Angelic Touch in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire by Chris Venner (2015-01)
  61. Puerile Patriarchs of an Infantilized God. Mythological Meme Mutations in Contemporary Cinema by Doru Pop (2015-07)
  62. Recognition and Rejection of Sikh Identity in Film by Geetanjali Singh Chanda (2014-08)
  63. The Rejection of Rationalism in Recent Science Fiction Films by Lane Roth (1981-06)
  64. Religion and film in American culture: the birth of a nation by Krzysztof Jozajtis (2001-06)
  65. Religion and the Anzac Legend on Screen by Daniel Reynaud (2015-04)
  66. Religion, Education and The West Wing by Diane Corkery (2014-10)
  67. Religious Films in Zimbabwean Contexts by Adam T. Shreve (2015-07)
  68. Religious Tourism and TV Serials: the Case of Two Italian Papal Birthplaces by Lorenzo Bagnoli and Rita Capurro (2014-12)
  69. Religious Transcendence and the Horizons of Culture: Observations on the Role of Religion in American Film by W. Richard Comstock (1981-10)
  70. Representation of the Apocalypse in Hollywood Cinema by Dr. Abbas Assadi, Rahime Zeynali (2015-03)
  71. The Resurrection Days Are Over: Resurrection from Doctor Who to Torchwood by Jim Clarke (2015-03)
  72. Revisiting The Ghosts of Vatican II: Gender in Catholic Horror Cinema of the American 60s and 70s by Currie Dixon McKinley (2015-05)
  73. Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still Part I: A Religious Film? by Anton Karl Kozlovic (2013-10)
  74. The Seventh Seal by John C. Stubbs (1975-04)
  75. Star Wars, the Future and Christian Eschatology by D. W. Ingersoll Jr., J. M. Nickell, C. D. Lewis (1980-11)
  76. Stars, Light, and Finding the Way Home: Jewish Characters in Contemporary Film and Television by Terry Barr (1993-08)
  77. Television vampire fandom and religion by Minja Bloom (2013-06)
  78. Temporality in Ancient and Contemporary Revelations: Hypermasculinity and Violence in the Book of Revelation and Donnie Darko by Alexander Cox-Twardowski (2014-08)
  79. ” There’s No Place Like Home”: An American Koan by David L. Smith (2014-10)
  80. Trauma, Guilt, and Ethics in BeTipul and In Treatment: The Universalist Approach and (Jewish) Particularism of Psychoanalysis in Transnational Television by Michaela Wuensch (2015-08)
  81. True Love’s Kiss and Happily Ever After: the religion of love in American film by Jyoti Raghu (2015-08)
  82. Ulak (The Messenger): a mystic fable of Islamic messianism by Ebru Thwaites Dikena (2015-10)
  83. Undoing the Claim of Objectivity: Contradictions at the Heart of Bergtji van der Haak, Saudi Solutions (2005) by Anisa Saeed Mohammed Nasser (2015-01)
  84. ” We Are Legion”: Primal Dreams and Screams in the Satanic Screen by Carrol L. Fry (2015-10)
  85. What the Frak, Frankenstein! Teenagers, Gods, and Postcolonial Monsters on Caprica by James H. Thrall (2015-07)
  86. When Church and Cinema Combine: Blurring Boundaries through Media-savvy Evangelicalism by Deborah Justice (2014-02)
  87. William Blake’s Jerusalem and the Los Angeles of Film Noir by Harold Henry Hellwig (2014-01)
  88. Woody Allen, Theologian by John Dart (1977-06)

Religion and Social Change on Film: A Time for Burning (@Yale)

A Time for BurningA Time for Burning
Bill Jersey
USA, 1967

Discussion with Bill Jersey, the director of the film, and Judith Weisenfeld, Princeton University
Moderated by Briallen Hopper, Yale University

Presented with Films at the Whitney, the program in American Studies, the department of African American studies, the department of religious studies, the Film Studies Program, and the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion