"To Commend or to Critique"

by John Lyden



1. Catherine L. Albanese, "Religion and American Popular Culture: An Introductory Essay," in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. LXIV, number four (Winter 1996), p. 737.

2. M. Darrol Bryant, "Cinema, Religion, and Popular Culture" in Religion in Film, John R. May and Michael Bird, eds. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982), p. 112.

3. Michael Bird, "Film as Hierophany," in Religion in Film, pp. 322.

4. Carl Skrade, "Theology and Films" in Celluloid and Symbols, eds. John C. Cooper and Carl Skrade (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970), p. 21.

5. Introduction to New Image of Religious Film, ed. John R. May (Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1997), p. ix.

6. Joseph Marty, "Toward a Theological Interpretation and Reading of Film: Incarnation of the Word of God - Relation, Image, Word," in New Image, pp. 135-136.

7. Avent Childress Beck, "The Christian Allegorical Structure of Platoon" in Screening the Sacred: Religion, Myth, and Ideology in Popular American Film, Joel W. Martin and Conrad E. Ostwalt, eds. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995), p.54.

8. Caron Schwartz Ellis, "With Eyes Uplifted: Space Aliens as Sky Gods" in Screening the Sacred, p. 93.

9. Andrew Gordon, "Star Wars: A Myth for Our Times" in Screening the Sacred, p. 82.

10. Joel W. Martin, "Redeeming America: Rocky as Ritual Racial Drama" in Screening the Sacred, p. 130.

11. Janice Hocker Rushing, "Evolution of 'The New Frontier' in Alien and Aliens: Patriarchal Co-Optation of the Feminine Archetype" in Screening the Sacred, p. 114.

12. Bernard Brandon Scott, Hollywood Dreams and Biblical Stories (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994), pp. 102-117.

13. Scott, pp. 158-165.

14. Scott, p. 247. Numerous other films receive this indictment, including Working Girl and Baby Boom.

15. Roland Barthes, Mythologies (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957).

16. Claude Levi-Strauss, "The Structural Study of Myth" in Structural Anthropology (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), p. 229, quoted in Scott, p. 5.

17. Thomas Schatz, Old Hollywood/New Hollywood: Ritual, Art, and Industry (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1983), pp. 9-10.

18. Scott, pp. 118-123.

19. Scott, pp. 225-227.

20. John R. May, "Visual Story and the Religious Interpretation of Film" in Religion in Film, pp. 32-33.

21. May, "Visual Story," pp. 38, 41.

22. Margaret R. Miles, Seeing and Believing: Religion and Values in the Movies (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), p. xiii.

23. She rejects Laura Mulvey's thesis, for example (proposed in an article which influenced almost all subsequent feminist film analysis, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Screen 16, 3 (1975), pp. 6-18), that in order to challenge the values of mainstream film, one must "destroy" the pleasure produced by it. Miles finds Mulvey's approach unacceptable as she believes it to be based on the ascetic notion that only what has overcome pleasure has value. Miles, p.10.

24. Miles, p. 22.

25. Miles, pp. 127-134.

26. For Miles' analysis of Jesus, see pp. 40-47; Thelma, pp. 141149; Jungle, pp. 158-167.

27. Miles, p. 190.

28. Miles, pp. 192-193.

29. Joanne Hollows, "Mass Culture Theory and Political Economy," in Approaches to Popular Film, eds. Joanne Hollows and Mark Jancovich (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995), pp. 18-23.

30. Mark Jancovich gives this criticism of recent screen theory (Jancovich, "Screen Theory," in Approaches to Popular Film, p. 126, 144, and passim).

31. Joanne Hollows and Mark Jancovich, "Introduction: Popular Film and Cultural Distinctions," in Approaches to Popular Film, pp. 4-5.

32. Noted by Mark Jancovich in "Screen Theory," Approaches, p. 147; he refers to Barbara Creed's The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (London: Routledge, 1993).

33. It may have been Gustaf Aulen who first recognized the impossibility of rationally explaining the myth of the atonement, in his classic book, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement, tr. A. G. Hebert (New York: Macmillan, 1966).

34. The view of Colin McCabe, "Realism and the Cinema: Notes on Some Brechtian Theses," Screen, 15:2 (summer 1974), pp. 21-27, referenced in Jancovich, "Screen Theory," Approaches, pp.128-129.


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