Register Now: Cinema as Sacred Literature Class
Ended March 05
March 05
2:00 PM — 5:00 PM
Price:  $80

How do movies express our deepest human long­ings, laments, moral quandaries, and understanding of ultimate reality? How does cinema, beckoning audiences to enter imaginary universes collectively, share qualities with religious ritual and communities? How may cin­ema serve as a means to transcend our individual selves? How might movies function in contemporary culture as sacred literature?

We will start with fundamental questions to seek a common understanding of “sacred literature.” We will look to texts held as sacred to diverse cultures (such as Torah, Bible, Qu’ran, Lotus Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Egyptian Book of the Dead), exploring the roles of di­vine inspiration, human
inscription and/or authorship, oral, visual and text-based transmission. Considering the human needs reflected in the content, form and the rit­ual context in which sacred literature functions, we will compare the content, form and ritual of cinema in mod­ern life.

The course will consist of film screenings, discus­sion, and readings of sacred literature and cinema the­ory. The group will vote on films to view representing a range of “ultimate concerns,” such as lament, repentance, redemption, death and transcendence, and praise. The course will emphasize films that have engaged the popu­lar imagination and do not take up religious narratives explicitly, such as A Serious Man; On the Waterfront; The Fugitive; 12 Years a Slave; Interstellar; Hiroshima, Mon Amour; Boyhood; Harold and Maude; The Tree of Life.

Filmmaker SAMANTHA DAVIDSON GREEN re­cently completed her first feature film, teaches film di­recting at Dartmouth College and film-related courses with OSHER@Dartmouth, and enjoys directing and serving on the board at Parish Players Theater. She earned her M.F.A. in Film Directing at UCLA after teaching in Mississippi and Japan and working for PBS in San Francisco. She lives in Plainfield, NH with her family.

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