In the business of theology it is hard not to be controversial - Jurgen Moltmann

Thursday, 10 April 2008

A Film is Never Only a Film

** Dedicated to my last batch of colleagues in television and film (yes, film!) productions, 2000-2003 (you know who you are, and you who know who you are know what I mean); with ambivalent memory of the good (though turbulent) old days.


14 theses on the interrelationship between the cultural role of theology and the practice of film-watching:

1. Life's disjointedness takes some handling.

2. Spirituality is best understood as 'life structure'.

3. Spirituality without theology is vacuous.

4. The practice of theology makes integrated living easier.

5. To see film-watching as a spiritual discipline does not spoil the watching of a film.

6. A film theatre is never only a film theatre.

7. New ways of 'being church' will include finding ways of respecting people's cinema-going habits.

8. It is better to go to the cinema than to watch a film at home.

9. Film critics and film studies lecturer need to be better informed about religion and theology.

10. Theologians and religious studies lecturers need to be better informed about popular culture.

11. Religion could itself be revitalised through critical film-watching. Film-watching could be enhanced by relating to critical theology.

12. Emotionally conscious theology is not only for charismatics.

13. The question of what and who 'God' is remains vital throughout.

14. The only theology worth bothering with is a culturally informed and culture-critical theology.

Clive Marsh, 'A Film is Never Only a Film', in his Cinema and Sentiment: Film's Challenge to Theology (Paternoster, 2004), 132-147.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"A Film is Never Only a Film"? Well, this open a long discussion. In my past 8 years, I wanted to make film about film itself. And how the receivers take it, is up to them.

Still haven't finished reading my little book. "Devotional Cinema" by Nathaniel Dorsky. Dorsky is a great experimental filmmaker (well, I dislike the label, but I just want to be more informative here) based in California. His films are like prayers.

Hoi Sue

(can't post it with my name. I can only use Anonymous)