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Author Topic: Favorite Movies with a Spiritual Theme  (Read 15018 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: April 25, 2009, 02:12:51 AM »

What are some of your favorite movies that contain a spiritual theme? I'm not talking about religious movies per se, but any movie that you enjoyed because you discerned a spiritual or moral message being portrayed in some way.

Right now I'm watching "Frailty" on TV. I like this movie a lot.

OK. Look forward to reading your responses.

Selam
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 02:20:20 AM »

The Lord of the Rings.
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 02:35:45 AM »

The Lord of the Rings.

I'm not a fantasy guy, but many people love the Lord of the Rings movies. I'm sure there's some great Christian allegory much like the Narnia movies. I have watched the two recent Narnia movies with my children, and they really love them. And I also enjoyed watching them along with my kids. So my question is this: Do you think that the Lord of the Rings would be good to watch with my children? They are ages 11, 9, and 4, and very bright kids. Is the movie appropriate as far as language/sexuality and such? Will it be over their heads (maybe my 4 year old), or do you think they will understand it. I would like your opinion, and I would be interested in watching it myself if I could do so with my kids.

Thanks.

Selam
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 04:01:23 AM »

The Lord of the Rings.

I'm not a fantasy guy, but many people love the Lord of the Rings movies. I'm sure there's some great Christian allegory much like the Narnia movies. I have watched the two recent Narnia movies with my children, and they really love them. And I also enjoyed watching them along with my kids. So my question is this: Do you think that the Lord of the Rings would be good to watch with my children? They are ages 11, 9, and 4, and very bright kids. Is the movie appropriate as far as language/sexuality and such? Will it be over their heads (maybe my 4 year old), or do you think they will understand it. I would like your opinion, and I would be interested in watching it myself if I could do so with my kids.

Thanks.

Selam
Language is practically non-existent in the film, and sexuality doesn't go beyond a kiss between Aragon and Arwen--which is very important to the story. The films earn a PG-13 rating for the scariness of the Ringwraiths and other creatures, and for the two battle scenes. I wouldn't take the four-year-old, but if you think your older kids can handle them, then by all means take them. They're great films, and great stories.
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 04:20:51 AM »

LOTR is pretty good, I must admit. But my favorite movie(s) with a spiritual component are the original Star Wars Trilogy. I doubt George Lucas is Orthodox (never read anything about him actually) but I picked up a spiritual tone that seemed of a kind a Greek would thread into his movies' story.
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 04:29:21 AM »

Language is practically non-existent in the film, and sexuality doesn't go beyond a kiss between Aragon and Arwen--which is very important to the story. The films earn a PG-13 rating for the scariness of the Ringwraiths and other creatures, and for the two battle scenes. I wouldn't take the four-year-old, but if you think your older kids can handle them, then by all means take them. They're great films, and great stories.

Thanks. I think I'll rent it soon and watch it with my youths. I bet they'll love it. Sounds like I'll enjoy it as well.

Selam
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2009, 04:34:15 AM »

LOTR is pretty good, I must admit. But my favorite movie(s) with a spiritual component are the original Star Wars Trilogy. I doubt George Lucas is Orthodox (never read anything about him actually) but I picked up a spiritual tone that seemed of a kind a Greek would thread into his movies' story.
I have heard him speak on the subject. He's not Orthodox, and not particularly religious. He was raised Methodist, but leans toward spirituality somewhere between Methodism and Buddhism these days. The spirituality in his films is intentional, but he does not want to limit it to any one religion. And that's all he had to say about that.
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2009, 04:37:53 AM »

LOTR is pretty good, I must admit. But my favorite movie(s) with a spiritual component are the original Star Wars Trilogy. I doubt George Lucas is Orthodox (never read anything about him actually) but I picked up a spiritual tone that seemed of a kind a Greek would thread into his movies' story.

Of course I enjoyed the Star Wars movies when they came out when I was a child. But now I think they are too New Age.

But I have often believed that you can despise a particular world view and yet love the creativity with which that world view is expressed. I used to be a big David Lynch fan, even though I completely disagreed with the nihilistic worldview that many of his movie portrayed. But a few years ago David Lynch directed a beautifully simple movie called The Straight Story. The movie was rated G (but not a kids movie) and was excellent. It just goes to show that true creativity is able to transcend darkness and despair and reach for the light.

Selam 
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2009, 04:44:37 AM »

LOTR is pretty good, I must admit. But my favorite movie(s) with a spiritual component are the original Star Wars Trilogy. I doubt George Lucas is Orthodox (never read anything about him actually) but I picked up a spiritual tone that seemed of a kind a Greek would thread into his movies' story.
I have heard him speak on the subject. He's not Orthodox, and not particularly religious. He was raised Methodist, but leans toward spirituality somewhere between Methodism and Buddhism these days. The spirituality in his films is intentional, but he does not want to limit it to any one religion. And that's all he had to say about that.

I think it was a little too Yin-Yang dualistic. You know, that there are two equal and opposite universal forces vying with one another- light against darkness, good v. evil, etc. But we know that God is supremely bigger than satan and the forces of evil. Our temporal worldly perspective may lead us to believe otherwise- in fact at times it seems that God is no match for the devil. But the history is already written, and thus we know the final outcome. Christ is Risen, and satan has already been defeated.

But that being said, Star Wars is a brilliantly constructed vehicle through which Lucas portrays a widely held belief system in our day and age.

Selam
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2009, 08:42:56 AM »

The Lord of the Rings.

I'm not a fantasy guy, but many people love the Lord of the Rings movies. I'm sure there's some great Christian allegory much like the Narnia movies. I have watched the two recent Narnia movies with my children, and they really love them. And I also enjoyed watching them along with my kids. So my question is this: Do you think that the Lord of the Rings would be good to watch with my children? They are ages 11, 9, and 4, and very bright kids. Is the movie appropriate as far as language/sexuality and such? Will it be over their heads (maybe my 4 year old), or do you think they will understand it. I would like your opinion, and I would be interested in watching it myself if I could do so with my kids.

Thanks.

Selam


When the Lord of the Rings movies were first in the theaters, our children were too young to see them in the theater, particularly we decided because having the orcs and ring wraiths on the big screen would be too intense.  We had read the books and The Hobbit to the two older ones and they liked it very much, so it wasn't a matter of the story itself.  As the movies came out on home video we started by showing them the parts with the Hobbits and the the Shire to the 6 and 9 year old.  They loved it, so they got to see more of the movies and since it was on a small screen and at home if it had been too alarming it could be stopped.  Our 3 y.o. didn't care and wasn't interested. 

While the rating is PG-13, there is no crude language, no nudity, no raw sex or any of the more common things that get a film that rating.  There are a few scenes where characters are drinking ale/beer or smoking a pipe.  We don't care about that, but some groups are against that sort of thing in movies.  There are some battle scenes and some dangerous situations for the characters including a death (heroic in battle in the defense of others) of one of the fellowship and the scenes in Moria with the Balrog (which is very well done imo). The orcs and other servants of Sauron are ugly and could be frightening for some small children.  But there are also scenes of great beauty, lovely music and scenery/photography (New Zealand in a starring role).  There is a thread of a love story with Aragorn and Arwen and Sam Gamgee loves Rose Cotton back in the shire but there is nothing crude or crass about either. 

I hope that helps and if you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them.

Ebor
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2009, 08:59:55 AM »

LOTR is a great movie to introduce Christian themes, and I have been working on taking out takes of scenes from the movies to discuss with my older teen youth group, such as:

-The nature and effects of power on people

-The parallels between Smeagol/Deagol and Cain/Abel in the movie.

-Boromir's wrestling with himself, and only understanding the nature of life until he repented (he literally fell flat, and then was brought to his senses). From then he understood it was better for him to give of himself, than to take from others.

It's been interesting enough that I have a group of adults who want to watch the movies and have discussions afterwards. We'll see where that goes, though...sometimes we have troubles actually doing what we want to do.

I really like Ostrog, but maybe that's just me.

But, y'know, you can discuss spiritual themes with Spongebob Squarepants episodes, when you really get down to it! Movies need to have some sort of tension in them, and then you can discuss the spiritual impact of the decisions made by the characters.
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2009, 09:09:17 AM »

The Fountain (2006).

Replete with spiritual themes (which are very much open to a plethora of interpretations--from extremely heretical to profoundly Orthodox), and just simply one of the best movies i've ever seen.
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2009, 09:19:17 AM »


I might be failing to understand what you mean by "spiritual themes", but I can suggest you the movie I have recently seen: Half-light (starring Demi Moore). If you are interested in horror films, Silent Hill is the first movie I can recommend.

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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2009, 01:56:04 PM »

Ostrov (The Island): 2007.
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2009, 04:33:47 PM »

Personally I would read thru the LOTR books before I show the kids the movies. That is what we do with the Narnia books/movies. Then I can tell what is coming up in the story so that if there is a scary part i can fast forward or cover young eyes.

That said all three of my kids have seen all three LOTR movies and they are much younger than yours; 7, 3 and (in-a-month)2.

I really like the Liam Neeson version of Les Miserables but that is not a movie to watch with children since a major plot point at the beginning involves a rather tragic (and complicated to explain to children) death. The death is absolutely essential to the understanding of the story so to leave that part out is a extreme disservice to the story. This is a great book and movie that touches on forgiveness in particular.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119683/

I enjoy Smoke Signals a great deal. There is a lot to glean from it about family relationships, forgiveness, bitterness and the like. It is typically labeled a "comedy" which is just sick and twisted in my opinion, it is NOT a comedy. It is a great movie with a wonderful soundtrack.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/

My husband really likes Black Robe. Again, not a movie to watch with children since there is a sex scene in it. The sex scene is important in that it shows the jarring nature of two cultures colliding but would be too complicated to explain to children very well.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101465/

The Shoes of the Fisherman is a wonderful movie in my opinion that everyone should see. It is essentially a story about the election of a Pope.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063599/

To Kill a Mockingbird- hands down a favorite movie of everyone in our household. My kids beg to watch it. Complicated race issues are covered in wonderful way and opens the door to further discussion. Love and respect are key issues in the story and it would be easy to bring many spiritual elements into the discussion of the movie. I also recommend the book, but not to read to children.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056592/
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2009, 04:56:02 PM »

Personally I would read thru the LOTR books before I show the kids the movies. That is what we do with the Narnia books/movies. Then I can tell what is coming up in the story so that if there is a scary part i can fast forward or cover young eyes.

That said all three of my kids have seen all three LOTR movies and they are much younger than yours; 7, 3 and (in-a-month)2.

I really like the Liam Neeson version of Les Miserables but that is not a movie to watch with children since a major plot point at the beginning involves a rather tragic (and complicated to explain to children) death. The death is absolutely essential to the understanding of the story so to leave that part out is a extreme disservice to the story. This is a great book and movie that touches on forgiveness in particular.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119683/

I enjoy Smoke Signals a great deal. There is a lot to glean from it about family relationships, forgiveness, bitterness and the like. It is typically labeled a "comedy" which is just sick and twisted in my opinion, it is NOT a comedy. It is a great movie with a wonderful soundtrack.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/

My husband really likes Black Robe. Again, not a movie to watch with children since there is a sex scene in it. The sex scene is important in that it shows the jarring nature of two cultures colliding but would be too complicated to explain to children very well.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101465/

The Shoes of the Fisherman is a wonderful movie in my opinion that everyone should see. It is essentially a story about the election of a Pope.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063599/

To Kill a Mockingbird- hands down a favorite movie of everyone in our household. My kids beg to watch it. Complicated race issues are covered in wonderful way and opens the door to further discussion. Love and respect are key issues in the story and it would be easy to bring many spiritual elements into the discussion of the movie. I also recommend the book, but not to read to children.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056592/


Thanks Quinalt. I really need to see "Shoes of the Fisherman," especially since Anthony Quinn is my favorite actor! I loved "Barrabas," which also starred Anthony Quinn.

I too really liked "Les Miserables" with Liam Neeson. A great movie full of the themes of forgiveness, redemption, and self-sacrifice.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is another excellent movie. One of Robert Duvall's early roles was in this movie. Wait a minute, now I think Robert Duvall is my favorite actor! Anyway, Duvall and Quinn are at the top of my list for sure.

I like your taste Quinalt. So tell me more about "Smoke Signals" and "Black Robe." I'm unfamiliar with both of these, but they sound interesting.

Selam 
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2009, 09:27:46 PM »

The Lord of the Rings.

I'm not a fantasy guy, but many people love the Lord of the Rings movies. I'm sure there's some great Christian allegory much like the Narnia movies. I have watched the two recent Narnia movies with my children, and they really love them. And I also enjoyed watching them along with my kids. So my question is this: Do you think that the Lord of the Rings would be good to watch with my children? They are ages 11, 9, and 4, and very bright kids. Is the movie appropriate as far as language/sexuality and such? Will it be over their heads (maybe my 4 year old), or do you think they will understand it. I would like your opinion, and I would be interested in watching it myself if I could do so with my kids.

Thanks.

Selam
Althoug the work is not a strict allegory (Tolkien hated Allegory), Tolkien did say that it was a Catholic work and the Christian themes are very clear. As for your your children watching it, I think that I would probably not show it to the four year old and maybe not the nine year old. Although there is absolutely NO sex or cursing in the movie, it can be very violent at times and has some frightening images of evil characters.
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 09:31:13 PM »


-Boromir's wrestling with himself, and only understanding the nature of life until he repented (he literally fell flat, and then was brought to his senses). From then he understood it was better for him to give of himself, than to take from others.

I really like the fact that in the movie it is the King, Aragorn, who rehabilitiates Boromir. Much like our Saviour.
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 09:53:28 PM »

Les Miserables with Liam Neeson.....one of my favorites
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2009, 10:08:50 PM »

Well, you should take my recommendations of Black Robe and Smoke Signals with a grain of salt since I have a personal connection with them to some extent so to speak. Most movies with indians in them are far from accurate. (or the "indians" aren't indians at all) We indians are not noble savages, savages or anything like those two categories. I enjoy these movies for the stories that they portray. They are both sad stories that have some hope. Smoke Signals in particular deals with the identity of being indian in a white society and how jarring it is to leave the rez. There is also the issue of masculinity and how the sins of the father can be visited on the son. Sometimes trying your hardest NOT  to be like your parents backfires so completely that you fall into the same traps. The issue of forgiveness is paramount and domestic violence as well as loosing your parents at an early age are addressed. It is a subtle story in that the real "meat" of the story isn't readily apparent and it warrants multiple viewings to really get the story. I wouldn't call it a bad movie to watch with children, we watch it with ours. There isn't any sex, violence or much bad language to speak of. But the story is one that is extremely intense and will strike a child moreso than an adult in my experience. It is a wonderful movie and ends up making me cry everytime. Even my husband ends up crying each time at the ending scene. The music (and lyrics) are absolutely essential to the story and the soundtrack can stand alone easily. You can't find many movies where if you listen to the soundtrack alone you can get the jist of the story-Smoke Signals is one of those movies (so is Wall-E as an aside). There is plenty of humor in the story and that is likely why it ends up being labeled a comedy. You need to know that Sherman Alexie is a gifted writer and speaker and can make you laugh a great deal. But what you are laughing at isn't actually all that funny when it comes down to is. The lead actor (father character to those of you that have seen the movie) looks almost exactly like my biological father and in some ways the story paralells my own life. It is a loose comparison and one that many indians can relate to but it is there; domestic violence and abuse are rampant on indian reservations. Alexie's other movie "The business of Fancydancing" is absolute trash so just avoid it. He has an obvious agenda and pushes it way too hard, so much so that the movie itself is fairly forgettable.

My husband's love of Black Robe is his own. He can see many things in it and we have had quite a few discussions about it but they all fail me at the moment (pregnancy brain is on the fritz). And as he is VERY far away I can't ask him to delve into it all that much for you. I would suggest you rent it if you can (many public libraries will have it) and see what you think. It could be that what we see from our cultural perspective is something you won't be able to see from yours. And trying to give you that perspective is virtually impossible. I do enjoy the movie a great deal. But he has it with him in Afghanistan and I haven't watched it in quite awhile. (he has Smoke Signals as well actually)
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« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2009, 10:11:52 PM »

LOTR is pretty good, I must admit. But my favorite movie(s) with a spiritual component are the original Star Wars Trilogy. I doubt George Lucas is Orthodox (never read anything about him actually) but I picked up a spiritual tone that seemed of a kind a Greek would thread into his movies' story.

agreed. stars wars came out when i was 10, and it's one of the few influences in my youth that helped me differentiate between right/wrong, good/bad. having no role models per se.
probably even one of the thing's that kept me from slipping all the way to the dark side so to speak. and allowed me to find my way home.
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2009, 10:20:05 PM »

Well, you should take my recommendations of Black Robe and Smoke Signals with a grain of salt since I have a personal connection with them to some extent so to speak. Most movies with indians in them are far from accurate. (or the "indians" aren't indians at all) We indians are not noble savages, savages or anything like those two categories. I enjoy these movies for the stories that they portray. They are both sad stories that have some hope. Smoke Signals in particular deals with the identity of being indian in a white society and how jarring it is to leave the rez. It is a subtle story in that regard and warrants multiple viewings to really get the story. The music (and lyrics) are absolutely essential to the story and the soundtrack can stand alone easily. You can't find many movies where if you listen to the soundtrack alone you can get the jist of the story-Smoke Signals is one of those movies (so is Wall-E as an aside). There is plenty of humor in the story and that is likely why it ends up being labeled a comedy. You need to know that Sherman Alexie is a gifted writer and speaker and can make you laugh a great deal. But what you are laughing at isn't actually all that funny when it comes down to is. The lead actor (father character to those of you that have seen the movie) looks almost exactly like my biological father and in some ways the story paralells my own life. It is a loose comparison and one that many indians can relate to but it is there. Alexie's other movie "The business of Fancydancing" is absolute trash so just avoid it. He has an obvious agenda and pushes it way too hard, so much so that the movie itself is fairly forgettable.

My husband's love of Black Robe is his own. He can see many things in it and we have had quite a few discussions about it but they all fail me at the moment (pregnancy brain is on the fritz). And as he is VERY far away I can't ask him to delve into it all that much for you. I would suggest you rent it if you can (many public libraries will have it) and see what you think. It could be that what we see from our cultural perspective is something you won't be able to see from yours. And trying to give you that perspective is virtually impossible. I do enjoy the movie a great deal. But he has it with him in Afghanistan and I haven't watched it in quite awhile.

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. It reminds me that one of my favorite movies of all time is "Dancing With Wolves." I would be interested to know what an Indian/Native American thinks of that movie. I'm not a Kevin Costner fan, but "Dancing With Wolves" brings me to tears every time I see it.

By the way, maybe you help those of us who struggle with political correctness. Is it preferable to use the term "Indian" or "Native American." I use the term "Native American" because I've heard that this is more culturally sensitive, but I notice that you easily use the term "Indian." Perhaps you can help us so that we do not cause any offense.

As for another movie, I have wondered if "Windtalkers" (I think that's the name of the movie) is any good. Have you seen it? Would you recommend it?

Selam
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2009, 10:27:58 PM »

Windtalkers is pretty darn good but it falls short of the actual real life stories it is gleaned from. I would pick up the books on the real Navajo Codetalkers instead. Although the way that these brave men were treated was horrible, the US military by utilizing them brought their language back from extinction.
http://www.navajocodetalkers.org/

As far as how to address referring to indians goes- it is really up in the air. Some people are really picky about it, others are not. I call myself indigenous indian because I am from tribes that are in my immediate geographic area that I live in.  If I lived in another area farther from here then I would have to come up with something else! Grin Don't get to caught up in being PC, just don't use a racial slur like "red skin" or "rez rat" and you will be fine Smiley There are people that are very picky about it but if you come with a kind heart they will kindly correct you.
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2009, 11:04:44 PM »

And while I think that the movie dances with wolves has beautiful cinematography and is an interesting story to some extent, it is not in any way an accurate portrayal of Lakota, Pawnee or really any indian tribe. Here is a pretty interesting article on both Dances with Wolves and Smoke Signals;

http://asjournal.zusas.uni-halle.de/106.html

Here is a snippet
Quote
  The plot device of having a white woman captive available as interpreter and potential wife for the white protagonist is another rather conventional feature, which links this movie to an old Hollywood tradition. An integration of Dunbar into the Sioux tribe to the extent of miscegenation was seemingly still too daring for Hollywood in 1990. (This does not even materialize in the ‘blood-brothers’-theme in the Winnetou series, in which, in good old Hollywood tradition, Winnetou’s sister Nscho-tschi has to die before she can marry Old Shatterhand.) Clearly, the film is not primarily about Native Americans, but about a white man’s spiritual journey at the end of which he is initiated into being a new, a different, an Indian man. Indeed, although Dunbar has only recently achieved the status of a Sioux warrior, the whole tribe soon depends on him as skillful buffalo hunter and as the most efficient fighter against the hostile Pawnee. In addition, immediately after his first buffalo hunt he turns into a storyteller to whom the whole tribe listens as some sort of celebrity, if not as a leader. Thus, as Shari Huhndorf points out, Dances With Wolves “actually reinforces the racial hierarchies it claims to destabilize, and it thus serves another primary function of going native. Although the film manifests some sympathy toward Indians, its primary cultural work in fact is the regeneration of racial whiteness and European-American society”
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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2009, 11:11:07 PM »

Windtalkers is pretty darn good but it falls short of the actual real life stories it is gleaned from. I would pick up the books on the real Navajo Codetalkers instead. Although the way that these brave men were treated was horrible, the US military by utilizing them brought their language back from extinction.
http://www.navajocodetalkers.org/

As far as how to address referring to indians goes- it is really up in the air. Some people are really picky about it, others are not. I call myself indigenous indian because I am from tribes that are in my immediate geographic area that I live in.  If I lived in another area farther from here then I would have to come up with something else! Grin Don't get to caught up in being PC, just don't use a racial slur like "red skin" or "rez rat" and you will be fine Smiley There are people that are very picky about it but if you come with a kind heart they will kindly correct you.

Cool. Thanks for clarifying that.

The treatment of Native Americans by this country is sickening to me. It breaks my heart and angers me to see how our government has ostensibly made reparations to the Native Americans by providing them with casinos.

A few years back I was driving across Navajo Nation and was saddened to see such a beautiful landscape inhabited by a culturally decimated people.

But there are certainly hopeful notes to focus upon. A friend of mine wrote a wonderful book about the Hopi Indians of the Grand Canyon. It is called "The Beauty Path." It's not Orthodox, but it is very spiritually uplifting and focuses on certain Native American communities that are fighting to preserve their culture and heritage in a positive and peaceful way. I think you would enjoy it. Here's a link to it for those that may be interested:

http://www.manataka.org/page1994.html 

Selam
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« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2009, 12:07:18 AM »

I seldom watch movies, but one that really resonated with me was "Babette's Feast".
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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2009, 03:37:53 AM »

I seldom watch movies, but one that really resonated with me was "Babette's Feast".

Excellent Choice Rosehip! I've only seen it twice, but I thoroughly enjoy it. Highly recommended!

Selam
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2009, 03:52:22 AM »

And while I think that the movie dances with wolves has beautiful cinematography and is an interesting story to some extent, it is not in any way an accurate portrayal of Lakota, Pawnee or really any indian tribe. Here is a pretty interesting article on both Dances with Wolves and Smoke Signals;

http://asjournal.zusas.uni-halle.de/106.html

Here is a snippet
Quote
  The plot device of having a white woman captive available as interpreter and potential wife for the white protagonist is another rather conventional feature, which links this movie to an old Hollywood tradition. An integration of Dunbar into the Sioux tribe to the extent of miscegenation was seemingly still too daring for Hollywood in 1990. (This does not even materialize in the ‘blood-brothers’-theme in the Winnetou series, in which, in good old Hollywood tradition, Winnetou’s sister Nscho-tschi has to die before she can marry Old Shatterhand.) Clearly, the film is not primarily about Native Americans, but about a white man’s spiritual journey at the end of which he is initiated into being a new, a different, an Indian man. Indeed, although Dunbar has only recently achieved the status of a Sioux warrior, the whole tribe soon depends on him as skillful buffalo hunter and as the most efficient fighter against the hostile Pawnee. In addition, immediately after his first buffalo hunt he turns into a storyteller to whom the whole tribe listens as some sort of celebrity, if not as a leader. Thus, as Shari Huhndorf points out, Dances With Wolves “actually reinforces the racial hierarchies it claims to destabilize, and it thus serves another primary function of going native. Although the film manifests some sympathy toward Indians, its primary cultural work in fact is the regeneration of racial whiteness and European-American society”

I agree with the above assessment. It reminds me of "Cry Freedom" which was a film ostensibly about Steve Biko (portrayed by Denzel Washington), the South African freedom fighter. But the movie unfortunately winds up portraying the white journalist (played by Kevin Kline) as the real hero. But I still love this movie.

Both "Dancing With Wolves" and "Cry Freedom" are entertaining and important movies that draw attention to important cultural and racial issues, but unfortunately the 'white man' is still the protagonist. For those who are truly conscious about such issues, these are good movies to watch. But unfortunately, most people are not discerning enough to see through the underlying racism that permeates "liberal" Hollywood even to this day.

Selam
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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2009, 05:27:51 AM »

If you are interested in horror films, Silent Hill is the first movie I can recommend.

Ugh, the video game (upon which the film is based) almost made me wet myself in fright.

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« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2009, 05:37:28 AM »

Black Robe is very good, but a more spiritually significant alternative is The Mission. It is about Jesuits in 18th-century South America---it has a wonderful cast, including Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro, Aidan Quinn and Liam Neeson. It also has the best depiction of penance I have ever seen in a film (I'm not kidding---wait till you see it). No sex in this one, though there is some battle violence (nothing graphic; the movie's only PG!).

One of my favorite films period is A Man for All Seasons, about St. Thomas More. It'll probably go over the 4-year-old's head, but definitely would be a great choice for the older kids (especially if they are bright---the brilliant screenplay has great dialogue).



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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2009, 05:47:46 AM »

You might be surprised, but I think Spider-Man II is a wonderful movie and a feast for the spirit. Peter Parker's character has a real pathos here. The film has a number of Christian echoes.

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If you are seeking good faith-informed reviews of films, decentfilms.com could provide you with some great recommendations.
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« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2009, 03:46:56 PM »

If you are interested in horror films, Silent Hill is the first movie I can recommend.

Ugh, the video game (upon which the film is based) almost made me wet myself in fright.

Not familiar with the video game, but the movie was scary enough to make me recommend it.  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2009, 04:19:41 PM »


-Boromir's wrestling with himself, and only understanding the nature of life until he repented (he literally fell flat, and then was brought to his senses). From then he understood it was better for him to give of himself, than to take from others.

I really like the fact that in the movie it is the King, Aragorn, who rehabilitiates Boromir. Much like our Saviour.
I also like the fact that, at least in the books, Aragorn never revealed to Legolas and Gimli what Boromir confessed to him in his dying moments, even though they kinda suspected that Boromir was somehow responsible for driving Frodo away from the Fellowship.  Very much like a sacramental confession, in a way.
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2009, 04:44:10 PM »

"God on Trial" set in a concentration camp. It's serialized on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oATX9-2IGfo
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« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2009, 04:47:16 PM »

"Ushpizin" is another favourite movie.
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« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2009, 05:28:01 PM »

"Ushpizin" is another favourite movie.

I haven't heard of this one. Tell us more!

Selam
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« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2009, 05:30:01 PM »

Black Robe is very good, but a more spiritually significant alternative is The Mission. It is about Jesuits in 18th-century South America---it has a wonderful cast, including Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro, Aidan Quinn and Liam Neeson. It also has the best depiction of penance I have ever seen in a film (I'm not kidding---wait till you see it). No sex in this one, though there is some battle violence (nothing graphic; the movie's only PG!).

One of my favorite films period is A Man for All Seasons, about St. Thomas More. It'll probably go over the 4-year-old's head, but definitely would be a great choice for the older kids (especially if they are bright---the brilliant screenplay has great dialogue).





Yes, these are two great movies. Thanks for bringing them up.

Selam
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« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2009, 05:54:30 PM »

"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" was very scary and well done. Based on a true story, it raises a perplexing theological question: Would God allow one of His faithful children to be possessed by demons in order that people might become aware of the reality of the spiritual world?

We know the story of Job, whom satan was allowed to torment. And we know that St. Paul wrestled with a "thorn in his flesh" throughout his Christian life. But would God actually allow one of His baptized and obedient children to be possessed by satan or by demons? Personally I don't think so, since I don't believe that the Holy Spirit could dwell in the same house as satan. But I could be wrong. The movie is obviously based on Catholic belief. What does Orthodox opinion say about the matter?

But it's certainly a very intriguing and frighteneing movie.

Selam
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« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2009, 06:48:50 PM »

"Ushpizin" is another favourite movie.

I haven't heard of this one. Tell us more!

Selam

This is really an incredible movie, about a Hasidic jewish couple who are unable to have children. It takes place over the holiday of Sukkot and they receive some ex-convicts as guests (ushpizin). These men are quite wild and irreligious and cause the couple considerable grief, but they entertain them anyhow. In the end, their fervent prayers for children are rewarded and the couple is blessed. An amazing film, all about faith and hope. I loved it so much, and highly recommend it to everyone!
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2009, 07:31:29 PM »

"Ushpizin" is another favourite movie.

I haven't heard of this one. Tell us more!

Selam

This is really an incredible movie, about a Hasidic jewish couple who are unable to have children. It takes place over the holiday of Sukkot and they receive some ex-convicts as guests (ushpizin). These men are quite wild and irreligious and cause the couple considerable grief, but they entertain them anyhow. In the end, their fervent prayers for children are rewarded and the couple is blessed. An amazing film, all about faith and hope. I loved it so much, and highly recommend it to everyone!

Sounds good. Is it in English?

Selam
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2009, 07:35:57 PM »

It's been a little while since I watched it, so I can hardly remember. I think it was in hebrew with english subtitles, if I'm not mistaken. It's an Israeli film. Anyhow, the movie was very touching and the themes are applicable for christians too. I hope you will watch it too sometime!
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« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2009, 09:02:05 PM »

Stigmata (1999)

City of Angels (1998)

 Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2009, 09:45:17 PM »

"BELLA" is a great movie with a strong Pro-Life theme and a powerful message about redemption. The music is great, and it is beautifully filmed. Rosehip, I think you'll like this one a lot.

Selam
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« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2009, 09:51:20 PM »

The Thin Red Line (2001) (existential warriors in WW2 South Pacific; violence)

Princess Mononoke (1997) (the human-nature relationship, and divinity; anime violence)

Signs (2002) (the recovery of faith, from an outer-space source; some cursing)

King Arthur [Director's Cut] (2004) (touches on Pelagius and free-will; lots of Saxon-Latin violence)
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« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2009, 10:55:59 PM »

The Thin Red Line (2001) (existential warriors in WW2 South Pacific; violence)

Princess Mononoke (1997) (the human-nature relationship, and divinity; anime violence)

Signs (2002) (the recovery of faith, from an outer-space source; some cursing)

King Arthur [Director's Cut] (2004) (touches on Pelagius and free-will; lots of Saxon-Latin violence)

I loved "The Thin Red Line." A very underated movie.

I didn't care for "Signs" too much. Haven't seen these others you mentioned.

But as for movies dealing with the UFO phenomena, I liked "Fire In The Sky." The movie is based on the true life stroy of Travis Walton who was supposedly abducted by aliens. This movie really freaked me out!

Selam
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« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2009, 08:03:26 AM »

Narnia
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« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2009, 08:32:58 AM »

Andrei Rublev (1966)
It has so many themes: redemption, reconciliation, and faith in the face of the unspeakable cruelty of man against man.
The movie is also as old as I am!
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« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2009, 08:53:05 AM »

All motion pictures directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, particularly, "The Childhood of Ivan," "Andrei Rublev," "Solaris" (probably the best for children), "The Mirror," "Stalker," "Nostalgia," and "The Sacrifice."
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« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2009, 10:12:23 AM »

My other favorites with spiritual theme (although perhaps not quite understandable for children) - Fellini ("La Strada," "Le Notti de Cabiria," "La Dolce Vita" - my all-time favorite, "Amarcord," "Prova d'Orchestra"); early Bergman ("Through a Glass Darkly," "Winter Light," "Seventh Seal," "Virgin Spring," "Wild Strawberries," "Persona," and others).
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« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2009, 11:59:49 AM »

Caddyshack.

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« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2009, 06:57:55 PM »

Andrei Rublev (1966)
It has so many themes: redemption, reconciliation, and faith in the face of the unspeakable cruelty of man against man.
The movie is also as old as I am!

Is this movie in English?

Selam
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« Reply #51 on: April 27, 2009, 07:00:00 PM »

All motion pictures directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, particularly, "The Childhood of Ivan," "Andrei Rublev," "Solaris" (probably the best for children), "The Mirror," "Stalker," "Nostalgia," and "The Sacrifice."

Are these in English?

It would be helpful to clarify if movies such as these are in English for the benefit of those of us who may be interested in watching them.

Thanks.

Selam
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« Reply #52 on: April 27, 2009, 07:33:42 PM »

My mother and I watched "Andrei Rublev" and of course, it's a Russian movie, but we used the english subtitles.
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« Reply #53 on: April 27, 2009, 07:40:12 PM »

I don't think that some of the Tarkovsky would be appropriate for children, particularly if they can't read subtitles quickly.   I've seen a version of Andrei Rublev (apparently there is more then one version with different things being cut.) and while some of it was fine and the photography is quite good, other parts were very confusing or odd.  I still don't know   what the flying machine/balloon had to do with the horse rolling around in the water meadow and why there was a crowd chasing it (I think).  If our daughter had been watching it with  us it would have been a constant set of questions "who's that?  What happened?  Why did he do that?   What did they do?  Are they dead?  etc etc etc"

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« Reply #54 on: April 27, 2009, 07:57:13 PM »

I personally found Andrei Rublev confusing and disturbing too. I supppose it didn't help that I was at the time not feeling well physically. For some reason, it traumatized me a bit.
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« Reply #55 on: April 27, 2009, 10:41:26 PM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.
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« Reply #56 on: April 27, 2009, 11:27:08 PM »

Ordet - Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1955

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_9wLA6tmLU

And

Pasolini's : The Gospel According to St Matthew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llNeABmC0Uo
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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2009, 01:22:47 AM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.

I will second this. Many people are caught up in the sci-fi theme of the movie, and fail to see the obvious Christian themes. I enjoyed both the American and Soviet Solaris, both for different reasons. I must admit however that the Soviet is superior.
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« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2009, 09:15:49 AM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.
I enjoyed both the American and Soviet Solaris, both for different reasons. I must admit however that the Soviet is superior.
Why?
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« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2009, 10:30:30 AM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.

But that has nothing to do with Tarkovsky's "Solaris." I think there should exist versions of the original Tarkovsky's film with English subtitles.

As for "Andrei Rublev" and children - yes, I agree, it's too difficult for them.

It really is extremely confusing and disturbing, and there are no simple ways to explain the symbolism there. Even more so in "Stalker" (a really enigmatic film, but very powerful, like pretty much everything Tarkovsky made, IMHO.)

"The Mirror" is also extremely complicated (even if you read the story that sereved as the plot, called "A White Day" (Belyj Den'" in Russian), by Alexandr Misharin. I saw it very many times and I still cannot explain the logic, the connection between all scenes. Nonetheless, it causes such a powerful reaction in me, every time. I cry very rarely, but this film never fails to make me cry like a little baby at the end. Here's some Wiki information about this film, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mirror_(1975_film)
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« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2009, 11:13:37 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2009, 11:41:37 AM »

Sorry, the link to the "Mirror" should be:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mirror_(1975_film)

--with the last parentheses included (blue) - I don't know how to fix it, it shows in non-blue font on my screen and it cannot be opened.
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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2009, 11:43:10 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?
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« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2009, 11:47:58 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?

I didn't say anything about "more enjoyable".  Movies by different directors with different visions and methods using different actors in different languages can appeal to viewers differently.  Personal taste is involved as well as the skill of the persons involved.  And the book is different by it's nature as a book and not a movie. 

I wasn't intending to make a overall value statement on them.  I wrote poorly.  They're different works so viewers might not find them "equal"
 Smiley

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« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2009, 11:56:47 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?
They're different works so viewers might not find them "equal"
Yes, I understand this. I'm not at all familiar with a Russian Solaris; in fact, this thread is the first I've heard of it. I'm was not impressed at all by Clooney's Solaris, despite being a fan of science fiction, and I'm wanting to know what is different in the Russian version that makes several of you feel it is a better film.

Essentially, please convince me it's worth the time, effort, and money to track down this film. I'm interested, but I don't know anything about it.
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« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2009, 02:29:46 PM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?
They're different works so viewers might not find them "equal"
Yes, I understand this. I'm not at all familiar with a Russian Solaris; in fact, this thread is the first I've heard of it. I'm was not impressed at all by Clooney's Solaris, despite being a fan of science fiction, and I'm wanting to know what is different in the Russian version that makes several of you feel it is a better film.

Essentially, please convince me it's worth the time, effort, and money to track down this film. I'm interested, but I don't know anything about it.

Mr. Y., it's been ages since I read the book (I guess I was ~14 when I read it), and I never saw the American "Solaris" with George Clooney, so I can't compare. The Tarkovsky movie is, however, very interesting in that he makes it more a story of repentance than a story about unusual forms of intellect. The ocean on the planet Solaris in the Tarkovsky movie is acting like the injured conscience of the visitors; it produces real people whom these visitors hurt, against whom they transgressed in the past. And the "grand finalle" of the film is completely different from, I would venture to say, anything one expects to see in sci-fi movies: it's actually a return of a human being to the Father, to the Home where every "tear" is wiped away, every transgression forgiven, etc.

Here's one nice video clip from the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFAlegTEBUU
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« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2009, 09:29:20 PM »

The Tarkovsky movie is, however, very interesting in that he makes it more a story of repentance than a story about unusual forms of intellect. The ocean on the planet Solaris in the Tarkovsky movie is acting like the injured conscience of the visitors; it produces real people whom these visitors hurt, against whom they transgressed in the past. And the "grand finalle" of the film is completely different from, I would venture to say, anything one expects to see in sci-fi movies: it's actually a return of a human being to the Father, to the Home where every "tear" is wiped away, every transgression forgiven, etc.
That is interesting, and quite different indeed. I tire of the "higher intelligence" theme prevalent in so much of science fiction, as though all our problems will be solved by meeting the right alien race; and also of the apocalyptic theme, as though we are doomed no matter what we do. Your description seems to indicate something refreshingly different in the genre, something in the story that apparently slipped past Clooney.

I thoroughly enjoyed that clip. Amazon wants $30 for the DVD, and it's not on Blu-Ray, but it may be worth it. Thank you.
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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2009, 09:37:52 PM »

Black Robe is very good, but a more spiritually significant alternative is The Mission. It is about Jesuits in 18th-century South America---it has a wonderful cast, including Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro, Aidan Quinn and Liam Neeson. It also has the best depiction of penance I have ever seen in a film (I'm not kidding---wait till you see it). No sex in this one, though there is some battle violence (nothing graphic; the movie's only PG!).

I was going to say The Mission.
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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2009, 10:33:37 PM »

Andrei Rublev (1966)
It has so many themes: redemption, reconciliation, and faith in the face of the unspeakable cruelty of man against man.
The movie is also as old as I am!

Is this movie in English?

Selam

No. Its in Russian (and I don't speak Russian) but it is available in subtitled format (which is what I have it in).
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« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2009, 11:07:46 PM »

"The Apostle" starring Robert Duvall. A great movie about sin and redemption and human nature.

Selam
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« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2009, 11:10:52 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

The Matrix
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« Reply #71 on: April 29, 2009, 12:17:32 AM »

I don't watch or go to see movies much, but I did go see Bella. Great movie.
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« Reply #72 on: April 29, 2009, 02:26:25 AM »

I don't watch or go to see movies much, but I did go see Bella. Great movie.


A good movie indeed!

Selam
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« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2009, 11:03:08 AM »

Ok, who recommended The Fountain??  I just watched it and I'm totally confuuuuused!
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« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2009, 11:49:26 AM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

The Matrix
BLEH!
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« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2009, 04:13:41 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

Meh, it's not for everyone.
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« Reply #76 on: May 12, 2009, 06:45:53 AM »

OK, here are two of my favorites:

Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Christopher Reeves. This movie is a great study in human nature and political deception. One of Hopkin's best roles. This movie is not for action fans, but if you enjoy character driven drama, this is one of the best.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107943/

Babette's Feast Here's a brief discription of the movie that I found on line:

Philippa (Hanne Stensgaard) and Martina (Vibeke Hastrup ) turn down a chance to leave their Danish town, instead staying to care for their pastor father and his small church. Thirty-five years later, a French woman (Stéphane Audran) seeks refuge, and Philippa and Martina (now Bodil Kjer and Birgitte Federspie) take her in. The feast the woman prepares in gratitude is eclipsed only by her secret in director Gabriel Axel's Oscar-winning drama.

Selam
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« Reply #77 on: May 12, 2009, 08:31:20 AM »

Although it isn't a part of any major religion, and may/may not have been intended to be spiritual... I'd say...

Star Wars

This is because it has so many spiritual essences to it, redemption, good v. evil, hope, faith etc...
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« Reply #78 on: May 12, 2009, 09:46:23 AM »

Although it isn't a part of any major religion, and may/may not have been intended to be spiritual... I'd say...

Star Wars

This is because it has so many spiritual essences to it, redemption, good v. evil, hope, faith etc...

Very true. Star Wars is definitely a "spiritual" movie, although I disagree with its New Age worldview. But I loved it as a kid when it first came out. I must have seen it 3 or 4 times in two weeks.

Selam
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« Reply #79 on: May 12, 2009, 10:06:22 AM »

OK, I am about to sound like a cinema snob here, but I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in the responses to this post. All of you have done well in mentioning movies that have a spiritual theme, but I haven't seen very many good movies (artistically, not morally, speaking) cited. With the exception of some of the foreign language movies that seem very appealing, (but I just don't have any way of finding them) I haven't been very impressed with the other references. I commend "Rosehip" though; he/she always has some good choices.

Anyway, everyone knows about Star Wars, The Matrix, and such. Let's dig a little deeper and recommend some good movies that most of us may not be familiar with. So, come on guys. Step it up!

Selam
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« Reply #80 on: May 12, 2009, 10:26:21 AM »

Just recalled one other motion picture with a very strong spiritual theme made in the former USSR. The film called "Atonement" (or "Repentance" - perhaps can be rendered either way), by a Georgian film director Tengiz Abuladze. It premiered in 1985 in its original Georgian with Russian subtitles. Maybe there is an English subtitered version, I don't know (but I hope so).

It's a very unusual film, deeply allegoric, at times bordering with surrealism. The main heroes are two Georgian families, one of a dictator (called "the city mayor" Varlam Aravidze in  the film, but having very obvious features of Stalin), and the other - of the dictator's victims, those who were arrested on trumped-up charges, tortured and martyred in forced labor camps. At the beginning of the film, the daugher of one of the martyred victims digs Varlam Aravidze's body from its grave and throws it on the city street. She is arrested, tried, found guilty, and ordered to stop doing this outrageous thing, but she never stops - she says all the time, "as long as I live, the body of Varlam Aravidze will not rest in this earth." The rest of the film is a stream of reminescences about Varlam coming to power, about people's complacency with his more and more tyrannic, bloody rule, about certain strange shifts in people's heads when they begin to convince their neighbors and themselves that "it's still good for our city (meaning "country")," etc. Yet, there is a certain "sobering up" closer to the end; the son of Varlam and his wife still remain in their self-denial, but their son, Varlam's young grandson, suddenly sees the horror of his granddad's tyrany, and kills himself in front of his parents. The final scene of the movie is totally awesome: a very old woman who seems to be almost or even completely blind, tries to find her way to something that she calls a "Temple," walking down a city street, and the residents tell her that the Temple is no longer there, because Varlam blew it up; and the old woman suddenly says: "if this street does not lead to the Temple - why then does this street even exist? Who needs this street?"

It may be difficult for someone who never lived in the USSR to grasp the sense of this film, but for people like me it's very real and true. I completely agree with the idea that unless, and until, the countries of the former USSR expose the whole horror of Stalinism (Leninism, Bolshevism, Soviet Communism, whatever you call it), there will be nothing good over there. The body of Varlam Aravidze must not remain in its grave. Lenin's mummy should not continue to lie in it's "Mausoleum" near the Kremlin wall...
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« Reply #81 on: May 12, 2009, 11:39:58 AM »

Just recalled one other motion picture with a very strong spiritual theme made in the former USSR. The film called "Atonement" (or "Repentance" - perhaps can be rendered either way), by a Georgian film director Tengiz Abuladze. It premiered in 1985 in its original Georgian with Russian subtitles. Maybe there is an English subtitered version, I don't know (but I hope so).

It's a very unusual film, deeply allegoric, at times bordering with surrealism. The main heroes are two Georgian families, one of a dictator (called "the city mayor" Varlam Aravidze in  the film, but having very obvious features of Stalin), and the other - of the dictator's victims, those who were arrested on trumped-up charges, tortured and martyred in forced labor camps. At the beginning of the film, the daugher of one of the martyred victims digs Varlam Aravidze's body from its grave and throws it on the city street. She is arrested, tried, found guilty, and ordered to stop doing this outrageous thing, but she never stops - she says all the time, "as long as I live, the body of Varlam Aravidze will not rest in this earth." The rest of the film is a stream of reminescences about Varlam coming to power, about people's complacency with his more and more tyrannic, bloody rule, about certain strange shifts in people's heads when they begin to convince their neighbors and themselves that "it's still good for our city (meaning "country")," etc. Yet, there is a certain "sobering up" closer to the end; the son of Varlam and his wife still remain in their self-denial, but their son, Varlam's young grandson, suddenly sees the horror of his granddad's tyrany, and kills himself in front of his parents. The final scene of the movie is totally awesome: a very old woman who seems to be almost or even completely blind, tries to find her way to something that she calls a "Temple," walking down a city street, and the residents tell her that the Temple is no longer there, because Varlam blew it up; and the old woman suddenly says: "if this street does not lead to the Temple - why then does this street even exist? Who needs this street?"

It may be difficult for someone who never lived in the USSR to grasp the sense of this film, but for people like me it's very real and true. I completely agree with the idea that unless, and until, the countries of the former USSR expose the whole horror of Stalinism (Leninism, Bolshevism, Soviet Communism, whatever you call it), there will be nothing good over there. The body of Varlam Aravidze must not remain in its grave. Lenin's mummy should not continue to lie in it's "Mausoleum" near the Kremlin wall...

THANK YOU! This is exactly the kind of response I was hoping to generate with this post. I have not heard of the movie, but your excellent summary inspires me to try to find it. A very relevant theme in this day and age. It seems apropos of what is happening in America today, ...

Selam


Political reference removed from post...  Please don't post politics in the public forum.  -PtA
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« Reply #82 on: May 12, 2009, 12:20:49 PM »

Chariots of Fire remains one of my all-time favorites.
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« Reply #83 on: May 12, 2009, 01:18:44 PM »

Chariots of Fire remains one of my all-time favorites.

An excellent movie with a powerful spiritual - and deeply Christian - message. It occurs to me that this is one of the last critically acclaimed movies to be made that portrayed a Christian in a positive and realistic light. Thanks for bringing it up!

Selam
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« Reply #84 on: May 12, 2009, 08:38:44 PM »

"The Widow of Saint-Pierre" -beautiful shot with a palate of wintry colors, grays, blues, and faded greens plays against the passions of anger, revenge, pride, love, compassion, and redemption;
It's the full package of beauty, virtue, sans the "happy" hollywood endings that cheapen the true "cost"  and the telos of Love...

Jeffrey Overstreet  gives a bit of a skimming over the top review -he writes some reviews for Christianity Today, but the reviews and articles on film on his blog are much more in depth  and are a great resource for films that may never see the light of day in the mainstream media.
http://lookingcloser.org/2007/09/widow-of-st-pierre-the-2000/


Another, more in depth review and trailer at IMDb http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2784755993/, and I am sure their are trailers/clips on the web to give you a taste of the beauty of this film....this is a film that is beautiful inside, outside, in sound and silence, and in watching and after the watching meditating...as it is one that is not quickly forgotten.

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« Reply #85 on: May 12, 2009, 08:53:55 PM »

Central Station is a bit of an enigma to me...the first time I watched I had all kinds of little epiphanies and flashes of so many spiritual themes that my mind could hardly keep up...aside from all the typology in color and events, the story stands on it's own as a film apart for the power of simple human virtue, love, and care, even grudgingly given can change lives.

When I had a chance to watch it with commentary either the directors/writers/actors didn't have a clue about the story they were filming, or I may have been reading to much into it.

Either way, it's a great movie.....and I would be interested if anyone else was almost knocked unconscious with all the spiritual references (visual, story elements, typology) or I may have been reading way to much into it.

trailer/reviews also available at IMDb http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=central+station&x=0&y=0
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« Reply #86 on: May 12, 2009, 09:26:15 PM »

Tender Mercies (1983) is a story of repentance, love, guilt, sorrow and much more with Christianity as a major part of the story.  It's about a washed up country-western singer played by  Robert Duvall who hits bottom, works for a young widow raising her young son on the condition that he stops drinking.  He connects with his daughter again and his ex-wife then the girl is killed in an accident and he ministers to her mother in their grief.

It got the best picture Oscar and Duvall got Best actor.

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« Reply #87 on: May 12, 2009, 09:56:17 PM »

Tender Mercies (1983) is a story of repentance, love, guilt, sorrow and much more with Christianity as a major part of the story.  It's about a washed up country-western singer played by  Robert Duvall who hits bottom, works for a young widow raising her young son on the condition that he stops drinking.  He connects with his daughter again and his ex-wife then the girl is killed in an accident and he ministers to her mother in their grief.

It got the best picture Oscar and Duvall got Best actor.

Ebor

I first saw this movie in my early twenties and "whoosh", right over my head...I hadn't seen or experienced or gotten myself into enough spots where I appreciated the daily "little mercies", quiet and simply given that change lives.
I've seen and been in need of those tender mercies now, maybe a thousand times over now that I am in my 50's...and also pulled up short too many times being unmerciful, when Love bade me to do otherwise....the mark of a "True" story...it changes and grows with you...

Timeless; and IMHO, it is Duvall's best.

I won't give it to my young twentyish daughters for a few years yet, but it will be one of those "favorite" legacy movies I pass on to them, hopefully at just the right time.
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« Reply #88 on: May 12, 2009, 10:25:14 PM »

Great movie, "Tender Mercies"! I love Robert Duvall. Certainly this is one of his best, but I would also include "The Great Santini" and "The Apostle" in the mix.

I'm so glad that some good movies are being mentioned now. Thanks guys!

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« Reply #89 on: May 13, 2009, 02:23:56 AM »

Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091288/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091480/


Looking at it simplistically, the main theme could be we are all responsible for one another, whether through our actions or our inaction and reap what we sow.
But was any character "free" to choose to do what the thing that would have averted all the tragedy?

That is the core enigma of both films....it would be so easy to blame fate or destiny....or a karma type economy in looking at the events superficially; but each character has one or more moments of choice that would have led to a turn around of the meteoric fall toward ruin and mutual destruction...if only....
The smallest dose of humility show of humility  resulting in even a gesture of act of returning good for evil, or  a  momentary laying down of a "tribal" pride would have been all that was needed to save all both sides from ruin.... yet each side, each character thinks the other should make the first move.

Unfortunately that move is never made, maybe it was an impossible choice (!?)....for there was no one to lead, to show by example...
...and this brings into stark relief the whole meaning of the incarnation:... though he bore no guilt for the sin that enslaved a whole race to the lies and deception of the evil one; and the blindness that kept us from finding  The Way back and wandering in darkness, in spite of our best efforts....the broken bonds, vertical and horizontal sealed our doom until one perfect sacrifice, of humility born out of Love that would bring Light to those who sat in Darkness....put the lost back in the "Way" that would lead to "Life".
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« Reply #90 on: May 13, 2009, 02:43:00 AM »

One final movie-only because of an intriguing line near the end which seems to thwart the whole thesis of the book/movie and everything else written about the holocaust...indeed, the whole "holocaust remembrance industry"
And all knowledge, no matter how true, if it is not pointing toward "THE TRUTH", is incomplete,  always fails to bring true"Light" to the human condition....
and I know this is/will be controversial, if any interpret it the way it seemed to be communicated in the movie.

The movie is:

"THE READER"

Near the end the main character,  middle-aged German lawyer named Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) visits a Holocaust survivor (Lena Olin), seeking enlightenment about a part of his life that still baffles him.

Quote
“People ask me if I learned anything in the camps,” she tells him. “The camps were not therapy. Nothing came out of the camps. Nothing.”

It's not holocaust denial, which would land anyone these days in hot water, but questions if anything lasting, anything that might prevent it from happening again.....the answer seems clear....and seeing the movie and hearing this line in context is a must to understand the effect... ...to even see if anyone else seems to hear it in the same light that I seemed to have heard it.  And I am not sure if I agree or disagree that judgment, if that is what the writer/director seems to be saying.

Aside from that, there is another whole can of worms about the power of literature, story, and it's effect on making us more "human" and creating connections...or it that myth, too?Huh?
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« Reply #91 on: July 07, 2009, 03:23:23 AM »

OK, here are some of my favorites:

Seven Years in Tibet
This is a wonderful movie about the true story of Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer's unlikely friendship with the Dalai Lama. I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, but he was excellent in this role. A very powerful, moving, and inspirational film. Here's the trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ22unS_zdk

East of Eden
One of James Dean's three big leading roles. There's a lot of biblical symbolism in this movie. It's an intense portrait of good and evil, sin and redemption.
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/east-of-eden-original-trailer/2529869251

Schindler's List
I don't think I need to say much about this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAH3RTRlCHY

Malcolm X
Spike Lee is a brilliant film maker who says a lot of idiotic things sometimes. But this is easily his best movie in my opinion. Denzel Washington nailed it in his role as Malcolm X. Great music, great cinematography, great acting, and historically accurate. I cry at various stages each time I see it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rfaiu8DbRs

Barabbas
One of my favorite movies starring one of my favorite actors, Anthony Quinn. A wonderful story about the murderer who was released instead of Christ and how he eventually came to know Our Lord.
http://www.superiorpics.com/anthony_quinn/movie/1962_barabbas.html

The Exorcist
I don't think I need to say much about this one either.
http://www.squidoo.com/the-exorcist-movie

Beyond the Gates
A powerful movie about a Catholic priest caught in the middle of the Rwandan genocide.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/beyondthegates/

Dances With Wolves
This is one of my all time favorite movies! There are a lot of spiritual themes involving the issues of justice, friendship, good vs. evil, and loyalty. I cry when I watch this one too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMOQORiWn80

Fire in the Sky
An intriguing movie about the ostensibly true life account of Travis Walton’s abduction by aliens. Regardless of what you believe about UFO’s, this movie will really have you thinking.
http://www.videodetective.com/TitleDetails.aspx?publishedid=4410

Frailty
I really like this movie. I guess it just appeals to my thirst for spiritual justice. I won’t say to much more about it because it will surprise you if you haven’t seen it before. A very original film.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IBGiPz0heI

Selam
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« Reply #92 on: July 07, 2009, 08:39:50 AM »

OK, here are some of my favorites:

Seven Years in Tibet
This is a wonderful movie about the true story of Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer's unlikely friendship with the Dalai Lama. I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, but he was excellent in this role. A very powerful, moving, and inspirational film. Here's the trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ22unS_zdk

I haven't seen it, will look at the trailer, thanks.

East of Eden
One of James Dean's three big leading roles. There's a lot of biblical symbolism in this movie. It's an intense portrait of good and evil, sin and redemption.
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/east-of-eden-original-trailer/2529869251

Ditto, thank you.

Schindler's List
I don't think I need to say much about this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAH3RTRlCHY

That one I have seen, and I have to say plainly that I do not like it at all. In my opinion, Speilberg is simply using a peculiar topic of the Jewish "Shoah" to sell this half-baked, weak, artistically impotent piece of garbage. The level of acting in this film is lower than in some provincial high school drama performance.

Malcolm X
Spike Lee is a brilliant film maker who says a lot of idiotic things sometimes. But this is easily his best movie in my opinion. Denzel Washington nailed it in his role as Malcolm X. Great music, great cinematography, great acting, and historically accurate. I cry at various stages each time I see it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rfaiu8DbRs

I have seen it and it did not particularly strike me as anything...

Barabbas
One of my favorite movies starring one of my favorite actors, Anthony Quinn. A wonderful story about the murderer who was released instead of Christ and how he eventually came to know Our Lord.
http://www.superiorpics.com/anthony_quinn/movie/1962_barabbas.html

Yet to see this one.

The Exorcist
I don't think I need to say much about this one either.
http://www.squidoo.com/the-exorcist-movie

Brrrr. Yuck. Lotsa special effects.

Beyond the Gates
A powerful movie about a Catholic priest caught in the middle of the Rwandan genocide.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/beyondthegates/

Yet to see this one.

Dances With Wolves
This is one of my all time favorite movies! There are a lot of spiritual themes involving the issues of justice, friendship, good vs. evil, and loyalty. I cry when I watch this one too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMOQORiWn80

Oh-my-gawd. A primitive snetimental melodrama with lots of special effects, artistically zero. "English Patient" number X. Typical Hollywood.

Fire in the Sky
An intriguing movie about the ostensibly true life account of Travis Walton’s abduction by aliens. Regardless of what you believe about UFO’s, this movie will really have you thinking.
http://www.videodetective.com/TitleDetails.aspx?publishedid=4410

Yet to see

Frailty
I really like this movie. I guess it just appeals to my thirst for spiritual justice. I won’t say to much more about it because it will surprise you if you haven’t seen it before. A very original film.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IBGiPz0heI

Yet to see

P.S. Do you watch European films?
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« Reply #93 on: July 07, 2009, 11:18:29 AM »

I would have to say that The Lord of the Rings is my favorite movie with spiritual themes. The depth to the story seems endless as I always find something new when I watch it. I think people are surprised when they find out how many things are applicable to spirituality in general and Christianity, and yet, the story is good enough on it's own that people can watch it and get the meaning of the story without being beaten over the head with it. Definitely LOTR for me.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Bladerunner, as the spiritual themes in that movie are rather deeply ingrained, and a bigt disturbing. There are multiple versions out however, and I'm honestly not sure I've seen them all. I've seen the theatrical, and the 80's director's cut, but I think there is a newer director's cut that I have yet to see....but it's definitely worth a look, and makes someone question what it means to be "human".

I would add Dune to my list but I don't really feel like either version (80's Lynch, early 2000's SciFi) of the movie does the book justice, but both movies have good points. I think the SciFi version gets more into the spirituality of the story, but nothing like the novel touches on. But there is a new Dune film going to be made with people from both previous versions involved, so maybe we'll get a definitive version that goes into the essence of the story more.
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« Reply #94 on: July 07, 2009, 12:09:06 PM »

I would have to say that The Lord of the Rings is my favorite movie with spiritual themes. The depth to the story seems endless as I always find something new when I watch it. I think people are surprised when they find out how many things are applicable to spirituality in general and Christianity, and yet, the story is good enough on it's own that people can watch it and get the meaning of the story without being beaten over the head with it. Definitely LOTR for me.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Bladerunner, as the spiritual themes in that movie are rather deeply ingrained, and a bigt disturbing. There are multiple versions out however, and I'm honestly not sure I've seen them all. I've seen the theatrical, and the 80's director's cut, but I think there is a newer director's cut that I have yet to see....but it's definitely worth a look, and makes someone question what it means to be "human".

I would add Dune to my list but I don't really feel like either version (80's Lynch, early 2000's SciFi) of the movie does the book justice, but both movies have good points. I think the SciFi version gets more into the spirituality of the story, but nothing like the novel touches on. But there is a new Dune film going to be made with people from both previous versions involved, so maybe we'll get a definitive version that goes into the essence of the story more.


You know, I just do not like sci-fi at all. Not my genre. Do not see anything spiritual there. Tarkovsky's "Solaris" is the ONLY exception.
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« Reply #95 on: July 07, 2009, 03:28:21 PM »

One final movie-only because of an intriguing line near the end which seems to thwart the whole thesis of the book/movie and everything else written about the holocaust...indeed, the whole "holocaust remembrance industry"
And all knowledge, no matter how true, if it is not pointing toward "THE TRUTH", is incomplete,  always fails to bring true"Light" to the human condition....
and I know this is/will be controversial, if any interpret it the way it seemed to be communicated in the movie.

The movie is:

"THE READER"

Near the end the main character,  middle-aged German lawyer named Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) visits a Holocaust survivor (Lena Olin), seeking enlightenment about a part of his life that still baffles him.

Quote
“People ask me if I learned anything in the camps,” she tells him. “The camps were not therapy. Nothing came out of the camps. Nothing.”

It's not holocaust denial, which would land anyone these days in hot water, but questions if anything lasting, anything that might prevent it from happening again.....the answer seems clear....and seeing the movie and hearing this line in context is a must to understand the effect... ...to even see if anyone else seems to hear it in the same light that I seemed to have heard it.  And I am not sure if I agree or disagree that judgment, if that is what the writer/director seems to be saying.

Aside from that, there is another whole can of worms about the power of literature, story, and it's effect on making us more "human" and creating connections...or it that myth, too?Huh?

Sorry, I saw this movie and did not enjoy it one bit. Everything in it is so artificial, IMHO, and the acting is as bad as in Spielberg's "Schindler's List." Total cr#p. "English Patient Number X." Pretentious and dull, everything, including even the unnecessarily abundant scenes in bed.
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« Reply #96 on: July 07, 2009, 03:38:26 PM »

The Alamo

The older version with John Wayne.

There is a great monologue by one of the Texans on the eve of the final massacre about the existence of God. It was (of course) not in the later versions of the movie
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« Reply #97 on: July 07, 2009, 06:11:46 PM »

I scanned through previous posts and have not seen the following:

Groundhog Day: A comedy with deep moral lessons.

Casablanca: Honor, duty, sacrifice.

Zorba the Greek: The down side of uninformed religion.

Godfather I and II: Michael's horrific slide into evil.

It's a Wonderful Life: Love conquers all.

Gandhi: One man makes a difference.

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« Reply #98 on: July 07, 2009, 06:17:21 PM »

I mentioned The Fountain (2006) earlier. I would be really interested to hear others' perspectives on this (before I elaborate on my one-liner).

Youtube trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDp-F3Y97ZQ
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« Reply #99 on: July 07, 2009, 06:52:46 PM »

I mentioned The Fountain (2006) earlier. I would be really interested to hear others' perspectives on this (before I elaborate on my one-liner).

Youtube trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDp-F3Y97ZQ

From the trailer, it looks like a costumed fairy-tale... Not my cup of tea at all. Sad
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« Reply #100 on: July 07, 2009, 06:55:11 PM »

Godfather I and II: Michael's horrific slide into evil.

Oh yes. And GFIII. Real classic. Love it. Can see it over and over again, remember about half of the lines by heart.

Truly great story with very deep spiritual meaning. Also extremely professional director's work by F.F. Coppola, wonderful acting, and amazing music.
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« Reply #101 on: July 07, 2009, 07:11:38 PM »

There's the British "Brother Cadfael" series, which a dear friend introduced me to. Brother Cadfael is a monk who works as an herbalist and solves mysteries! A real man of God and without self-righteousness. A man who lived and loved as an ordinary man before he joined the monastery!

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« Reply #102 on: July 07, 2009, 07:19:04 PM »

I mentioned The Fountain (2006) earlier. I would be really interested to hear others' perspectives on this (before I elaborate on my one-liner).

Youtube trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDp-F3Y97ZQ

From the trailer, it looks like a costumed fairy-tale... Not my cup of tea at all. Sad

Well one of the three "layers" of the film is set in 16th century Spain; what would you expect the actors' costumes to be like?

I'm generally not much of a fan of fantasy myself. But I found the film rather deep and moving; the fanciful aspects of the film served simply as ornamentation in my opinion, in contrast to most of the fantasy films i've seen where 'fantasy' itself seems to constitute the very essence.

I recommend you give the film a crack.
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« Reply #103 on: July 07, 2009, 07:34:49 PM »

Barabbas
One of my favorite movies starring one of my favorite actors, Anthony Quinn. A wonderful story about the murderer who was released instead of Christ and how he eventually came to know Our Lord.
http://www.superiorpics.com/anthony_quinn/movie/1962_barabbas.html

I absolutely loved this movie. It is so amazing and it is one of my favorites. It is a must see!

Here are a few of the movies that I really love:

The Sign of the Cross
Cecil B. DeMille's classic about the Christian persecutions under Nero.

Bab'Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul
It is a Sufi Muslim film but it is so beautiful. One quote that I will not forget from the film is when Bab'Aziz and his granddaughter are going to a gathering but don't know where it is and one man asks what if he gets lost and Bab'Aziz answers "One who has faith will never be lost" and he walks through the desert trusting all to God. It is just a wonderful movie.


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« Reply #104 on: July 07, 2009, 09:07:31 PM »

Anyone here other than my wretched self loving Fellini, Bergman, and Tarkovsky? (And Antonioni and Godard and Bunuel and... you know). I would love to discuss... Smiley
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« Reply #105 on: July 07, 2009, 09:11:17 PM »

The Tarkovsky movie is, however, very interesting in that he makes it more a story of repentance than a story about unusual forms of intellect. The ocean on the planet Solaris in the Tarkovsky movie is acting like the injured conscience of the visitors; it produces real people whom these visitors hurt, against whom they transgressed in the past. And the "grand finalle" of the film is completely different from, I would venture to say, anything one expects to see in sci-fi movies: it's actually a return of a human being to the Father, to the Home where every "tear" is wiped away, every transgression forgiven, etc.
That is interesting, and quite different indeed. I tire of the "higher intelligence" theme prevalent in so much of science fiction, as though all our problems will be solved by meeting the right alien race; and also of the apocalyptic theme, as though we are doomed no matter what we do. Your description seems to indicate something refreshingly different in the genre, something in the story that apparently slipped past Clooney.

I thoroughly enjoyed that clip. Amazon wants $30 for the DVD, and it's not on Blu-Ray, but it may be worth it. Thank you.

Have you seen it already? (Don't mean to rush you... just remember, Netflix... provides EVERYTHING..)
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« Reply #106 on: July 07, 2009, 09:12:54 PM »

LOTR is a great movie to introduce Christian themes, and I have been working on taking out takes of scenes from the movies to discuss with my older teen youth group, such as:

-The nature and effects of power on people

-The parallels between Smeagol/Deagol and Cain/Abel in the movie.

-Boromir's wrestling with himself, and only understanding the nature of life until he repented (he literally fell flat, and then was brought to his senses). From then he understood it was better for him to give of himself, than to take from others.

It's been interesting enough that I have a group of adults who want to watch the movies and have discussions afterwards. We'll see where that goes, though...sometimes we have troubles actually doing what we want to do.

I really like Ostrog, but maybe that's just me.

But, y'know, you can discuss spiritual themes with Spongebob Squarepants episodes, when you really get down to it! Movies need to have some sort of tension in them, and then you can discuss the spiritual impact of the decisions made by the characters.

Father, bless!

You and I seem (at least from this post of yours) to have an ENTIRELY different idea about what cinematography is...
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« Reply #107 on: July 07, 2009, 09:14:23 PM »

Well, you should take my recommendations of Black Robe and Smoke Signals with a grain of salt since I have a personal connection with them to some extent so to speak. Most movies with indians in them are far from accurate. (or the "indians" aren't indians at all) We indians are not noble savages, savages or anything like those two categories. I enjoy these movies for the stories that they portray. They are both sad stories that have some hope. Smoke Signals in particular deals with the identity of being indian in a white society and how jarring it is to leave the rez. There is also the issue of masculinity and how the sins of the father can be visited on the son. Sometimes trying your hardest NOT  to be like your parents backfires so completely that you fall into the same traps. The issue of forgiveness is paramount and domestic violence as well as loosing your parents at an early age are addressed. It is a subtle story in that the real "meat" of the story isn't readily apparent and it warrants multiple viewings to really get the story. I wouldn't call it a bad movie to watch with children, we watch it with ours. There isn't any sex, violence or much bad language to speak of. But the story is one that is extremely intense and will strike a child moreso than an adult in my experience. It is a wonderful movie and ends up making me cry everytime. Even my husband ends up crying each time at the ending scene. The music (and lyrics) are absolutely essential to the story and the soundtrack can stand alone easily. You can't find many movies where if you listen to the soundtrack alone you can get the jist of the story-Smoke Signals is one of those movies (so is Wall-E as an aside). There is plenty of humor in the story and that is likely why it ends up being labeled a comedy. You need to know that Sherman Alexie is a gifted writer and speaker and can make you laugh a great deal. But what you are laughing at isn't actually all that funny when it comes down to is. The lead actor (father character to those of you that have seen the movie) looks almost exactly like my biological father and in some ways the story paralells my own life. It is a loose comparison and one that many indians can relate to but it is there; domestic violence and abuse are rampant on indian reservations. Alexie's other movie "The business of Fancydancing" is absolute trash so just avoid it. He has an obvious agenda and pushes it way too hard, so much so that the movie itself is fairly forgettable.

My husband's love of Black Robe is his own. He can see many things in it and we have had quite a few discussions about it but they all fail me at the moment (pregnancy brain is on the fritz). And as he is VERY far away I can't ask him to delve into it all that much for you. I would suggest you rent it if you can (many public libraries will have it) and see what you think. It could be that what we see from our cultural perspective is something you won't be able to see from yours. And trying to give you that perspective is virtually impossible. I do enjoy the movie a great deal. But he has it with him in Afghanistan and I haven't watched it in quite awhile. (he has Smoke Signals as well actually)


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« Reply #108 on: July 07, 2009, 09:15:53 PM »

I seldom watch movies, but one that really resonated with me was "Babette's Feast".

Hear, hear, good one! Smiley
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« Reply #109 on: July 07, 2009, 09:17:54 PM »

The Thin Red Line (2001) (existential warriors in WW2 South Pacific; violence)

Princess Mononoke (1997) (the human-nature relationship, and divinity; anime violence)

Signs (2002) (the recovery of faith, from an outer-space source; some cursing)

King Arthur [Director's Cut] (2004) (touches on Pelagius and free-will; lots of Saxon-Latin violence)

Haven't seen and not gonna...
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« Reply #110 on: July 07, 2009, 09:22:08 PM »

There's the British "Brother Cadfael" series, which a dear friend introduced me to. Brother Cadfael is a monk who works as an herbalist and solves mysteries! A real man of God and without self-righteousness. A man who lived and loved as an ordinary man before he joined the monastery!



Rosehip, dear sis, have you tried European classics? Like Fellini, Bergman, Bunuel, Godard, Antonioni..? You should if you have not yet!
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« Reply #111 on: July 07, 2009, 09:56:16 PM »

There's the British "Brother Cadfael" series, which a dear friend introduced me to. Brother Cadfael is a monk who works as an herbalist and solves mysteries! A real man of God and without self-righteousness. A man who lived and loved as an ordinary man before he joined the monastery!



Rosehip, dear sis, have you tried European classics? Like Fellini, Bergman, Bunuel, Godard, Antonioni..? You should if you have not yet!



Yes, I have actually. I watched a Bergman film at the art gallery. I loved the Norwegian scenery, but as a film it was very dark. Have you seen Brother Cadfael too? I think Britain qualifies as european.
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« Reply #112 on: July 07, 2009, 09:59:43 PM »

The Ingmar Bergman I saw was "Autumn Sonata". It was troubling for me because it was the story of my own mother, who was very neglected by her "famous" mother.
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« Reply #113 on: July 07, 2009, 11:14:51 PM »

The Ingmar Bergman I saw was "Autumn Sonata". It was troubling for me because it was the story of my own mother, who was very neglected by her "famous" mother.

Yes, that's one good film by Bergman, yes, said, yes, disturbing... a tragedy, something the true art rises to...
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« Reply #114 on: July 08, 2009, 12:57:49 AM »

I seldom watch movies, but one that really resonated with me was "Babette's Feast".

Hear, hear, good one! Smiley

Yes, I love this movie. I mentioned it in my earlier post. I thought that you and Rosehip would also like it.

Selam
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« Reply #115 on: July 08, 2009, 01:03:47 AM »

The Thin Red Line (2001) (existential warriors in WW2 South Pacific; violence)

Princess Mononoke (1997) (the human-nature relationship, and divinity; anime violence)

Signs (2002) (the recovery of faith, from an outer-space source; some cursing)

King Arthur [Director's Cut] (2004) (touches on Pelagius and free-will; lots of Saxon-Latin violence)

Haven't seen and not gonna...

I thought The Thin Red Line was a very underrated film. There is a lot of philosophy in the movie, but it might not be recognized by those who aren't well versed in philosophy. I liked it because it was a very unique portrayal of war. Most war movies are usually either overly romanticized or portrayed through a nihilistic lens. But The Thin Red Line didn't fall into either category in my opinion. Refreshingly unique.

Selam
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« Reply #116 on: July 08, 2009, 01:12:51 AM »

I scanned through previous posts and have not seen the following:

Groundhog Day: A comedy with deep moral lessons.

Casablanca: Honor, duty, sacrifice.

Zorba the Greek: The down side of uninformed religion.

Godfather I and II: Michael's horrific slide into evil.

It's a Wonderful Life: Love conquers all.

Gandhi: One man makes a difference.



GROUNDHOG DAY is hilarious. It might be a stretch to say it contained some deep moral lessons, but it's just a darn funny movie!

ZORBA THE GREEK is an excellent movie. Again, starring my man Anthony Quinn!

THE GODFATHER, all of three of them, are terrific movies. Not so much in terms of containing a spiritual theme though.

CASABLANCA: Haven't seen it and probably won't. Just not my cup of tea.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a classic that I enjoy.

GANDHI: I am ashamed that I neglected to put this on any of my earlier lists! What a great movie. Ben Kingsly is another great actor, and a classy human being.

Selam
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« Reply #117 on: July 08, 2009, 01:26:09 AM »

OK, here are some of my favorites:

Seven Years in Tibet
This is a wonderful movie about the true story of Austrian explorer Heinrich Harrer's unlikely friendship with the Dalai Lama. I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, but he was excellent in this role. A very powerful, moving, and inspirational film. Here's the trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ22unS_zdk

I haven't seen it, will look at the trailer, thanks.

East of Eden
One of James Dean's three big leading roles. There's a lot of biblical symbolism in this movie. It's an intense portrait of good and evil, sin and redemption.
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/east-of-eden-original-trailer/2529869251

Ditto, thank you.

Schindler's List
I don't think I need to say much about this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAH3RTRlCHY

That one I have seen, and I have to say plainly that I do not like it at all. In my opinion, Speilberg is simply using a peculiar topic of the Jewish "Shoah" to sell this half-baked, weak, artistically impotent piece of garbage. The level of acting in this film is lower than in some provincial high school drama performance.

Malcolm X
Spike Lee is a brilliant film maker who says a lot of idiotic things sometimes. But this is easily his best movie in my opinion. Denzel Washington nailed it in his role as Malcolm X. Great music, great cinematography, great acting, and historically accurate. I cry at various stages each time I see it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rfaiu8DbRs

I have seen it and it did not particularly strike me as anything...

Barabbas
One of my favorite movies starring one of my favorite actors, Anthony Quinn. A wonderful story about the murderer who was released instead of Christ and how he eventually came to know Our Lord.
http://www.superiorpics.com/anthony_quinn/movie/1962_barabbas.html

Yet to see this one.

The Exorcist
I don't think I need to say much about this one either.
http://www.squidoo.com/the-exorcist-movie

Brrrr. Yuck. Lotsa special effects.

Beyond the Gates
A powerful movie about a Catholic priest caught in the middle of the Rwandan genocide.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/beyondthegates/

Yet to see this one.

Dances With Wolves
This is one of my all time favorite movies! There are a lot of spiritual themes involving the issues of justice, friendship, good vs. evil, and loyalty. I cry when I watch this one too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMOQORiWn80

Oh-my-gawd. A primitive snetimental melodrama with lots of special effects, artistically zero. "English Patient" number X. Typical Hollywood.

Fire in the Sky
An intriguing movie about the ostensibly true life account of Travis Walton’s abduction by aliens. Regardless of what you believe about UFO’s, this movie will really have you thinking.
http://www.videodetective.com/TitleDetails.aspx?publishedid=4410

Yet to see

Frailty
I really like this movie. I guess it just appeals to my thirst for spiritual justice. I won’t say to much more about it because it will surprise you if you haven’t seen it before. A very original film.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IBGiPz0heI

Yet to see

P.S. Do you watch European films?


I loved Babette's Feast, which I guess is technically a European film. But I'm not big on subtitles, so I miss out on some great movies I'm sure. Perhaps you can recommend some that are worth me putting up with the subtitles.

As far as the above movies that you have not seen: Judging by your tastes I don't think Frailty or Fire In the Sky will be worth your time. But I do think that you will enjoy Seven Years in Tibet, Beyond the Gates, and Barabbas.

By the way, I agree that Dances With Wolves is "typical Hollywood," but occasionally "typical Hollywood" gets it right. In this case I think Hollywood got it right. I imagine you feel the same way about The Ice Storm, which I enjoyed but thought was "typical Hollywood" nonetheless.

Oh yeah, I take it you were not a fan of The English Patient? You mean to tell me that you didn't enjoy such a sincere, unpretentious, and realistic piece of film? (I am being sarcastic) Wink

Selam
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« Reply #118 on: July 14, 2009, 09:22:22 PM »

One movie that I really enjoyed is Into the Wild.

The movie is about a highly intelligent college graduate who decides to embark on a life of self discovery, exploring the world without any attachments to human relationships or material possessions. The movie is based upon a true story. I thought it was beautifully filmed and very poignant. The movie has a great message that I won't disclose here. Heorhij and Rosehip, I think you all might especially enjoy this one.

Here's the movie trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LAuzT_x8Ek

Selam
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« Reply #119 on: July 15, 2009, 03:47:12 PM »

GMK, thanks for the recommendation! I'll try to watch this film!
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« Reply #120 on: July 15, 2009, 04:08:20 PM »


There's the British "Brother Cadfael" series, which a dear friend introduced me to. Brother Cadfael is a monk who works as an herbalist and solves mysteries! A real man of God and without self-righteousness. A man who lived and loved as an ordinary man before he joined the monastery!



Rosehip,

I truly enjoyed the series!  Great fun!

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« Reply #121 on: July 15, 2009, 06:59:47 PM »


There's the British "Brother Cadfael" series, which a dear friend introduced me to. Brother Cadfael is a monk who works as an herbalist and solves mysteries! A real man of God and without self-righteousness. A man who lived and loved as an ordinary man before he joined the monastery!



Rosehip,

I truly enjoyed the series!  Great fun!



Liza, I'm so happy you liked Brother Cadfael!!
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« Reply #122 on: July 30, 2009, 02:25:08 AM »

My wife and I have been very blessed by two DVDs we got in the last two weeks:

"from the Little Mountain" -  a short film, a year in the life of a monastery in West Virginia.

"The Life of Saint John Maximovitch" -  the title says it all.


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« Reply #123 on: July 30, 2009, 02:36:02 AM »

I really enjoyed Antoine Fisher. The movie was well directed and well acted, and portrayed the spritual themes of perseverance in hardship, the value of friendship, and maintaining hope in all things. Forgive me if I've already mentioned it.

Here's the trailer:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7zXnqsFM-s

Selam
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« Reply #124 on: July 30, 2009, 12:14:46 PM »

Batman Begins
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« Reply #125 on: August 25, 2009, 01:52:33 PM »

A few movies I've seen recently which I would highly recommend is

The Mission which is about a Jesuit missionary who starts a mission in the jungles of Brazil. I think this one has been mentioned.

A.D. A miniseries about the early Church after Christ's Resurrection. Starts from shortly before the Ascension of Christ up to the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul under Nero. This is probably one of the best productions I've seen next to Jesus of Nazareth. The acting is superb by the actors portraying Peter and  especially Paul. I really love it.
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« Reply #126 on: August 25, 2009, 09:56:42 PM »

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned on this thread,  but upon watching some of it earlier today when flipping channels, I'd put up for my choice, The Green Mile which stars Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan. I remember when i saw this movie at Christmas many years ago.  I think it's too easy to see Duncan's character of John Coffey as a Christ-like figure and it's not a 1:1 match.  But the themes of self-sacrifice, obedience even unto death really resonate well throughout the movie.
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« Reply #127 on: August 25, 2009, 11:02:37 PM »

A few movies I've seen recently which I would highly recommend is

The Mission which is about a Jesuit missionary who starts a mission in the jungles of Brazil. I think this one has been mentioned.


I loved this movie! Robert DeNeiro is really great in it!
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« Reply #128 on: August 25, 2009, 11:30:04 PM »

Fiddler on the Roof

Amazing cinematography, beautiful music, wonderful storyline -- it had it all! Tevya's faith and relationship with God are central to the storyline; doesn't get much more spiritual than that! Wink
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« Reply #129 on: August 26, 2009, 12:44:52 AM »

The Mission, The Green Mile, and Fiddler on the Roof are three great choices. I recommend them all.

Selam
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« Reply #130 on: August 26, 2009, 01:39:30 AM »

The Mission, The Green Mile, and Fiddler on the Roof are three great choices. I recommend them all.

Selam

The Mission and the Green Mile are two of my favorites. I have the soundtrack to the Mission and I never get tired of it. It would be awesome if some Orthodox composers could write some liturgical music that sounds similar to the music in the Mission.
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« Reply #131 on: August 26, 2009, 02:35:16 AM »


The Mission and the Green Mile are two of my favorites. I have the soundtrack to the Mission and I never get tired of it. It would be awesome if some Orthodox composers could write some liturgical music that sounds similar to the music in the Mission.

Why?  Then it would be derivative.  The music of The Mission is good on its own regardless of the religious preference of teh composer.  Who was the composer of that soundtrack anyway?
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« Reply #132 on: August 26, 2009, 02:47:14 AM »

Who was the composer of that soundtrack anyway?

Ennio Morricone. He is probably best-known for the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
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« Reply #133 on: August 26, 2009, 06:28:09 AM »

A few movies I've seen recently which I would highly recommend is

The Mission which is about a Jesuit missionary who starts a mission in the jungles of Brazil. I think this one has been mentioned.


I loved this movie! Robert DeNeiro is really great in it!

I really liked it too. Apart from the incredible music, I think the themes where very powerful. The theme of repentance and reconciliation at the beginning and the question in the end of how should we deal with evil- either violently or non-violently?
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« Reply #134 on: January 05, 2011, 02:13:06 PM »

What are some of your favorite movies that contain a spiritual theme? I'm not talking about religious movies per se, but any movie that you enjoyed because you discerned a spiritual or moral message being portrayed in some way.

Right now I'm watching "Frailty" on TV. I like this movie a lot.

OK. Look forward to reading your responses.

Selam

I saw a good number of movies posted that I would consider helpful in keeping/building Christian faith, some are repeats some are new

1) Jesus of Nazareth

2) The Passion

3) The Island - The best of the very few Christian Orthodox movies I have seen.

4) Devil's Advocate - I think no one commented on this one

6) Firefighter - Recommend to any couple struggling in marriage

7) The Seventh Sign

Cool The Exorcism of Emily Rose
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« Reply #135 on: January 05, 2011, 02:19:54 PM »

A few movies I've seen recently which I would highly recommend is

The Mission which is about a Jesuit missionary who starts a mission in the jungles of Brazil. I think this one has been mentioned.

A.D. A miniseries about the early Church after Christ's Resurrection. Starts from shortly before the Ascension of Christ up to the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul under Nero. This is probably one of the best productions I've seen next to Jesus of Nazareth. The acting is superb by the actors portraying Peter and  especially Paul. I really love it.

I agree about A.D., that was a good miniseries.
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« Reply #136 on: January 05, 2011, 10:24:26 PM »

God on Trial (2009)

Despite what you might think based on the title, this isn't a Hitchens/Dawkins/Maher style attack of religion.
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« Reply #137 on: January 10, 2011, 03:46:14 PM »

King Arthur and the Narnia movies.
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« Reply #138 on: January 10, 2011, 05:41:46 PM »

"Le charme discret de la bourgeosie" by Bunuel.
I heartily recommend it to the middle/upper class.
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« Reply #139 on: January 10, 2011, 06:52:28 PM »

Andrei Rublev
The Thin Red Line
Princess Mononoke
Conan the Barbarian
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« Reply #140 on: February 20, 2011, 01:35:47 AM »

Try the Meryl Streep film 'Doubt'. She is one of my favorite actors, by far better than most. The conversations she has with the Catholic priest (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) about mortal sins, and the scene when the woman (Viola Davis) approaches her about her child are incredible. Watch this several times, then tell us what you think. Davis was nominated for an Oscar for her scenes.
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« Reply #141 on: February 20, 2011, 01:44:50 AM »

Andrei Rublev
The Thin Red Line
Princess Mononoke
Conan the Barbarian



The Thin Red Line was an amazing movie. Beautifully shot and rich with subtle philosophical questions that peremeated throughout. A wonderful movie. I'm lookng forward to Terrance Malick's upcoming project: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/thetreeoflife/


Selam
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« Reply #142 on: February 20, 2011, 01:47:57 AM »

Try the Meryl Streep film 'Doubt'. She is one of my favorite actors, by far better than most. The conversations she has with the Catholic priest (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) about mortal sins, and the scene when the woman (Viola Davis) approaches her about her child are incredible. Watch this several times, then tell us what you think. Davis was nominated for an Oscar for her scenes.

I enjoyed Doubt, in spite of Meryl Streep. I think she is a bit overrated. Too much emoting for my tastes. But the movie was pretty good, and I especially enjoyed the ambiguous ending. Very apropos to the title.


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« Reply #143 on: February 20, 2011, 03:17:51 AM »

Fair enough. I will not start a flame war regarding Streep; however, I disagree with the comments regarding her skills. As far as I am concerned, she rocks. Smiley
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« Reply #144 on: February 20, 2011, 05:11:14 AM »

Fair enough. I will not start a flame war regarding Streep; however, I disagree with the comments regarding her skills. As far as I am concerned, she rocks. Smiley

She good in:
The Deer Hunter
Kramer Vs. Kramer
A Cry In the Dark
and
The River Wild


Selam
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« Reply #145 on: January 31, 2012, 10:38:30 PM »

Shawshank Redemption

Great movie about hope, as well as suicide.
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« Reply #146 on: January 31, 2012, 10:44:38 PM »

Shawshank Redemption

Great movie about hope, as well as suicide.


Indeed.



Selam
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« Reply #147 on: January 31, 2012, 10:49:00 PM »

Andrei Rublev
The Thin Red Line
Princess Mononoke
Conan the Barbarian



The Thin Red Line was an amazing movie. Beautifully shot and rich with subtle philosophical questions that peremeated throughout. A wonderful movie. I'm lookng forward to Terrance Malick's upcoming project: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/thetreeoflife/


Selam

I really enjoyed Tree of Life. Quite amazing.
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« Reply #148 on: January 31, 2012, 11:07:56 PM »

Andrei Rublev
The Thin Red Line
Princess Mononoke
Conan the Barbarian



The Thin Red Line was an amazing movie. Beautifully shot and rich with subtle philosophical questions that peremeated throughout. A wonderful movie. I'm lookng forward to Terrance Malick's upcoming project: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/thetreeoflife/


Selam

I really enjoyed Tree of Life. Quite amazing.

Yeah man, I was so excited to see Tree of Life but it didn't come to Jackson, Mississippi (no surprise  Roll Eyes). I really wanted to see it on the big screen, but I look forward to seeing it on DVD when it comes out.


Selam
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« Reply #149 on: January 31, 2012, 11:43:08 PM »

Book of Eli is my favorite movie.
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« Reply #150 on: February 01, 2012, 12:15:09 AM »

Frequency and Field of Dreams

Those are two movies I've always enjoyed watching with my dad. It's two of his favorite movies. My grandfather (his dad) passed away 15 years ago and those themes of seeing your loved ones again really connects you.
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« Reply #151 on: March 08, 2012, 10:59:43 PM »

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
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« Reply #152 on: March 09, 2012, 12:25:01 AM »

I just watched The Apostle again last night. Amazing movie. Robert Duvall is a genius. One of my top five favorite movies of all time.


Selam
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