Friday, 25 April 2008


Last year I made notes about some useful resources that identified ways to reflect upon the spirituality of films. I'm going to copy those notes into this blog. Here's the first one:

One key source is: Higgins, G, How Movies Helped Save my Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films, (Lake Mary, FL: Relevant Books, 2003)

Dozens of films have challenged or inspired Gareth Higgins and he groups them together under fourteen headings, such as ‘Brokenness’, ‘Anti-heroes’, ‘Justice’ & ‘fear’. He covers a wide range of films from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to ‘The Omen’. Written in a 'chatty' style this book motivates the reader to watch or re-watch the films described, and gives insight into how to look for ‘spiritual fingerprints’ in other movies.

Higgins gives the following advice for those who want to explore the meanings of films further (pp.3-9):

  • Read decent film magazines and some good books about film e.g. Derek Malcolm’s ‘A Century of Cinema’;
  • ‘Don’t read reviews before you see films’;
  • ‘Don’t expect “realism” as a mark of a film’s quality’;
  • ‘Do not eat popcorn when watching films’;
  • Watch movies with friends and then talk about them over a meal - ‘food and drink grease the wheels of conversation like nothing else’;
  • ‘Give the film your full attention … Observe how the camera moves … look around the screen for things you may have previously missed’;
  • ‘Consider what the difference between a good and a bad performance is’;
  • ‘Reflect on the possible journey that led the film maker to produce what you have just seen’;
  • ‘Don’t talk during the credits’ and do not discuss the film for at least ten minutes after the end of the credits – then your impression of the film won’t be ruined by negative comments from others who weren’t so moved.

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