Five good flicks that feature religion




The Apostle. Robert Duvall wrote, directed, produced, financed, and starred in this film about a holiness preacher who is both tragically fallible and consumed by his devotion to God. This is a good film for the religious, the non-religious, and maybe even some anti-religion people.

Hate Crime (Seth Peterson, Chad Donella) is about two men; one homophobic and the other having suffered the loss of his gay partner in a hate crime. Christianity is represented as having a positive influence in one church and a negative influence in another.

Letting Go of God (Julia Sweeney). Julia is funny, poignant, and thought-provoking as she chronicles the loss of her religious faith in a film that is honest and inoffensive. The chain of her thoughts as she pondered God's existence was much like my own.

Religulous (Bill Mahr). Bill travels to many places to question religious people of many faiths. His questions are blunt and sometimes irreverent, but they're also honest so I'm going to label this film as suitable for the religious and the non-religious. 

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic. If you want to see religion trashed unmercifully by a brilliant comedian who plays the part of an insensitive and bigoted narcissist, you'll love Sarah Silverman. Even if you hated her TV appearances, you ought to see this film.



19 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

I've seen Religulous and found it funny yet thought provoking. I'd give it a thumbs up.

The Blog Fodder said...

Robert Duval is one of my favourite actors. I have heard good things about that movie but never seen it. will have to change that.

ellen abbott said...

Interesting. I need to write this stuff down. Although I am unreligious (though not atheist), anti-religion really, don't think any organized religion is a good thing, I find it perversely interesting, especially the origins of religion.

rhymeswithplague said...

I don't suppose you would consider including "The Ten Commandments"....

Snowbrush said...

"I'd give it a thumbs up."

If you laughed your way through Religulous, you might as well give Sarah Silverman a try. This was the first thing I saw with her in it, and I went nuts, watching it again and again, laughing as enthusiastically the last time as the first time. Then, I got her TV show, and I couldn't believe how bad that thing stunk. If a person is male, 15 years old, thanks profanity is funny just because it's profane, and is rather stupid, then it's for him, but that's a pretty low audience to aim for. I still don't understand how someone so talented could have a show that stunk so badly.

"I have heard good things about that movie but never seen it. will have to change that."

I got it because Duval was in it, but also because it had a religious theme, and I'm always curious about how religion is treated in the movies. I really didn't expect much of it, but I watched it three times, once with Duvall talking about it in the background. I have no idea if he is religious or not, but he had wanted to make this movie since early in his career, but he couldn't get a studio interested, so he finally put up $5-million of his own money and grossed $22-million, so I guess he came out okay. He considers it the best thing he ever did, and I think it might well be.

Snowbrush said...

"Although I am unreligious (though not atheist), anti-religion really, don't think any organized religion is a good thing, I find it perversely interesting, especially the origins of religion."

I think organized religion is a horrible thing, but I also find it interesting, though more for Christianity's role in 20th century America than in any other facet of it. I know that a lot of my readers don't understand how I, an atheist, and be more interested in religion than are most religious people, but we don't choose our interests, our interests choose us. One person becomes enthralled by insects and another by Nazi Germany, and this isn't because they're bugs, Nazis, or Germans.

"I don't suppose you would consider including "The Ten Commandments"....

How could I forget the very movie that God himself starred in? The studio hadn't wanted God for the part because it was cheaper to use contract actors, but Heston used his considerable influence to get them to approach God, and, to everyone's surprise, God said yes, but he sure took the studio to the cleaners, signing a contract for $937,000, which was a record amount in the 1950s. Everyone expected him to give the money to charity, but he put the whole in technology stocks and eventually made a killing.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. to Rhymes and any other conservative-leaning religious people. I think you would enjoy all of these except for "Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic." You probably won't find Bill Mahr as funny as I did, but I think you'll appreciate the diversity of people he talks to and the sincerity behind most of the questions he raises.

Marion said...

I am not religious, but I am a Christian. My favorite 'Christian' film is "Babette's Feast". It shows what true Christian love and charity means. I highly recommend it to everyone I know. xo

PS: I've never cared for Sarah Silverman. She comes across to me as a mean, bullying person. Life's too short for me to loan her my brain for even an hour.

xo,
Marion

kj said...

interesting: i like :^)

i've only seen robert duval in that great role but i take your word on this totally.

i've been behind in visiting, snow. i can't just come here and whiz through, y' know :^)

love
kj

Charles Gramlich said...

The only one I've seen is religulous. Pretty interesting. My wife is a big fan of that film and has watched it several times.

Snowbrush said...

"My favorite 'Christian' film is "Babette's Feast.'"

I've seen that, but it was a long time ago. I'll have to get it again. "Dead Man Walking" was another Christianity-centered film, and it was about your neck of the woods--Angola, I mean--but it was sad throughout.

"I've never cared for Sarah Silverman. She comes across to me as a mean, bullying person."

That's her state persona, but I would hope she's different in person.

"i can't just come here and whiz through, y' know :^)"

I'm lost as to the exact meaning of the emoticons, but thank you.

"Religulous...My wife is a big fan of that film and has watched it several times."

Well, get her Silverman then. If she likes Mahr's humor, she will probably like Silverman. I assume she's seen Borat. I thought about listing it, but there simply weren't enough parts about religion.

Snowbrush said...

I'm surprised that so few of you have seen any of these movies (I like to watch movies while I'm working in the kitchen, so if it's baking night, I can easily go through two movies). With that in mind, I decided to add a clip from Jesus is Magic (I love the demonic gleam in Sarah's eyes at 1:37). I know her sentiments are shocking, but it is good to remember that Jews have suffered for two millennia at the hands of Christians who used one verse from John's Gospel (Let his blood be on us and on our children) to justify their cruelty, yet John's Gospel wasn't written until toward the end of the first century, wasn't written by anyone who had ever laid eyes on Christ, and reflected the fact that the church had broken off completely from its Jewish roots and had subsequently been taken over by Gentiles. As shocking as her rage might appear to many, it makes perfect sense to me.

rhymeswithplague said...

"You probably won't find Bill Mahr as funny as I did"

You must have screamed with laughter when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin the "c" word....

Snowbrush said...

P.S. to Marion and Charles. "The Apostle" was most filmed in south Louisiana, including the four-way intersection scene that was supposed to be in Texas.

"You must have screamed with laughter when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin the "c" word...."

I didn't hear it, but it doesn't sound funny (maybe if I knew the context). You liked it, I suppose?

lotta joy said...

I loved Religulous and made Joe watch it with me. LET GO OF GOD showed that life is proof there is no god.

Now I'm on my way back to your blog to watch Silverman: NOT my favorite person, but I'll give her a chance.

Helen said...

In my most humble opinion .. Sarah Silverman is a peach compared to Sandra Bernhard!!
I've seen one of your Religious Five .. The Apostle - Robert Duvall a genius actor!

Myrna R. said...

I've seen a few of those. Silvermanis funny. Enjoyed the tape.

kj said...

'I'm lost as to the exact meaning of the emoticons, but thank you.'

snow, i'm lost by your comment!

i meant to say your posts require time and thought because that's what you intelligently put into them.

:^)

Snowbrush said...

"i meant to say your posts require time and thought because that's what you intelligently put into them."

That's what I understood you to mean, and that's why I said thank you.