Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some Religious Movies Not to "Passover" this Holiday Season

Well tis the season, probably one of the most religious times of the year.  With both Passover and Easter happening at the same time this year, and Lady Gaga's Judas song I figured it was time to talk about some movies that are worth your time, and center around religion.  Picking my favorite religious movie is difficult, but there are three that come to my mind automatically: Dogma, Saved, and and Religulous.  These three films all challenge the main beliefs within organized churches and make people think about things on a much more deeper spiritual plane.

Dogma (1999) is written and directed by Kevin Smith (this is before all his movies started to suck)and stars Linda Fiorintino as Bethany the supposed descendant of Jesus, Chris Rock as a black apostle, George Carlin as Cardinal Glick a man who represents everything wrong with organized religion, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as fallen angels trying to get back into Heaven, Alan Rickman as angel, Selma Hayek as a muse, Jay and Silent Bob as prophets, and above all Alanis Morisette as God.  The philosophy behind this film is genius, and it is cleverly written.  This is the definition of satire to me, and you should all add it to your holiday viewing this weekend to to make you think deeper about your own spirituality.

Saved (2004) is directed by Brian Danelly and also written by Danelly and Michael Urban.  Saved is about a young girl named Mary who is a part of the Christian Jewels at her high school, her boyfriend tells her he is is gay in an underwater game; she then hits her head after she slips on the side of the pool and thinks she sees Jesus come save her and tell her to (gasp) sleep with Dean to change him. When that backfires Mary becomes pregnant and her journey to finding her own path begins.  At times the messages in this film are heavy handed but this movie is hilarious.  Mandy Moore plays one of her best roles ever Hilary Faye a devoutly religious girl who is filled with Christs love (queue throwing a Bible at Mary).  The real star of this film is Eva Amuri (daughter of Susan Sarandon) who plays a Jewish girl at a Christian school-I can't do her humor justice.  This film has a good message about acceptance and not trying to change people just because you don't think they fit God's plan.

Religulous (2008) is a documentary from the point of view of late night talk show host and comedian Bill Maher that talks about atheism.  This is a religious point of view that is rarely talked about and I thought it was great to see Maher have the balls to go and meet with religious leaders and ask them the tough questions.  My personal favorite was his interview with the "former" gay man who had changed and is now "straight."  There are few people who challenge the system and I applaud Maher for his daring look at religion; he knows how to push the boundaries.  Sure sometimes he is insulting, but he also dares to do what many will not.

At the end of the day I hold no ill will to anyone who is religious in fact I think it is honorable, but with religion comes spirituality and asking the hard questions.  Watch these movies and think deeply about your own spirituality this weekend.  Below is one of my favorite scenes from Dogma, enjoy and Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved Religulous!