The Hidden God: Film and Faith (Paperback)

The Hidden God: Film and Faith (Paperback)

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Out of print since 2004, this compilation of essays was commissioned to accompany a film series of the same name organized by The Museum of Modern Art. The book explores the ways in which a sense of God may appear in films, whether or not it is understood as such or is visible to the eye. The book contains over 50 essays by a range of writers.

From Dave Heaton's review on his blog Erasing Clouds: "In brief essays by an international cast of critics, writers and thinkers, set out to show the disparate ways that film addresses the central spiritual concerns of humanity - why are we here, what role does a supreme being play (or not play) in our lives - even when those themes aren't especially evident on the surface. Such an open-ended project leads to a book that's rather amorphous in scope and tone yet still quite interesting. It's impossible to summarize the writer's overall take on film and faith, as nearly all of the writers have different perspectives and definitions. Yet that variety is exactly what makes the book so readable.

Some of the most enlightening pieces are those about films which wouldn't immediately strike readers as likely subjects …Drake Stutesman's piece on The Blair Witch Project, for example, or Dave Kehr's striking summation of Leo McCarey's Hollywood classic Love Affair. The other highlights are those written by people not known primarily as critics, because their approach is more open-ended, less bound to the formalities of movie writing. Those include Terrence Davies' colorful take on Hollywood Bible films of the 1950s (The Robeand Demetrius and the Gladiators, Stan Brakhage's abstract meditation on A.I., Carlos Fuentes' piece on Buñuel's Nazarin, which casts its net widely enough to give a deeper perspective on its subject than many of these essays do with theirs. There's also several essays on films I previously knew little about which do a grand job making me want to seek the films out (Donald Richie's essay on Fire Festival Andrew Sarris's on Odd Man Out being the two most prominent examples)."

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