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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Popcorn sacrament

Last night my sister and I watched I Heart Huckabees. In case you haven't seen it, it's a quirky comedy that espouses a lot of Buddhist thought.

I love movies. And, I love religion. Before my life melted into a pile of dissatisfied goo, I studied both at university. A lot of people found it an odd combination, but to me it makes perfect sense.

There are a few of reasons why film and spirituality are a natural fit. Movies are ubiquitous and easily digestible. Some may argue that movies dumb down important religious concepts, and they'd be right. How can you not? You've only got two hours to impart something - it's going to get diluted. That's not necessarily a bad thing. At worst, someone gets a brief bit of inspiration and moves on, at best, they're inspired to investigate a concept further. People nowadays, to overgeneralize for a moment, are busier and more easily distracted. We're used to quick cuts and sound bites. A two-hour movie is a lot more palatable to many than a thick, esoteric book. Also, today's society seems to (I have no data - just trust me!) consume music, tv, and music more than books. So, what's wrong w/ finding a bit of God there?

Art has always been a natural expression of people's concept of the divine. Painting, plays, music - it's always been so. Movies combine those forms of expression - sight, sound, music, beauty.

I read books, I meditate, but I also get my divine fix from music and film and tv shows.
The pain and joy felt by God's angels in Wings of Desire, the silly wonder of Alanis Morissette as God, smelling flowers and doing a handstand to reveal tartan shorts under a designer dress in Dogma, the advice to not ignore the color purple, lest you piss off God in The Color Purple - moments of cinematic transcendence.

What are yours, and why?