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THR334 Film & Movies UAF Anatoly Antohin


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-- 2008 us & usa --


The old links are deleted!


New titles? "Terminator II" in class (fragments) again? Where are my Tarantino Notes? Pulp Fiction.
I showed Citizen Kane in class (2003), only two students saw it before(!). I hoped that film into or film history would take care of such titles! I need to go back to it next Mon.

Welles, (George) Orson (1915-1985), American actor, producer, director, and writer, most noted for directing and starring in the landmark motion picture Citizen Kane (1941). He was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rejecting college for world travel, Welles began his acting career in Ireland in 1931 and 1932. He toured the United States with the company of American actor Katharine Cornell, and he then acted and directed with the Federal Theatre Project. In 1937 he was a founder of the Mercury Theatre, which produced innovative stage and radio drama. His 1938 radio version of The War of the Worlds by English author H. G. Wells was so realistic that thousands believed an alien attack was actually occurring.
Welles's first completed motion picture, Citizen Kane, is often cited as one of the finest films ever made. Welles, then 25 years old, coscripted, starred in, and directed this psychological study of an American newspaper tycoon. His innovative expressionistic use of sound and camera techniques greatly influenced later filmmakers. The film was not commercially successful, however, and Welles spent most of the next two decades in Europe, acting and directing and continuing to experiment. He directed films that range from thrillers to television documentaries to works of English playwright William Shakespeare.
After Kane, Welles's greatest films (nearly all of which he both directed and acted in) were The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Stranger (1946), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Macbeth (1948), Othello (finished in 1952 but not shown in the United States until 1955; reissued in 1992), A Touch of Evil (1958), and Chimes at Midnight (1966). Other films he directed were Journey into Fear (1943), Mr. Arkadin (1955), The Trial (1963), The Immortal Story (1968; originally for French television), and the semidocumentary F Is for Fake (1974).
Two films that were never completed but which have been released in unfinished posthumous versions are Welles's adaptation of Don Quixote (1992), on which he labored from 1957 to 1960, and It's All True (1993), the South American film that occupied him in 1942 and 1943. His unfinished autobiographical film, The Other Side of the Wind, starring director and actor John Huston, was a longtime project (1970-1976) that has never been released.


All "movies" are American! Films I listed -- Europenian. "Art vs. Culture" -- the topic of the "Sunset of Europe" (must explain it in class).

books page: notes on Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" -- good movie, bad film...

American Jesus?

Missing references in Gibson's movie: Bach's St Matthew's Passion. And -- "International fame Pasolini gained in the mid-1960s. IL VANGELO SECONDO MATTEO (1964) was a straightforward re-telling of the New Testament story, based on words and scenes from St Matthew's Gospel."

Well, too many are missing. Lack of education. "American Christ" -- not Catholic?

They say 75% of Americans believe in God. What God do they believe in?

America is "The Point of No Return for Everybody" (John Zarzan), America is postmodern in its own origins -- Paradise. What kind of Christ could be in this primitive Paradise? Primitive, one of us. Crusifixion is a myth, our group memory, cultural frame of references.

The New Yorker: To the Puritans who settled the Colonies, Jesus was a marginal figure, and the Old Testament more important than the New. In the four centuries since, however, he has slipped the bonds of Christianity altogether to become icon and brand, as American as Mickey Mouse or the Coca-Cola bottle. This wide-ranging history traces a dual evolution: of American religion (not only Christianity but Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism) in terms of its relationship to Jesus; and of his multiform manifestations in response to changing cultural currents, from Thomas Jefferson’s publication of a book of Jesus’ life and sayings that excised all mention of the miracles and the resurrection to the Hindu Vedantists’ veneration of “Christ the Yogi.”

Publisher's Weekly: No religious personality has captivated so many Americans for so long as Jesus. Indeed, as Boston University historian Prothero demonstrates in this sparkling and engrossing book, Jesus is the one religious figure nearly every American, whether Christian or not, past and present, has embraced. From Thomas Jefferson's cut-and-paste Bible to Jesus Christ Superstar, from the feminized Christ of the Victorians to the "manly redeemer" of Teddy Roosevelt's era, from Buddhist bodhisattva to Black Moses, Prothero surveys the myriad ways Americans have remade Jesus in their own image. He usefully divides these American Jesuses into "resurrections"-revivals of Jesus within mainstream Christianity-and "reincarnations"-appropriations of Jesus by outsiders. This scheme allows Prothero to range widely, and if he sometimes drifts from his primary focus, the digressions are fascinating in their own right. Nearly every page offers a fresh portrait of some corner of American religious history. A work of this breadth must depend heavily on other writers, but Prothero almost always has a judicious interpretation of his own to add-most of all, his contention that Jesus' enduring appeal confirms America's essentially Christian character even as it also demonstrates America's growing religious diversity. (Dec.) Forecast: Thanks to Prothero's frequent appearances in publications like Salon and the Wall Street Journal, American Jesus has a chance of getting the wide audience it deserves. [Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.]

Library Journal: Prothero (religion, Boston Univ.; The White Buddhist, etc.) eschews American theology in favor of its art, music, literature, and film to answer the intriguing question, "How did the Son of God become a national icon beloved by Jerry Falwell and the Dalai Lama alike?" The author has chosen to capitalize on Jesus the man and universal Christ while largely ignoring the nature and function of a dogmatic Christ as messiah. Objective and dispassionate throughout, the author confidently assures the reader that Jesus really matters-that he serves as a common cultural coin in a country divided by race, ethnicity, gender, class, and religion. Salty and savory quotes (including Langston Hughes's 1932 incendiary poetry describing a black Jesus) season the chapters well and flavor the author's underlying belief that there is a huge difference between authentic Christianity and organized "churchianity." A detailed time line and bibliography accentuate the value of this popular and scholarly survey of the "American" Son of God. It is a witty, entertaining, and eye-opening romp through American cultural history-as exciting as William Manchester's 1974 The Glory and the Dream. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews: Wry and pungent wanderings in the footsteps of You Know Who. Prothero (Religion/Boston Univ.) declares upfront that his search here is for the "cultural" Jesus immortalized in America's T-shirts, bumper stickers, and religious theme parks, not the historical person whose divinity is affirmed by the tenets of Christianity's major churches. The author devotes a lengthy chapter to Thomas Jefferson, who revered the moral teachings of a secularized Jesus despite being called "godless" by some political opponents. Abjuring open discussions of his or anyone's religion, Jefferson literally cut the mystery away from Jesus by taking scissors and paste pot to the New Testament on two occasions while in the White House and producing two "very thin books" on what he considered the essence of those teachings-emphatically minus virgin birth, the Trinity, any and all miracles, and especially the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, which Jefferson denounced in correspondence as "maniac ravings." Calvinism all but crumbled, Prothero continues, under the mid-19th-century evangelical wave that buttonholed the nation and insisted on bringing a personal savior into every home. The evolutionary theme here is: God and churchmen take a step back as Jesus steps forward. Further proof that formal Christianity can't rein Jesus in, the author asserts, lies in his longstanding and growing acceptance by other faiths like Hinduism (as an "avatar" of God centuries before anybody ever thought of, say, becoming a Mormon) and Buddhism, some of whose adherents will cheerfully "prove" that Jesus was in fact a Buddhist. The same churches that feminized Jesus to make him palatable to homemakers 150 years ago, Protheroasserts, now sell him to today's consumers as your basic nice guy. Holiness, in other words, can't hold a candle to happiness and self-esteem. A work on religion that's also entertaining to read-no mean feat.


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American Filmmakers

2006 -- and After 2008
Most of the movies in Film-n-Drama class are made by American directors. Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Coppola (The Godfather), Cameron (Terminator 2) and David Lynch.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Nicholson: Acting)

A Streetcar Named Desire (Acting, Writing: Williams)

Glengarry Glen Ross (Mamet, Acting)

Hamlet (adaptations) [The Taming of the Shrew or Romeo & Juliet by Zefferelli)

[ For Film Club Screenings go to FClub and Film Festival -- FFest I am not involved anymore. ]

Summer Camp Page [ I do not teach summers anymore. ]


Great Italian Filmmakers: Felinni (right) -- "8 1/2": Europe, Fellini Page


Films/Videos to buy/rent: FACETS

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Super-Star (continued)

[ notes ]

Journal of Religion and Film -- Superman as Christ-Figure: The American Pop Culture Movie Messiah By Anton Karl Kozlovic [School of Humanities * The Flinders University of South Australia]

... "However, many years later, Donner gladly admitted to the Christic subtext: “It’s a motif I had done at the beginning when Brando sent Chris [Reeve] to Earth and said, ‘I send them my only son.’ It was God sending Christ to Earth.”

"2.0 Divine Diaspora
[6] Superman was an alien immigrant, and like a diaspora Jew, he was forced to leave his starry home (a threatened Krypton) to find a new life amongst strangers in a strange land (Earth). Later, he would again leave his home (Smallville) to live in the Arctic wilderness (ensconced inside the Fortress of Solitude). And then for a third time he would leave his Arctic home to live in a bustling urban city (Metropolis) going about his heavenly Father’s (Jor-El’s) work. Likewise, Jesus left his celestial home in the heavens to come to the Earth realm. Later, he left his rural home Nazareth (an ancient Smallville) to wander through desert wildernesses, followed by missionary work throughout the Roman-dominated world while doing his heavenly Father’s (Yahweh’s) work."

... Christians call this intelligence God.

8.0 The Mystical Age
[17] Thirty years of age is when Jesus started his messianic mission (Luke 3:23) having “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Clark Kent walked into the Fortress of Solitude as a physically fit but troubled eighteen-year-old teenager. Twelve years later, at age thirty, Superman flew out with “a clear idea of his messianic mission to battle evil and save Earth from its own foolishness.”

12.0 Divine Mission

[24] Superman came from the planet Krypton, which in Greek means “hidden, secret,”38 just like the mythic location of Heaven. It also “sounds like “Tikkum olam” a Hebrew concept of restoring [correcting] the world’s wrongs.”39 This theme was reinforced by Jor-El in the Arctic Fortress of Solitude when he told Kal-El that his destiny and duty was to help right the wrongs of a troubled Earth. Similarly, Jesus was an off-world visitor of unspecified location who came to Earth to right cosmic wrongs with a God-inspired message of love. He left the planet with an expectation of a Second Coming, and a religio-political agenda that advocated God above Rome using the coin of love. Within S2, this Messianic “return” expectation was partially fulfilled near the end of the film when Superman apologised to the US President for being away so long. Thus implying “that Jesus has never been indifferent to our sorrows but that urgent reasons of his own have kept him away.”40

[25] Superman is the invincible crusader devoted to “truth, justice, and the American way.” Not for his own self-glorification, but acting like Jesus who claimed: “I seek not mine own glory” (John 8:50). Indeed, Superman was the guardian of Earth, its tireless servant who resisted many temptations and was therefore loved and adored by the people because of it. This resonated with the Apostle Paul’s claim of Christ’s humility who “took upon him the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:7), and generated millions of followers worldwide as a consequence of his self-imposed servitude.


I do not think that much could be done via "film analysis" of the movie (The Passion of the Christ); but the political applications only.

Social views: American Christianity in the 3rd millenium (The Age of the Holy Spirit). No global society without westernization (economy, texhnology), without the rest of the world going through some christian experience. The Orient goes through the transformation peacefully, Islam puts the fight.

Each new Age (Father -- fisrt millenium, and Son's) began with the primitive stage. Here we are, the first generation.

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17.0 The Miracle Man [30] Superman saved Lois Lane by flying very fast above the Earth’s atmosphere and reversing the planet’s axial spin. Consequently, Lois’s crushing death was corrected when “time is turned back and Lois resurrected.”43 Superman had demonstrated control over the physical world just like Jesus who could calm wild winds (Matt. 8:26; 14:32), quell sea tempests (Matt. 8:23-27), and walk on water (Matt. 14:25, 28-31). Symbolically speaking, Superman had to go beyond Earth to the heavens to achieve his most miraculous effect. When he resurrected Lois, he acted like Jesus who brought back from the dead, the ruler’s daughter (Matt. 9:23-35), the only son of the widowed mother (Luke 7:11-15), and Lazarus (John 11:41-44). Less spectacularly but still significant, Superman could not be held up by crowds, as evidenced prior to his drilling entry through the main street into Luthor’s underground lair. Likewise, Jesus could pass through crowds easily (Luke 4:29-30).

This is what we believe in!

So much is missing: the art is making invisible visible -- the inner drama! Peter, and the rest! But I am complaining -- I said it already -- the movies. He is using film language to tell the story, Gibson has not intentions of advancing the language he is using.

taxi-driver [ video clip ]

film glossary uk



Fall 2006 Film Directing Class Trip "New Movie" : The Departed

"is a perfect example of why remakes shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter William Monahan have taken the B-grade Hong Kong crime flick Infernal Affairs and re-imagined it as an American epic tragedy. The original film was gritty and entertaining; the new version is a masterpiece - the best effort Scorsese has brought to the screen since Goodfellas (ending a decade-long drought of disappointments and near-misses). In making The Departed, Scorsese has retained the essential plot structure of Infernal Affairs but has transformed the movie into something truly his own. Characters are better defined and situations are given an opportunity to breathe. None of this is done at the cost of pacing; The Departed is as suspenseful as anything the director has previously achieved. This movie deserves mention alongside Scorsese's most celebrated movies: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Age of Innocence." ...


Films directed by Martin Scorsese What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? • It's Not Just You, Murray! • The Big Shave • Who's That Knocking at My Door • Street Scenes • Boxcar Bertha • Mean Streets • Italianamerican • Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore • Taxi Driver • New York, New York • American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince • The Last Waltz • Raging Bull • The King of Comedy • After Hours • The Color of Money • The Last Temptation of Christ • New York Stories • Goodfellas • Cape Fear • The Age of Innocence • Casino • Kundun • My Voyage to Italy • Bringing Out the Dead • Gangs of New York • The Aviator • No Direction Home • The Departed

[ list of US directors ]

other am. filmmakers' clips ( from youtube.com = URL: http://www.youtube.com/group/filmstudy and groups.yahoo.com/group/yahoo-cls-directing -- class list) -- ...

... del.icio.us/anatolant/film links

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