This book explores how post-death existence is represented in popular film, looking at issues such as continuity, personal identity, and the nature of existence beyond the grave. Film often returns to the theme of dying, death and the afterlife, both directly and indirectly, because there are very few subjects as compelling and universal. The book compares the representation of death, dying and the afterlife in films to scholarly surveys of attitudes towards life-after-death through the analysis of twenty films made between the end of World War II and now. It looks at the portrayals of stages between death and a final destination; spatio-temporal and personal continuity; the nature of afterlife existence in terms of embodiment, or not; and the contact between the worlds of the living and the dead. This book offers a wide-ranging view on a compelling subject in film. As such, it will be of great interest to scholars of Religion and Film, Religion and Media, the Philosophy of Religion, and the Sociology of Religion, as well as Religion, Media and Film Studies more generally .
The possibility of life after death is a significant theme in cinema, in which ghosts return to the world of the living to wrap up unfinished business, console their survivors, visit lovers or just enjoy a well-wreaked scaring. This work focuses on film depictions of survival after death, from meetings with the ghost of Elvis to AIDS-related ghosts: apparitions, hauntings, mediumship, representations of heaven, angels, near-death experiences, possession, poltergeists and all the other ways in which the living interact with the dead on screen. The work opens with a historical perspective, which outlines the development of pre-cinematic technology for "projecting" phantoms, and discusses the use of these skills in early ghost cinema. English-language sound films are then examined thematically with topics ranging from the expiation of sins to "hungry" ghosts. Six of the most significant films, Dead of Night, A Matter of Life and Death, The Innocents, The Haunting, The Shining, and Jacob's Ladder, are given a detailed analysis. A conclusion, filmography, and bibliography follow.
Andre Bazin remains one of the most read, most studied, and most engaging figures ever to have written about film. Fifty years after his death, he is still widely recognized as cinema's most significant philosopher-critic. Always an important presence within cinema theory, Bazin has seen a massive resurgence of interest among critics, scholars, and students now that an electronic archive of his entire critical output has been catalogued. Opening Bazin assesses the great critic's influence and legacy, with essays from several generations of the very best film scholars: Gunning, Frodon, Margulies, Conley, MacCabe, Narboni, and Vernet, to name just a few. Ultimately, these essays reaffirm Bazin's relevance in this new century, tracing his lineage, debating his aesthetics, locating him in the rich cultural moment of postwar France, and tracking the effect of his thought around the world.
Delve into the world of Ghostbusters: Afterlife in this glossy hardback filled with concept art, photography, and interviews with the cast and crew. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife - The Art and Making of the Movie, author Ozzy Inguanzo provides a comprehensive look at the making of the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. When a single mom and her two kids arrive in the small town of Summerville, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. This lavish hardback explores the creative spirit and remarkable legacy behind the film, providing in-depth insider access to its development and production. Experience the journey from script to screen through an extensive collection of behind-the-scenes images and designs including concept art, storyboards, sketches, and models--showcasing the unique process of capturing the spirit of the original film through new and iconic visuals, creatures, costumes, props, and one of the most beloved vehicles in cinema history. Accompanying hundreds of stunning images are exclusive insights from key creatives, including writer/director Jason Reitman, producer Ivan Reitman, the production designer, cinematographer, costume designer, visual effects designer, and the special makeup & live action creature effects designer--making it the ultimate movie companion for fans and film lovers alike.
This book examines the Western genre in the period since Westerns ceased to be a regular feature of Hollywood filmmaking. For most of the 20th Century, the Western was a major American genre. The production of Westerns decreased in the 1960s and 1970s; by the 1980s, it was apparent that the genre occupied a less prominent position in popular culture. After an extended period as one of the most prolific Hollywood genres, the Western entered its “afterlife”. What does it now mean for a Hollywood movie to be a Western, and how does this compare to the ways in which the genre has been understood at other points in its history? This book considers the conditions in which the Western has found itself since the 1980s, the latter-day associations that the genre has acquired and the strategies that more recent Westerns have developed in response to their changed context.
Screening the Afterlife is a unique and fascinating exploration of the ‘last things’ as envisaged by modern filmmakers. Drawing on a range of films from Flatliners and What Dreams May Come to Working Girl and The Shawshank Redemption, it offers the first comprehensive examination of death and the afterlife within the growing field of religion and film. Topics addressed include: the survival of personhood after death the language of resurrection and immortality Near-Death Experiences and Mind-Dependent Worlds the portrayal of ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’. Students taking courses on eschatology will find this a stimulating and thought provoking resource, while scholars will relish Deacy’s theological insight and understanding.
The objective of this thesis is to examine and analyze the presentation of spaces, figures, and the processes of judgment in afterlife films. American and foreign titles as well as television series are assessed as afterlife films by two criteria: (1) A character has clinically died yet continues to exist and (2) a living character finds his or her self in an afterlife space. Films with characters that have near-death experiences (NDEs) are included in relation to the above three qualities. After screening nearly one hundred and thirty titles, I have found there is a basic formula structure that has been expanded and transformed into seven other structures, plus those that are combined for a unique narrative. The afterlife corpus is divided into five distinct eras by the quantity of releases that fluctuate in accordance with 20th and early 21st century cultural anxieties and technological advances. A secondary argument proposes why the afterlife story is perfectly suited to the film medium plus why the industry and audiences are incessantly drawn to the afterlife film premise. The afterlife film perpetuates universal and age-old questions on the significance of life and death in the guise of enticing sights and stories. Each afterlife film may have its own identifiable design and theme but they are connected to higher concerns of mortality and second chances.
The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood's Most Beloved Movie
Author: Noah Isenberg
Category: Casablanca (Motion picture)
Casablanca is "not one movie," Umberto Eco once quipped, "it is 'movies'". Released in 1942, the film won 4 Oscars, including Best Picture and featured unforgettable performances by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The book offers a rich account of the film's origins, the myths and realities behind its production, and the reasons it remains so revered today. Through extensive research and interviews with film-makers, Noah Isenberg explores he ways in which the film continues to dazzle audiences and saturate popular culture 75 years after its release.
The circumstances surrounding the death of legendary star Rudolph Valentino have been a constant source of fascination for admirers worldwide. This work examines every aspect of his passing, analyzing the circumstances and gathering information into one convenient source for the Valentino scholar and enthusiast. The first part examines every moment of the last days of Rudolph Valentino, his illness and operation, the reactions of such intimates as Pola Negri, and all controversy such as riots, suicides, and fights over his funeral and estate. Part two gives tours of Valentino-related sites in New York, Hollywood and West Hollywood, downtown and suburban Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills, explaining each site's part in Valentino's history, giving quotes from the star and his associates about the place, and describing its present state. Part three consists of eleven appendices giving such information as the infamous "Pink Powder Puff" editorial and Valentino's responses, the medical diagnosis, operation on and treatment of the idol, tributes and eulogies, the list of mourners attending his funerals, his last will and testament, the summation of his estate, quotes about his death, references from newspapers, and a complete filmography.
This book is a definitive study of love-death-afterlife movies from the 1920s to the present. Scholars of film will appreciate this contribution to the intellectual history of cinema, and cultural critics will enjoy its presentation of the ways in which democracies can use entertainment to prompt unorthodox speculation in matters of the spirit.
Beowulf's presence on the popular cultural radar has increased in the past two decades, coincident with cultural crisis and change. Why? By way of a fusion of cultural studies, adaptation theory, and monster theory, Beowulf's Popular Afterlife examines a wide range of Anglo-American retellings and appropriations found in literary texts, comic books, and film. The most remarkable feature of popular adaptations of the poem is that its monsters, frequently victims of organized militarism, male aggression, or social injustice, are provided with strong motives for their retaliatory brutality. Popular adaptations invert the heroic ideology of the poem, and monsters are not only created by powerful men but are projections of their own pathological behavior. At the same time there is no question that the monsters created by human malfeasance must be eradicated.
A Los Angeles Times bestseller A New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice” Selection “Even the die-hardest Casablanca fan will find in this delightful book new ways to love the movie they were certain they could never love more.” —Sam Wasson, best-selling author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. Casablanca is “not one movie,” Umberto Eco once quipped; “it is ‘movies.’” Film historian Noah Isenberg’s We’ll Always Have Casablanca offers a rich account of the film’s origins, the myths and realities behind its production, and the reasons it remains so revered today, over seventy-five years after its premiere.
When they floored their Thunderbird off a cliff rather than surrender to the law, Thelma and Louise became icons of female rebellion, provoking strong reactions from viewers who felt either empowered or outraged by the duo's transgressions of women's traditional roles. The 1991 film quickly became—and continues to be—a potent cultural reference point, even inspiring a bumper sticker that declares, "Thelma & Louise Live!" In this insightful study of Thelma & Louise, six noted film scholars investigate the initial reception and ongoing impact of this landmark film. The writers consider Thelma & Louise from a variety of perspectives, turning attention to the film's promotion and audience response over time; to theories of comedy and the role of laughter in the film; to the film's soundtrack and score; to the performances of stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis; to the emergence of Brad Pitt as a star and male sex object; and to the film's place in the history of road and crime film genres. Complementing the scholarly analysis is an in-depth interview of screenwriter Callie Khouri by editor Bernie Cook, as well as reviews of Thelma & Louise that appeared in U.S. News & World Report and Time. Offering myriad new ways of understanding the complex interrelations of gender, identity, and violence, Thelma & Louise Live! attests to the ongoing life and still-evolving meanings of this now-classic film.
A compelling account of years of spiritual investigations from the director of Life After Life, the award-winning documentary on near-death experiences. The stories of divine intervention in people’s everyday lives continued to occupy Peter Shockey’s thoughts even after his documentaries on the subject for Hallmark Channel and Discovery’s TLC had been completed and garnered awards and international acclaim. In Miracles, Angels & Afterlife, Shockey shares the most compelling accounts he has gathered during his years of spiritual investigations and offers profound insight into what the increasing presence of the divine in daily life can mean in this, the first generation of the third millennium. Beginning with his own personal story, Shockey goes on to introduce others who relate their miraculous experiences, ranging from visions of heaven to the presence of angels. He then puts these encounters in an enlightening context as he explores striking patterns of divine intervention in human history as well as in the Bible. In doing so, he takes readers on an unforgettable spiritual odyssey that will change the way they look at the here and now . . . and the hereafter.
Though themes of love, death and the supernatural are mainstays in the history of cinema, this text represents the first scholarly work to address movies that explore all three. Twenty-two films are covered in short chapters, from The Mummy through What Dreams May Come. A plot synopsis is included for each film, as well as a critical analysis exploring the relationship of each to major philosophical and literary themes. Finally, an exploration of the critical response to each film addresses the genre's reception by the public.
This study sees the nineteenth century supernatural as a significant context for cinema’s first years. The book takes up the familiar notion of cinema as a “ghostly,” “spectral” or “haunted” medium and asks what made such association possible. Examining the history of the projected image and supernatural displays, psychical research and telepathy, spirit photography and X-rays, the skeletons of the danse macabre and the ghostly spaces of the mind, it uncovers many lost and fascinating connections. The Modern Supernatural and the Beginnings of Cinema locates film’s spectral affinities within a history stretching back to the beginning of screen practice and forward to the digital era. In addition to examining the use of supernatural themes by pioneering filmmakers like Georges Méliès and George Albert Smith, it also engages with the representations of cinema’s ghostly past in Guy Maddin’s recent online project Seances (2016). It is ideal for those interested in the history of cinema, the study of the supernatural and the pre-history of the horror film.
Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Other, grade: 1,3, Dresden Technical University (Institut fur Anglistik/ Amerikanistik), course: Science Fiction Films, language: English, abstract: "When I was young, I met this beautiful girl by a lake." The following paper focuses on how the afterlife is allegorized in Vincent Ward's film. Ward combines motifs from various religions. Ancient, Western and Eastern versions of afterlife merge to an individualistic Great Beyond. The leading literary influence seems to come from Dante's The Divine Comedy, especially considering the movie's depiction of Hell. Also several parallels to art work stand out. Of course, as no sources can prove it, it is just speculation if, especially the referred literature and paintings were an inspiration for the film. However, some parallels cannot be dismissed out of hand. For a clearer arrangement, I assembled the research paper in a Heaven (Chapter 2.1.) and a Hell (Chapter 2.2.) section and will then summarize my observations as well as explicate how this all fits into the science fiction genre (Chapter 3). Unfortunately, apart from various reviews on the internet, no other secondary text on What Dreams May Come can be found in literature. On that account, my paper mainly bases on the film itself and several reference books on theology, philosophy and mythology. Namely, The Oxford Companion to Philosophy and Boxton's The Complete World of Greek Mythology as reference books as well as work on afterlife: Coward's Das Leben nach dem Tod in den Weltreligionen and Braun's Das Jenseits - Die Vorstellungen der Menschheit uber das Leben nach dem Tod."
German cinema of the Third Reich, even a half-century after Hitler's demise, still provokes extreme reactions. "Never before and in no other country," observes director Wim Wenders, "have images and language been abused so unscrupulously as here, never before and nowhere else have they been debased so deeply as vehicles to transmit lies." More than a thousand German feature films that premiered during the reign of National Socialism survive as mementoes of what many regard as film history's darkest hour. As Eric Rentschler argues, however, cinema in the Third Reich emanated from a Ministry of Illusion and not from a Ministry of Fear. Party vehicles such as Hitler Youth Quex and anti-Semitic hate films such as Jew Süss may warrant the epithet "Nazi propaganda," but they amount to a mere fraction of the productions from this era. The vast majority of the epoch's films seemed to be "unpolitical"--melodramas, biopix, and frothy entertainments set in cozy urbane surroundings, places where one rarely sees a swastika or hears a "Sieg Heil." Minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels, Rentschler shows, endeavored to maximize film's seductive potential, to cloak party priorities in alluring cinematic shapes. Hitler and Goebbels were master showmen enamored of their media images, the Third Reich was a grand production, the Second World War a continuing movie of the week. The Nazis were movie mad, and the Third Reich was movie made. Rentschler's analysis of the sophisticated media culture of this period demonstrates in an unprecedented way the potent and destructive powers of fascination and fantasy. Nazi feature films--both as entities that unreeled in moviehouses during the regime and as productions that continue to enjoy wide attention today--show that entertainment is often much more than innocent pleasure.