Christ-figures, Religious Imagery, and the Critique of Religious Institutions in Film.
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This thesis incorporates a multi-faceted approach to film interpretation, combining close readings of scenes and shots with thematic and allegorical readings of narratives and characters. In addition to expounding each film’s religious subtext, I will engage in philosophical, ideological, and sociological readings of each film, underscoring the role of society and the masses in empowering religious figures and institutions. While this approach will mostly entail original work, I will consult artwork, published film scholars and major 20th century thinkers. The essay consists of two main sections: Part One will focus on the first pairing – Cool Hand Luke and The Shawshank Redemption; Part Two will transition to the second pairing – Being There and The Truman Show. Parts One and Two will first examine the Christ-figures at the heart of each film, comparing and contrasting their visual and thematic representations as tools of the film’s religious criticism. Both sections will then discuss how each film critiques religion through its setting’s society, culture, and institutions. [from Introduction]
Senior honors thesis ' YU access only
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