Clarice Greco, Mariana Marques de Lima and Tissiana Nogueira Pereira
religious products, in turn related to the current right-wing trend all around the world in society and the media, as well as in politics.
This analysis combines an appreciation of this strategy, reflecting on these productions and their consumption in the current media landscape by drawing on Cultural Studies and Mediation Theory. As a result, it proposes a cultural diagnosis of Brazilian media, showing that the modern biblical epic is itself a reflection of society not only in regard to media products but to the demands of audiences as well.
Brazil’s TV landscape
Demonising controversy in The Last Temptation of Christ and The
Passion of the Christ
. However, other Christ films have told this story without escalating the visual violence like Passion does. Watching the movie becomes a visceral experience, affect, the audience flinches at the beatings, looks away from the blood, the flayed back. Reviewers spoke of feeling ‘abused’ and ‘punished’ and the film was generally reviewed poorly. Conservative Christians, evangelicals, Roman Catholics, responded differently: the film became a religious experience, a phenomenon. Churches across America organised field trips to movie theatres so their congregation could
situation of a middle-aged woman under stress – in Judith’s
case, intensified by loneliness and the loss of her closest relative, her
aunt. When her hopes of the possibility of a romantic relationship with
James Madden turn out to have been built on sand, she gives in to her one
great weakness, alcohol, which in turn leads to a terrible crisis of
religious faith. As in The Pumpkin Eater , there is a moment of
this tranquil simplicity.
In Ars, Demy superimposes one temporal moment, recounted in
the voiceover narration, over another, depicted in the image-track.
Ars focuses on the final section of the life of Jean-Baptiste-Marie
Vianney, a Catholic priest, canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1925, who
led the parish of Ars-sur-Forman from 9 February 1818 to his death
on 4 August 1859. Demy recounts his transition from humble servant
of the Christian God to a tyrannical fanatic who alienates his congregation, with his death and supposed ‘afterlife’ forming the focus of
titles ensuring that some photographs are spatially specifiable.
Therefore the Vieux Port, L’Estaque, the quartiers nord and Le
Panier are all cited, reinforcing the idea of the city being divided
into neighbourhoods whose lines are seldom breached. Another
common trend is gender division: whereas men are seen mostly
in the workplace or leading religiouscongregations, women
are often confined to the domestic sphere and especially the
kitchen. In addition, Jeanmougin’s tendency to depict women
– particularly brides – at times of celebrations showcases religious and
, like the village church and the village itself,
as a deep repository of memories. On this and other occasions in
the film, the past and present appear to merge into each other.
These moments are often breathtaking, such as the moment when
the film cuts from the interior of the church when the congregation is singing in the present day to the same space decades earlier,
when soldiers take up the hymn. Time appears to shift and break
down in other interesting ways. The potential for current and
future warfare is evoked by the roar of the jet fighter which appears
des femmes , which attacks the FLN’s
failure to reform Islamic laws pertaining to the sex/gender system. However, in
most instances, beur films refer to Islam only through scenes of local
colour provided by religious celebrations such as Eid and Ramadan. Given the
demonisation of Islam in the press and in mainstream cinema (as in Alexandre
Arcady’s L’Union sacrée , 1989), it is perhaps not
surprising that Zemmouri’s 100% Arabica and Bahloul’s La Nuit du
), is appointed director of Popular Pageantry for the Reich.
They become estranged by her pro-Nazi sympathies and his progressive alienation
from the regime. This is caused by the murder of his friend Father Landbach for
asking his congregation to pray for a list of arrested people; by the rape by a
Gestapo officer and subsequent imprisonment in a concentration camp of the
fiancée of a young radio engineer; by the arrest of a succession of friends,
voice soaring to the rafters on her solo – ‘The Lord is my
Shepherd’ – she spots Korchinsky in the congregation and her
confidence drains away. Like a choirboy robbed of his top notes by the onset
of puberty, Gillie’s voice is broken by her awareness of Korchinsky.
She can no longer sing for the wedding because, although she does not
realise it, she is experiencing a nuptial moment of her own. At the end of
the service he
processions illustrate the role played by inner-city
churches during years associated with spreading secularisation. Religious
festivals supplied many locally supported organised activities until urban
churches were closed, demolished or severed from their earlier congregations
by redevelopment schemes. As Ralph Brookes filmed the closure of St
Cyprian’s Church and its demolition, he unwittingly captured the
evolution of faith