Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ-Figures in Film

By Lloyd Baugh | Go to book overview

6
Essential Dimensions and Typical
Guises of the Christ-Figure

The profile of the Christ-figure in film can include a number of elements or dimensions, all of which can be recognized on the one hand in the fullness of their meaning in Jesus the Christ, and on the other hand to a lesser extent in the figure of Christ represented in the film in question. 1 At the same time, the filmic Christ-figure assumes a number different guises or forms, each of which serves as an appropriate metaphor of the totality of the Christ-event or of some dimension thereof. So far in this book, we have considered this reciprocal dynamic between the Christ-figure and the Christ figured through the detailed analysis of individual films, in most of which the totality of the Christ-event is represented. In addition, most of these films are recognized classics, masterpieces of the filmic art. In this chapter, which is conceived as a wide-ranging overview of the Christ-figure theme in film, we shall shift our approach. From an attention paid almost exclusively to classic films, we shall here consider a wide variety of films, some classics and many very popular. As well, moving from a detailed and extensive analysis of a limited number of films, in this chapter we shall focus briefly on a larger selection of films, the intention being to suggest how widely and how variously the Christ-figure imagery is diffused in the seventh art.


Some Dimensions of the Filmic Christ-Figure

Since the filmic Christ-figure does not always reflect the totality of the Christ-event, in the first part of this chapter and by looking briefly at a number of films, many of them popular rather than classics, we shall consider how different dimensions of the Christ-event are represented in individual elements or images or sequences of the films in question.

Reflecting the wholly other, transcendental character, or at least origins of the Word-of-God-made-flesh, the filmic Christ-figure often has mysterious origins. This mysterious quality is evident in Pasolini Teorema ( 1968) where not even the name of the strange "visitor," let alone his origins and destiny, is known: he arrives announced by an "angel-figure," and departs the same way. As we saw in chapter three, the transcendent dimension is also present in the western, Shane, in which the mysterious origins and destiny of the enigmatic hero are never fully revealed. Sometimes the Christ-figure comes from outer space as in Stephen Spielberg E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial ( 1982) or from another time zone, as in Vincent Ward The Navigator: AMedieval Odyssey ( 1988)

-205-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ-Figures in Film
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.