Film

Authored by: John C. Lyden

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Popular Culture

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415638661
eBook ISBN: 9781315724478
Adobe ISBN: 9781317531067

10.4324/9781315724478.ch5

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Abstract

The study of religion and film is still being developed, and yet this subfield probably has the longest history of any of the mediated encounters with religion discussed in this volume. The most obvious reason for this is that film has been around longer than most modern media (excepting print, and recorded music). In addition, the development of all other video-based technologies such as television, Internet, and computer videogames is premised on the medium of film as their predecessor and progenitor. As silent and then sound cinema developed, people learned the vocabulary of film, how to watch and understand the way it constructs narrative via image, sound, and editing; they then adapted this understanding to their viewing and consumption of newer visual technologies which employ similar narrative strategies. The development of these more recent media also makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish “film” as a medium from the others, as people watch films not only in theaters but on their home DVD players, on phones and other portable devices, and stream them via Internet services such as Netflix.

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