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Five Great Geeky Christ Figures

by on 2014/04/18

Hacker RendersWhat I know about religion comes down to the teachings of Coke and Hallmark. With the possibly-notable exception of a Philosophy of Religion course — taken out of youthful curiosity — I have no interest in it to speak of.

I don’t accept a spiritual world, systems based on belief-as-proof, or looking to others (who are likewise flawed) for guidance in general. It’s not that it isn’t all interesting, I just don’t find it compelling.

All of which makes a movie the perfect delivery medium. If you’re going to present a religious motif, then couch it in an entertaining experience. Even if I miss the allusion, at least I enjoy the piece on other levels.

What follows are five of my favourite works built around the idea of a saviour, defensible viewing to the faithful around us, over an Easter weekend in mixed company. Better than egg hunts and sugar crashes, at least.


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) on 2011/10/31

* * * * *

“Through a diverse mix of scenes, various ideas and themes are explored: technology’s advancements, our place within a larger environment, cold war paranoia, even biblical metaphor.”

.


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) on 2012/01/13

* * * *

“An alien botanist [is] accidentally abandoned on Earth. Finding — or found by — a young human boy, he struggles with the means to ‘phone home’. The boy, Elliott, initially regards E.T. as a kind of novelty. In time, however, the visitor manifests powers greater than his initial endearing ugliness.”


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) on 2010/12/11

* * * *

“If I am less enraptured by this work than I was with The Golden Compass, I’m very grateful nonetheless it was realized so well. How Narnia functions subtextually, I’ll leave for others to judge but, as a fan of the original books, I’m satisfied.”


The Matrix (1999)Neo in The Matrix (1999) on 2011/01/30

* * * * *

“The narrative functions on many levels, with action demarcating and illustrating the hero’s journey and a variety of themes. Despite the minefield of such complexity, the whole succeeds less for ‘correctness’ than for raising philosophical questions in an effective and entertaining way.”


Superman (1978)Superman (1978) on 2011/01/17

* * * *

“A strange mix of grandiose and modest, realistic and fantastic, tragic and lunatic, too. For all my probing and disassembly of its various bits and pieces, nothing dissuades me from the feeling I get while watching it. Superman doesn’t make me believe that a man can fly, but it does make me believe.”


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