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Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies [Paperback]

By Roy M. Anker (Author)
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Item description for Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies by Roy M. Anker...

Anker examines 19 popular films, showing how they convey a range of striking perspectives on the human encounter with God. Organized by genre, these selected films present different, surprising ways in which God shows up amid the messy circumstances of life.

Publishers Description
Films have come to not only entertain modern minds but also inform and shape them. Many of the best cinematic works have profound religious elements -- some obvious, some more subtle. In Catching Light Roy Anker examines nineteen popular films, showing how they convey a range of striking perspectives on the human encounter with God. These selected films portray God showing up in different, surprising ways amid the messy circumstances of life. Anker looks closely at the plot of each film, especially at how characters, through their experiences, ultimately move "toward Light," toward recognition of a loving, redemptive deity. The first section of Catching Light looks at classic 1970s films that inspect personal, social, and cultural evil: The Godfather trilogy, Chinatown, and The Deer Hunter. The second group of films depicts the ways and depths of specifically Christian notions of redemption: Tender Mercies, The Mission, Places in the Heart, and Babette's Feast. Some of the most successful films of our time have come as fairy-tale fantasies: the Star Wars saga, Superman, and three of Steven Spielberg's "lost boy" stories (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence), each of which Anker interprets as a fable of search and redemption. The films in the last section of the book feature characters who, to their great surprise, are ambushed by a wholly unexpected God: Grand Canyon, American Beauty, and Three Colors: Blue. In addition to focusing on the theological dimension of each film, Anker comments on its merits both as story and as cinema. Also included are sidebars that discuss each film's history and significance as well as the quality and special features of DVD editions. For anyone interested in the intersection of religion, art, and culture, Catching Light offers a unique view of contemporary faith.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies by Roy M. Anker has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Choice - 04/01/2005 page 1406
  • Christian Century - 06/14/2005 page 36
  • Publishers Weekly - 09/13/2004 page 74
  • Commonweal - 02/25/2005 page 24

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   402
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.95"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802827950  
ISBN13  9780802827951  

Availability  0 units.

More About Roy M. Anker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Roy M. Anker taught film and literature for many years at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. His other books include Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies and Of Pilgrims and Fire: When God Shows Up at the Movies.

Roy M. Anker currently resides in the state of Michigan.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Movies > History & Criticism
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Catching Light: Looking for God in the Movies?

catching light: deep reading  Sep 1, 2005
CATCHING LIGHT beautifully explores the capacity of film to articulate human experience. This is done through the Christian perspective but does not, as many Christian interpretations do, simplify its films. Anker touches on all the grey areas--the intoxicating darkness and the radiant light that seems to shroud all of human experience.

This book plunges in deep and is by no means a mere overview. If one desires brevity, resort to minimalistic news reviews. CATCHING LIGHT carries readers along with the interpretation, avoiding the bombast of so many film reviewers.

A must read to all who enjoy meditating and thinking deeply about film, limited not to Christians, but all who actively partake in life and the it contemporary reflections.
Interesting, but way overwritten  Apr 22, 2005
I love movies and was looking forward to reading about some of my own favorites in this book. What was disappointing was the writing, which was pedantic, redundant, and lifeless. As a writer myself, and a writing teacher, I kept wondering why in the world Anker's editor didn't get him on track. This book could have conveyed the same information and ideas in half the words. No kidding. As Mark Twain said, "I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." I'm on my way to reading a couple other Christian perspectives on movies and hoping they are a little more lively.

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