Apocalyptic Themes in Movies


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This is the presentation given by Sr. Rose at St. Monica's Parish, May 20, 2012 on "Apocalyptic Themes in Movies". The presentation explores the way films deal with the end times from various perspectives, why people watch, and authentic Catholic Christian teaching about the end of the world. The movie clips are not included but the list of films referred to in the live presentation are listed on the final slide. (Thanks to Mary Sperry!)

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  • The 6th angel delivers the 4 angels who were enchained at the Euphrates River
  • 9
  • (skootenfrudy)
  • Christ figures – the Road … The Book of Eli
  • Apocalyptic Themes in Movies

    1. 1. Apocalyptic Themes in Cinema Sr Rose PacattePauline Center for Media Studies Sisterrose.wordpress.com
    2. 2. The concept of apocalypse is dramaticeschatology for a clash of the physical mindprocess (time) versus metaphysical realm(eternity). Naturally we are all intrigued andutterly fascinated with such a mind blowingtopic – Angelene S., undergrad student in Religious Studies (UC Davis Class of 2015)
    3. 3.  The Catholic Church does believe in the end of the world and the Second Coming But …. the Bible does not predict the end of the world or name the Antichrist  Clues in the Bible are subjective to the person claiming to understand them  Jesus said that not even he knows the day or hour of the end of the world  Only the Father knows  If the Father didn’t tell the Son why would he tell anyone else (especially an American or a Brit or US ally?)
    4. 4. The human soul is immortalAt the end of the world body & soulwill be reunited to live forever
    5. 5.  Unveiling or revelation of Jesus as the Messiah Disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era of confusion, chaos, falsehood “The Apocalypse of St. John” is the last book of the New Testament By extension has come to mean any end time scenario
    6. 6.  in Hebrew Archeological dig A fort on a hill to guard the highway Book of Revelation mentions Armageddon Rev. 16:12-16 Site of ancient battles Literal or symbolic?
    7. 7. Authentic Catholic Christian teaching: Parousia – the Second Coming of Christ (but can also mean the visit of a Christian worker); personal presence (Mt 24:27) Eschatology – study of the Last Things (judgment, heaven, hell, purgatory, the Second Coming)Inauthentic, erroneous teaching:  Dispensationalism – when God relates to people in different ways that the Biblical covenants: dispensations  Tribulation – during the “end times” before the “rapture”  Rapture – left behind  Millenarianism – literal belief in a future millennium following the Second Coming (application of 1000 year cycles to God’s plan)
    8. 8.  Science fiction Horror Military Animation Comedy Religion: Comets Nature The Bible Plagues Post Apocalyptic Zombie
    9. 9.  Founded by Nelson Darby 1831, Plymouth, UK (Dublin 1827) Tired of dissent, dissatisfied with Church of England PB = First historical reference to pre-tribulation, end time - rapture doctrine; parousia = dispensations (from Biblical covenants) “Caught up in the air” (private revelation Margaret Macdonald to Darby) In cinema: Oscar and Lucinda & Son of Rambow but much more in the culture and politics
    10. 10.  Special effects Fascinated by choices characters make Way to reflect on one’s mortality If these people could survive … so can I Schaudenfreude Makes the unknown visible Way to assuage fear through control: beginning, middle, end = control = crisis of faith due to lack of religious knowledge?
    11. 11.  Fear – confront fear as in horror film Choices – consequences Hope – if these people can survive, so can I Humanity – the best humanity can be shows at the worst possible time Death + mortality Humility - Pride Faith - secularism The end of the world is only about American males and American ideology and fundamentalist Protestant and/or pagan pre-Christian sensibilities One world or America
    12. 12. Zombie apocalypse: hostile to human life, assault oncivilization
    13. 13.  Before Christs second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 675; Rev. 19: 1-9)
    14. 14.  The Antichrists deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. (CCC 676; Rev. 13, 20, 21)
    15. 15.  The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by Gods victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. Gods triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world. (CCC 677; Rev. 20, 2 Peter 3)
    16. 16.  The concept of apocalypse is dramatic eschatology for a clash of the physical mind process (time) versus metaphysical realm (eternity). Naturally we are all intrigued and utterly fascinated with such a mind blowing topic – Angelene S., undergrad student in Religious Studies (Class of 2015)
    17. 17.  Catechism of the Catholic Church http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM www.ApocalypicMovies.com Wikipedia Basic Catechism, Hill & Wallace, 1999, Boston Films  2012, Deep Impact, Armageddon, Shaun of the Dead, Left Behind, The Book of Eli, On the Beach, Dr. Strangelove, The Day After Tomorrow