I’m currently taking a History In Motion Pictures and one of my classmates said why the instructor choose a bunch of Catholic directors. I dont really check directors’ religion ( although i know it cn influence their films) .
so i ind this list of influential catholic directors, Do u guys have an others i should check out?
1. Alfred Hitchcock
2. John Ford
3. Federico Fellini
4. Martin Scorsese
5. Jean Renoir
6. Francis Ford Coppola
7. Francois Truffaut
8. Buster Keaton
9. Fritz Lang
10. Luis Bunuel
I would start with Bunuel, Catholicism predominates in much of his films.
Want to include former Catholics as well? Abel Ferrara and DGuillermo del Toro would qualify.
Hmmm… how do you classify Catholic? Luis Bunuel was a self-described devout atheist, and I’m pretty sure Fellini was more of a lapsed Catholic (although that impression comes just from his films – not from anything I’ve read).
Mel Gibson, if you want a practicing Catholic.
Kieslowski was catholic, right? I mean, he used the version of the ten commandments where ‘Thou shall worship no other gods but me’ and ‘False idols’ are combined into one commandment, and ‘Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife’, ‘Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods’ are separate commandments. That’s the Catholic version.
@Malik and @Drunken Father, I’m good with former catholics as well :)
Lars Von Trier was born Catholic…. Became an athiest and last I heard went back to calling himself catholic
He’s big on the whole catholic guilt thing too
John Waters (although he considers himself ex-catholic)
Leo McCarey and Roberto Rossellini.
@Japeman thanks, im interested
in that whole catholic guilt thing :)
Antichrist is obviously Von Trier’s biggest reference to his catholic guilt
it’s right there in the title.
Almodovar probably had some sort of Catholic background being from a small, rural area in Spain. I believe I read he was hoped to become a priest by his family. Comes up sometimes in his films, but not often. Bad Education being an example…
Dreyer and Bergman? I don’t think they were Catholic, but they were from very religious christian backgrounds strongly playing roles in their films.
Bresson is as far as I know the only Catholic director who was very devout and expressed much of his faith in his films.
@Japeman Yea i put that on my instant Queue :)
@ Joshuah Yes, i noticed that in Bergman’s films too, thank you,I’ll be sure to check out Bresson and Dreyer
Robert Altman was raised in a Catholic household.
Eric Rohmer was Catholic and it definitely seeps into his films.
The first who came to mind were Bresson and Rohmer. The centenarian Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira is another and i would strongly recommend checking him out.
Not a director but the writer Shusaku Endo was a Catholic and his novel Silence was adapted to film by Masahiro Shinoda. Martin Scorsese has announced his intention to make an adaptation of the novel .
Luis Bunuel was a self-described devout atheist,
Non-belief in the supernatural aside, Bunuel’s entire outlook and moral code were shaped by Catholicism, so I think it’s safe to refer to him as a Catholic filmmaker.
I think you can’t define Fellini as a catholic. He was Italian, and Italy is a very catholic country, so anyone who borns and lives in Italy must confront himself with catholicism. But this doesn’t make a person catholic.
Mattia 5’s point above is well-taken. In one sense, it could be claimed that almost every Italian, Spanish, or South and Central American filmmaker is, by the accident of their births, Catholic — because they were probably exposed to and shaped by that belief system. Fellini once said that being a Catholic in Italy was like a fish swimming in water: you can’t help but be in that environment.
The real question is to what extent individual directors/screenwriters display Catholic themes, imagery, iconography, characters, etc. in their work. The scene in Bicycle Thieves when the thief collapses (supposedly from an epileptic seizure) and is cradled in the arms of his mother seems like a direct reference to the Pieta; even Bunuel and Altman use the imagery and composition of Leonardo’s The Last Supper in Viridiana and M*A*S*H respectively (albeit to mock). Then there’s Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Mathhew, the so-called Marxist life of Jesus. In Raging Bully (as I call it), Jake La Motta’s boxing mouthpiece is inserted like a communion wafer, and many film heroes spread their arms crucifixion-style in moments of despair.
Does all this iconography mean we can call the filmmakers Catholic? It’s not an easy question.
This is intersting. Seems a lot of the directors I like were Catholic. I wonder if Catholics find more meaningn in their films (or less) than non-catholics?
What do you Protestans/Catholics think?
I’m Catholic. I’ve out-grown my hate for religion/religious people and all that jazz. I enjoy catholisism for what I make of it. I doubt some films would exhist without the mental gateway catholisism creates between the world of reality and the world of fantasy. I guess for me Catholisism is just a way of imagining the world, not imagination itself.
Then you look at the protestant or otherwise and you see 70% of the directors in America. save Micheal Bay because I positive he is a satanist.
I’ve always thought that Catholicism’s emphasis on ritual. architecture, music, and storytelling (“the greatest story ever told”) made it a natural for cinema.
Andrei Tarkovsky was heavily influenced by the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s not Roman Catholic, of course, but the two churches share a lot of the same beliefs and rituals.
Sergio Leone’s films are replete with Roman Catholic influence and imagery.
As a person raised Catholic, I have to say in my experience it’s true — you can take the Catholic out of The Church, but you can’t take The Church out of the Catholic.
Then again, anything you were (force) fed during your childhood is going to probably affect your view of life one way or another, whether you’re for or against, or unaware of the insidious nature of your early learning altogether.
BTW I REALLY, REALLY don’t like it when people assume the crucifix position in the movies — unless of course they can’t help it because they actually ARE being crucified. Talk about cliche.
Lars von Trier