SAC 455 - Topics in Film Studies
Section: 001 Religion in Film
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Screen Arts and Cultures (SAC)
Department: LSA Film, Television, and Media
Waitlist Capacity:
Lab Fee:
Advisory Prerequisites:
SAC 230 or 236.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Only in the last forty or so years, since around the start of the 1970s, have Hollywood directors seriously investigated and dramatized questions having to do with organized religion and with God's existence, nature, and relationship to man. Before that, because the industry was fearful of offending religious groups and thus losing audiences, when Hollywood made a film about religion it was usually a dramatization of a Bible story (Cecile B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah) or a fantasy (Frank Capra's It’s a Wonderful Life). European directors, e.g., Frenchman Robert Bresson (A Condemned Man Escaped), Swedish Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal), Spanish Luis Bunuel (Simon of the Desert), by contrast, had been writing and dramatizing stories that seriously dealt with God and religion for decades. Some of the American directors who finally took up the subject include Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven), Woody Allen (Crimes and Misdemeanors), George Cosmatos (Tombstone), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), and Clint Eastwood (Pale Rider). We will see and examine a number of these films and others—one Asian—that deal with God or gods intervening in human affairs or causing a protagonist spiritual or moral anguish. Reading: Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor”; The Bible: those parts relevant to each film. Writing: Before we discuss each film, students will hand in a couple of paragraphs that explain how God was employed in it. Students will also write two papers, a Mid-semester and a Final examination.

SAC 455 - Topics in Film Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (LAB)
Tu 7:00PM - 9:00PM
003 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
004 (LAB)
Tu 7:00PM - 10:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for SAC 455 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)