Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, Vol 1, No 2-3 (2005)

Religious Cinematics: The Immediate Body in the Media of Film

S. Brent Plate
Issued Date: 3 Feb 2007


Religious cinematics is concerned with the “moving picture,” and with its impact on the “moving body.” Particularly utilizing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological descriptions of the “aesthesiological body,” this article briefly outlines a movement of the film viewer’s body that is pre-conscious, before rational awareness, in front of the film screen. Ultimately, it turns to Stan Brakhage’s unwatchable film, The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes, to make the case for moments of “cinematic mysticism,” when the categorizing functions of film and the senses break down. In this way, a renewing function of filmic ritual emerges, not from a transcendental otherworldliness but from a grounding in the human sensing body.

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DOI: 10.1558/post.v1i2_3.259

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