Theology and Film Podcast

  • Subscribe to the "Theology and Film" Podcast through iTunes

    Why subscribe?

    Subscribing means that whenever you hit the "Refresh" button in the Podcasts section of iTunes, you'll automatically be updated with the latest and greatest podcasts from the Theology and Film blog! It's entirely optional (you could manually find and download each mp3 file as we post it) but we think it makes things a little easier.

    Tip: You can even set iTunes so that it will automatically "Refresh" for you each time you open it!

    How do I do it?

    Simply click the Subscription link above which will take you to the Theology and Film page in iTunes. Look for the "Subscribe" button and you're away!

    ...uh, what's an iTunes?

    iTunes is a really easy to use music (and podcast, movies etc...) organiser for your computer. It's from Apple and is free to download and use. You can get it here.

« Theology & Film - Podcast Lecture 9 | Main | As it is in Heaven »

September 18, 2007


lance davis

Wow, what an interesting mix of podcasts. Both seem to end with the realization of the injustice in our backyards that we somehow justifiably go to great lengths to ignore due to our limitted ability to help.

I love Ben McEachen's insight into the role of the Dark stage with white outlines and invisible walls. He makes it clear that the town reflects people who claim to act with goodness despite their shortcomings yet in the end do not practice what they preach.

As an American, it's interesting for me to hear how people immediately connect the film to America the country that 'thinks they're so good but they do such bad things.' As if no other country has given the facade of doing good when they actually knowingly or unwittingly commit atrocious ills.

Ills so bad that, like in the film's irony, only the evil that "grace" initially flees is able to return and offer her the only hope for redemption (despite it's bloody revengeful nature).

Although Dogville has been tied to a blatant questioning of America's response to 9/11 it's sadly not a new critique on evil America by any means.

The raw photographs at the end of the film, which Ben McEachen mentions, reflect those people who are hurting, poor, and somehow ignored right amongst American society. However, in the middle of this photo slide show, in stark contrast, is a single picture of a well dressed president Nixon. Hmmmm? What's the point of a photo of Nixon? I believe this most likely is associated to a chain of very real events which all too uncomfortably match the grim reality which Lars Von Trier's fictional film portrays.

After losing the war and hundreds of thousands of our soldiers were slaughtered year after year in the all "Noble" cause of releasing the chains of an oppressed people in Vietnam, Part of Nixon's clean-up and get the POW's out of Vietnam solution was to Bomb the living $%!@ out of every military target or potential target accross the country side which meant innocent families and small children where killed or later died from burns in their parents' arms.

In an odd way this reflects Grace's frustration and eventual justifcation for gunning down the town's people. Like Nixon's bomb raids it reflects Grace's attitude or justification for revenge, "I came over here and "helped", all I got in return was loss and more loss at the price of endless abuse (or the lives of countless soldiers in Vietnam) so you all can get stuffed."

Nixon might somewhat resemble the Character of Grace's father who, sitting in the back of his 355 series cadilac seemingly far removed from the reality of the injustice he governs, comes to pick up his daughter only to find her in chains (like the POW's or "Prisoners of War" in Vietnam).So in a response similar to her Father, Nixon launches the bombing "operation Linebacker II" Dec. 18, 1972 supposedly to allow leverage to get his POW's out of Vietnam and "safe" with Him. To watch an interview with the men who were "pulling the trigger" to release the bombs during those raids is strikingly like looking into Grace's face as she reluctantly agrees to "pulling the trigger" somehow knowing to do so is stopping evil with evil.

The frustration of this seemingly unending cycle of humanity's evil nature reminds me of Nicholas Cage's chilling line at the end of the film "Lord of War":

"It's been said that, 'Evil prevails when good men do nothing,' but the line should simply say, 'evil prevails.'"

Veronica Sywak made an interesting statement about human trafficing in the same vein of thinking, "No matter what we do, it will never be eradicated and it will always be there." I guess the only hope is in the Creator of the Universe who will one day come back and create a new heavens and a new earth.

But this flys in the face of activists who KNOW that sense it IS physically possible to completely eradicate something:(Which it logically is possible by the way) ex. everyone could treat their neighbor like they want to be treated. Therefore, let's die trying to make it come to pass.

If we're aware of our human condition what CAN we do to reverse its affects as much as possible? Give to Compassion Int? Spend Billions of dollars and lives chasing a really really bad evil terrorist?

How many cringed when they hear Tom's response to Grace's obvious cries for help: "Wow, can i use that in my writing? That's very interesting." But isn't that exactly what we do? We go to seminars for how to reach the homeless people living right next to us in Sydney (and even in a few American cities wink,wink). Or we hit the power-window button to inform the hungry lady standing on the street with a cardboard sign and say, "Ya know, money isn't your answer." and then drive away slurping our boost-juice. Yes it IS her answer! Just because we can't end human depravity through human effort doesn't mean we can't arise awareness and draw attention to the distant help-cries we successfully manage not to hear.

I guess Ben's challenge at the end of the podcast msut be addressed: "We can all be like the people in Dogville and it's how you respond to that realization that matters most."

gordon millerick

Two very interesting and insightful podcasts. Ben Clarke-Matrix and Ben McEachen-Dogville. Certainly gives sustenance to ponder percieved reality and the living of actuallity.
The Matrix "what is truth", what I see does it actually exis? Am I experiencing reality or deception? If deception how do I see throught it to locate , accept and live actuallity? If this is deception how much , how long and how do we get out of this deception, who is pulling what strings or pushing what buttons? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Where is the tunnel that has light at its end, the light of truth, not the light of futher deception?

Dogville takes the human bastardisation of twisting God's beauty and mercy to suit the greed of humanisation. Grace brings beauty to Dogville, only to have Satan (Tom) deceive the inhabitants, and allow them to twist this white light beauty (God's pescious life gifts to mankind)and turn it black ominous and disgraceful.

Where does humankind stand in the face of these themes of these movies? Are any of us innercent with no dirt on our hands? Can church life from Christs death to the end times stand pure white clean and blameless?
Will humankind ever really learn?

When will the world learn to turn away from greed hate fear lust and all the toys utilised by the prince of darkness to deceive the minds of mankind?

The light of the World has all the answers, and has given all the answers for those wise enough to obtain them.

The answer in the two movies had differences, yet they were also similar. Neo (Christ figure) defeats agent Smith (Satan Figure), with Smith's two ofsiders ( Devil's disciples)running for their lives. Neo then goes on to change the world. Grace (Christ figure) defeats Tom (Satan figure)and the town of Dogville (Satan's deisciples) with fire and bullets then allows life to continue under her and her fathers control.

I see reflections of Christ's first and second coming in Dogville. Grace to the town initially , the first coming, briging light and freshness and renewing. The second coming with a strong hand and handing out punishment for those that turned against Christ's teachings

Shane Clifton

Brilliant review Ben - it certainly made me think. Thank you.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Devotional blog


Feeds & subscription

Keyword Cloud