a special film community focused on spiritual enlightenment through films
I firmly believe that people should always be seeking to understanding reality and truth in every form. Film is a visceral art form that is ubiquitous in our culture but is most often misunderstood, including, but not limited to, religious people. Film is an art, not merely a means of entertainment or escapism. That’s not to say that film should be always laborious and complicated. Understanding how to watch and speak filmic language is just like learning any other language. It does take work, but it allows us to communicate and receive truth in a way that mere words cannot access. This guide is to help people engage with film in a spiritual, fun, exciting, and beneficial way. It also serves as an onramp to cinema for anyone who is daunted by the task of weeding out the garbage from the beautiful.
In The Immortal Diamond when speaking of metaphors and symbols within things like film, Richard Rohr states, “Humans cannot live happily without meaning — and ever deeper meaning. Symbols have the power to give meaning — the meanings we wake up for each morning. Religion should be a master at such mining for meaning.” This guide is not intended to provide you with meaning as it pertains to art. That would be irresponsible and potentially even harmful. The intent of this guide is to provide mining tools. Yes, it means more work when watching movies, but it also allows for the potential of enlightenment and contemplation. We often recognize that God may use any number of different methods to show us truth as we walk through this life. Our job is to learn to be receptive, always looking for His messages and lessons. Once receptive, our division between the sacred and the secular slowly begins to fade and we are ushered into a new phase of life in which we are able to see God in all things, even movies. As we all mine for meaning in every aspect of our lives, understand that film, like all art, is a language unto itself. This means that we’re not all born knowing how to speak it, but it also means that it can be learned. Use this as your onramp to film and continuously seek after truth and understanding.
First getting into film is kind of like saying, “I think I want to get into the music of Bob Dylan.” You decide to run a search and find out that since 1962 he’s released nearly 40 albums. Where do you begin? What’s the difference between Highway 61 Revisited and Love and Theft?
Knowing this, Filmhunting has put together a resource to serve as an onramp to film. Consider it a primer, focusing on various types of films from various years all with the common trait of being great films. They are arranged by Volume to help introduce you to films from each decade to help provide perspective and variety.
As Volumes become available, they will be posted on the Filmhunting Guide page. If you find a particular era of film that perks your interest, the films in the guides as well as those posted to the website are also searchable by decade.
Once a month the Filmhunting community watches a film together. It may not be at the same time of the month or in the same place. The goal is a community interested in enjoying quality films and thoughts together. Film is something that can be daunting to someone new to the medium so these films provide an easy onramp into the world while providing context in the form of the Filmhunting Guide, posted for each film at the beginning of the month. The guide is meant to serve as a guide for the community to only learn about the beautiful art of film, but also to begin the process of learning how to mine the deeper spiritual truths out of films. In these posts you will find general information on the importance of the film in the history of cinema, a brief review of the film, essays and questions to aid in the contemplation and viewing of the film and a cocktail pairing inspired by the film. The films are arranged in Volumes to provide a more structured approach, as well as decades for individuals looking for immersion in a particular era of film.