Friday, August 14, 2015

Hollywood's Portrayal of God

How Hollywood has portrayed God over the years.
Ferdy Mayne, Alanis Morissette, George Burns and Morgan Freeman
For a supreme being that no human has had pleasure of ever seeing, (though Moses did get to see his back once), Hollywood has had no trouble showing us what God actually looks like. Over the years, the Alpha and Omega has been portrayed as an old man, a playful African American, a mute woman, and a spoiled little brat among other things. While it is probably best to leave the image of God to our imagination, don't count on Hollywood to stop anytime soon. Here are eleven of the more memorable versions.
Oh, God!
Stranger than the fact that Carl Reiner chose comedian George Burns to play the role of God in this film is that he also chose country singer John Denver to work opposite of him. Based on Avery Corman's novel, Denver plays Jerry Landers, a supermarket manager, who is chosen by Burns, er, God, to be His modern-day Moses and to spread the word that God is real. Burns did what he did best – he played himself. The film did so well, that two sequels were made that also starred Burns: Oh, God! Book II (1980) and Oh, God! You Devil (1984).

Night Train to Terror
This relatively unknown independent horror movie has become, at least in some people's eyes, a cult classic. The movie consists of three short stories that are tied together by a discussion between God (Ferdy Mayne) and Satan (Tony Giorgio) on a train discussing the fates of three people, who are subjects of the three stories. Some have called this portrayal of God of being devoid of overly religious feelings. The odd couple are credited as being played by "Lu Sifer" and God by "Himself."

Written and directed by Kevin Smith, Dogma is a satirical and bizaree story of two fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) who are hellbent to return back to heaven. Bethany Sloane (Linda Fiorentino), a divorced, infertile abortion clinic employee, is told by the Voice of God (Alan Rickman) that she is the great-great-great-great-great- grand niece of Jesus Christ and that it up to her to save the world. God is portrayed here as a female in the form of Alanis Morissette. She doesn't appear until late into the movie and when she does, she is mute. When Bethany asks God, "Why are we here?", God touches the end of the Bethany's nose, says "boop!" and then walks away

Bruce Almighty
Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) a television news reporter, is having a really bad day that ultimately leads to the firing of his job. Bruce takes is frustration out of God and even suggests that God is not doing "his job" correctly. Later, God (Morgan Freeman) appears to Bruce in the form of a black man who looks and sounds a lot like Morgan Freeman and informs Bruce that he has everything under control. Feisty Bruce continues to challenge God who then allows Bruce to understand what it means to be God. This version of God is calm, but in control, kind but firm and a bit of a jokester.

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