The Motive of Journey in Fiction Film as a Process of Transformation: an Interdisciplinary Approach to the Interface between Religion and Film
The main objective of this research project is to explore the interface between fiction film and religion from a hermeneutic-religious studies’ perspective. Therefore, the research will be conducted on two levels. On the one hand, the relationship between film and religion of the presence will be investigated from a theoretical point of view, i.e. a top down approach. For this reason, religion and fiction film will be regarded as correlated systems of communication that may be exhibiting complex interdependencies. These potential interactions will be the focus of this study, which will be conducted within the general scope of the relationship between media and religion. On the other hand, this study is based on a film corpus, i.e. employs a bottom up approach: the motive of journey in contemporary fiction film seen as a transformation process. In other words, this study will answer how such transformation processes are depicted: what were the narrative and aesthetic strategies employed by an individual film. Thereby, questions will be answered concerning on which level, to what aim and how (i.e. with what means) explicit or implicit patterns of religious systems of symbols have been utilized artistically. Thus, the theoretic discourse of the first level will be reflected upon by means of film analysis; the results - in terms of achievement or limitations of such a top down approach - will be checked against concrete analytical work on films. This research project explores a so far neglected area of study; it represents a interdisciplinary treatment of the topics of religion and film, combining in its perspective religious studies, film studies and hermeneutics.