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Cinema as religion?


I don’t know how I got started into this, because I am by no means any sort of movie buff, but something I re-read the other day intrigued me:

“I believe cinema is the most powerful secular religion, and people gather in cinemas to experience things collectively, as they once did in church. Cinema storytellers have become the new priests … I don’t think we fully understand yet the need of people to gather together to listen to a story, and the power of that act”.
George Miller, film writer/director

I am not so sure I can whole-heartedly agree with that. Are people really seeking a “together” experience when they go to the cinema? Would it be the same if the rest of the cinema was empty? Just last weekend a friend of mine said she was going to see a movie on her own, because she wanted to do something non-social and just sit back and enjoy some input. Maybe George Miller has a point … (and maybe he also has a vested interest in the film industry).

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