Spiritual Cinema

"Movies containing spiritual, metaphysical, conscious or similar messages or themes". Simon Keyes explains the idea behind Spiritual Cinema. It is the extraordinary power of cinema, high or low, serious and exploitative, to move and disturb us that we should celebrate and embrace in all its diversity. Films can fertilise our inner lives and provide a counter-balance to that compartmentalisation of our "religious" selves that Thomas Merton dubbed our "personal holiness project". The feelings and shadows that films (well, perhaps not quite every movie) incarnate in us give us privileged access to the world beyond our immediate experience. The sights and sounds of cinema can resonate in the realms of the unconscious and the archetypal like no other medium, and there is much for us to learn about ourselves in this experience. Below is a list of "the best of" this genre...

A Man Called Peter (1955)

Director: Henry Koster
Starring: Richard Todd, Jean Peters, Jill Esmond, Robert Burton

Richard Todd stars in the true story of Peter Marshall, the Scottish-born minister who became Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. After completing his religi... Read more

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Starring: Wendy Hiller, John Hurt, Leo McKern, Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, S...

Adapted by Robert Bolt and Constance Willis from Bolt's hit stage play, this is a literate, penetrating treatment of the conflict between Thomas More... Read more

A Man for All Seasons ( Blu-ray ) (1966)

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Starring: Corin Redgrave, John Hurt, Leo McKern, Nigel Davenport, Orson Welles, Paul Scofi...

Adapted by Robert Bolt and Constance Willis from Bolt's hit stage play, A Man for All Seasons stars Paul Scofield, triumphantly repeating his stage ro... Read more

After Life (1998)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Starring: Naito Taketoshi, Oda Erika, Terajima Susumu, Naito Takashi, Tani Kei

Many films have offered insight into the unexplainable realm of the after life. In Kore-eda Hirokazu's ("Maborosi") thought-provoking vision, the newl... Read more

Agnes of God (1985)

Director: Norman Jewison
Starring: Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft, Meg Tilly, Anne Pitoniak

The childlike novice of an extremely sheltered convent is discovered one night with the bloodied body of a baby she claims not to recognise. Psychiatr... Read more

Altered States (1980)

Director: Ken Russell
Starring: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid

William Hurt stars in a dazzling debut as a research scientist on an incredible journey into the inner space of the mind. He tries everything from ps... Read more

Andrei Rublev (1966)

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Starring: Anatoly Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolai Grinko

Widely regarded as Tarkovsky's finest film 'Andrei Rublev' charts the life of the great icon painter through a turbulent period of 15th century Russia... Read more

Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

Director: Robert Bresson
Starring: Anne Wiazemsky, Francois Lafarge, Philippe Asselin

Taking man's inhumanity to man as its central theme, this story traces the life of a donkey, christened Balthazar by a group of young children, from b... Read more

Babette's Feast (1987)

Director: Gabriel Axel
Starring: Stephane Audran, Jean-Philippe Lafont, Jarl Kulle

Awarded the Best Foreign Language film of 1987 by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Stephane Audran is Babette, an exiled French cook-... Read more

Back to the Future (1985)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J Fox, Crispin Glover, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Marc McClure

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are a time-travelling duo who journey from the past to the future and back again in this now-classic sci-fi comed... Read more