Regrettably, Paul W.S. Anderson has not received attention or analysis as a religious filmmaker. Anderson, whose films are starting to be re-evaluated by critics, isn’t publicly religious like Martin Scorsese (see: The Last Temptation of the Christ, Kundun, and Silence), doesn’t make metaphysically reflective films like Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2010), isn’t concerned with adapting biblical stories like Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (2017) or Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), and doesn’t deal with religious-cultural conflicts like Paul Schrader’s Hardcore (1979) and First Reformed (2017). He makes action and genre films, like Death Race (2008) and Alien vs Predator (2004), and he’s colloquially known by amateur and immature YouTube film reviewers as the director “RUINING Video Game Movie Adaptations.”
Viewing Anderson through the prism of his personal beliefs (which are in no way public) and subject matter, for the most part, may justify the lack of writing on the religious elements of his filmography. But with different criteria—visual style and mise-en-scene—his films evoke a sense of the divine. In particular, they invoke a feeling of utter dependence on a mysterious Other.
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