Just in the nick of time for this module, I’ve managed to finally get round to seeing one of the quintessential fallen angel films of more recent times. In Dogma, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon play two fallen angels trying to get back into heaven (and as a by-product, causing hell on Earth if they succeed).
Unlike my film, this film is heavily religious. It is probably the most blasphemous film I’ve ever seen – I laughed for two hours straight, from the hammed-up performances of Alan Rickman and Chris Rock, to the satirical and dry witted script that pokes fun at the Christian establishment at every moment of conversation. This is not to mention all the subtle jokes in the background (sometimes even funnier than what’s going in the foreground). It takes the style of Airplane! – it’s one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a while.
I thought Jay and Silent Bob were a little out of place in the narrative, as they didn’t contribute much to the script, the story, or the characters. However, I was more interested in the way the script had been constructed, as this is obviously a funny film, and it would be great if I could incorporate the pessimistic humour of the fallen angels into my script.
‘Buddy Christ’ – A scene that became an online meme in it’s own right. George Carlin’s character (of all people) claims the image of Jesus dying on the cross is too pessimistic, and stopping people from being religious. Thus, he campaigns to make Buddy Christ the new symbol of Christianity. (Note – the rest of the film is in similar vein!)
I think the ‘trick’ was that all the heavenly beings (although being humorously bored with the responsibilities they had after many centuries of service) were cynics and very blase about the events of the film – the impending armageddon of mankind. At one point, all of creation is referred to as ‘an experiment’, and the characters seem to reinforce this notion. Ironically, nothing seems sacred to them – they all have their own agendas, and they’re all seeking freedom from the rules of Heaven and the Holy Land (a similar theme of which I’m exploring within my own script).
Again, my film will be a lot less slapstick than this one (which may have been made purely to provoke), and the religion theme is toned down within my own script, as you can literally argue all the hypocritical points and conflict with science until the cows come home. Overall though, Dogma was a very well made film. If I can make something even half as good as it with my finished piece, I will deem it a major success!
This is opening clip:
(now replay the ‘skywalk’ scene again, and this time pay more attention to what’s going on in the background – I imagine there’s loads of these kind of moments throughout the film on the second viewing!)