Volume 46:2 (2007)
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BYU Studies volume 46, number 2, is a special issue on Mormons and film. “A History of Mormon Cinema,” a major article by Randy Astle and Gideon Burton, tells the history of Mormon interaction with film from 1905 to 2007. They discuss portrayals of Mormons in film (both positive and negative), Mormons in the film industry, the use of film by the institutional Church, and independent Mormon films. They situate hundreds of Mormon films in five identifiable eras, or “waves.” James d’Arc examines portrayals of Mormons as vampires, specifically in Trapped by the Mormons. Terryl Givens explores paradoxes in Mormon culture and film in particular: searching and certainty, the collapsing of sacred distance, and Zion as both paradise and exile. Sharon Swenson shows how movies are not simply entertainment, but affect human relationships and interior life. Travis Anderson shows how avoiding evil in film and art is not enough, but seeking after godly in the arts can teach and inspire us. Eric Samuelsen explores the financial side of filmmaking. Gideon Burton gives context to Dean Duncan’s manifesto for “Fit for the Kingdom,” short documentary Mormon films made for the Internet. Thomas Lefler and Gideon Burton describe the various goals in filmmaking and use Legacy as a case study. The issue ends with reviews of three Mormon documentaries and the 2007 LDS film festival.