Pezzoli-Olgiati Fritz

Fakultäten » Theologische Fakultät » Religionswissenschaftliches Seminar » Prof. Dr. Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati » Pezzoli-Olgiati Fritz

Completed research project

Title / Titel Film and Religion Facing Transmission Processes. The Religious-­Historical Motif of the «Holy Family» in Contemporary Arthouse Cinema
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Original title / Originaltitel Film und Religion im Spiegel von Tradierungsprozessen. Das religionshistorische Motiv der Heiligen Familie im zeitgenössischen Arthouse-Kino
Summary / Zusammenfassung From the perspective of the study of religion, applying a cultural studies approach the project analyses the adaptation of the Christian Motif of the Holy Family in contemporary European arthouse cinema based on selected films. The Arthouse film is considered as a popular and current phase in the transmission process of religious elements. The alienations of the aesthetics and content the motif goes through during its cinematic adaptation are reflected in context with popular interpretations in pictorial art of the 16th century.
The project is structured in three phases. The first phase focuses on the analysis of the motif’s representations in selected European Arthouse films. Within a defined film sample including works of P. Almodóvar, F. Ozon und S. Bier the motif’s aesthetic and narrative are analysed by means of film studies methods. Thereby questions concerning the motif’s aesthetic and textual transformations as well as questions concerning the motif’s different functions and meanings during the transmission process are pursued. The particular interest is to elaborate the functions and meanings of the motif within a single film and in the context of a directors complete work. For this reason the project offers a contribution to the interplay between religion and film.
In a second phase pictorial conventions are elaborate to generate a reference framework for the filmic adaptations. The construction of a diachronic, cross-media context enables to work out transformations and constants during transmission and reception processes. Meanwhile the question concerning the possibility of comparing different forms of representation in different temporal and cultural contexts is reflected. This second phase situates and reflects the analysis of the films in it’s reference framework.
In a third phase the filmic motif of the Holy Family is discussed considering the complete work, the biography and the artistic, politic and religious background of the directors and their audience. Thus use, alteration and alienation of a religious motif is questioned facing it’s production and reception contexts. On the one hand the analysis focusses on meaning and achievement of religious references in films emanating from different European countries and cinematic traditions, on the other hand the role of religiously shaped narrations and symbols in the contemporary public is going to be reflected.
Theoretically the project is embedded in the discourse on visuality and religion, an academic field researching on cultural shaped strategies of representation and perception. On this level the project contributes as to the reflection of possibilities of a religious studies approach to “pictures” as to the reflection of the relation of the two interacting communicating systems film and religion.
Methodically the dissertation is of an interdisciplinary design: The films are analysed using film studies approaches with a special interest in the surfaces aesthetics. Besides, cinematic adaptations of the motif are researched referring to interpretations in pictorial art and then systematised with methods of art history. The project design is based upon study of religion perspective and combines innovatively a history of religion approach with tipical methods of a cultural studies geared study of religion. On a theoretical-systematic level the project reflects the formation, use and transmission of the biblical and apocryphal motif in various media.
Weitere Informationen
Publications / Publikationen Fritz, Natalie (2011). Heisse Schenkel- kühle Köpfe. Filmkritik zwischen professioneller Neugier und konfessioneller Sexuallehre. In: Fritz, Natalie; Martig, Charles; Perlini-Pfister, Fabian. Nur für reife Erwachsene. Katholische Filmarbeit in der Schweiz. Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, TVZ, 93-122.

Nur für reife Erwachsene. Katholische Filmarbeit in der Schweiz. Edited by: Fritz, Natalie; Martig, Charles; Perlini-Pfister, Fabian (2011). Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich.

Fritz, Natalie; Martig, Charles; Perlini-Pfister, Fabian (2011). Von der Moral zur Filmliebhaberei: Einleitung. In: Fritz, Natalie; Martig, Charles; Perlini-Pfister, Fabian. Nur für reife Erwachsene. Katholische Filmarbeit in der Schweiz. Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, TVZ, 9-13.

Fritz, Natalie. Balanceakt zwischen Skepsis und Faszination. Die katholische Film- und Juryarbeit in der Schweiz. In: facultativ. Magazinbeilage zur Reformierten Presse, 1, 2011, p.4-5.

Fritz, Natalie; Mäder, Marie-Therese (2013). You are a part of a great tradition: Kleidung als visuelle Repräsentation einer Lebenshaltung in SECRETARY (Steven Shainberg, USA 2002). In: Glavac, Monika; Höpflinger, Anna-Katharina; Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria. Second skin : Körper, Kleidung, Religion. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 127-166.

Weitere Informationen

Keywords / Suchbegriffe Film and Religion, Art and Religion, Media and Religion, European History of Religion
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati (Project Leader) daria.pezzoli-olgiati@access.uzhc.h
lic. sc. rel. Natalie Fritz (Project Leader)
Prof. Dr. Pierre Bühler
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Sep 2012 to Apr 2016