Julia Ormond als"Tochter" und Nils Dorando als "Kindlein von Macon" in Das Wunder von Macon von Peter Greenaway (1992).


















In June 2000, Michael P. Duricy completed an STLdissertation on the Virgin Mary in Cinema based on analysis of over one thousand films with some type of Marian content. The Marian Library / International Marian Research Institute is making available the contents of this film database for use by the academic community and the general public.


Besides a complete list of all the films, this web site provides listings of several subsets of the whole. See below for a description of the definition of these subcategories; click into Research Database [below left] to access the film database. From there select the desired category, then click Submit for an on-line report. From the report, click Select to the right of a particular row for details on a particular film. Click Back from the summary to display the full list.


Drama, Documentary, and Lecture: At this point, allow me to describe the organizational structure used to categorize the films for further analysis. The most distinctive empirical fact evident from seeing a compendium of Marian films is the difference in the genre of films in which Mary appears. There should be little debate over whether a film which refers to Mary is a drama or a documentary. A third category which applies to a number of films related to our topic is that of the recorded Lecture. Each of these broad genres is quite distinct from the others, but broad enough that each contains many Marian films. Within each of these broad general categories, a handful of well-defined subcategories appears from a natural consideration of the material.

Historical and Symbolic Films: Marian representations in dramas may be subdivided into two broad groups: Historical films which present the figure of Mary herself; and Symbolic films which only allude to the person of Mary. The Historical class of dramas may be subdivided between those representing the person of Mary during her life on earth and those representing Mary as an eschatological figure.

Intentional and Illustrative Aspects: Similarly, Symbolic Marian dramas also divide into two camps: those suggesting Mary's presence by using an inanimate object; and those alluding to her with a character having certain similarities. Evaluating a character's trait as Marian may deal with either audience perception or the author's intent in presenting such a character. To allow for the author/audience distinction, it seems reasonable to further divide the Symbolic Marian characters between those in which the symbolism is Intentional on the part of the author and those in which it is only potentially Illustrative depending upon audience perception. With this distinction we conclude our list of subcategories found in Marian Dramas.

Feel free to send any questions, comments, or corrections to Michael P. Duricy.

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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Wednesday, 05/23/2012 10:51:24 EDT by Sumithra Kulkarni . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.

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