Secular spiritual nature films : their use, misuse, and potential promise as roving biospheres
Beck, Jefferson Andrews.
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The central purpose of poetic techniques in nature films remains under-analyzed and the realm of spiritual motivations in filmic techniques under-explored. In this paper I examine historical and recent attitudes toward nature and the spiritual, highlighting in particular the work of Existentialists, and use those contexts to critique several broad categories of nature films. I find that all types of nature films, to varying degrees, contain a poetic impulse and often a secular spiritual motivation. I conclude that nature films, when carefully crafted, can be highly imperfect, yet highly potent proxies for spiritual experiences in nature.