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Gnosticism, the early Christian sect that was driven underground centuries ago, was until recently barely known outside of academia. Though the reality-slamming religion has of late been overtly featured in a couple of pop culture offerings, Gnostic themes have been slyly and regularly appearing in Hollywood movies for about thirty years now. Why have so many studio directors and producers been drawn to examine a belief system that questions ALL OF REALITY, that suggests that everything you know is wrong?
English professor Eric Wilson ponders this question and many other mind-bending queries in his book, “Secret Cinema: Gnostic Vision in Film.” He examines the genre he refers to as Gnostic Cinema and how the experience of partaking in this ritual can be transformative. The related traditions of Cabbala and alchemy are also considered as Wilson discusses the films The Matrix, The Truman Show, A.I., Dead Man, Vanilla Sky, Blade Runner, Dark City, Jacob's Ladder, eXistenZ, Thirteenth Floor, Donnie Darko and many others.
Hear an interview with Professor Wilson.