#34: Afterlife on Film | Defending Your Life


On this episode of NJAM, the classic crew is back together to discuss depictions of afterlife on film, the Albert Brooks classic, Defending Your Life (1990), and maybe even their own views on what comes next.

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I. Intro

A. Why discuss the afterlife?

B. Qualifications of films

II. Why is this topic important to NJAM? (00:14:14)

A. Our ideas of the Afterlife

B. Raymond Moody’s Book, Life After Life (1975)

  1. Near Death Experience Structure

C. Why is film an excellent medium for this?

III. Examples of Afterlife Depictions On Film (00:29:55)

A. What we screened

– Defending Your Life (1991)

– Hellraiser (1987)

– What Dreams May Come (1998)

– Hereafter (2010)

– Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

– The Lovely Bones (2009)

– Flatliners (1990)

– Liliom (1934)

– Contact (1997)

– Twilight Zone Episode: “A Nice Place to Visit”

– Tree of Life (2011)

– South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)

– Heaven Can Wait (1978)

– After Life (1998), Hirokazu Koreeda

– Technically Gladiator(2001)

– A Matter of Life and Death (1947)

– Enter the Void (2009)

IV. Discussion of Defending Your Life (01:35:47)

A. Albert Brooks as a filmmaker

B. How is the afterlife depicted?

  1. Should it be more cinematic?

  2. Extreme bureaucracy

C. Following Moody’s Structure

  1. Reviewing days of your life

  2. Search for knowledge continues after death

  3. A pleasant experience

D. Having to defend your life

  1. Not about being a bad person

  2. Personal growth and knowledge

V. Mini Segments (01:49:44)

A. Cryanterion Collection

  1. Rashomon

B. Timmie Hate Watches Once Upon A Time

Original Music

The music found in this episode was written and performed by the talented Jesse James

Audio Editing

This show was edited by Ryan Jacobi

Additional Material

  1. The reaction Ryan expected when describing Agnosticism

  2. Carl Sagan’s Notes on Contact

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