Disclaimer: Originally posted in the "Movie Review" group, thought I would open it up to everyone.
So I'm looking for movies that have an Atheism or freethinking theme, either overtly or subtly. No documentaries though.
Most Hollywood films seem to have a "Faith will save you" or "You have to believe in something" theme if they deal with religion at all.
The few pro-Atheist or pro-freethinking films I can think of are:
The Invention of Lying (2009)
The Truman Show (1998)
Which ones can you think of?
Okay, but who is the theistic deity in The Lord of the Rings? Answer: there isn't one. No god is being worshipped at any point in the movie. No obedience to a god. There are evil magicians with lots of power, but ultimately they are mortal and their magic can be defeated.
LOTR is a funny one - Sauron is more or less a god or demi-god .... Gandalf goes into the afterlife and gets sent back - one is left to assume that it is some kind of deity that sends him back - but none are openly talked about.
Wasn't LOTR loosely based on the bible?
It draws from a lot of preexisting mythology, including things like legends of Arthur, or the saga of Sigurd/ Sigfried. I can't remember the full range of Tolkien's inspirations for LotR, but I do believe he had a respectable understanding of folklore from a number of cultures.
You actually have to read "The Silmarillion" to see the 'religious' part of LOTR. The Silmarillion is basically an elvish Bible. Tolkien actually recounts the whole creation of Middle Earth through some form of 'angelic beings' that are called Valars, and we eventually find out that all wizards (Sauron included) of Middle Earth are demi-gods. There's no direct reference Christianity, but here and there you get the hint. The movies... not so much in my opinion, but the actual literature has some religious themes.
I think you're going well beyond the facts with your speculation. At any rate, there is no theistic (personal) deity implied. Even if a deity sends him back (which is a stretch in itself), it needn't be a person.
"Life of Brian" - nothing subtle there.
Excellent call! Most Monty Python will contain religious mockery.
"The Ledge" is actually worth a watch, and has some great anti-religion dialogue.
I too am sick of the typical hollywood "believe", "believe in yourself", "believe in a higher being" garbage.
I would say "The Contender" is as good as any. Joan Allen as an atheistic senator trying to be appointed as
Jeff Bridges' Vice President.
I liked this movie. It surely had nothing to do with religion, but the fact that he did not summon, conjure or even think about a deity in his state of suffering, to me was an indicator that he was an atheist. This one was subtle, but god damn it was inspiring!
Waking Life (2001)
The Last Wave (1977)
A Scanner Darkly (2006)