In a 4.2 Indiewire piece called “Can Atheist Audiences Enjoy Darren Aronofsky’s Noah?,” the brilliant James Rocchi explains his resistance to a theological mindset as follows: “I am not a believer in any religious tradition or idea of God; in fact, I dislike the term ‘atheist’ specifically because like, say, ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe,’ it’s a term that gives way too much unquestioned weight to one side of the argument. People who recognize that, for one example, dragons could not exist and have not existed don’t have to be labeled an ‘adragonist’; they’re just called ‘reasonable.'”

(l.) Indiewire contributor James Rocchi; (r.) Noah star Russell Crowe.

“And that’s pretty much my line of thought on every religion and idea of God, or anything from horoscopes to Ouija boards: Can’t exist, clearly doesn’t exist, let’s move on. For those who say, ‘Well, science doesn’t have all the answers,’ I would point out that (a) it has a lot of answers with far better empirical proof than religion does, and b) as Carl Sagan famously said, ‘When someone says science doesn’t have all the answers, what they really mean is ‘We don’t have all the science.'”

That’s poorly put on Sagan’s part — what he meant to say is that these people (i.e., religious believers) have never felt motivated to bone up on all the science, much less crack open a science book. They don’t want to know in the first place so they’ve taken steps to make sure they’ll say clueless.

I should add that Rocchi once wrote in a Hollywood Elsewhere comment thread that “there are no Movie Godz.” One, he’s never been more wrong in his life. Two, it indicated that Rocchi is highly resistant to the idea of spiritual and aesthetic currents manifesting into a kind of force with an actual shape, and perhaps even into a metaphorical “entity.” If there is one thing that is “real” in my world, it is the presence of Movie Godz hovering over this city like Bruno Ganz and that other guy in Wings of Desire, looking down and weeping and fretting over the fraying of movie culture and trying to figure ways to instill fear or reverence into the minds of zombie studio execs.