I am doing my presentation on Saturday about When Death Goes Pop -- with a curriculum for a college-level course that brings in clips from Hollywood films (comedies and dramas) and documenatry films based on books about such things as near death experiences, and very popular television shows that touch on issues related to survival of human consciousness after death.
Some great films that look at this are "Defending Your Life" with Albert Brooks, "Beetlejuice" -- the scene when they realize they are dead and are reading from the Handbook for the Recently Deceased, "My Girl" --in which Macauley Culkin dies from bee stings, and "Sixth Sense," among many others (Ghost Busters, Poltergeist, the Exorcist, to name a few).
Television shows that either incorporate these ideas include "Medium," "Ghost Whisperer" "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "X Files" or the cable TV shows of "Ghost Hunters," "Cross Country with John Edward," and "Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead."
These programs make for a great discussion about the topics of death and the afterlife, along with writings about that. Death is the current taboo subject that people avoid talking about -- you know more about people's sex lives than their ideas on death -- so media seems to be the place where it is presented. Even South Park -- where Kenny dies every week, and then it is all erased in the next episode. What does that mean?
More details on Saturday...