The Last Temptation of Christ

Danielle Mitchell

The Last Temptation Of Christ

In the opening of this film, there are a lot of jump shots.  These jump shots covey an intense, unsettling feeling with the viewer, which are full of dramatic tones and suspense.  When we see Jesus in his home and Judas enters to find him building a crucifix there is great rage in Judas.  He says that Jesus is a ‘Jew killing Jews’ and how will he ‘pay for his sins?’  Jesus states ‘With my life.’ This foreshadows what will happen later in the film.  Jesus does pay with his life but rather than for his own sins, it is for the sins of the rest of the world.  The man for whom the crucifix was made is charged with multiple offenses but the most striking is for prophesying a messiah will come.  It is interesting that it is Jesus who builds a crucifix for a person accused of a crime such as this.

About 15 minutes into the film, Jesus enters the place where men pay for sex.  On the door there is a picture of coiled snakes.  The snake is associated with Satan and evil, does this mean that prostitution is a sin? A symbol of the sinning taking place behind closed doors?  When we encounter Jesus as he draws a circle on the floor of the desert to sit in and wait for God to speak to him, the screen suddenly goes black and when dim light comes back it is the temptation screen where Satan tempts Jesus.  The sudden darkness can be associated with the coming of Satan since he and evil are often represented as darkness.  Also, however simply the temptation scene is constructed, it was beautifully done.  It gets to the point of the temptation and without a lot of complicated events.  In this case, less is certainly more.

This script was beautifully written. Each word, phrase, speech has such purpose and conveys great amounts of emotion.  I am a big fan of Martin Scorsese’s work and Willem Dafoe is one of my favorite actors.  The two together, along with all the others, create such an amazing film I could hardly take notes while watching, all I wanted to do was focus on the film.

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