King of Kings

May 6, 2012

This film focuses on Jesus’ ministry and the political ways of Israel. In this movie Jesus had both men and women following him which was unusual because there were never really women followers. Judas shows Jesus a rational side of himself; he believes Jesus could be a potential political solution for conflict between the Jews and the Romans. It is obvious Judas didn’t really know who Jesus really was and what he stood for. Judas, who was once a follower of Jesus, betrays him for silver to the Romans. Many different sources were used to make this film. All the Gospels were used however more of the Gospel from Matthew is portrayed in this film. I believe the King of Kings spend a lot of time on the Roman-Jewish politics while most of the teaching and miracles of Christ are told from perspectives of others rather than really shown in the film. Some scenes could have been looked at more in depth such as the woman at the well, The calming of the sea, etc.


10 Commandments

May 6, 2012

Demilles film begins as an Egyptian pharaoh is told that the enslaved Hebrew are soon to give birth. He orders the slaughterer he must kill all newborn Jewish boys, but one is placed in a basket and floats down the Nile. He is found by the pharaoh’s sister and is brought up as her own. That is as much as we say when he is a baby in depth. The real story starts when he is grown up and is a prince. I thought it was interesting to see how there was no emphasis on him growing up. We know there is a rivalry between Moses and Ramses throughout all the years. When Moses lineage is revealed, I believe it is bitter sweet. His entire opinion on how he acted or lived as a prince changed. The princess is in love with Moses and wants him to win the competition to see who will win the place as pharaoh. She says she cannot be in love with someone who is not a pharaoh, but in reality he is not. He comes from a family of enslaved Jews and is in actuality not an Egyptian pharaoh. This movie represents God and the relationships between people and God.


The Passion of the Christ

May 6, 2012

Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ, depicts Jesus’ last hours before he is ultimately crucified. The film presents graphic violence and brutality imposed on Jesus Christ. The explicit events unfold in a bold and daring manner, making it almost impossible for an audience not to address the cruelty. Even in the opening scene of the film, Jesus is depicted as fragile and desperate, possibly even on the verge of his own defeat. However, he remains resilient and seeks the aid and assurance of God. In the film’s portrayal of him, although Jesus embodies human qualities as he suffers throughout the events leading to his crucifixion, his portrayal also depicts him as the messiah. For instance, referring back to the initial scene of the film, as Jesus is being tempted by Satan, he constantly shuns Satan in favor of God. Similarly, as he is being crucified, Jesus cries out and forsakes God, believing that God has deserted him in his final hours. However, he retracts his statement, and begs for the forgiveness of those that have sinned and ordered his crucifixion. A prominent theme comes from his act here as the film constantly advocates forgiveness. Despite the horrific violence and brutality, the undertone of Jesus’ message shines throughout the film. Explaining his purpose, Jesus states, “You are My friends. There is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends. I cannot be with you much longer, My friends. You cannot go where I am going. My commandment to you after I am gone is this: Love one another. As I have loved you, so love one another.”


The Life of Brian

May 5, 2012

The Life of Brian is Monty Pythons take on the story of Jesus of Nazareth, more dealing along the lines of there being a prophet that is there to enlighten the people and teach them moral values. This zany madcap rendition of the Jesus story has many memorable scenes, but the one that i like a lot is the scene when Brian is ordered to write, “Romans go home” along one of the Roman buildings. As he is doing this he is stopped by a guard that rather then takes him away to jail but rather corrects him on his grammar. This scene is rather hilarious for most people that have taken a Latin class have stated that most of the teachers were just as strict on grammar as the roman soldier that had stopped Brian. This is just one of the many funny scenes from the movie Life of Brian. Another scene that just adds to the random and zany madcap humor that is Monty Python, is the scene when Brian is running away from the Roman Guards and he falls off a building to then be swept up by a spaceship controlled by aliens. This was a completely out of the blue scene because this had been set for around the time of 33A.D.


The Humanizing of Jesus

May 2, 2012

You can’t help but feel compassion for the powerful, compelling, controversial film Passion of the Christ. I thought the scene where they punish Jesus is one of the many compelling scenes of his humanization in this film. I thought I would be able to withstand watching the horrendously gory scene of his whippings, but I couldn’t help but cringe as the intensity of the whippings and choice of weapons became much more severe than the previous. I thought that the scene served as a moment where people should feel fortunate of what Jesus has done for the sins of people. Jesus beaten nearly to death, he withstands the threshold of the pain and scars his body receives. It is very powerful and moving as you can see some of his disciples leaving because of the violence. Whip after whip, we see the scars get more intense and we can feel as though we are actually in the crowd because of the framing that emphasizes the crowd and how the soldiers punish Jesus. You cannot help but feel sorrow or pain for Jesus as the high priest watch, the people and the Roman warriors laugh and take pleasure in beating him.

Another scene depicting his humanization occurs when they force a man to carry the wooden cross and he refuses because he does not know Jesus. He later begins to feel sympathy for him because he sees the crowd and soldiers mocking and beating Jesus despite praying for their sins. How can one not feel sorrow and pain for Jesus? Every step after the whipping is a struggle. He does not fight the orders of his crucifixion but he accepts their punishment for him. I thought it was interesting that they only showed two miracles Jesus has done for people in the film. One was when he saves the soldiers ear in the beginning when they capture Jesus and the second one is his resurrection towards the end of the film. In contrast to the DeMille film, where he unrealistically glows and heals miracles left and right to portray he is the Messiah. Gibson’s film plays on the notion of the mysterious and reality. The film shows daily life from when Jesus lived but it also played on the mystery that if you do not believe, there are going to be consequences to your sins, such as Judas hanging himself and the man being crucified with Jesus that gets his eyeball poked by a crow for mocking Jesus.

I thought it was great that they flashbacked on several of Jesus’s memories when he is in the brink of death. One example is when he sees his mother Mary run to him when he falls as he is carrying the wooden cross. It flashes back to his childhood giving us an idea that this man has a past and did not just descend down from the heavens. He recollects when his mother holds him when he was in need of comfort during his childhood. The flashback is very realistic and compelling because of all the pain he goes through, seeking his mother for comfort.

This was one of my favorite films we watched this semester, but I thought there was too much taken away from the film with Gibson focusing too much on the High Rabbi priest. I thought that it looked as though in the film they are portrayed as the people that are responsible for the death of Jesus. The Roman king puts the responsibility of crucifying Jesus to the people. It was a peculiar choice of doing this and I thought this could have something to do with Gibson’s personal beliefs. In a few of the select parts where Jesus suffers the High Rabbi priest are there watching. Here are the marks: 27:00, 38:00, and 54:18(We get a close up particularly from this High Rabbi, conveying that he enjoys this).

For those that care to watch this in HD:

http://youtu.be/7Mo4DHmQlUg


David and Bathsheba

May 1, 2012

Henry Kings rendition of the story known as David and Bathsheba from the second Old Testament book of Samuel, seemed to give a rather good adaption of the story of the love between King David and Bathsheba, the husband to commander Uriah (however it is spelled). For this movie I had found that there were some comedic aspects to it, to me at least. There weren’t many but some that seemed rather funny or odd to me. One that really made me laugh was when David and Bathsheba were in the field with the shepard boy, as they are both laying down enjoying the day, Bathsheba is worried that the boy will see them as they are kissing. David tells her not to worry for he told her that he learned of love at a young age from when he was a shepard. As he is about to kiss her he sees the shepard boy staring at them to which he then says, “Dry season.” This could be interpreted in two different ways for the shepard boy was trying to get water for the sheep, however the pump was producing enough water. Yet I interpreted it as if it was a dry season for love for David and Bathsheba. More for Bathsheba since she hasn’t spent much time with her husband since Uriah is a captain for David and he is always busy with his duties, and knowing that Uriah is one that is loyal to his ruler and will stick by his side. This can be shown as when David tries to get Uriah to go home so he can sleep with Bathsheba and fulfill his “husband” duties and make it seem that he had gotten Bathsheba pregnant, he hears word from one of his closest men that Uriah had in fact not gone home but stayed and slept with the soldiers. To me there were a few funny points in this movie which made it an interesting rendition of the story in the second Old Testament of Samuel.

p.s. i know i’m extremely late to post this.


Last Temptation of Christ

April 30, 2012

Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ provides the audience with one of the most humanistic approaches to Jesus on film.  This is due to many factors, including the noticeable exclusion of famous bible passages such as “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  However, it isn’t just relatable, unfamiliar dialogue that brings Willem Dafoe’s Jesus to a relatable level on par with those of us that watch the film.  Nor is it the emphasis on the idea that God has possessed Jesus, which is meant to strongly show the audience that Jesus was a man before the presence of God forcibly took control of him.  What makes this Jesus so compelling, and ultimately human, are his mistakes.

 

The familiar and even cliché quote, “To ere is human; to forgive, divine” comes to mind when watching the controversial flick.  For me, this is primarily due to the fact that Dafoe as Jesus certainly personifies the first half of the statement.  He makes plenty of mistakes as God intervenes in his life and prepares him for his role in life.  He struggles with his inability to fully comprehend the situation he is in, and like any other human being, makes a misstep here and there until he finally reaches his destination on the cross.

One major mistake can be seen when Judas threatens to kill Jesus for being complicit in the Roman domination of the Jews.  Jesus is willing to accept his own murder due to the stress of his predicament, and even tells Judas to go through with the murder as the knife is pressed against his throat.  Once Judas allows him to live and joins him on his mission, Jesus corrects this misjudgment on his own life and perseveres through the trials of his existence.  By not pushing aside his duty and trudging onward, he steps back onto the path he had previously strayed.

The final mistake Jesus makes is perhaps the greatest one presented in the film.  When on the cross, Satan offers the life that Jesus wanted instead of the agony and suffering of crucifixion.  And because Jesus is not aware of Satan’s trickery, he seems at peace and able to go along with the idea.  This leads to the disaster seen at the film’s climax, with Jesus recognizing his error, and ultimately correcting that action with the ultimate sacrifice and total compliance with God’s plan.  While this notion that Jesus was imperfect may (and very well did) upset many people of the Christian faith, it portrays him as a man that anyone in the audience could relate to on a very basic level.  It is the heart of the film, showing the viewer that no matter what happens, it is possible to move past mistakes, and that where one ends his or her journey matters.  No one is free from error; that is what makes each and every one of us human.

-Chris Lombardo


Jesus de Montreal

April 29, 2012

In response to Lisa’s comment that the film shows the truth too much; I understand where you would see it that way. The film exposes the unfortunate truths that still can be seen today; there is no value anymore. Religion and faith is just about one of the only things in this day and age that grounds us. However, I think that the point of this film was to expose the unfortunate truths about how superficiality and product take precedence over what once was important; faith and devotion. This is exactly what I thought was brilliant about the film. It intertwined modern day society with that of Jesus’ time. Through the eyes of actors, the audience was able to see a succinct replication of a time where things were simplistic and general to a time where life is a far more materialistic and complicated. It is for this reason that I actually think the ending scene was a perfect tone to end the movie with. There were questions unanswered, prayers not yet responded to. It was a scene that made a bold statement.


The Last Temptation of Christ-Response paper

April 28, 2012

The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorsese shows the life of Jesus Christ and his struggle such as fear, reluctance, depression, doubt, and fear. However, the movie departs from the accepted Biblical depiction of the life of Jesus Christ. In other words, the movie is remotely derived from the Gospel of John, Luke, Mark, and Mathew. The movie starts with the renunciation that it is not based on the above gospels. Instead the movie is derived from the book, The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis. The book focuses on the dual nature of Christ or his humanity (Greydanus).

It is not a must that the dramatic representation of the humanity of Christ to be compatible with the different articles about Christ (Greydanus). But, it could be valuable as well as worthwhile if any work of art focuses on the truth about Christ. In The Last Temptation of Christ, the movie gives the audiences the ‘human’ Jesus, but then again he is imperfect. The movie has scenes that depict blasphemy. For instance, there is a part where Jesus expounds that he creates the crosses for crucifying his fellow Jews and the Romans thus God will not only hate him, but also abandon him. Other scenes show the persistent confusion and doubts of Jesus regarding the nature of his mission and identity. For instance, Jesus doubts whether he is the Savior or Messiah (Greydanus).

In another scene, Jesus sits all afternoon in an apartment adjacent to Mary Magdalene’s room who is a prostitute. Jesus is able to see as well as hear Mary Magdalene servicing some of her clients. It is argued that Jesus could be moved to lust since he could see and hear. Throughout the film, it is shown that Jesus is obsessed with Mary Magdalene.

In Mark 3:31-35, the crowd of listeners tells Jesus that his brothers and mother want to see him. Jesus tells the crowd that “his brothers and sisters are people who do the will of God”. In the Last Temptation of Christ, Jesus tells his mother that he has “no family and turns his back on Mary” (Greydanus). This makes Mary break down in tears. In Mark 7:10-13, Jesus emphasizes that everyone should respect his/her parents. Therefore, the movie contradicts Jesus’ teaching on love and respect.

The movie is not comparable to the traditional Christian understanding. In the movie, Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus since he is ordered to do so by Jesus. In one of the scenes, Judas tells Jesus to put himself in his position and asks him whether he could let down the beloved master. Jesus tells Judas he cannot do it but he insists he is ready to die on the cross (Greydanus). In addition, Judas Iscariot acts as the conscience of Jesus. For instance, when Jesus starts his ministry, he fears that Judas will kill him if does not complete his mission.

According to the Christian teachings, Christ was not only fully divine, but also fully human. This implies that there is nothing wrong to try to express humanity of Christ in form a novel or film. This brings to the people’s mind the truth of the humanity of Christ as an honorable as well as good thing even though Christ’s divinity is not addressed. It is worthwhile to visualize Jesus being able of experiencing fear and loneliness, having fun with the people, e.g., wedding party, or becoming annoyed with his disciples and not being perfect, i.e., he commits sins.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Greydanus, S. The Last Temptation of Christ: An Essay in Film Criticism and Faith. 2010. 25 April 2012 <http://www.decentfilms.com/articles/lasttemptation>.

 


The Life of Brian- Response paper

April 28, 2012

‘The life of Brian’

 

This paper will major on the narrative style of the movie whereby the main content will involve how the story has been developed. The narrative style here is the technique that the director has used to come up with the arrangement of the different events in the movie. The main way in which the movie is sequenced is to check whether the director of the movie has achieved the characters required for a good and understandable movie. The movie, “Life of Brian,” relays the story of Brian’s life in general. This is because he is the aim character and this makes certain that the viewer is able to understand all about the play by making the story talk more about the protagonist Brian. This is a movie that in particular entails the story of religious spoof.

In the movie all the scenes that take place are put in an order, which can simply make the viewer have the flow of what is going on until the moment the movie comes to an end. Terry clearly explains the life of Brian in a systematic manner. Explanation of his life from the time he is young to the time he undergoes suffering is not mixed up. This is to mean the director wants to attract the attention of the viewers by making sure the flow of the story is the way it is supposed to be. Unlike situations where some directors may not really have the ability to ensure that the events are in order, Terry makes certain that his movie is perfect and different (87-88). Making sure that the events are in an order the way they are supposed to be in makes it possible for the director to attract the attention of the viewers to ensure that they grasp all that is going on in the movie.

At the beginning the actor is born and the director explains all the situations that he undergoes before he dies. All these events take place each at a time and the good nature found in the director is that he tries his best to ensure that they are all sequenced as they happened. From the beginning the events are sequenced in order to ensure that there is no confusion when watching the movie.

This generally gives a clear impression that the movie is understandable to anyone who watches it. All the episodes are put in place in such a way that the movie does not make the viewer confused, which is an element that is featured extensively in this movie making it one of the best movies ever released. It is very clear that people usually go for what they know when they watch they will always be satisfied with what they have seen and if told to narrate he story they are in a position to. All the movies should therefore have this character to ensure that they have a flow that is well understood. In this case the director of the movie, Terry Jones qualifies to produce good movies because of the way this one is managed. It has the characters of a good movie, making the director have the heart of producing even more.

 

Coming to the conclusion part of it, all movies should have an understandable flow of stories to make certain that the viewers get to know what the movie is talking about. All movie directors should make certain that they have the ability to produce movies that cannot make viewers bored but make them cheer up and understand the content therein. On the other hand they should always ensure that the movies have interesting parts to break the boredom. This will cause those who have watched the movies, and have seen that they are really good, convince others to but them making it a big profit for the directors.

 


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