Skip to comments.Hollywood's New Bible Stories ( filmmakers are rediscovering the Good Book)
Posted on 09/29/2012 1:35:31 PM PDT by NYer
When it sets sail in the coming film "Noah," a massive 148-foot wooden ark will carry not only a slew of zoo animals, but one of Hollywood's biggest wagers in years.
"Noah," a $125 million epic from Viacom's Paramount Pictures, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Darren Aronofsky, is one of a boatload of religious films in the works from major movie studios.
There are compelling economic reasons for Hollywood to embrace the Good Book. The studios are increasingly reliant on source material with a built-in audience, something the Bible—the best-selling book in history—certainly has. And like the comic-book superheroes that movie companies have relied on for the past decade, biblical stories are easily recognizable to both domestic and the all-important foreign audiences. What's more, they're free: Studios don't need to pay expensive licensing fees to adapt stories and characters already in the public domain.
With floods, plagues, burning bushes and parting seas, Bible movies make great vehicles for big-budget special effects, a key selling point for a wide swath of audience members. Paramount is hoping "Noah" will connect with religious Americans who "may not necessarily go to more than one or two movies a year," said Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore.
Not since the 1950s has Hollywood been so smitten with scripture. After World War II, Hollywood relied on religious epics as vehicles for its biggest stars, particularly Charlton Heston, who carried both 1956's "The Ten Commandments," about Moses' exodus from Egypt, as well as 1959's "Ben-Hur," about a Jewish prince sent into slavery and rescued by Jesus, only to witness Jesus' crucifixion. Cecil B. DeMille's biblical epic "Samson and Delilah," released in 1949, was another hit.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
They already did this movie with Richard Gere playing the part of David. They actually did a halfway decent job on the movie, but managed to make it rather boring somehow.
Hollywierd has done itself in with it’s “edgy” leftist culture/political war game...like the networks and media. They slaughtered American cultural morality, freedom ideology, inspiration and creativity and there goes the profit of their industry. They are stuck in that fabulous homo/slut sewer edge of life and they know it. The kind of people they attract makes for a minscule audience, insufficient to support the industry and pervert lifestyles.
At first, they were telling themselves that it was alright that they killed the US movie audience because they were international industry and hipsters outside the US would make up for what they were losing here. They know what they have done and they know making a few movies about the Bible won’t fix the art they deconstructed and vandalized. The international profit lie has caught up with them.
I’m not going to Hollywierd for hell’s take on the Bible. I want the amoral dark things out of business. They are a pox on the Americans and foreigners. The market is real. From the ashes of leftist hell maybe American movie making will be reborn someday.
The Last Temptation of Christ wasn’t a big hit with Christians, although it used Jesus as the main character.
This could be one of those times. Otherwise, it will be a horrible bomb because there wouldn't be a market for this film except to the religious/spiritual crowd.
I've certainly heard of that one (I dimly recall the controversy over it at the time), but I've never seen it; I don't think I'd enjoy it. I like my Biblical epics to be old-school! You can have Passion of the Christ, give me Chuck Heston in The Ten Commandments instead!
You’ve GOT to be kidding! Somehow I don’t think of Man’s Man (David) and Richard Gere in the same sentence. LOL!
Here are some excerpts from a review by the Washington Post.
“When we first see Him, Christ is a cross-maker, collaborating with the Romans in their persecution of the rebellious Israelites. His reason for this, He says, is to make God hate Him: “God loves Me and I can’t stand the pain.” And He goes as far in His efforts to alienate His Father as to hold the feet of the rebels as the nails are driven in and their blood spurts into His face.”
“In Willem Dafoe, Scorsese shows us a Christ who is more an anguished modern neurotic than a biblical figure, a sort of Hamlet, and seemingly unfit for the role of Messiah. And he invites us to think of Him as mad.
Fear, Christ says, rules Him, not holiness. He would rebel against God and give in to temptation if He weren’t such a coward.”
” Moving from village to village to pray and spread the message, He reaches out not in modulated, soft-spoken tones, but with a rabble-rousing fervor, like a flame-throwing tent revivalist. And we can’t help but feel a questioning twinge when, after a wedding, He boasts with wild eyes to a small gathering that He is the one they have been waiting for, that He is God.”
“Barbara Hershey’s Mary Magdalene is less believable; watching her, you find it hard to get past the tattoos etched into her skin or her mascara-blacked eyes.
Out of a green valley, Mary Magdalene approaches Him, dressed in white for their wedding, and afterward they make love.
Their lovemaking is explicit and sensual, but not pornographic or in any way prurient. It is the coupling of husband and wife, muzzily shot as a romantic interlude, and what this fantasy represents is the culmination of Christ’s dreams of normality,”
It would take some time to recall all the incidents I have noticed, but one in particular I mentioned earlier was a made-for-TV film on Noah’s Ark. While Noah and his family were on the ark, and the earth supposedly flooded with water, there was a merchant on his own raft selling stuff. That is an extreme example of Bible movie “creativity.”
Lots of movies have more subtle examples such as the Nativity Story that added extra-Biblical scenes to “enhance” the story. One Night With The King, Esther’s story, added in a piece of jewelry that played a significant part in the final scene that plays no part in the narrative and really did not improve the story in any way.
There have been others that remove any supernatural or miraculous events, or simply remove God from the narrative completely. I’m drawing a blank on examples, but I know I have seen a few over the years. If you strip out God from the narrative, you have really have very little.
Ultimately, it has to be entertaining, so I expect some extra dialogue and scenes to carry the story. But don’t strip out the deeper truths or else you lose your primary audience.
IMHO, most of the Bible stories are significant and the characters quite interesting, needing little embellishment. And I would certainly recommend that these producers consult someone that has some Bible knowledge - or at least has read it once or twice, as a script consultant.
If you look at all the epic religious films in the 50s and 60s - Ten Commandments, The Robe, Samson and Delilah,The Bible, Solomon and Sheba - they gave the story some Hollywood spin, but did not destroy the narrative. And several are still quite watchable. Entertain, but don’t insult your Jewish and Christian audience.
It sounds awful. When I watch a Biblical epic, I want to see Salome doing the Dance of the Seven Veils, not Christ getting blood spattered on His face as He collaborates with the Romans to torture people!
I watched it at the time. That's 4 hours of my life I'm never getting back. Terrible movie.
There have been others that remove any supernatural or miraculous events, or simply remove God from the narrative completely. Im drawing a blank on examples, but I know I have seen a few over the years. If you strip out God from the narrative, you have really have very little.
That reminds me of the recent movie, "Troy", in which all elements of the supernatural were removed. I kept thinking, "Waitaminute...where's Ares? Where's Athena?" One should always respect the source material when doing an adaptation.
If you look at all the epic religious films in the 50s and 60s - Ten Commandments, The Robe, Samson and Delilah,The Bible, Solomon and Sheba - they gave the story some Hollywood spin, but did not destroy the narrative. And several are still quite watchable. Entertain, but dont insult your Jewish and Christian audience.
I still enjoy watching the Old Testament films of the 50s. The New Testament, not so much. Exception: Ben Hur.
Although the left loved it and still praise it and promote it, and it won an Oscar and other awards, the shocking fact is that it didn’t even make 8.4 million dollars, worldwide.
I suspect that's more because they knew the social Right was against the film; as you point out, it's not as if a lot on the Left (or anyone else, for that matter) actually saw it.
I had the exact same reaction watching Troy. It would seem Hollywood has no problem with the supernatural, mystical, or demonic based on all the vampire, zombie, witchcraft, and alien films/TV shows being made, why is it so hard to show the divine or miraculous?
Hopefully, a few in Hollywood are waking up.
Yes, and hypothetically had someone made a movie called "Martin Luther King's Real Dream" in which King dreamt not of racial harmony but of being some Mandingo figure with a harem of voluptuous white women as his adoring sex slaves, the movie probably wouldn't have been a big hit with the black community even though it used one of their most admired leaders as a main character.
I am under the impression that with Reverend King, that imaginary description you made, bears some truth in regards to his life.
cue the song ‘in the navy..
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