• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as current film releases with spiritual significance, and a few bits and pieces on the Bible.

    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    US Version of Boulgakov's Master and the Margarita Announced

    Peter Chattaway has found a story at the Hollywood Reporter about an American adaptation of Michail Bulgakov's novel 'The Master and the Margarita'. I must admit I was unaware of both the book and any film version of this story until I read the brief passage about it in Adele Reinhartz's 'Jesus of Hollywood' at the start of last year. In the west it's best known as the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones' song 'Sympathy for the Devil'.

    The plot of the novel flips between 20th century Moscow, and first century Jerusalem. The "Master" of the title is a novelists whose version of Jesus's trial before Pilate had been burnt by a group of diabolicals who are terrorising the city's inhabitants. But Margarita, the master's lover, does a deal with the devil in an attempt to save her lover and his work.

    This will actually be the ninth film version of this story. There's an excellent, comprehensive website of Boulgakov's work in four different languages which lists the following directors and contains numerous video clips from a selection of them:
    Vladimir Bortko (2005)
    Ibolya Fekete (2005)
    Sergei Desnitsky (1996)
    Yuri Kara (1994)
    Paul Bryers (1992)
    Maciej Wojtyszko (1990)
    Aleksandar Petrovic (1972)
    Andrzej Wajda (1972)
    The most famous and most well thought of also seems to be the most recent - Vladimir Bortko's 2005 mini series (pictured above). That said the Yuri Kara (1994) is largely unseen having been embroiled in a row over rights since its inception. That website also includes an overview of each version, and there's a good article on the Bortko version at the St. Petersburg Times.

    The US version will be made by Stone Village Pictures and produced by Scott Steindorff.

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