Radio 4 broadcast a 30 minute programme "God and the Movies
" on Wednesday, and although I missed it at the time, it's thankfully still available on iPlayer
. Mark Goodacre
listened to this as well, so I'm assuming it's available more widely than just the UK. It's introduced by former Communards
keyboard player-turned journalist and vicar Richard Coles
. Coles travels to LA to find out about the impact The Passion of the Christ
has had on the film industry. The consensus of those he interviews (Phil Cooke
, Jonathan Bock
, Barbara Nicolosi
, Ted Baehr
and X-men director Ralph Winter) seems to be that this is a positive thing, but that the winning formula has yet to be perfected. That said, the LA Times' critic, Kenneth Turan, is less convinced. He finds it difficult to believe that blockbuster movies which add in faith elements are actually "driving people to the movies".
Towards the end it name drops a few projects that are currently being made: Winter's The Screwtape Letters
, Mary the Mother of God
(presumably this should be Nicolosi's Mary the Mother of the Christ
) and an adaptation of "The Shack
It's an interesting listen, and certainly the kind of programme that's quite rare for Radio 4. American Christianity is rarely taken seriously, particularly its interface with the film industry. Coles does a good job of keeping things flowing and it's his insights that are the ones that tend to stand out the most.
Sadly it looks like this is just a one off, unless, of course, Hollywood makes a really dramatic change of direction.