• 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.


    Name:
    Matt Page

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    U.K.

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    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Paradise Even More Lost

    There has been the occasional bit of news about Scott Derrickson's plans to make a film version of Milton's Paradise Lost, though things seem to be progressing rather slowly. But not as slowly as they might be. The Hollywood Reporter is carrying a story that producer Martin Poll has been trying to make a movie based on the 17th Century epic poem since the late sixties.

    Encouragingly, for Poll at least, it seems he's finally got someone to bite. Granite Entertainment and STV Networks have decided to team up with Poll, despite the potential competition from Derrickson's picture. And what with the release of Year One this June, there could be 3 films about Adam and Eve in theatres in the next year or so. I always find it funny how these coincidences seem to happen. 2006 saw two films released within weeks of each other about Victorian magicians. As Jeffrey Overstreet points out there were also two films about Truman Capote around the same time. I wonder if anyone will play these on a double bill when the time comes.

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    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Tutta Colpa Di Giuda
    It's All Judas' Fault - Website and Variety Review

    Variety has posted a review of Tutta Colpa Di Giuda(It's All Judas' Fault). It's the first time I've heard of the film, which is about a revisionist passion play being put on in a prison. But, as far as I can make out, the difference between this film and, say, Jesus of Montreal, is that the re-working of the traditional story is out of neccesity. Variety's Jay Weissberg explains it this way:
    Young theater director Irena (Kasia Smutniak) comes to a Turin prison with the blessing of inhouse priest Father Iridio (Gianluca Gobbi) to develop a performance piece with the convicts. Mistakenly believing she'll be allowed independence, she has to fight the disapproval of jail head Libero (Fabio Troiano) and then Father Iridio himself when the actor-wannabe priest forces her to tackle Jesus' Passion as her subject.

    Irena hits a brick wall when none of the prisoners will play Judas. So she develops another idea: present the Jesus story but without a traitor, and without the sacrifice. Now Father Iridio and straightlaced nun Sister Bonaria (a delicious guest role for comedienne Luciana Littizzetto) try to block the performance, though Irena's new intimate relationship with Libero means she has a powerful ally.
    The film's official website has a trailer, photo gallery, cast and credits and various other features, and the film's soundtrack is already available to buy. There's no news of if, and when this might be released outside of Italy (where it was released on the 10th April).

    Thanks to Peter for the tip off.

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    Monday, April 27, 2009

    My Greenbelt Talk 2009

    I'm pleased to announce that I will be speaking at this year's Greenbelt Festival. Greenbelt has a unique place in my heart: an annual pilgrimage that has nurtured, shaped and challenged my faith, year in year out. I first went to Greenbelt 20 years ago (as a 14 year old) and this, I think, will be my 15th festival in all. Given that this is also the first time for me as a speaker at the festival, it's fair to say I'm looking forward to it!

    I'll be speaking on "Biblical Horror Stories for Children": looking at the parts of the Bible where God has people killed, wondering why the place we're most likely to hear these stories is Sunday school, and asking how we should respond. I'm hoping to use a clip or two from Bible films, as there are some really good examples of how we selectively read the text to suit our sensibilities. I'm also hoping that I'm not on at the same time as this year's main speaking attraction - Rob Bell.

    There's a 15% discount for anyone who books in by the end of April.

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    Saturday, April 25, 2009

    Philosophy Cartoon - Being and Tim

    My friend Becca has been working on a comic strip over the last few years about "Being and Tim", and now she has started a blog for them - The Wonderful World of Being and Tim. I don't know a great deal about Philosophy myself, but I imagine that these would be even funnier if you didn't have to have them explained to you first...

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Last Temptation of Hulu

    Anyone who is interested in Bible films, lives in the US and wants to see, but doesn't want to buy, Last Temptation of Christ, will be pleased to know that you can now see it for free at hulu.com. That excludes me on at least two counts, but in any case, I'd urge anyone who wants to see it to catch the Criterion Collection DVD instead.

    But thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet for the tip off.

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    Kings Moved to Summer

    After disappointing reviews, and bad viewing figures. NBC's Kings has been taken off air until the summer (Hollywood Reporter). The first sign that the sci-fi series was under pressure was when it got switched from Sunday night to Saturday. Now it's been taken off air altogether to make way for Law and Order re-runs, with the intention of it resurfacing on June 13th and running until 25th July.

    The concept was always going to be a difficult sell, particularly for a whole series rather than simply as a one off. And the strain of trying to make credible, audience-pleasing drama whilst simultaneously trying to allegorise obvious took it's toll. Either that or they really should have sent me a screener.

    For me, the sad thing about all of this is that now I may never get to see it. If it's been pulled quite so quickly, then there's a good chance it'll never get released on DVD. Thanks to BethR for breaking the bad news.

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    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Jesus Film Article back at ReJesus

    Last year I wrote a module for ReJesus on Jesus in the Movies. The site got updated just before Christmas last year, and my article has been in the queue to get reloaded ever since. I just heard that the piece is now back up again at this new URL. My reviews of Son of Man and The Miracle Maker have also been reloaded.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Jeremiah Notes on Scene Guide

    I was a little pushed for time on Friday when I posted a scene guide for Jeremiah, so I postponed writing a few notes on it until today.

    The first thing to say is that whilst the vast majority of the material is drawn from the book Jeremiah, there are a few places where the film draws on parts of 2 Kings to fill in the historical gaps.

    It's also interesting to note that most of the material taken from Jeremiah, aside from the opening, is taken from chapters 20-30. There's not a single reference from chapters 40-49 (where Jeremiah is mainly cursing the other nations), and only one from 10-19 (Jer 16:1-4). This passage - where Jeremiah is told not to take a wife - and Jer 34:8-11 - where Mattaniah frees the slaves before reversing the decision some time later - are used to insert the film's only real extra-biblical sub-plot where Jeremiah falls in love. This is actually a fairly common device employed by The Bible Collection's films, and in some of the other cases the picture is severely derailed as a result. Here the filmmakers manage to keep it under control so it forms interesting speculation that highlights Jeremiah's sad and introspective character.

    Working out this scene guide does give me more of a feel for just how jumbled the book's chronology is. Of course some of this is down to the filmmakers rather than the source material, but material from the siege of Jerusalem, for example, is really spread around in such a way as to make me wonder why. Is there a purpose to this ordering, or was this just not considered important or in any way useful?Overall I think the film does a great job of summarising Jeremiah and putting him in his historical context, and it manages to include most of the book's famous passages. One surprising omission, however, is the story of Jeremiah at the potter's house and the attached sayings (Jer 18:1–23). The film does include the vision of the upturned pot, and perhaps the writers thought that too many pot symbols might be confusing. Even so, I would have thought the potter's house passage would have been the one to be selected.

    There are a few things I noticed about the call of Jeremiah. Firstly, the film enhances Jeremiah's call with elements from the call of Isaiah (Is 6). In the book of Jeremiah, there's no mention of a vision, and God touching Jeremiah's lips appears to be more of a metaphor than anything else. We're also not told where this call took place. In the film, however, Jeremiah also sees a vision, twice, and on both occasions it occurs in the temple. It's interesting that the second of these quotes part of Jer 5:14 "I have put my words in your mouth", but cuts off before the use of the word "fire". Instead this element is represented visually as part of Jeremiah's call.

    There is actually a further part of Jeremiah's call - the vision of the almond tree, but I noticed that the interpretation of this vision alters some of the details of this vision. The text simply says that the sign means that God is "watching to see that my word is fulfilled". But the film expands this to say "as this tree is in a hurry to sprout, so God is in a hurry to carry out his work".

    Lastly, I'm going to make a separate post another day to look at the way that the Jeremiah of this film prefigures Jesus, particularly the Jesus from the later film in the same series.

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    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Brent Plate: Global Jesus on Film

    S. Brent Plate has written and edited a number of books on faith and film, including 2004's "Reviewing the Passion" about The Passion of the Christ and his latest "Religion and Film: Cinema and the Re-Creation of the World". Earlier in the month, Brent wrote an article for Religion Dispatches called Pop-Eye: Global Jesus on Film.

    Rather than exploring the multitude of Jesus films as many do at this time of year, he has focussed on those with a more "international" flavour: Dayasagar / Karunamayudu (1978), Son of Man (2006), Hombre mirando al sudeste (1986) and Mesih (2007?). I've not yet had a chance to watch Mesih, Jesus Spirit of God or any other version of that material, and I've had a DVD of Hombre mirando al sudeste for about 2 years which I've not yet found time to watch, so it's interesting to read a bit more about those films. Brent's article is well worth a read and its study of non-Western Jesus films is certainly a welcome addition to the growing number of articles on the subject (see right hand sidebar for a fuller list).

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Jeremiah - Scene Guide

    I've been working away on a scene guide for the Bible Collection's Jeremiah ever since I re-watched it a couple of months ago. Of all the scene guides that I have done to date, this has certainly been the most difficult to put together. Not only is Jeremiah the Bible's longest book (based on number of words), but it's chronology becomes increasingly unlinear the closer you look. Furthermore, an odd verse can carry a great deal of narrative weight, but trying to find it, even with the wonders of the internet, can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

    As well as my guide that follows below, I would also like to recommend an excellent outline of this film by Neil MacQueen. MacQueen's outline gives timings and descriptions rather than verses like my own, so the two complement each other quite well.
    Book of the Law Found - (2 Kings 22)
    Jeremiah's ancestry - (Jer 1:1)
    Josiah's Passover - (2 Kings 23:21-23)
    [Extra-Biblical Episode - Josiah enters Jerusalem]
    Call of Jeremiah - (Jer 1:4-10)
    [Extra-Biblical Episode - Nebuchadnezzar crowned]
    [Extra-Biblical Episode - Jeremiah's Girlfriend]
    Prophecy of the Almond Tree - (Jer 1:11-12)
    [Extra-Biblical Episode - Jeremiah's first sacrifice]
    Prophetic vision/2nd call - (Jer 4:22; 5:28-29, 14)
    Jeremiah prophesies at the temple - (Jer 7:1-11)
    Jeremiah beaten - (Jer 20:1-2)
    Overturned pot - (Jer 1:13-19)
    Jeremiah told not to take a wife - (Jer 16:1-4) (complains)
    [Extra-Biblical Episode - Jeremiah meets Baruch]
    Prophecy about fall of Jerusalem - (Jer 22:1-5)
    King tears and burns the scroll. - (Jer 36:1–24)
    Jermiah asks Baruch to re-write scroll - (Jer 36:28)
    Babylon invades Jerusalem - (2 Kings 24:1-12)
    Temple stripping & deportation - (2 Kings 24:13-17, Jer 27:19-20)
    Jeremiah the ox-yoke and Hananiah - (Jer 27:1-28:17)
    Jeremiah imprisoned in courtyard - (Jer 32:1-3; 36:31)
    Jeremiah calls for surrender - (Jer 21:1-9)
    Mattaniah frees the slaves - (Jer 34:8-10)
    Jeremiah put in prison - (Jer 37:11–16)
    Mattaniah unfrees the slaves - (Jer 34:11)
    [Extra-Biblical Episode - Judith killed]
    Jeremiah's complaint - (Jer 20:7-9)
    Jerusalem under siege - (Jer 52:1-6)
    Mattaniah seeks God's word - (Jer 37:17-20)
    Word against Jerusalem - (Jer 21:10)
    Officials speak against Jeremiah - (Jer 38:4-5)
    Promise of Return - (Jer 32:37-40)
    Jeremiah calls again for surrender - (Jer 20:4, 38:17-20)
    Jeremiah thrown in a cistern - (Jer 38:6)
    Ebed Melech frees Jeremiah - (Jer 38:7:13; 39:15-18*)
    Jeremiah confronts Mattaniah - (Jer 23:1-2, 38:17-21)
    Jeremiah buys a field - (Jer 32:6-15)
    Babylon capture Jerusalem - (Jer 39:1-3, 52:6-7)
    Mattaniah captured fleeing - (Jer 39:4-5, 52:7-9)
    Mattaniah's sons killed, blinded - (Jer 39:5-7, 52:10-11)
    Jeremiah freed - (Jer 39:11-12)
    Jerusalem destroyed - (Jer 39:8-10)
    God promises to rebuild the temple and the people's hearts - (Jer 31)
    Notes
    I've chosed to call Jeremiah's primary royal opponent by his original name Mattaniah, rather than the name Zedekiah which was given to him by Nebuchadnezzar as this is what the film calls him throughout. Interestingly scripture mainly calls him Zedekiah.

    I have a few more points that I'd like to make on this, but I'm pressed for time at the moment so I'll return to this task next week.

    Edit: This can now be found here.

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    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Movieguide Report: Jesus Christ in the Movies

    Ted Baehr of Movieguide has published online a 32 page guide to Jesus Christ in the Movies. It's available to download as either a high or low quality PDF from the Movieguide website. I've not had a chance to read it yet, but in essence there is a 5 page introduction followed by brief comments on 50 Jesus films, ranging from 1897 to the present day. I'm certainly looking forward to reading it. Baehr and I have quite different opinions on theology, but, when it come to Jesus films, he certainly knows his stuff.

    There's also a video hosted on YouTube which, I assume, is by way of publicising the project. It's well worth a look and nicely put together managing to cram a good number clips from a diverse bunch of films into a little over three minutes.

    I'll hopefully get the chance to read the main publication over the next few days and will report back shortly.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Website Update for Year One

    Ancient / Hebrew Bible comedy Year One has had a substantial amount of new material added to its official website including a synopsis, a gallery, an interactive stone-age game, and the trailer and sneak preview videos that have been released previously. There's also the above image to download.

    Speaking of this film, Peter Chattaway also discusses the news from The Hollywood Reporter that the film has been given a PG-13 rating after making some cuts to the film. It will be interesting to see if similar cuts are made before the movie's release in the UK and Canada.

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    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Even More on The Miracle Maker

    Following on from last Monday's post on The Miracle Maker, I re-watched the final half hour with Nina over the course of the Easter holiday, and, once again, I noticed some new details that things I've missed previously.

    I've talked before about the various issues surrounding the depiction of the table used at the Last Supper:
    The initial decision facing the film-makers at this point is whether or not to mirror Leonardo's famous painting, as this is the definitive artistic image of the Last Supper. However, in most cases, where a Leonardo derived composition has been rejected, a more modern arrangement is taken with all the disciples around two or more sides of long tables. It's noticeable for example that Jesus films never show all the disciples eating at separate tables all within the same room, even though John's gospel happily accepts Jesus did not treat all his disciples equally (John 13:23-25). Almost without exception the disciples are pretty much treated equally. However, film-makers are also at pains to visually highlight the other-ness of Jesus, so, as far as I am aware, no film-maker has ever located the Last Supper on round table as per King Arthur - in fact Jesus is always seated centrally, even though that is only assumption based on traditional Christian Art and the assumptions drawn from our culture.
    In light of these comment I'm surprised that I've not noticed the layout adopted by The Miracle Maker, whereby Jesus and his disciples sit down one side of a Leonardo Da Vinci style top table, but there are various other tables in the room where people like Cleopas and Mary Magdalene sit. IT's shown here before the disciples arrive.Such an arrangement deftly combines the oneness of Jesus's new community with his own uniqueness and importance, as well as bridging between traditional depictions of the Last Supper and Twenty First Century sensibilities. It's also interesting that, it's difficult to ascertain where exactly Jesus sits at the table. It would appear to be in the corner nearest the door, rather than in the middle.

    Cleopas, Jairus and Tamar are also present in the Garden of Gethsemane. I noted last week the words that Jesus says to Cleopas and Jairus. This time it was the words that Jesus spoke to Tamar that caught my attention:
    In my father's house there are so many rooms, I'm going to find a wonderful place for you. One day you will always be with me.
    What struck me about this is that it's these words that Tamar repeats into the camera at the end of the film. That scene is the worst of the whole film, but the subtle exploration of the oral tradition around Jesus's words, and the way they are spread from one to another is certainly interesting.

    Finally, I've often talked about how this film switched to 2D animation to indicate that the story is moving to a "state of mind" - flashbacks, parables, temptations, and so on. But what struck me for the first time is that the sighting of Jesus by Mary Magdalene by his tomb, and the majority of the other post-resurrection appearances, are shown in "factual" 3D. In other words the decision to use 3D here is very much a theological one: the resurrection is portrayed as an actual historical event rather than the non-literal, shared conciousness, of some other interpretations.

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    Thursday, April 09, 2009

    Easter UK TV Schedule 2009

    Here's a quick rundown of the Bible Films related programmes on TV over the Easter period. It's a fairly poor comparison with previous religious holidays (see Easter '08 and '07 and Christmas '08, '07 and '06): the only channel showing anything is Channel 4. Anyway here's a brief rundown:

    Friday 10 April, Channel 4
    11:45am The Greatest Story Ever Told

    It's nice to see a Jesus film on terrestrial television on Good Friday, and I appreciate it even more because it's on for the three hours after midday, which have traditionally been a time for Christians to meditate on Jesus's death. Greatest Story is a good choice too. Not only does it last for (and well beyond) the three hour period in question, it's also one of the slower more meditative films which makes it kind of appropriate for that time slot.

    Monday 13 April, Channel 4
    1:10am Last Days

    Last Days is an obvious retelling of the demise of Kurt Cobain, but several commentators have seen deeper echoes of the passion of Jesus. In particular, Mike Leary's has two interesting articles exploring this angle of the film which are well worth a read.

    Monday 13 April, Channel 4
    3:00am The Real Jesus Christ

    The Real Jesus Christ constructs the lost biography of Jesus and offers an alternative version of his message as it would have been told by those who knew him better than anyone.

    Tuesday 14 April, Channel 4
    4:00am The Tomb of Christ

    Two respected archaeologists have within their grasp the proof as to whether Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses the place where Jesus Christ was both crucified and buried.

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    Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    Jesus Flickfest 4 Starts Today

    Jesus Flickfest 4 starts today in Winnipeg, and a few more details are available online. The Jesus Flickfest blog has, rather aptly, been resurrected, and now contains a full schedule. Alternatively you can download a brochure and a poster. There's also links to a handful of trailers.

    The festival kicks off tonight at 6pm local time with Cotton Patch Gospel, just one of the films on display that I have yet to see. It's be great to hear some reflections on the event from those who are able to attend, so feel free to post them up.

    Monday, April 06, 2009

    Further Reflections on Miracle Maker

    We watched The Miracle Maker yesterday at our Palm Sunday church social, and even though it was perhaps the 5th or 6th time I have watched it, I was pleased to see a number of details that I hadn't noticed previously (see my review, scene guide, podcast or all my posts on this film). It did make it all the more disappointing that most of the adults present wrote it off as a kids film and went out for a chat instead, but it was a lovely sunny day so who can blame them?

    The first thing I really noticed was the scene with Mary and Martha (and, in this case, the still alive, Lazarus). As with the gospel accounts, Mary sits and listens whilst Martha complains "Jesus don't you care that my sister has left me to do everything tell her to help me". But whereas the response recorded in the gospels rebukes Martha and exemplifies the behaviour of her sister, her Jesus solely focuses on Martha, saying to her "don't miss the one thing that matters for you". There's no mention of Mary choosing correctly. I'm not sure whether this reflects the film makers' desire not to draw attention to Mary, or whether they thought this lack of comparison with Martha's sister portrayed Jesus's actions as kinder, or whether it was something else entirely.

    Of course the female character that we see following Jesus most closely is that of Tamar - Jairus's daughter - who gets raised from the dead about halfway through the film. Poignantly, however, the film follows this scene with the moment that Jesus hears that his cousin John the Baptist has been killed. The contrast between the joy of raising a child to life and the grief and fear of knowing his kin and forerunner has been killed, not to mention that between the person he was able to save from death and the person he wasn't, is nicely highlighted by the juxtaposition.Jairus ultimately becomes the unnamed follower of Jesus who is walking with Cleopas to Emmaus on the day of Jesus's resurrection. However, Jesus seemingly knows this in advance. When Jesus arrives in the Garden of Gethsemane the two of them are already present and ask Jesus to join with them so he can answer their questions (above). However, Jesus explains that he needs to go and pray but tells them "I will come and talk to you Cleopas. I promise I will come to you Jairus, very soon, and we will talk about many things".

    After Gethsemane comes Jesus's trial and we're introduced to another figure from the Jewish establishment figure who the gospels suggest ultimately becomes one of Jesus's followers - Joseph of Arimathea. Initially Joseph is simply objecting to the unlawfulness of the trial, but when others there begin to turn on him, asking him if he too is a follower of Jesus, he goes quiet and admits he knows nothing. There's an abrupt cut to Peter who is likewise denying Jesus in the courtyard outside.

    Once Jesus is condemned the film moves relatively quickly to his crucifixion. But whilst the film largely skips over Jesus's abuse at the hands of the various guards and soldiers, it does appear to show Herod pulling out a part of his beard. This is taken from Isaiah 50:6 ("I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting") which traditionally, has often been seen as a prediction of Jesus's suffering due to the other details it provides. Indeed even though there's no explicit mention of Jesus's beard being pulled out in the gospels, I believe that this interpretation was one of the reasons that depictions of Jesus began to give him a beard. From the various images that we have it wasn't until the 6th century that Jesus began to be shown with a beard.Of course the fact that Jesus was Jewish also suggests that it was likely he had a beard: the smooth faced paintings of the 4th-6th century were mainly attempts to reimagine Jesus in Roman culture. One of the things I like about this film is the way it puts things in their historical context. So this time aroundI noticed this little detail from the shot above, taken from the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Having sweated away digging foundations into the rock so he can build his house, the wise man finally gets to enter his house. But before he does so, he stops and touches something he's put on his doorpost. Whilst this could be a door bell, or even just an attractive feature, the safest bet is that this is a mezuzah a copy of the shema encased in a box and attached to the door post. This very Jewish image sets Jesus words in an interesting context, and highlights the way that Jesus is reinterpreting his Judaism around himself.

    Another example of this is as the centurion at the foot of the cross witnesses Jesus's death. Instead of saying "surely this was was the Son of God" he says "surely this was was a son of god". It's been a long time since I studied NT Greek but I this is something of an alteration from how this passage is usually translated. Quite how you view such an alteration depends, I suppose, on how you interpret scripture. Some will, no doubt, be unhappy with this slight alteration from the actual words of the original. Personally though (assuming that there was an actual centurion who did indeed make such a proclamation), I think it's more realisitic that a roman soldier would have expressed himself in terms of his own pluralistic worldview, which by this point would have called the very much human Caesars sons of god.

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    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Biblical Studies Carnival 40

    Photo by Tim Parkinson, used under a Creative Commons Licence

    James Gregory has posted the fortieth Biblical Studies Carnival over at his self-titled blog. Many thanks to him for that. I had wondered if anyone else had writen anything else on NBC's Kings but it appears not.

    Next month's carnival will be hosted by James McGrath at Exploring Our Matrix.

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    April Fools and Biblioblogs

    Photo by The Joy of the Mundane, used under a Creative Commons Licence

    I doubt anyone was taken in by my April Fool's day post yesterday, but just in case you were, it was, if you see what I mean. It seems like not everyone appreciated it. Like 95% of the other jokers out there, I'm, um, fooling myself that mine was one of the "one or two" that raised a smile, whilst reluctantly recognising that, in reality, it was probably one of the tedious ones.

    That said I'm not sure I agree with Mark's reasoning. If they are failing to raise a smile, then fair enough. But I don't believe that one spoof post a year diminishes the academic reputation of blogging. After all, many of the well respected papers have, and still do run April Fool's day stories, as do the BBC.

    However, I do agree that it detracts from blogging's reputation when blogs all too frequently intersperse their more academic-related posts with those of a more personal nature, or which are more off topic. For me, family stories (except the more important ones) and views on the run up to elections, or this year's MTV awards are all best left alone. I guess that this is what Mark means when he talks about "decline in the academic quality of the biblioblogs". Mark models this very well himself, reserving his Dr. Who related posts and so on for his Resident Alien blog.

    That said, I suspect I'm not even taken that seriously by the majority of academics inside the blogosphere, so the chance of me ever gaining respectability with non-blogging academics is pretty remote at best.

    Wednesday, April 01, 2009

    Alien-Jesus Novel to be Adapted

    Photo by The Joy of the Mundane, used under a Creative Commons Licence

    Terry Strial's controversial Jesus novel is to be adapted into a film according to various sources. "Plan 1 from the Outer Empire" starts off like a conventional life of Christ, but deviates substantially after Jesus's supposed death. Following the burial scene it's cleverly revealed that Jesus was not in fact fully human and fully God, but simply an alien from another world seeking to solve the problems of the universe's most troubled planet. When even his resurrection fails to bring about the solution G-zu5 and his people were hoping for they decide it's time for him to come home.

    Anyway, the rights have been snapped up by Pathé although there's no word on who will direct. It's thought Strial will rework the novel into a screenplay, possibly under a subtler title. "The original title gave the game away somewhat" he said "I'm hoping we can sneak this in under the radar so that, for some people, it's only when they see the film they come across the alien thing".