• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Mary (2005)"> Abel Ferrara's Mary (2005)

    One of the things I'd like to do with this blog is keep readers posted on up-and-coming biblical films as well as discussing bible films from the past. In some ways Abel Ferrara's Mary is in a third category - bible films present. On the one hand it has already premiered at various film festivals (Deauville, Toronto, Oslo, Sans Sebastián and Venice, where it won the Gran Prix jury prize). On the other, it has not got to general release yet except for Italy and France (and Belgium according to the IMDB). I can't find a date for a UK release, and it doesn't look like it will reach the US until June.

    From what I've read the film is along similar lines to Jesus of Montreal (1989) and Man Dancin' (2003), although it is about the making of a Jesus film rather than a Passion Play as in those films. This would make it similar to Pasolini's La Ricotta (his contribution to four-films-in-one film - Ro.Go.Pa.G.), which I've never seen, but Peter Chattaway discussed at his FilmChat blog a while back.

    The cast is an unusual mix combining queen of european cinema Juliette Binoche with Heather Graham (of Boogie Nights and Austin Powers 2 fame) Matthew Modine and the much underated Forrest Whittaker. Modine (right) plays Jesus in the film, looking like he's just stepped off one of Holman Hunt's paintings. For what it's worth this shot is very reminiscient of the first view of Jesus we get in Roger Young's 1999 Jesus film. There are more shots from the film up at the official italian website, and some of them look incredible. Also, a number of clips from the film and the trailer are now online at Twitch.

    Despite general release being a way off, there are plenty of reviews up already. I personally don't want to find out too much about the film before I see it, so I've read the Variety Review and little else. If you don't want to wade through a large number of reviews then it doesn't seem to give away anything that wuill spoil the film, pluis it's a respectable enough publication to be fairly reliable. There are more comprehensive lists of reviews posted at both Rotten Tomatoes and the IMDB as well as a number of user comments at the latter.

    So although I'm not sure when I'll get to see this (perhaps even not until the DVD release), I'm very much looking forward to it. I recently got hold of Ferrera's most famous film Bad Lieutenant, another film I haven't seen, but I'm led to believe it also touched on religious issues. I may post some thoughts on that once I have seen it.


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    • At 8:54 pm, February 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      check out odysseyinrome.com

      its the documentary extracted from MAry

      the trailer is awsome!!!!


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