• 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


    Friday, January 27, 2006

    First reviews for Son of Man

    Son of Man has been debuting at the Sundance Film Festival this week. I've been trawling the internet for a few days hoping to find some reviews for the film, and finally a few are up.

    Variety reviewer Dennis Harvey's comments look a little drafty at this stage, but he seems to like it:
    All this purposeful restraint underlines tale's resonance for modern audiences, particularly wherever poor and ethnic minorities fight for equality. As a spur for discussion in both church and educational settings, "Son of Man" could hardly be bettered.

    Lenser Giulio Biccari's crisp, clean images typify the fat-free clarity of all design and tech contribs here.

    A while ago I linked to this review by John Cooper on the Sundance Festival website but I may as well include a quote from it at this point:
    In song and originality, the spirit of Son of Man is contagious, a life-enriching elixir for Christians and non-Christians alike who feel mired in the unyielding bigotry of fundamentalism. By modernizing one of the world's most famous stories, Son of Man creates lasting resonance and imparts a significance that is truly glorious.

    I also notice that Connie Clark , chaplain at Wyoming State Hospital has responded to the post at Mark Goodacre's New Testament Gateway with the following information:
    I saw the film today at Sundance. It was a beautiful piece of work, very moving, and in many ways a believable rendition of Jesus' life and ministry into another culture, time, and place. I had the opportunity to ask Mark Dornford-Mays, the director, the one question that puzzled me: Why did we not hear in Jesus' preaching or teaching any reference to God, prayer, or religious observance? Did he mean to imply that Jesus was not the Son of God as well as the Son of Man? Mr. Dornford-Mays answered that Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man, and pointed out that Jesus is pictured praying twice, and that other elements of the film (such as the frequent inclusion of angels) point to his divinity. I would love to see the film again and may do so if I can snag a ticket on Friday morning, the last showing.

    Mr. Dornford-Mays said the stage version of "Son of Man" will be touring the U.S. next January-February. He did not say anything about the release of the film but I will be looking for that information.

    Finally, Michael Ferraro of Film Threat seems less impressed:
    "it still isn’t as refreshing as it tries to be. The story of Jesus is one of the most influential and inspiring tales to a countless number of people. Even those people can’t want to see it every single day told in countless fashions, do they? For having a background in theater, director Mark Dornford-May executes some fine cinematic sensibilities...Dornford-May’s spirit prevents this from being totally dreadful. Too bad they weren’t focused on a something more original

    Hope that whets your appetites a bit.




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