• 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, March 28, 2006

    The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury

    This Easter, I'm due to be appearing as one of the interviewees on Channel 4's Bible films programme The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury. It's hosted by Dr. Robert Beckford (pictured right), who I met at this summer's Greenbelt Festival. The programme is showing on Easter Eve (15th April 2006) between 7pm and 9pm.

    Information about it has just gone up at Channel 4's website, although you have to scroll down quite a bit to get the information on the film, so here's what it says:
    The Passion will document how Hollywood and the television industry have dealt with the thorniest of subject matter: the Bible. Taking each decade in turn, the film explores the changing dynamic between the church, and the film and television industries. From the passion plays of the silent era to the blood and suffering of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and onto the supernatural world of Revelations. With interviews from the producers, directors and stars of the films as well as leading religious figures the film investigates how the political climate has often changed the portrayal of the Bible in films. The presenter lead programme (Christopher Eccleston TBC) asks what do these films and programmes tell us about our evolving views of Christianity?
    I note that this says Christopher Ecclestone is involved as well / instead. I got an email from Dr. Beckford in January saying he was about to do the voiceover, so I assume he's still involved. I won't get to see it until it airs so I guess I'll have to wait until then to find out. I'm also not entirely sure how much I'll be involved. They have interviewed Martin Scorsese, Willem Dafoe, Terry Gilliam, Robert Powell, Brian Blessed, W. Barnes Tatum and Peter Malone, so I don't imagine I'll get much of a look in, but they have told me that I am in it, so who knows. I also don't know what I'll be saying. They interviewed me for about an hour, but I imagine they'll only use 10 seconds worth, so goodness knows what it will be.

    Regardless of my personal involvement, it looks like being an interesting programme. The team that put it together were well researched, and its probably the longest broadcasted programme on this subject. I do remember catching the end of one about 10-15 years ago with Barry Norman (which was the first time I heard of Jesus of Montreal), but I believe that was only an hour. There is also a documentary called The Bible According to Hollywood available at Amazon, with very mixed reviews. I'm hoping The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury will be the pick of the bunch.

    The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury, will be airing at 7pm on 15th April on Channel 4.

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    • At 7:51 am, April 04, 2006, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Channel 4 have released a bit more information, and it appears that Dr Beckford is still involved. I'm not sure what that means about Christopher Ecclestone's involvement. I suspect it means that that was an error.



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