• 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, June 30, 2006

    Nativity News vol. 2

    Stuff is certainly moving fast on The Nativity Story. Having only posted Nativity News vol. 1 a week ago, I find there's so much new news that I'm posting the next update again already.

    1 - The main piece of news is that the site now has an official website. There's not a huge amount of information there at present, but what is there is very good. In particular the photo gallery has some stunning stills. There is also a behind the scenes featurette, which I guess will probably end up on the DVD at some point, featuring screen writer Mike Rich's thoughts, and some shots of filming taking place. There's also a small amount of text about the film
    From humble beginnings, great things can come. THE NATIVITY STORY tells the extraordinary tale of two common people, Mary and Joseph, a miraculous pregnancy, an arduous journey, and the history-defining birth of Jesus. Brought to life with an unprecedented attention to detail and commitment to historical accuracy, THE NATIVITY STORY is the very human, very dramatic, and uniquely inspiring saga of a journey of faith.
    Some of the things that are being said here sound very similar to those that Mel Gibson was saying back in 2004. The text stresses the film's historical accuracy whilst Mike Rich is keen to highlight how he is part of a church who has been praying for him as he is writing the film. I don't agree with my friend Peter Chattaway's take that when Rich talks about the sources he used he is "reminiscent of how Mel Gibson frequently talked about the gospels when promoting The Passion, but was less forthcoming about Sr. Anne Catherine Emmerich". For me Rich seems to be saying there isn't much to go on (particularly as he appears to be a Protestant which would mean he would most likely downplay information about Mary and Joseph based on tradition), but he actually says how he's had to do a lot of speculation, which is different from how Gibson said he was showing it "just the way it happened".1

    The other thing on the website is the Teaser trailer which brings me onto my next piece of news...

    2 - The teaser trailer for the film will be showing before screenings of Superman Returns. There's not much to this trailer, no shots from the actual film, but it's encouraging to see New Line taking the film so seriously.

    3 - Finally, the film has also been mentioned in Time magazine.

    In her movie Thirteen, director Catherine Hardwicke took a less-than-romantic look at the antics of adolescent girls. Now she's taking on another teen with a big secret in The Nativity Story. The film, which could also be called The Passion of the Christ: The Prequel, follows young Mary's life in Nazareth and her journey to Bethlehem with Joseph (OSCAR ISAAC). Taking the part of Mary--the key role, as any Christmas-pageant organizer can attest--is Keisha Castle-Hughes, 16, the New Zealander who swam to an Oscar nomination in 2002's Whale Rider. She has been "fearless, dazzling, an almost ageless spirit," says Hardwicke. Castle-Hughes gamely learned to milk goats, which, to the dismay of little kids everywhere, are played by real animals.
    Thanks to Queen Spoo's Nativity Story Blog for keeping on top of all the news.

    1 - Andrew Gumbel - The Independent – 16th August 2003

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