• 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


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    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    More Jesus Film Articles

    I've discovered a number of articles on Jesus in film recently, and have finally added them to my sidebar. Sadly they replace Pete Aitken's pages as the Post Fun website which seems to be no more. I should clarify that these are articles which offer a survey of a number of Jesus films in one article, rather than the numerous articles which discuss a particular Jesus film.

    John J. Michalczyk of the Boston Globe illustrates his article with this collage which I rather like. It dates way back to February 2004, and you have to register to read page 3, but it's a decent overview to the the subject covering all the usual suspects.

    Robert Fontenot at Audience Magazine was also from spring 2004 (i.e. the time Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was released). Fontenot grades 9 films on "Historical Authenticity", "Violence", "Treatment of Jews" and "Overall presentation" - obviously categories particularly relevant to The Passion. It sticks with Jesus biopics and excludes those who deviate significantly.

    Alexandra Alter (Pantagraph) offers one of the few forays into this area by female writers (only 3 of the 15 survey articles I know of are by women). Alter's article starts by previewing some of the forthcoming films looking at religious subject matter, whether reverently or irreverently, before listing 15 Jesus films from the past.

    I almost excluded Kim Paffenroth's Film Depictions of Judas article from the Journal of Religion and Film as it's really about Judas rather than Jesus. But such articles are relatively few and as it's certainly of interest to those studying in this area I decided to include it at the last minute.

    Also from the Journal of Religion and Film is Filming Jesus: Between Authority and Heresy by Paul V. M. Flesher and Robert Torry. Flesher and Torry's comparison between Jesus films and Targum is quite important and I understand that they are going to flesh it out more in their book on the subject due for release this summer.

    The last couple of links are lists rather than surveys. Glenn Patrick Buxton lists 100 different films which are of relevance to The Gospel of John (2003), several of which I've not heard of. I'm not convinced all of them have that much to do with Jesus - Woody Strode's Black Jesus is listed but has very little to do with the historical Jesus. Nevertheless it's good to possibly find Jesus films that I've not heard of.

    Finally, a similarly large number of Jesus films are listed on the Caixade de Fantasia site. About half are accompanied by a thumbnail of the actor playing Jesus, and the films are ordered by Jesus actor's surname which makes it rather difficult to navigate.


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