• 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 01, 2007

    Andreas Hykade's Animated Jesus film

    Variety has briefly mentioned that German animator Andreas Hykade is working on a new animated film about Jesus with finance from MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg. All they really say is that the film will be from "the perspective of his companions Paul, Judas and Mary Magdalene" and that he "also received MFG support for a TV kids series", presumably on the same subject. It seems Hykade will be working with Martina Döcker and production company Gambit.

    Peter Chattaway has offered a couple of theories as to why Paul is named as a companions of Jesus. My guess is that this was a reporter error rather than anything else, but time will tell. Peter has also dug out some more info on Hykade
    [from Association International du Film d'Animation]
    Both (his previous films) are startlingly mature films that seek light within the darkness of desire, lust and love. Hykade is equal parts Nick Tosches and Jerry Lee Lewis, a fiery poet who wrestles with sin and salvation and the profound and profane. Along the way, Hykade takes us through the violent, chaotic horrors of the soul in order to find the serenity of the stars.

    [from Wikipedia]
    At present, Hykade is working at his first feature-length film. During a live talk at the Bradford Animation Festival on November 17, 2006, he revealed that the film would revolve around the life of Jesus. Hykade did not reveal exactly how he would treat the project, but mentioned his admiration for the films Life of Brian, The Last Temptation of Christ and Jesus Christ Superstar.
    He also found the synopsis of an article for Print magazine by John Canemaker called "Jesus Elvis and Me": "Welcome to Andreas Hykade's Bavarian nightmares of stick-figure rapists and a cartoonish crucifixion. Take that, Mel Gibson!".

    Having done some hunting myself there's no mention of the film at Hykade's web site although there's enough of his work their to get the idea of what this might be like. Gambit's site has a brief mention of the project saying that it will be an "evening-filling cinema trick film, which describes the life Jesus, as it could have been". Obviously something's been lost in the translation there (cinema trick film). He also designed this poster for the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Finally there's a brief article in "Animation Now" magazine which can be read via Google Scholar which says:
    Hykade's films examine in depth the myths of male chauvinism, heroism and power in a society dominated by men and at the same time they maintain a sense of poetry and disconcerting humour.
    Sadly I've not been able to find anything (in English) on Martina Döcker, and It's unclear how much influence she will have. In any case this looks like it has the potential to be fascinating. I guess it really depends which Jesus Hykade and Döcker are making their film about - the biblical Jesus or Jesus Christ 21st Century cultural icon. As the two are getting further and further apart I very much hope it's the first. Curiously it the mention of Last Temptation of Christ that gives me most hope.



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