• 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.

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Criterion Release Buñuel's The Milky Way (La Voie Lactée)

    Luis Buñuel's controversial religious film The Milky Way (La Voie Lactée) is finally coming to DVD in it's own right, and the good news for fans is that it will be given the Criterion Collecction treatment. Previously the film has only been available to view as part of the Luis Buñuel Box Set. DVD Beaver a good selection of screen grabs from that release.

    The Criterion Collection DVDs tend to be a bit special and this film is no exception not only featuring a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, and an improved subtitle translation, but a host of extras including an introduction by screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, a video interview with film scholar Ian Christie, the documentary Luis Bunuel: Atheist Thanks to God the original theatrical trailer and a booklet of essays.

    I'm due to see the film for the first time before the DVD release on the 21st August, so I'll reserve my comments until then. Meanwhile there's a brief synopsis for this film which was also discussed both in Campbell and Pitts' "The Bible on Film" and Kinnard and Davis's "Divine Images".
    The Milky Way (La voie lactee) daringly deconstructs contemporary and traditional views on Catholicism with ribald, rambunctious surreality. Two French beggars, present-day pilgrims en route to Spain's holy city of Santiago de Compostela, serve as Bunuel's narrators for an anticlerical history of heresy, told with absurdity and filled with images that rank among Bunuel's most memorable (stigmatic children, crucified nuns) and hilarious (Jesus considering a good shave). A diabolically entertaining look at the mysteries of fanaticism, The Milky Way remains a hotly debated work from cinema's greatest skeptic.
    One piece of Jesus Film trivia associated with this film is that Claudio Brook (who plays the bishop in The Milky Way), also played Jesus in the Mexican Jesus Film Jesús, Nuestro Señor which was released at about the same time (and which I'm also due to release shortly.

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