• 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 04, 2008

    The Passion Première

    See all posts on this film.
    I've been pretty busy over the last few days, so much so, in fact that I've not had the chance to blog about my trip to London to attend the première for The Passion. I don't actually get to London that often - perhaps only once or twice a year on average and only once before have I gone there specifically to view a film (Atti Degli Apostoli back in June).

    This trip was one of those very rare occasions in life when everything seems to go properly, from the little things like the fantastic sandwich I had on the way down (!) or seeing the revamped St. Pancras for the first time, (which does look incredible, at least, for a train station). On arrival I rushed straight down to the Brixton Ritzy Cinema which instantly won a place in my heart for it's lo-fi atmosphere and it's range of fairtrade refreshments. I was there to see There Will be Blood as it was the first, and quite possibly last chance to do so. It's a great film, although I still prefer Anderson's Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love. After that I returned to my cheap, and (mercifully) cheerful guest house, and quickly got changed before dashing off to the event itself.

    The first order of business was meeting up with Mark Goodacre. I've been in email contact with Mark for around 6 years now, though we've never had the chance to meet. I must admit I was a bit nervous about the whole affair but thankfully the warmth of his online persona is a reflection of his true character, and we headed off to find a pub to have a quick pint before the event began.I'd not really known what to expect from the première itself, part of me feared that it was just going to be a viewing for church leaders dressed up as something far grander. But it was definitely more than that. For a start the director, producer, writer, BBC heads of fiction and religion were there as well as a number of the cast. And there were also a few celebs including Robert Powell. As Mark has already revealed he and I sidled over towards him and had an entertaining chat - at least from our point of view.

    The other main highlight was getting to talk to this production's Jesus - Joe Mawle. I'd heard from various sources what a nice guy Joe is, and was pleased that he more than lived up to that particular billing. He was incredibly down to earth and even made some nice comments about this blog. It's probably the first time I've met an actor so soon after watching their performance on screen and it really emphasised how good a performance he has turned in.

    After it was all over I waited on the street whilst Mark said some goodbyes, and it was nice to observe the warmth between a handful of the other cast members who were still hanging out together. Entirely coincidentally, Mark and I were staying just a couple of streets apart and so we wandered back together. We got quite lost at one point, but it was one of those conversations that was so enjoyable that I actually appreciated the extra time together.

    My train didn't leave until midday so I spent a couple of hours working on my contribution to the rejesus.co.uk site for The Passion, popped into the British Museum and headed off home. I had started watching The Final Inquiry on the way down and I watched the second part on the way back so I'll be reviewing that in the next week or so.

    Edit: Garry Jenkinsof The Times did a piece on the film in Saturday's edition. He, unlike me, was able to visit the cast and crew during filming.



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