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    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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    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Verhoeven's 'Jezus van Nazareth' Due for Publication in September

    Back in December 2006 I reported that director Paul Verhoeven had decided to write a book about Jesus as a step towards fulfilling his dream of one day making a film about him. Empire had interviewed Verhoeven in the run up to the release of Black Book and he'd mentioned the project saying he feared getting attacked by fundamentalists.

    15 months later and it seems the book is almost ready for publication, although initially it's only going to be available in the director's native Dutch. Hollywood Reporter are saying that Verhoeven's 'Jezus van Nazareth: Een realistisch portret' (Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait) will be published by Meulenhoff in September, and a quick search on their website uncovered the above cover art and a brief description (still unintelligible even after using Google Translation). Fortunately, Fox News have picked out the main headlines.
    In his upcoming biography of Jesus, "Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven will make the shocking claim that Christ probably was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee.
    The book... also states that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot.
    Fox has wheeled in Catholic League President Bill Donohue to fulfill the role of outraged Christian, but, really, Verhoeven is saying nothing that hasn't been said a hundred times before. In fact similar claims are even made in another Jesus film - Jesus of Montreal - so it's hard to believe that Donohue is really that shocked. That said, his suggestion that the Basic Instinct director "should go back to Sharon Stone's legs" seems very odd indeed. Is Donohue really suggesting Verhoeven make more soft porn?



    • At 1:13 pm, April 26, 2008, Blogger Spiritual Bee said…

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    • At 9:25 am, May 06, 2008, Blogger geoffhudson.blogspot.com said…

      Just think what he could do for Mohammed and all his wives. Come on the bloke just wants to make a pile of money out of sensationalism. Yet another example of sick USA.

    • At 2:29 pm, May 06, 2008, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks for your comments.

      Geoff, I don't think the "sensationalism" thing sticks in this case actually. Firstly because if he was going for that he would have written in and published in English from the off. His reason for not doing so was that he feared reprisals. He's getting media attention just the same, but it seems unlikely that any theology book in Dutch is going to find much of an audience.

      Secondly, I just think he's been pursuing this project for too long. It was ten years ago that I first heard of his desire to make this film, and IIRC he'd been at it for ten years before that. I may disagree with his conclusions, and some of his research may not be of the highest quality (I wouldn't be in a position to comment), but i think whatever he is saying in this book is sincerely held as the result of a considerable amount of research.


    • At 9:30 pm, May 06, 2008, Blogger geoffhudson.blogspot.com said…

      Matt, I suppose the perpetuation of the myth of an uprising in Galilee would please the traditionalists who could then say Verhoeven is at least using some factual information. But the simple truth is that history as recorded by Flavians is never what it seems. The uprising was in Judaea, and Judaea alone.

      The idea of Mary being raped by a Roman soldier is totally crackpot. She was not even 'filled with child', but as a prophetess, she was filled with the Spirit.

      Verhoeven might have been planning this project for a long time, but some would persevere if they thought they could make a pile at the end of it. He is in the company of quite a few sensationalist scholars who would like to do just the same.

    • At 9:55 pm, May 06, 2008, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Like I said, I don't really go along with Verhoeven, but I doubt that someone who has had success in a multi-million dollar industry like the movie business would need the relatively small amount of money he would make from a pseudo-scholarly book on Jesus.

      Even if it gets made as a film, it's unlikely to perform as well as most of his other films, so to put 20 years of effort into it if he was just after a bit more cash seems, to me at least, unlikely.



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