• 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


    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    The Jesus Film in Anime

    I first heard about this a couple of months ago but was asked to keep it to myself. However, the two excerpts I was sent on DVD have now been posted on YouTube for comments from the general public, and as it's already being discussed at Arts and Faith, I think it's probably fair game. If I shouldn't be blogging this yet then please someone let me know!

    The idea is this: Jesus was made back in 1979 and, as even they are admitting now, it has become somewhat dated visually. However, they already have language tracks for the film in hundreds of languages so some bright spark came up with the idea of re-working the visuals to give them something that's more up to date visually and can quickly and easily become available to people all over the world.

    I believe the excerpts featured on YouTube are only 'concept videos', and so the finished product will look a little different. The DVD I received also featured some colour stills of what the final images might look like including one that had been rotoscoped and one that had been made to resemble King of Kings (1961). Even so I'm fairly impressed with what I've seen thus far. I really like these two short clips and the opening to the Demoniac scene is, in particular, very striking. It actually took me a while to work out that it was still using Brian Deacon's voice.On reflection, I think that it would be worth them recording a new English language version of the audio track. It's not only visuals that have changed since 1979 and for the relatively low cost I think it would be a worthwhile investment. It might even be worth them recording two English language versions; one with American accents and another with British. I know that both cultures find it distracting when Jesus speaks with the accent of the other.

    I'm looking forward to finding out more on this project. I know that Barry Cook (who co-directed Mulan) is on board which certainly bodes well. There's already a webpage for the visual translation project which leads to another opportunity to see the clips and give your feedback. There's also an article on this project from Mission Network News.

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