• 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


    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Pop Classics: Jesus Christ Superstar

    I'm very much enjoying Juliette Harrisson's Pop Classics blog, particularly when she turns her attention to Bible films. The latest film based on the scriptures to which she's turned her attention is 1973's Jesus Christ, Superstar (all my posts on this film). Juliette seems to be very good at finding a new angle, and in this case her analysis of the film's costumes are very interesting. They are much commented on, of course, but few writers go beyond noting the mix of ancient and "modern" (and the datedness of the "modern"). Here's a brief excerpt:
    He [Pilate] also wears a rather lovely golden laurel wreath. Laural wreaths were prizes in much older Greek athletic competitions, while Caesar made a point of refusing a crown in public to avoid looking like a monarch (although he was a dictator, he was careful never to call himself a king). Like the rest of Pilate's costume, this is not related to actual Roman dress, but to modern perceptions of what it is to be Roman.
    Incidentally, my other favourite female writing informatively about the accuracy of historical films, The Guardian's Alex von Tunzelmann recently posted an amusing piece on The Mission. Her conclusion? "It might all have been avoided if they'd had some karaoke bars"...Well quite.



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