• 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


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    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Christmas UK TV Schedule 2009

    As longer term readers will know I like to give an overview of the festive season's religious programming (see Easter '09, '08 and '07 and Christmas '08, '07 and '06).

    This year is a bit of an odd one. There are very few Bible/Christian related documentaries, perhaps because BBC4 has just finished it's fascinating 6-part look at The History of Christianity. But for Bible film fans such as ourselves there's plenty.

    It's a case of get in early though, so I'm glad I checked my TV guide tonight and didn't leave it until tomorrow, with a DeMille documentary tomorrow and various films showing in the next few days. Anyway here's what I have gleaned:

    Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic
    Channel 4, Sunday 20th December, 12:35am
    Almost as long as one of his films, this documentary about everyone's favourite Bible film diector, Cecil B.DeMille kicks off in the early hours of Monday morning (though in TV guides it qualifies as Sunday so I've followed suit), and runs for over two and a half hours. I believe that originally theis documentary came in two parts: both are showing here.

    The Silver Chalice
    TCM, Various times as follows:
    Sunday 20th December, 5:05pm
    Monday 21st December, 8.55am
    Wednesday 30th December, 6:20pm
    Thursday 31st December, 10:20am

    Samson and Delilah
    Sky Classics, Various times as follows:
    Sunday 20th December, 10:35am
    Friday 25th December, 4:00pm
    Sunday 27th December, 6:00am
    Sunday 27th December, 2:10pm

    The Ten Commandments (1956)
    Channel 4, Monday 21st December 12:05pm

    The film that needs no introduction, with DeMille and Heston both at the top of their games.

    Christmas Tales
    ITV1, Wednesday 23rd December 11:35pm

    Last of a four party series looking at different parts of Christmas
    No idea what this is, but the other three looked at more secular ideas anout Christmas.

    The Nativity Story
    Channel 4, Thursday 24th December 11:45am

    The film's premiere on terrestrial television in the UK. Hardwicke's direction looks great but sounds poor in places, in oart due to an underworked script by Mike Rich. Gives a great contextto the nativity, but rarely feels convincing. But that's all forgivieable when everyone is feeling Christmassy.

    Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
    BBC1, Monday 24th December 2:15pm

    Christianity's best known allegory. The Jesus allegory is weakened, but certainly very much present, and this is generally fairly well made, if not, sadly, a masterpiece, it is at least better than the BBC1.

    Dark City
    TCM, Monday 24th December 11:50pm

    Another Christ-figure film. Alex Proyas' dark futuristic thriller.

    Ben-Hur (1959)
    Sky Classics, Various times as follows:
    Thursday 24th December, 11:30am
    Thursday 24th December, 9:00pm
    Thursday 31st December, 10:15am
    Thursday 31st December, 8pm

    The Robe
    Sky Classics, Various times as follows:
    Monday 28th December, 2:35pm



    • At 7:52 am, December 21, 2009, Blogger Patrick said…

      Wow...I just wished I lived in the UK. ;)

      By the way, Narnia is not really an 'allegory' - CS Lewis viewed Narnia more as a parallel universe that exists alongside ours. He wrote in a letter (Dated December 1958):

      "If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality, however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?' This is not allegory at all."

    • At 8:49 am, December 21, 2009, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks for that quotation Patrick. I guess also the way that "The Last Battle" describes the relationship between Aslan and our world (I can't remember the exact bit) also adds into this.



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