• 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, August 21, 2010

    Death of Michael Been

    I was sorry to hear about the death of musician and actor Michael Been at he age of 60. Been was best known as the vocalist/bassist in The Call, whom I first discovered at my very first Greenbelt festival back in 1989. They weren't actually present, but their song "Let the Day Begin" was played continually by the Rolling Magazine tent and could be heard all over site. When we got back it was record of the week on Simon Mayo's breakfast show, and I bought a great big 12" version. The following year at Greenbelt I was one of maybe 10,000 who watched them play on the main stage.

    But it's another Greenbelt memory, from 1992, that makes this sad story relevant to this blog. That's when, in the midst of an almighty rain shower I lay in my tent reading an interview with Been from (I think) Third Way Magazine. In it he talked about his role as John son of Zebedee in Last Temptation of Christ (pictured right). It was the first time I had heard someone express something positive, rather than merely defensive, about the film. I don't think I have the article any more, but Been talked about how he liked the way the film portrayed the human side of Jesus. Been's role is small but packs a lot in as he switches from part of the yelling mob at the attempted stoning of Magdalene to one of Jesus' followers. A sad loss.


    • At 12:07 pm, September 22, 2010, Blogger Kevin C. Neece said…

      I should read your blog more consistently, sir. I was so sad to read about this great loss. I've just published a blog post about Michael myself. You can read it here: http://kevincneece.com/2010/09/22/michael-been-1950-2010/

      So very glad you posted about this. Thank you very much.


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