• 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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    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Visual Bible's Matthew:Ch.24-25

    (From a series of posts working through the Visual Bible's Matthew).
    Matthew starts of narrating the beginning of chapter 24 and he also appears to have sacked his oft sleeping scribes and is now doing the job himself as he talks about the destruction of the temple there's a real sense of sadness, and that, along with Matthew's likely age suggests that he is writing after the fall of the temple has occured. Jesus however is much more nonchalant, particularly in comparison with his weeping over Jerusalem just a few verses ago.

    Matthew comes in and out of this one. One notable example is that it is he who says "let the reader understand" rather than Jesus. Anything else I suppose would be somewhat nonsensical.

    There's a shift in time as this discourse unfolds in contrast to the text which suggests this is all spoken in one go. Here they move from the night to the day and back again for different passages. The later parables such as the wise / wicked servants, the ten virgins and the Parable of the Talents are all dramatised, the first with workers in a field, the second with women by a stream for the ten virgins, and by the side of the master's house for the final of the three. There's no illustration for the story of the sheep and goats, which is again delivered with a sense of compassion for those that with be thrown out. Marchiano again does well here, personally speaking I prefer his more serious mode of delivery then when he's goofing around, not that a few of those moments aren't very welcome, but these mometns feel more natural.

    Just a short one today as I'm really pushed for time.

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    • At 11:45 am, September 24, 2010, Blogger Kevin C. Neece said…

      I agree that Bruce's more subdued moments are often more powerful, though I can't help but find his humor charming. He just goes for it - whatever it is - as an actor, totally into the moment.

      That's what is so refreshing about his portrayal in this film. He makes clear, committed choices! In theatre, we're constantly reminded that an actor's job is to make choices and Bruce is a great example of that.

      Even when something he does feels a little off tonally or a bit quirky, I almost don't care because it's so great to see a Jesus actor who really takes risks with the role. Few show the boldness Marchiano does, even in being boldly quiet (if that makes sense) and not trying to be Shakespearean.

      So, I'm glad we get a little goofy Jesus. But I'm equally (perhaps more) glad to see a Jesus who scratches his nose and plays with lint while prophesying.

    • At 12:55 am, September 29, 2010, Anonymous Luis said…

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    • At 8:51 am, September 29, 2010, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks Luis

      Kevin, interesting thoughts. FWIW I think Dafoe and Blakley make similarly bold choices.


    • At 11:14 am, September 29, 2010, Blogger Kevin C. Neece said…

      I completely agree! That's why they are also among my favourite Jesus actors. I think it's interesting to note that, while they had more radical scripts to work with, Marchiano had basically just the Scriptures. Nonetheless, I think in all three cases the material specifically compelled strong choices. That is, one type of script challenges you as an actor by being unusual, the other challenges you to avoid getting bogged down in the conventions of well-known text.


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