Friday, April 14, 2006

The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury

Over on Bible Films Blog, Matt Page has the latest on a documentary to air this weekend in the UK:

Channel 4 Web Page for "The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury"

Channel 4 aren't the best when it comes to websites for their documentaries and this is no exception:

The Passion: Films, Faith and Fury
In this special Easter documentary, Robert Beckford traces the rollercoaster relationship between faith and film, from the first Bible movies, made more than a century ago, to the present day. Simon Jenkins reports

'It is without question the most blasphemous, the most disrespectful and the most satanic movie that's ever been filmed!' So said a nun on the release of Martin Scorsese's film, The Last Temptation of Christ. The movie, which showed Jesus fantasising on the cross about living an ordinary life as a married man, and having children with Mary Magdalene, sparked widespread protest from the religious right in the United States when it was first screened in 1988.

Willem Dafoe, who played Christ, commented: 'I remember the studio wanted to give me bodyguards at the beginning, because they received so many threats.'

Jesus and the movies is the subject of a Channel 4 programme, The Passion: Film, Faith and Fury. Presenter Robert Beckford says that the films which have commanded the biggest budgets and stirred up the most vitriol in the history of Hollywood have been based on one book – the Bible. The programme is a fascinating exploration of the uneasy and often hostile relationship between the church and Hollywood.
The programme sounds like fun, and it's good to hear of my friend and former colleague Robert Beckford's involvement. The good news is that Matt Page was interviewed for the programme, so watch out to see him. The bad news is that it's up against the eagerly anticipated first of the second season of the new Doctor Who on BBC1, so the ratings are not going to be great; but it looks like one to set the video for, especially if you've got one of those machines that allows you to record simultaneously broadcast programmes. Follow the links in Bible Films Blog for all the details, and no doubt an update this weekend.

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