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Son of God


Peter T Chattaway
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Links to our threads on The Bible (2013) and A.D.: Beyond the Bible (in development).

 

Might as well create a thread for this in the Film forum now. Son of God, a 135-minute version of the Jesus episodes from The Bible -- including, perhaps, a few scenes that were cut from the mini-series -- will be distributed in theatres next year by 20th Century Fox.

 

No official release date has been set yet, but there was talk of releasing the film in time for Easter (which, next year, is on April 20 -- Hitler's birthday, as it happens, but never mind that), possibly even in March. This could potentially put the film in multiplexes at the very same time that Darren Aronofsky's Noah, which comes out March 28, is playing down the hall. Have two mainstream Bible movies ever played in a multiplex at the same time before? (Not counting individual screenings of old classics etc., natch.)

 

Also, note that the film is being distributed by Fox. This is the same studio that is currently prepping Ridley Scott's life-of-Moses movie Exodus, with a release date planned for December of next year (which means *three* mainstream Bible movies will get released next year).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Incidentally, nine days ago The Hollywood Reporter said this movie "will take selections from the miniseries and add scenes that were left on the cutting-room floor, although Christ appeared in five of the 10 two-hour episodes." I wondered back in April "whether any deleted scenes get incorporated into this shorter version of the mini-series", but this is the first indication I've seen anywhere that it actually *will*.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Tyler wrote:
: I will forever confuse this movie with the Sedaris adaptation Child of God.

 

I thought that movie was called C.O.G. I can't imagine anyone calling this movie S.O.G.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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‘The Bible’ creator praises the Pope for pro gay comments, talks series success

But some of those unseen biblical stories are about to make it to the air. The producers recently struck a deal with 20th Century Fox to resurrect Jesus for an expanded feature film entitled "Son of God."

"It follows the life and the death and resurrection of Jesus with the emphasis on the resurrection," Downey said. "It is an upbeat, beautiful and powerful story about the Lord, and I think people will leave feeling uplifted and inspired."

FoxNews.com, September 24

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Coming to theatres February 28 -- three days after the 10th anniversary of The Passion of the Christ, and four weeks before Noah.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I will forever confuse this movie with the Sedaris adaptation Child of God.

 

"Child of God" and "Son of God" have such utterly disparate resonances in my ear that I could never make this mistake. 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Saw the film last week. Can't really review it this far in advance -- even though most of it consists of footage from the mini-series that aired earlier this year -- but I do note at my blog that this film will apparently have something in common with Noah, which opens only a few weeks after this film. Namely, they will both feature a brief sequence (maybe even only a shot or two) of the Garden of Eden in their prologues.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Link to the blog post in which I ask how long it's been since the last time a TV show was repackaged and re-released to the big screen in the very same (North American) market that had already watched the TV show.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

wait wait ... I saw a trailer for what I'm taking to be this movie at the weekend. And it was in Spanish (and I wasn't in McAllen or even Miami).

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I get sooooo squirmy when people start saying that churches and Christian businessmen need to rally behind movies by buying out entire theatres...

 

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I get sooooo squirmy when people start saying that churches and Christian businessmen need to rally behind movies by buying out entire theatres...

The only possible way to advocate for such a thing is to at least assume:

(1) That one's film will not sell out theaters otherwise,

because,

(2) many people would have a reason not to enter the theater that is showing one's film,

and,

(3) it does not matter that no one else who makes legit films bothers pursuing marketing strategies like this. In fact, they don't have to.

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I get sooooo squirmy when people start saying that churches and Christian businessmen need to rally behind movies by buying out entire theatres...

The only possible way to advocate for such a thing is to at least assume:

(3) it does not matter that no one else who makes legit films bothers pursuing marketing strategies like this. In fact, they don't have to.

 

That's not entirely true. The emphasis on opening day/weekend grosses is widely known and a standard part of cause-marketing. To cite just one example, it was used at the end of Miss Representation in the suggestions for how to help get more films by and about women by going on the first day to films that do have women leads. I've also heard the same arguments made by African-Americans about films marketed to them and by them, though I can't recall specific instances off the top of my head. It's implicit in such laments as these:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/an-open-letter-to-martin-scorsese

 

http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/the-top-10-grossing-films-of-2013-directed-by-women-is-a-sad-sad-list-1201021712/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/12/17/hollywood-turns-a-blind-eye-to-black-women-in-film-tv/3443751/

 

Some box office watchers seemed shocked by the success of The Best Man Holiday, which gave Marvel's Thor sequel a run for its money in its opening weekend. But, the film's home run is simply proof that there is a market of black audiences longing to see their stories on the big screen, Peete says. [Emphasis added.]

 

 

Not saying this marketing strategy is the best, but it certainly isn't limited to Christian films or filmmakers.

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I was only able to access two of those articles...but they had nothing to do with business people and special interest groups buying out auditoriums.  They were about the representation of minorities within film.  And really, that seems to be a tactic that is pretty uniquely occuring withing Christian circles.  I did not hear about black business owners buying out auditoriums for Soul Plane.  Or Women CEOs buying up tickets for Gravity... encouraging consumers to go out and support a movie opening weekend is very different from one person or a company buying up tickets that might not even get used.

Edited by Thom Wade

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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That's not entirely true. The emphasis on opening day/weekend grosses is widely known and a standard part of cause-marketing. To cite just one example, it was used at the end of Miss Representation in the suggestions for how to help get more films by and about women by going on the first day to films that do have women leads. I've also heard the same arguments made by African-Americans about films marketed to them and by them, though I can't recall specific instances off the top of my head. It's implicit in such laments as these ...

Not saying this marketing strategy is the best, but it certainly isn't limited to Christian films or filmmakers.

Hmmm ... alright, so I am wrong that this sort marketing strategy is limited to only Christian film studios.

But what's interesting is that I still think the Christian film studio is unique in two senses. First, it has an organized consumer base in the form of churches, who have already shown willingness to collectively support specific filmmakers in spite of or in reaction to critical opinion. Second, it at least has the pretense to holding to a theology, and a theology that has historically & traditionally been a powerful patron of the arts. But it seems the theological rationalization for supporting a work of art has now shifted.

So, when a Christian film studio asks Christians to buy out a film showing at the theater because they are Christians, I'd say that it is still making an implicit statement about itself, even if only unintentionally.

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That's not entirely true. The emphasis on opening day/weekend grosses is widely known and a standard part of cause-marketing. To cite just one example, it was used at the end of Miss Representation in the suggestions for how to help get more films by and about women by going on the first day to films that do have women leads. I've also heard the same arguments made by African-Americans about films marketed to them and by them, though I can't recall specific instances off the top of my head. It's implicit in such laments as these ...

Not saying this marketing strategy is the best, but it certainly isn't limited to Christian films or filmmakers.

Hmmm ... alright, so I am wrong that this sort marketing strategy is limited to only Christian film studios.

But what's interesting is that I still think the Christian film studio is unique in two senses. First, it has an organized consumer base in the form of churches, who have already shown willingness to collectively support specific filmmakers in spite of or in reaction to critical opinion. Second, it at least has the pretense to holding to a theology, and a theology that has historically & traditionally been a powerful patron of the arts. But it seems the theological rationalization for supporting a work of art has now shifted.

So, when a Christian film studio asks Christians to buy out a film showing at the theater because they are Christians, I'd say that it is still making an implicit statement about itself, even if only unintentionally.

 

 

Jeremy, would your post be different if you crossed out "Christians" and inserted "conservatives"/crossed out "theology" and inserted "ideology"?

IF YOU WANT HOLLYWOOD TO MAKE MORE CONSERVATIVE-FRIENDLY MOVIES, CONSIDER SEEING THIS SOON

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Jeremy, would your post be different if you crossed out "Christians" and inserted "conservatives"/crossed out "theology" and inserted "ideology"?

IF YOU WANT HOLLYWOOD TO MAKE MORE CONSERVATIVE-FRIENDLY MOVIES, CONSIDER SEEING THIS SOON

Argh. Damn it.  Stop finding those.

Generally, no.

But technically, yes, my point would be different because:

(1) H. Stuart Hughes said that "conservatism is the negation of ideology" and every respectable conservative thinker (William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, Eric Voegelin, et al.) all say that "ideology" is always bad in every single one of its forms (but that's a separate conversation I haven't finished yet); and,

(2) Christian film studios most often are marketing films that only a subculture cares about and almost everyone else will never see, which has a minimal effect.  But I'd argue that the endorsements of ideologues like Glenn Beck actually have a negative effect.  Gimme Shelter actually looks like it has the potential to be a good film.  But, to know that Gimme Shelter's director is actually going on the Glenn Beck Show to plug for his film leads me to suspect the worst.  All other things being even, I could avoid the film just because Beck is promoting it.  I don't think I'm in a minority here.  Most people (including Donald Duck) find Glenn Beck to be morally repugnant.  What on earth was Ron Krauss thinking?  If his film is good, he may have just sacrificed or repulsed what could have been a little critical acclaim by openly slumming it for Beck's fans.

 

But I'll admit that's going to a great effort to try to get myself off here on a technicality.  I take your point, sir.

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