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Jesus of Montreal


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  • 3 months later...

Alan Thomas wrote:

: Please note that the JoM DVD is now listed as released by Blockbuster, and is

: available at Amazon.com and elsewhere.

Hmmm, so it was released two weeks ago. Interesting. No word there on whether it is fullscreen or widescreen, though. Or on whether it is dubbed or subtitled, for that matter.

Still, assuming the specs check out, it's good to see that another film from my official all-time top ten list is on DVD. Now just gotta do something about The Thin Blue Line.

"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, now that we no longer segregate films and their DVD releases, I don't know if we'd want to merge this with the old Flickerings thread where the actual CONTENT of the movie has been discussed (however briefly), but at any rate, that's the link.

"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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  • 7 months 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...
  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone else had trouble getting the subtitles to work on this DVD?

And yes, it's fullscreen, not widescreen, which is odd. In one scene (when Constance is in one of the hospital hallways), you can see a boom mic just dipping into the top of the frame, so I wonder if this is a soft-matted film that was shown full-frame on video, as opposed to a widescreen film that was panned-and-scanned.

"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 years later...

Thanks for the catch, Alan.

Link to the thread on Days of Darkness (2007), which brings back at least one of this film's characters.

techne wrote:

: . . . and ultimately, it is a movie that affirms the Truth of christ.

Just wondering, what do you mean by this?

"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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techne wrote:

: . . . and ultimately, it is a movie that affirms the Truth of christ.

Just wondering, what do you mean by this?

me too...heh...it's poorly worded, but what struck me was that even though they were playing roles and were obviously skeptics (it would have been nice to have some non jesus seminar conspiracy type commentary - i.e. traditionally accepted - on the history and person of jesus but oh well) the person and/or idea of who jesus was or what he stood for had an obvious impact on the actors' real lives.

lothaire's absorption of the and in the role led to actions he may not have otherwise taken and those actions had far reaching impact. whether his protection of mireille or his [prophetic] declarations during the play or his demanor in court (and never mind the ending), lothaire's actions and their effects directly reflect (and clearly mirror) christ's and how christ's actions may have affected those whose lives were in his orbit.

the essence of christ was conveyed in the movie despite the texts and rather overbearing skepticism. even in the midst of all those destabilizing "facts" and stories, there is obviously something about jesus (or the idea of jesus, or the impact of that/his story) that has an important and affirming worth. the story, and the person (role) of christ gives all the players meaning and purpose. if that makes sense.

Edited by techne

I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, to remind men that they are not dead yet. - G. K. Chesterton

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if that makes sense.

It does. Perfectly. The film asks militant skeptics if running around noseless is such a grand idea.

The reason Christianity is still around after 2000 years is not because of the religious artifices built up to promote and protect it. It survives because the example and Spirit of Christ, when seriously examined, change lives.

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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techne wrote:

: the story, and the person (role) of christ gives all the players meaning and purpose. if that makes sense.

To a point, sure.

FWIW, I'm a little cautious about that line of interpretation because I think the film is more concerned with the role of Art in a mass Media culture, rather than the place of Religion in a Secular culture, if you get my drift; in other words, I don't believe Denys Arcand was asking, "What would Jesus be like if he came here today?" Critics who have assumed that that was Arcand's starting point have tended to criticize Arcand for being obsessed with imagery and theatrics; at least one American critic complained that the "Jesus" of this film did not take a bold stand against the death penalty, apparently unaware of the fact that the death penalty doesn't exist in Canada, and in any case, even if it did, that is Not What This Film Is About. Rather, Arcand, a former historian of sorts, is drawing a historical and allegorical analogy. Just as his previous film, The Decline of the American Empire, drew parallels between decadence and hedonism in the 1980s and decadence and hedonism at the end of the Roman era, so too Jesus of Montreal draws parallels between a particular corner of the ancient Roman empire and a particular corner of modern North America. And to the extent that our faith is an historical one, yeah, he gets into all sorts of really interesting stuff. But I think he's more concerned with the place of integrity in a world of constantly-shifting identities -- and SUPERFICIAL identities, at that -- than he is in anything else.

Mind you, one of the actresses in Daniel's theatre troupe DOES turn into a nun at some point between this film and The Barbarian Invasions, which came out 14 years later. That certainly suggests SOME sort of change in that character's life, on a spiritual level.

"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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FWIW, I'm a little cautious about that line of interpretation because I think the film is more concerned with the role of Art in a mass Media culture, rather than the place of Religion in a Secular culture, if you get my drift; in other words, I don't believe Denys Arcand was asking, "What would Jesus be like if he came here today?"

absolutely - i understand the movie as being about art (and theatre), and the power of art (and theatre) to tell stories (or lies); and the power of story to shape us and our [sense of] identity. it spoke about theatre, and theatricality - how we play roles and take on roles and are defined by and shaped by roles, etc...there is a lot of slippage between play and movie and actor and history. simply look at the various genres presented - passion play (conventional and contemporary), porn movie, science centre presentation, commercials - all different ways of telling stories.

but it's easter, and i watched it late at night, and i was wondering about it in that context.

and now, of course, i need to watch the "trilogy"...

I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, to remind men that they are not dead yet. - G. K. Chesterton

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  • 2 years later...

Many thanks to MattPage for linking to these YouTube clips at his blog. I had heard about this documentary years ago, when I first started writing about Jesus movies in the mid-'90s, but it wasn't until this week that I finally got to SEE the thing.

I single out the YouTube clip below because it begins with Jesus of Montreal director Denys Arcand making an interesting point, that the only way he can think of to address the story of Jesus is to do it THROUGH a character who is trying to make sense of it. So ... does this mean that Arcand's character is engaged in a sort of fool's errand, as Arcand sees it, by trying to tell the story directly and NOT making it a play-within-a-play?

"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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  • 6 months later...

This has been streaming at Netflix for quite some time. Here's a note to say that, for whatever reason, streaming will end on 11/17. I finally watched the first 70% of it tonight, and it's too late to finish now, but I am loving it. I can't wait to catch the ending tomorrow morning. It is currently at #88 in our Top 100 and Peter's blurb can be found Here. It is well worth checking out, and available streaming for another week or so...

Thanks again, Top 100. You've introduced me to some great stuff in the past year.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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