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Peter T Chattaway

One Night With the King

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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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Um - which one is playing Esther?

I hate revisionist cinema...


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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Heh. This one.


"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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She's pretty. I hope they hew closely to the text, but I'm not holding my breath.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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Exactly. This is a great, grande story that deserves fair treatment of the source material -- no need for fanciful affairs or any other embellishing variations. I love the story of Esther. This really excites me. Please, Omega Code people, keep trying more of these kinds of narratives rather than more Omega Codes.

-s.


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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I dunno, I rather like Amos Gitai's "embellishing variations" in particular.


"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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Not heard of the Gitai's version - but it sounds good (it's now on my wishlist!)

I actually was a big fan of the Bible Collection one. It's not the most amazing film, but it brought a lot of the reality that we miss due to years of Sunday school re-tellings. I mean Esther was taken as a sex slave against her will in essence, now you can say "yes, but he was a king" and "she got 2 years of beauty treatment", but it's still a pretty grim story in reality and thought the BC version captured that well.

I look forward to seeing this though. OImar Sharif and Peter O Toole have no need to work anymore so I figure there must be something about a project to make them sign on, even in a cameo role.

Matt

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I dunno, I rather like Amos Gitai's "embellishing variations" in particular.

Haven't seen it. What were they?

-s.


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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Heh.  This one.

Whoa! I can see why the king found her so persuasive.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This film was scheduled for theatrical release March 25, but was pulled, ostensibly for 'editing reasons.' I'm not that hopeful about it, for a few reasons.

I've been told that director Michael O. Sajbel (who directed Billy Graham's THE RIDE) was pulled into the project very late, and he had his work cut out for him to try to make something of it. I fear he may not have succeeded.

I've also just spent some time going through some corporate records looking at the business dealings of Matt Crouch, son of Paul and Jan (TBN). After years as the VP of his father's 'non-profit' broadcasting empire, he appears to have become an overnight millionaire, in part, by gaining control of a Hollywood firm by selling them rights to this film. Note, I'm not suggesting anything wrong, just saying that it looks as though Matt needed to have this deal done ahead of release, and maybe the delay is as much about taking over this business as anything.

But, I haven't heard or seen anything encouraging about this film -- in fact, haven't really seen or heard anything, apart from a five-minute trailer (!!) on the official website. The silence is deafening.

Edited by Tim Willson

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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stef wrote:

: Haven't seen it. What were they?

See my comments on the film, which are linked to at the blog post.

Tim Willson wrote:

: But, I haven't heard or seen anything encouraging about this film -- in fact, haven't

: really seen or heard anything, apart from a five-minute trailer (!!) on the official

: website. The silence is deafening.

Official website!?

...

Ah, I see. And not only does it have John Rhys-Davies, it has John Noble too -- any other Lord of the Rings alumni, I wonder?

But what's with the Enya tune? (I must confess I am especially irked that it is the English version of that song that was recorded for Ron Howard's Far and Away and was then retroactively put on subsequent editions of Enya's Shepherd Moon album, instead of the original Gaelic version that I have on my copy of that album.)


"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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And now, explaining the book of Esther and his own born-again Christian experience, the one ... the only ...

SENATOR ... ROBERT BYRD!!

Just scroll down to the "byrdesther" link. The audio runs 5 minutes and 57 seconds. Listen to all of it, for the stunning conclusion, including the repeated use of the verb "Hamanize," might just persuade you that the filibuster against judicial nominees must be preserved! pinch.gif


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Um. Or not.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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And now, explaining the book of Esther and his own born-again Christian experience, the one ... the only ...

SENATOR ... ROBERT BYRD!!

I must be a masochist to have listened to that all the way through. That was excruciatingly painful.

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Finally sat down to watch Amos Gitai's Esther last night. [There's a review by one time A&F-er Acquarello (when it was on the novogate board) Are you still around ?]

FWIW there's some discussion of this film on the Esther Novelisations thread.

Anyway, without having read any reviews here's a few thoughts.

Basically the film has a real sting in the tale. Having been brought up for years with the sunday school sanitised version of Esther that was laid partly to rest several years ago when I watched the Bible collection film and you realised that Esther's situation was basically pretty grim. (FWIWit's interesting how the veggie tales version of this film sanitises so far as to take all the story out of the film). That said I guess I still read the story from a Judao-Christian perspective and as such never really questionned the other side of it particularly. But we live in a post-modern age, and hearing the victim's voice, and realising that history is written by the winner, it was only a matter of time before I somehow realised the other side of this one. And basically with the understated acting of the whole film hen you realise that 800 people have just been killed like that, it' left to hang in the air and it gives what I can only describe as a subtle shock, you hear it, kind of remember is, and then it soaks in and you go "oh". The ending of the film shows the principle actors walking along explaining their own life stories, and their opposition to the way Israel was treating the Palestinians. Most pignant of all is when the actor playing traditional "hero" Mordecai says that he actually "hates" Mordecai becuase he legitimises vengance which is so destructive (my paraphrase).

I really don't know much about formaliam (does anyone have any pointers), but the formalist elements certainly made this point more impacting, by taking out the emotion of the situation that would normally be on display it allows a more clear headed approach to what is prsented in the story. An there are very deliberate attempts to keep the viewer reminded that this is a film, whether it be the seemingly anachronistic modern day background sounds, or the narrator addressing the audience directly, even in a comic way that is out of sync with the mood of a scene, and the staticness of the camera. It also downplays the moments when it could really crank up the tension, so the spectre being extended, given teh prayer and build up that has gone into this moment passes without the usual wringing for all the tension it's worth.

And a great soundtrack as well.

PTC I know you've seen this - any thoughts you'd care to share?

Matt

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Yeah, Matt, I link to my comments on this film from the blog post linked above, but just to simplify things I'll link to those comments here, too:

The other film,
Esther
, is a somewhat straightforward adaptation of the biblical book that happens to incorporate modern elements. The modern bits are rather intriguing, since they tend to highlight the ways Israel may have been as cruel to the Palestinians as the Persians were to the Jews. The Persian envoy who reads the order decreeing the extinction of the Jewish people walks through what appears to be a run-down modern neighbourhood, and according to the cinematheque's programme, the film is set "in the ruins of Wadi Salib -- prior to 1948, an Arab neighbourhood of Haifa, then Moroccan Jewish, later purposefully destroyed." Then, when Haman is about to be executed, a bunch of characters in ancient garb walk up, chanting "Death to Haman! Death to Haman!" Now, I've never been to a synagogue during Purim, but I believe children are encouraged to chant things like that whenever Haman's name comes up during the reading of Esther -- and no sooner had I thought of this, than a bunch of children in modern dress walked into the frame, chanting along with the ancient characters. Gitai would seem to be questioning this traditional Jewish practise, and suggesting that, by making violent revenge an acceptable option for modern Jews, it has had disastrous results. (What implications might this have for we Christians, who talk of "crusades" and employ the rhetoric of "spiritual warfare" when discussing social trends that we dislike?) The film ends with the actors discussing, one by one, their own stories of being forced to move from one country or culture to another, and the Arab actor who plays Mordechai expresses disappointment with the character, because Mordechai used his position in the palace to encourage the reprisal killings of the Jews' enemies. (As Esther 9:5 says, "The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them." Can we really be sure that *everyone* they killed "deserved" to die?)

I believe this film also uses some of the same music that Peter Gabriel would appropriate two years later for The Last Temptation of Christ -- did you notice that?


"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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Might be worth mentioned here (since the business side of things came up earlier) that Matt managed to lose $1.2-million in Gener8Xion last year. In an SEC Filing made public today, we learn that he sold $2.5 million worth of shares, but paid out more than $1-million in "compensation".

The company earned revenue of less than $500-thousand in fiscal 2005 (ending Oct 31, 2005). About $320-thousand came from "production and distribution services rendered by the Company to a joint venture in which the Companys Chief Executive Officer has a minority interest". (One Night with the King, perhaps?)


"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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I watched the trailer as this is one of my favorite OT stories. It looks promising except for the fact that the music lays it on with way too much cheese. It has the potential to destroy the whole thing.

-s.

Edited by stef

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I did a bit on it here and am getting "Christian Spammed" fairly regularly at the moment. Unfortunately the publicity people don't seem very interested in giving me the chance to decide for myself.

Matt

Edited by MattPage

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Heck no, one comment is not really enough to count as spam, My initial post got 7 comments besides my own, (which is a lot for my site), all incredibly effusive with praise for the film. And I never claimed the spam was down to the publicity people

I should also say that after my comment above, that I did actually get a screener from them, hence the above comments were overly pessimistic.

Matt

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