My issue is not with the artistic viability of such an idea, but rather a question of responsibility, and the care with which Christians need to present the Jesus story in a public fashion. I think Gibson's handling of the Christ narrative in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was somewhat irresponsible.
Just curious, do you find it irresponsible because it didn't contextualize the Passion narrative, or for other reasons?
I don't see Christian artists treating the Passion being subject to some sort of responsibility to provide a set amount of context to make the story religiously intelligible to a given audience. I don't know where that responsibility would come from. If it's for other reasons, then fine, no further issues as regards the present subject.
It's undoubtedly dated. But I watch it every year, without fail, and still find it a cinematic benchmark worth revisiting. We'll never get a more iconic rendering of the story on film. It's that iconic power that ultimately stands in the way of future retellings having the same power.
Okay, so a new Exodus story feels less promising to you than to me because you're a lot more attached to the De Mille film than I am. Be that as it may, I think a new film could
(whether it will
remains to be seen) make the story vital to a lot of people who would find De Mille's version hard to sit through; and that would be a good thing in my book.
But then again, I'm one of the guys who have seen all the TV versions that Peter threw out there not too long ago. They might not have been big screen, but they count as versions of the story, nonetheless. I've also seen the 1923 version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and PRINCE OF EGYPT.
So have I, as well as the 2000 NBC/Hallmark "In the Beginning" version and the 2007 computer-animated version. AFAICS, none of those makes the story vital for audiences today the way that, say, The Miracle Maker
makes the Jesus story vital. Now there's a film that fills a gap. Wow. Our Easter season just would not be the same without it. This past year I showed it to my three (totally unchurched) nephews, and it made sense for them in a way that no other Jesus movie would.
So, yeah, I'd say this story has had more than its fair share of treatment, and while it's perhaps never received that "perfect" adaptation, I think it's been done well enough. Similarly, I don't think any of the Jesus films have been done perfectly, either, but I'm not clamoring for yet another cinematic take on Jesus' life.
See, I would always be interested in another take. If it weren't for The Miracle Maker
and The Gospel According to Matthew
, I would be very unsatisfied with the state of Jesus movie-dom. The Gospel of John
is fine too, although on a recent rewatching I was more struck by its weaknesses than on previous viewings.
Now, what I think we can definitely use is another Christmas story alternative to The Nativity Story
. I'll take it cuz we've got nothing else, but the Magi get old real fast.
Well, it's a matter of where you stand on remakes. I don't believe in remaking good films unless you have a substantially different angle on it. Cinema is such an expensive and difficult medium, and there are so few big releases made these days that I'd rather see all that effort and cash go to stories that haven't yet been told, rather than ones I've seen brought to life four or five or six different times.
So few big releases? Really?
I guess for me it depends on WHY a remake. Hollywood cranks out lots of soulless remakes every year for no other reason than that filmmakers want an established brand with a built-in audience and they lack the inspiration or daring to do something new. Lame. But I'm not against remakes per se, only soulless remakes. As a lover of mythology, I enjoy different takes on the same story. I always want to see another version. If the filmmakers' creativity is engaged by taking a different approach to a familiar story, and that's the reason for the remake, then I want to see it.
Compare Martin Campbell's adaptation-remake Casino Royale
to the original story Quantum of Solace
. Or Charles Sturridge's adaptation-remake Lassie
to the original story G-Force