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In the Beginning


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#21 MattPage

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:30 AM

[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"]Sophia- the female co-creator from the apocrypha

(said the token liberal)

Not sure what you mean by "token liberal", but if you mean that you think everyone else around here is evangelical then hopefully you'll be pleased to know that you're wrong. Darrel who you responded to isn't, and nor am I. And I can think of quite a few others who are of similar ilk. So you're in good company.

Link to our thread on 'genesis movies'.

phlox wrote:
: It’s amazing there hasn’t been an Adam and Eve on film except in Huston’s 1966 “The Bible.”

Well, there was Mike Figgis's The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999). That other thread of ours also lists The Annunciation (d. Andras Jeles, 1984) and Genesis: Creation & The Flood (d. Ermanno Olmi, 1994) as films that tackle the first three chapters of Genesis, though if memory serves, those interpretations were far less literal.

And of course 2003's The Real Old Testament.

Matt

#22 Christian

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:36 AM

Christian wrote:
: Speaking of snarky, here's my contribution. Jeffrey quoted Nikki Finke, who wrote: The film is using The Book of Genesis as its primary resource.

Finke didn't write that, Mike Fleming did. (Well, it's always possible that Finke, like certain other editors I can think of, has messed with the story and inserted her own ideas or opinions into the text in some way. But it's Fleming's name in the byline.)

Sorry about that. I saw that the link went to Deadline Hollywood and assumed it was Finke's writing. I thought she wrote everything on that site.

#23 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 12:24 PM

No worries, Christian. (Though I'm mildly surprised that you hadn't heard about Nikki stealing one of Variety's top reporters away from that paper -- and only a few weeks before Variety fired Todd McCarthy, its longest-serving film critic. That paper's going down, baby, it's going down down down!)

Anyway. It's kinda fun to see that we almost had a sort of meta-source criticism discussion here. Never mind the J document and the P document (to say nothing of the E or the D), we could always try to discern which parts of any given Deadline.com article can be traced back to N (for Nikki) and which parts can be traced back to M (for Mike)!

Oh, and phlox, you'll find evangelicals who are perfectly okay with source criticism, too. I know *I* certainly was, in my Protestant days, and I knew others who were, too. (FWIW, I don't know what F.F. Bruce made of the JEPD hypothesis, but I do know that he was one of those scholars who believed that Isaiah was the work of multiple authors spread out over a few centuries, and not of a single prophet. Alas, "grassroots" evangelicals do tend to frown upon such theories, which I imagine is one of the reasons why Mel Gibson changed the date of that Isaiah quote that begins The Passion of the Christ between the test screenings and the final theatrical release... but anyhoo.)

#24 Christian

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 12:38 PM

Anyway. It's kinda fun to see that we almost had a sort of meta-source criticism discussion here. Never mind the J document and the P document (to say nothing of the E or the D), we could always try to discern which parts of any given Deadline.com article can be traced back to N (for Nikki) and which parts can be traced back to M (for Mike)!

Peter, you're on fire today! :) That was hilarious.

Anyway, I'm OK with source criticism, even as I consider myself a "Bible is the Word of God" type (I'm steering clear of terms like "inerrantist," or whatever the current term is, to avoid digressions). But I feel like we have threads here where everyone laughs at the idea of literal interprestations of, say, Noah's Ark, and I fear that this thread might extend a tone of "who would ever believe such a thing?" to the rest of Genesis. I don't want to quash the debate, but I'm also not eager to alienate others (lurkers or newbies -- especially on the heels of our Top 100 list, which, I think we're all hoping will draw in some new blood).

#25 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 12:58 PM

Christian wrote:
: But I feel like we have threads here where everyone laughs at the idea of literal interprestations of, say, Noah's Ark, and I fear that this thread might extend a tone of "who would ever believe such a thing?" to the rest of Genesis.

Ah, okay.

FWIW, my primary reaction to this news is to wonder, "How are they going to pad out the story?" Because there simply isn't enough material in the first three chapters of Genesis to sustain a feature-length film. And given the nature of the story, there wouldn't seem to be many opportunities for introducing sidekicks or supporting characters or subplots or similar s-words.

Paradise Lost, of course, is an epic that stretches back BEFORE the opening chapters of Genesis, and it features a lot of drama between the angels and God and whatnot. But Genesis itself does not. (Heck, even the serpent is just that: a serpent. It is only later traditions that identified the serpent with one of the fallen angels.)

The question of "believability" is also an interesting one, given that filmmakers often act as though the medium compels them to be "realistic", etc. But who can say what a "realistic" take on a pre-fallen world would be? And yet whenever filmmakers TRY to do something more poetic or non-literal, it can often come across as kitschy or half-baked. (I don't remember What Dreams May Come well enough to comment on it myself, but certainly many people seem to have found that film's vision of the afterlife ANYTHING but transcendent.)

A "poetic" take on the early chapters of Genesis could be sustained for a reel or two, I think, but once you stretch it out to feature length, and once you start looking for ways to expand the narrative, I think you're asking for trouble.

Which is not to say that it can't be done. I have never read Paradise Lost, but I gather it's a classic, and it stands to reason that a film version of such an established text would have a good foundation to work from. But what are the makers of In the Beginning going to do? How creative have they been in the past?

If the David Cunningham in question is the same one who made To End All Wars etc., then his work to date has generally consisted of "realistic" or history-based stories, with the single exception of the children's fantasy The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising -- which was a dud, but apparently it suffered from a lot of interference at the hands of Fox Walden. And who's making In the Beginning, again? Oh, right, Walden.

I guess we'll just have to hope that it was the "Fox" part of Fox Walden that did all the interfering before, rather than the "Walden" part. Although many of Walden's other, non-Fox movies have also turned out rather iffy.

EDITED TO ADD: My bad. Walden is not actually behind this film; rather, one of the producers is a former executive at Walden who left the company after Fox got involved. I didn't read the original story closely enough.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 15 March 2010 - 12:43 PM.


#26 Ryan H.

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 01:31 PM

I have never read Paradise Lost

Oh, PARADISE LOST is magnificent. Though reading PARADISE LOST is a significant undertaking, and though I'm sure you have many other priorities beyond spending time with Milton's masterpiece, I hope that, at some point, you get the chance to read it.

#27 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 01:02 PM

It COULD be the same David Cunningham. The guy who made To End All Wars went on to do the remake of Little House on the Prairie and The Path to 9/11, so he's certainly a "TV vet" of some sort.

FWIW, I have confirmed with David L. Cunningham's office that he is, indeed, the David Cunningham referred to at Deadline.com. They aren't really talking about the movie itself yet, though, because it doesn't have a green light yet.

I also just realized that Walden Media is actually NOT behind this movie after all, at least not as far as Deadline.com is concerned. Rather, the article says one of the producers is a FORMER executive at Walden Media who left the company shortly after Walden got hitched to 20th Century Fox.

BTW, does anyone else remember that Bible stories comic put out by DC Comics in the 1970s? If memory serves, the serpent there has legs until God curses it and it has to "crawl on its belly", etc. Could be an opportunity there for some special effects in this new film.

#28 Tyler

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 02:32 PM

BTW, does anyone else remember that Bible stories comic put out by DC Comics in the 1970s? If memory serves, the serpent there has legs until God curses it and it has to "crawl on its belly", etc. Could be an opportunity there for some special effects in this new film.


That's how R. Crumb illustrates it in his Book of Genesis graphic novel, too.

#29 Thom Wade

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:15 AM



BTW, does anyone else remember that Bible stories comic put out by DC Comics in the 1970s? If memory serves, the serpent there has legs until God curses it and it has to "crawl on its belly", etc. Could be an opportunity there for some special effects in this new film.


That's how R. Crumb illustrates it in his Book of Genesis graphic novel, too.



As Did the Spire Comic (the company that put out the Christian Archie comics). Of course, their serpent started out as some sort of Easy Rider Biker type.

#30 MattPage

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 10:11 AM

Just for the sake of comp[leteness, I don't believe anyone has mentioned the 2000 TV film In the Begining starring Martin Landau, which is kind of significant not just for the similar subject matter, but also for being another Genesisy film that adopts the "In the Beginning" from Huston's title/Gen 1:1.

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#31 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 10:54 AM

Nezpop wrote:
: As Did the Spire Comic (the company that put out the Christian Archie comics). Of course, their serpent started out as some sort of Easy Rider Biker type.

Well, yeah, if memory serves, the entire comic was a sort of "modernized" version of the Adam & Eve story, where the title characters are always wearing clothes and they get to ride in cars or on bikes, etc. ... Ah yes, here it is:

Posted Image

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 16 March 2010 - 10:54 AM.