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Who is your Favourite Film Jesus


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Poll: Who is your favourite film Jesus? (64 member(s) have cast votes)

Who is your favourite film Jesus?

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#21 CrimsonLine

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE (Alan Thomas @ Jul 11 2004, 11:23 AM)
I just saw The Miracle Maker yesterday -- it was really terrific. Too short, perhaps. Fienes was terrific, but because it's animated, it would have been hard for me to vote for it over a full performance.

The Miracle Maker is with the possible exception of The Passion of the Christ (which I am still processing, and still need to see again to fully process) hands-down the best Jesus movie I've seen. It's powerful and moving, orthodox and accessible. I voted for Ralph Fiennes' performance in it mostly because I've not even seen another that's close to capturing the many sides of Jesus.

I've seen King of Kings (Hunter), The Greatest Story Ever Told, Last Temptation, Jesus of Nazareth, both Jesus films (Deacon and Sisto), The Visual Bible and Mary, Mother of Jesus. I'd rank the Jesuses I've seen as follows:

1. Fiennes
2. Marchiano
3. Sisto
4. Powell
5. Deacon
6. Bale
7. Von Sydow
8. Hunter
9. Dafoe

#22 MattPage

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 03:21 AM

: Y'know, I don't think I ever could have predicted that I would vote this way, but
: as I went down the list of options, I found myself gravitating towards Max von Sydow.
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

unsure.gif

Really? I've been thinking for a while I need to revisit it becuase when I was putting some clips together a few months ago I realised how good some of the compositions and camera work were, so perhpas this is time, and I guess given the criteria I put down, if you can strip all the directatorial things away then perhaps you're on to something, although for me I still find him a bit too away with the fairies.


Actually I've decided to vote for Cavaziel. I know that aside from the beatings we see little of him, but then those flashback sections really do make the film for me, and I remember writing in my review that:
QUOTE
The Passion of the Christ is a Jesus film which manages to give Jesus Gravitas without detracting from his humanity. In fact of all of the films that I’ve seen this one best captures Jesus’ dual nature – divinity & humanity. This is a Jesus that I could follow, and after decades of Robert Powell’s blue eyes, Jeffrey Hunter’s monotone, Willem Dafoe’s instability and Bruce Marchiano’s cheesy grin that is a major achievement.


Whilst I'm still tempted by Blakeney, he is a bit too pentecostal style in places (nothing against them per se I just don't see Jesus like that) and I recognise that I need to have another look at Cusick, but I think I should go for Cavaziel. Secondly I don't want Powell to win. tongue.gif

Matt





#23 MattPage

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 03:30 AM

Ages ago Alan wrote

QUOTE
After seeing several portrayals of Jesus at Flickerings, I am wondering whether it is possible (or appropriate) to have a favorite. I guess I'm more sympathetic to (if not in agreement with) Josh Hurst's point of view.

I mean, if I disagree with The Last Temptation becuase that Just Isn't Jesus, certainly NONE of these others presents an adequate view of Him either? LT is overtly hostile to its subject matter, and while that is an important distinction, I don't want to lose the attention that should be paid to deeper and more subtle spiritual issues relating to representing The Master on screen...


and somehow I missed it.

I think this is part if the reason that I've struggled to vote on a poll that I started. I think when you first watch a Jesus film then there is a danger that that face becomes Jesus for you. So for me for ages it was Robert POwell. However, as you watch more of these films, gradually the one dominant face is replaced by a host of actors which actually creates a space which the real Jesus can slot into. Not defined by them, but so much more richly rounded by the 2D image that has been presented. So its no longer (as it was in the earlier days for me) a quest to find an ideal fim Jesus, but actually about looking at the real Jesus from different (camera) angles and seeing something different about him from each new position, or angle that I'd not noticed before. Sometimes it can be huge (e.g Last Temptation for me), and sometimes it might be fairly minor, (like the way he tells a specific parable), but taken from different perspectives and lights, and with the gospels in hand a new fresher bolder Jesus emerges.

Matt

#24 M. Leary

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:33 AM

I am in the Gospel According to... camp. Though I really don't think Pasolini is offering us a Jesus that is remotely close to the Historical Jesus in attitude or appearance, this Jesus is one that really embodies the presence of His canonical words and actions in the contemporary Church. There is what we usually call an "otherworldiness" to the Jesus in this film, and it is easy to mistake this Jesus as such. But what we really get is a sense that here is a man who is addressing the world as if he were "wholly other." He addresses first century Palestine the same way that He addresses us today.


#25 Darrel Manson

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 10:41 AM

Is there one you think does come close to the Historical Jesus? Or do you mean the Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels?

#26 M. Leary

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 05:33 PM

Good question, but that it so hard to say. It seems easy to say that "this particular Jesus" is intentionally ahistorical, but much harder to claim that "this other particular Jesus" is the real deal.


If there had been more dialogue in TPoTC, then Caviezel may have been a good frontrunner. Marchiano was good. But I guess I would want to establish criteria first in terms of authenticity. They would probably be something like:

1. A good approximation of the historical Jesus' racial features
2. A good portrayal of his personality
3. Accurately scripted dialogue and action
4. An obvious understanding of the psychology and motivations that were part and parcel of being both a 1st century Palestinian Jew and the Son of God.

Some of these things don't even seem to be qualities we can adequately judge from history, simply not enough information. Most Jesus portrayals have Him angry when we tend to read Him as angry and tender and serene when we read Him that way. He is often this melodramatic rollercoaster of emotion, just the impression that we get from only being able to read about Him in series of pericopes that fluctuate in mood very quickly.

Just from recent Jesus scholarship though, there seem to be two ways to get at what His actual personal presence was apart from what is embedded in the narrative of the Gospels.

- Sanders great book on the Historical Jesus takes you through every religious and cultural trajectory that could have informed Jesus' personal life. Whether we see him as a peasant poet or a misunderstood apocalyptic prophet has an effect on how we judge the accuracy of his portrayals. For someone inclined toward the peasant poet idea, then Caviezel or whoever played Pasolini's Jesus would be more accurate representations of what Jesus was really like. For someone inclined toward the apocalyptic Jesus, then Dafoe or von Sydow would probably fit much better in terms of personality. The moral of this story is that there are a variety of historical-religious roles that scholars ascribe to Jesus, and each one of these roles ascribes a much different personality to Him. (Unfortunately, I try to ride a balance between the poet and prophet motifs, which makes it hard for me to decide what His personality was like.)

- At the end of Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God is an attempt to broach the subject of Jesus' self perception. There were some books written on this at the end of the 19th century, but scholars stopped talking about it for fear of ending up in heresy (Wright deals with it deftly enough to stop just shy of heresy). Did Jesus know He was God? When and to what extent did He know this? How did He feel about this? All these questions would go into making up the "character" of Jesus. I guess if a method actor were to do Jesus, then they would have to know these issues and work through them to get at Jesus' motivations and the like. Wright ends up making some interesting comments that Jesus knowledge that He was God was the same sort of knowledge you have when you are loved by someone. It is a sort of knowledge, but a much different form of knowledge than 2+2=4. Considerations like these make it seem that playing Jesus as a method actor would be a very complicated job.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to tease out some way to answer that great question.

Edited by (M)Leary, 27 August 2004 - 10:40 PM.


#27 M. Leary

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Posted 27 August 2004 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE (Darrel Manson @ Aug 27 2004, 11:40 AM)
Is there one you think does come close to the Historical Jesus? Or do you mean the Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels?

(And not to toss more fat in the fire, but I personally would not want to try to make much of a distinction here. The Historical Jesus is the one that we meet in the Gospels, it is just that the Gospels give us an incomplete picture of Him. Any detail that we could uncover outside of the narratives will only serve to round out what we know of Him canonically.)

#28 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 28 August 2004 - 11:36 AM

Great post(s), (M)Leary! I think I shall have to give Wright another read in the near future.

#29 mike_h

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 09:01 AM

I don't know if anybody's ever posted this link on the board or not, but for the sake of completeness, I think these "Jesus videos" from vintage21.com need to be included in this discussion. (Scroll down to bottom of page. There's four.) monalisa.gif

#30 MattPage

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 10:15 AM

Great link Mike - I'll have to find a computer that canplay them so I can fully enjoy them!

Matt

#31 MattPage

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 04:01 AM

FWIW -now that I've seen the clips I think the images are Robert Wilson from I beheld his glory which I've not actually seen - although Robert Wilson is the only person to appear in two Jesus films as Jesus, and I have seen the other Day of Triumph which I believe was by the same people.

Actually that's true of the second & fourth ones - I'm not so sure about the others.

Matt

Edited by MattPage, 03 September 2004 - 04:28 AM.


#32 Ron Reed

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:14 PM

Not sure where to post this exactly, but do you Jesus Movie Boys know about the French film HE WHO MUST DIE (1956)? In case not, here's what was in an article by Nancy Mockros in the July 2004 Covenant Companion;

"The French film HE WHO MUST DIE (1956), which was also shown in the U.S., was about a passion play cast in a small Greek town. The Christ figure is a social revolutionary underdog who leads the starving outcast Turks to overcome his own oppressive Greek villagers. With interesting correspondences to the Pahreisees and Romans, HE WHO MUST DIE remains a forerunner of the "Jesus coming today" allegories featuring a passion play cast."

The bio blurb for Ms Mockros says that she "recently completed her Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary, where her dissertation was on how Jesus is portrayed in film." In case you want to track that down.

#33 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:31 PM

Ron wrote:
: Not sure where to post this exactly, but do you Jesus Movie Boys know about the
: French film HE WHO MUST DIE (1956)?

Yes, we discussed it intermittently in one of the Last Temptation threads, since both films were based on books by Nikos Kazantzakis.

#34 MattPage

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 02:43 AM

thanks for the heads up Ron,

Matt

#35 MattPage

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 04:41 AM

QUOTE(mike_h @ Sep 2 2004, 03:01 PM)
I don't know if anybody's ever posted this link on the board or not, but for the sake of completeness, I think these "Jesus videos" from vintage21.com need to be included in this discussion.  (Scroll down to bottom of page.  There's four.)

View Post




QUOTE(MattPage @ Sep 3 2004, 10:01 AM)
FWIW -now that I've seen the clips I think the images are Robert Wilson from I beheld his glory which I've not actually seen - although Robert Wilson is the only person to appear in two Jesus films as Jesus, and I have seen the other Day of Triumph which I believe was by the same people.

Actually that's true of the second & fourth ones - I'm not so sure about the others.

Matt

View Post


Not that I need to do anything to cement my Jesus film geek status, but the question of the identity of the actor/film of the 2nd and 4th clips in this link has bugged me for almost a year I guess. Mainly becuase I'm an obsessive completist, and I couldn't bear the fact that someone had a Jesus film I didn't even know about.

I'd also heard of a film called the Living Bible, which I'd not reallly been that interested in and assumed was a 70s tie in with the translation / paraphrase of the same name. Nevertheless, it came up on ebay the other day and I got it for £2.50 incl P&P which is dirt cheap. I didn't really know anything about it and didn't hold high hopes as when it came the art work was cheesy hand drawn pictures.

On putting it on my DVD player though it turns out that...

1 - It is actually a series of 12 half hour episodes covering Jesus' life
2 - It is made by Cathedral films, who also made Day of Triumph - the first talking american Jesus film to be shown in commerical cinemas
3 - It's not bad, arguably better than Day of Triumph, although that is based on only seeing 1 hour of the 6 hours I now have to wade through
4 - There is no production date anywhere on it
5 - I don't recall anythin on this in either Campbell and Pitts or Kinnard & David
6 - The series was actually called "The Living Christ" films
and finally
7 - It is the film used in the other clips

This effectively is an unexpected kill of two birds with the one stone, as it means the two films that pained me to be out there are in fact one, which I now own. Marvellous.

Do anyone know anything else about this film. In particular I'm keen to know whether it was before or after I Beheld his Glory and Day of Triumph

Matt

Edited by MattPage, 15 August 2005 - 04:50 AM.


#36 MattPage

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 07:46 AM

Fwiw I've been trying some information on "Cathedral Films" in general and theis "living Christ" series in particular.

If anyone is interested I've found this interview which relates to the casting of "Bob" Wilson in I Beheld His Glory

IMDB lists the production date for this series as 1951, but they also list the actor as Robert Wilson, but I can't say I'm convinced it is.

Actually looking a bit deeper it seems that there were two series made about the same time with similar names.

The Living Christ Series (which is the one I have) was made about 1951, and seems to star Robert Wilson, 12x30 minute episodes

The Living Bible Series (which is the one I have) was made about 1952, and seems to star Nelson Leigh, 24 or 26 episodes

There are a load of details on this page which includes a few pictures from a number of other films including FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS.

Matt

Edited by MattPage, 15 August 2005 - 08:14 AM.


#37 Michael Todd

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 07:54 AM

I voted for Caviezel, but I noticed that you didn't give Southpark Jesus his due.

#38 Michael Todd

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 07:55 AM

Also, what about Phil Hartman? He played a wonderful Jesus in an SNL skit, where he attempts to get this fervent housewife to stop praying to him for every menial thing.

#39 tctruffin

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 08:09 AM

A good friend of mine likes to refer to Christian Bale as the "sexiest--Jesus--ever." Of course, you also then get to have the odd sensation of watching his performance of Jesus and following it up with American Psycho, which can just mess with you. Kind of like watching Shadowlands right after Silence of the Lambs...

#40 MattPage

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 08:33 AM

Well it could be argued that South Park Jesus is more a portrayal of "Jesus Christ - pop culture icon" than either the Jesus of the Bible or of History.

But in any case I left out cameos such as Ben Hur or The History of the World - part 1

And besides it would be too embarrassing if Hartman won...

Matt