Early medieval Celtic matters.


The Sunday Mail reports that Jeremy Irons is going to star in The End Time, a film about St. Columba, the Irish monk who brought Christianity to Scotland in the 6th century. The film will be directed by Norman Stone, whose credits include the original C.S. Lewis biopic Shadowlands (1985).

Regarding his new film’s main character, Stone says: “He was not a saintly saint and this film will be more of a character study and a political thriller than a Christian epic. Columba will not wear a halo. It needs big-screen treatment and in Jeremy we have the right person to deliver the performance we are looking for.”

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter says The Secret of Kells, an animated film inspired by the 8th-century illuminated Bible known as the Book of Kells, will have a brief theatrical run in Los Angeles next month in order to qualify for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. It is one of 20 films that have been submitted for the award.

The film was produced by the Irish firm Cartoon Saloon, and its subject matter is deeply Irish as well — but as Variety noted several months ago, the work on this film spanned several countries on two or three continents:

There’s a scene in “The Secret of Kells,” when an eighth-century Irish monk is rummaging through his papers and throwing them in the air, which sums up the sheer international complexity of the project.

It was animated by a Polish artist working in a Hungarian studio, then cleaned up by a Mongolian who could only communicate with Irish director Tomm Moore via a translator from Transylvania.

“The Secret of Kells,” co-directed by Moore and Nora Twomey, was made across five countries — Ireland, France, Belgium, Hungary and Brazil — and funded by a patchwork of co-production coin.

“I call it Franken-finance, pulling the pieces from different parts from Europe,” says producer Paul Young.

The film is currently slated for an American release in March; I don’t know if it will be coming to Canada as well. Co-director Moore has a blog devoted to the film here, and you can see a few trailers below, the last of which has been dubbed into French:

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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