How they did church youth-group films in 1960!

The wife and I have been converting our VHS tapes to DVD, and as soon as I can find my old student films, I’ll post a few of them here.In the meantime, here’s an item in the public domain that I’ve had fun showing to my friends and visitors every now and then — it’s a 13-minute trailer that was created to promote a series of short films for church youth groups back in 1960. A bunch of them were… Read more

The Margate Exodus — Moses in England?

Now this sounds interesting. I was looking for info on Claire-Hope Ashitey, co-star of Shooting Dogs and Children of Men, and discovered that she is currently playing Zipporah in The Margate Exodus, which seems to be a modernized version of the Book of Exodus, not unlike, say, Amos Gitai’s Golem, the Spirit of the Exile (1992; my comments), which modernized the Book of Ruth.According to the film’s official website, it is “a story about identity and migration”, and on the… Read more

Apocalypto — pro-Catholic, or something else?

Warning: There be major, major spoilers here.Rod Dreher and Jeffrey Overstreet have linked to a handful of spoiler-filled reviews of Apocalypto which suggest that Mel Gibson’s film is, in some sense, about the triumph of Christianity over the evils of paganism. That is how some of Gibson’s Catholic fans have interpreted the film, and that is also how some of his detractors, such as Traci Arden, have interpreted it, too.But as you could guess from my own review of the… Read more

Tarzan to yell again — with del Toro’s help?

Variety reports that a new version of Tarzan is in the works — to be written by John Collee (Happy Feet, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) and directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), if present negotiations stay their course:Del Toro, who grew up reading Spanish-language translations of those books, feels that the classic themes are still compelling, and that there is new ground to cover in the Tarzan mythology by turning back to the original… Read more

Black Christmas gets some free publicity

When will they learn? Reuters reports that “U.S. religious groups” are giving the makers of the new horror movie Black Christmas pretty much exactly what they want by venting some outrage and giving the film just that wee extra bit of free publicity. Oh, and note to Jennifer Giroux of Operation Just Say Merry Christmas: Christmas is not “our most sacred holiday”. Ever hear of Easter? Read more

Of course, I don’t even watch television …

This Variety headline caught my eye, for obvious reasons…PTC unhappy with TV’s religious stereotypes… and then I realized they weren’t talking about me. Read more

Newsbites: Depp! Crusade! Del Toro! Grace!

Seems like something’s always in development.1. Johnny Depp has a thing for religious themes, it seems. Three months ago, he hired a screenwriter to adapt the graphic novel Rex Mundi, and now, reports Variety, he has bought the rights to James Meek’s novel The People’s Act of Love, which is “set in 1919 Siberia” and “revolves around an escapee from a Russian prison camp who stumbles upon a Christian sect.” The write-up at Amazon.com adds the detail that this sect… Read more

Narnia spoof features “wise-but-horny lion”

I just got a plot synopsis for Epic Movie, the looks-so-lame movie parody that comes out January 26. The synopsis alludes to a few films that do not come up in the trailer now playing in theatres:The twisted minds of two of the six writers of “Scary Movie” tackle the biggest mega-blockbusters of all time in EPIC MOVIE. The story centers on four not-so-young orphans: one raised by a curator at the Louvre (where an albino assassin lurks), another a… Read more

Ethnicity in Jesus films — the article’s up!

My article on ethnicity in Jesus films — which looks primarily at the current releases The Nativity Story and Color of the Cross, but also touches on King of Kings (1961), Dayasagar (1985), The Miracle Maker (2000), The Passion of the Christ (2004) and Son of Man — is now up at the Mennonite Brethren Herald. Read more

TIFF organizers pick Canada’s Top Ten

Variety and the Canadian Press report that the Toronto International Film Festival’s organizers have released their picks for Canada’s Top Ten of 2006. The ones I have seen are in bold:Away From Her (dir. Sarah Polley)Congorama (dir. Philippe Falardeau)The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (dir. Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn)Manufactured Landscapes (dir. Jennifer Baichwal)Monkey Warfare (dir. Reginald Harkema)Radiant City (dir. Gary Burns and Jim Brown)Sharkwater (dir. Rob Stewart)Sur La Trace D’Igor Rizzi (dir. Noel Mitrani)Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (dir. Mike… Read more

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