The second Exodus: Gods and Kings trailer: a shot-by-shot analysis (lots of swords, a prophecy, and a family)

vlcsnap-2014-10-01-12h49m26s72The first full trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings came out today, and to judge by what we see here, the film will have bits of Gladiator, The Prince of Egypt, Schindler’s List and even The Matrix.

That’s right, The Matrix. Or at any rate, that’s what I am reminded of when Ben Kingsley shows up and goes all Morpheus on Christian Bale’s Moses, telling him that he’s always felt something was wrong, that he has been deceived his whole life, and that he is the fulfillment of a prophecy regarding a deliverer.

It’s tempting to think that this “prophecy” business is just another movie cliché — it’s certainly not there in the biblical version of Moses’ story — but the first-century historian Josephus actually mentions such a prophecy and says the Hebrew babies were drowned in the Nile around the time of Moses’ birth because of it.

Cecil B. DeMille included this prophecy (and its consequences) in the prologue to The Ten Commandments — and although other characters refer to it later, there is no scene in which anyone actually discusses the prophecy with Moses. So Exodus is unique in having a mentor introduce the hero to his destiny like this.

Apart from that, the trailer mostly sells action, action, action — if the teaser had lots of horses, this one has lots of swords — but it also touches on Moses’ relationships with his “brother” Ramses, his wife Zipporah and his sons Gershom and Eliezer.

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Christian Bale on the “very mercurial” God of the Bible and how Monty Python inspired his take on Moses

exodus-facebook-140930-2Tonight — the night before 20th Century Fox releases its second trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings — the studio hosted a screening of roughly half-an-hour of footage from the film, followed by a Q&A with the movie’s star, Christian Bale.

The Wrap is the only outlet I’ve seen so far that has any details from the event, and they mention some interesting things, both about the content of the footage and the comments Bale made about his approach to the character — and the movies he turned to for inspiration.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: three more pictures to whet our appetites for the new trailer coming tomorrow

exodus-facebook-140930The makers of Exodus: Gods and Kings have released a new behind-the-scenes featurette every Wednesday for the past month, but tomorrow they’ve got something special planned: they’re going to release the second trailer, almost three months after they released the first one — and only two months before the film comes out in theatres overseas.

To build anticipation for this trailer, the movie’s Facebook page has released three new pictures over the last three days, counting down to the trailer’s release — and, naturally, the images all come from battle scenes: two of Christian Bale as Moses during the opening Battle of Kadesh, and one of Joel Edgerton as Ramses in his chariot, presumably pursuing the Hebrews. (The armour he wears here is not the golden armour that he wears at Kadesh.) Check ’em all out below the jump.

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From The Song to the Left Behind reboot: are Christian films becoming more comfortable with sexuality?

song-duetI got an e-mail today from the folks behind The Song. Like most Monday-morning e-mails of this sort, it asks its readers to support a newly-released independent film by voting with their dollars as soon as possible, etc.

The e-mail also does something I don’t believe I have ever seen in an ad or message promoting a “faith-based” film before: it draws special attention to secular critics who have praised the film for the “sexual chemistry” between its lead actors.

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VIFF capsule reviews part one: Foxcatcher, Force Majeure and In Order of Disappearance

viff-eyeThis year marks the 20th anniversary of my first attending the Vancouver International Film Festival. The first film I saw back then was Atom Egoyan’s Exotica — I attended a press screening so that I could interview Egoyan himself for one of the UBC student newspapers a few days later — and if memory serves, I marked my 24th birthday by attending a festival screening of Bullets over Broadway, which turned out to be the last Woody Allen film I truly enjoyed (not counting the animated film Antz, which he did not direct).

The festival itself is now in its 33rd year, and it kicked things off two nights ago with a screening of Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild starring Reese Witherspoon. I was unable to see almost anything that day because of family commitments, but I plan to spend some time here over the next two weeks, and to write some brief capsule reviews. The first ones are below, along with their upcoming showtimes.

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Spanish arthouse director sets Salome in Abu Ghraib

luisminarroVariety reports that Luis Minarro, a prolific arthouse producer (his credits include the Nativity-themed Birdsong and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), is going to direct a new version of Salome that sets the story in Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison that became infamous for the way American soldiers abused prisoners there eleven years ago. It is not clear whether Minarro’s film will be based on an existing adaptation of the story, such as Oscar Wilde’s play, or directly on the biblical story itself. “Salome can be filmed everywhere, I only need a desert land and seven-to-eight actors, in a bunkhouse. It is going to be a very symbolic film,” says Minarro. Despite these minimal requirements, Minarro doesn’t plan to actually start shooting the film until 2016, at least another year and a half from now. With any luck, maybe Al Pacino’s movie treatments of Wilde’s play will be out on home video by then, for comparison’s sake.


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