Meet the 11-year-old boy who speaks for God when Moses sees the burning bush in Exodus: Gods and Kings

isaacandrewsBack in February, it was reported that Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings would feature “an unconventional depiction of God”. Now we have a better idea of what that report was talking about.

The Hollywood Reporter says Isaac Andrews, an 11-year-old who recently played a young Thracian prince in Hercules, appears in Exodus as a boy named Malak who “meets Moses in front of a burning bush” and “reappears thereafter to guide and debate Moses, who soon realizes the child is speaking as God.”

This is a striking departure from previous Moses movies, which have usually depicted God as a disembodied voice that is often provided by the actor playing Moses himself. But there is actually a biblical precedent for giving God and Moses a go-between like this.

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Newsbites: the angels and demons in love and war edition!

Time to dust off a few news items that I’ve had sitting in my files for a while now.

1. The producers of Fallen have released the photo to the right, which shows a teenaged girl named Lucinda “Luce” Price (played by Addison Timlin) standing between two fallen angels who have been competing for her love for centuries (Harrison Gilbertson and Jeremy Irvine). That’s right, it’s basically Twilight with angels (and demons) instead of vampires and werewolves. It’s based on a best-selling series of books by Lauren Kate.

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The Noah trailers: a shot-by-shot analysis

It can be fascinating to see how the same movie is marketed to different audiences. Is Noah a family man of prayer, as the trailers that have played at various church conferences suggest? Or is he an action hero who wields weapons in self-defense, as the just-released international trailer suggests? Well, in Darren Aronofsky’s hands, he appears to be both — and that’s just one of several fascinating ways in which the trailers for Noah are sending different signals to their various markets.

What follows is a shot-by-shot analysis of the two trailers that were released today, focusing primarily on the North American trailer, but continuing with some screen-caps from the international trailer and a note about the elements in the church-conference trailers that were not included in these new trailers.

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Peter O’Toole repeating himself in his 1960s films

Further to yesterday’s post about movie depictions of the three “angels” who visited Abraham, I figured I’d also revisit a post I wrote last year on Peter O’Toole, who played all three of these “angels” in The Bible: In the Beginning… (1966).

In that post, I noted that I’ve always been inclined to see O’Toole’s role in that film — where he visits the city of Sodom and brings destruction to it after the men of that town demand the opportunity to rape both of the angels he is playing — as “sort of a meta-sequel in which O’Toole gets revenge for the rape his character endured in a similar Middle Eastern town in Lawrence of Arabia (1962).”

But it wasn’t until watching The Bible again this week that I realized the later film might hark back to the previous film not only in its casting and narrative, but visually as well. Consider how both films make use of close-ups of Peter O’Toole’s eyes.

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Abraham and the Three Visitors: five filmed interpretations

Fred Clark posted an item last night in which he expressed surprise that the story of Abraham and the three visitors in Genesis 18 is a lot stranger than he had thought. For one thing, Abraham and the visitors eat a meal that mixes meat and dairy, and would therefore be regarded as non-kosher by many of Abraham’s descendants. But, more crucially, Clark notes that one of the three visitors — who are often called “angels” — seems to be God himself. A walking, talking, eating God.

Personally, I’m surprised that Clark is surprised by that last bit, partly because it has always seemed clear to me that one of the three visitors is God himself. It’s certainly implicit in the text itself — not least because, after God finishes “standing” with Abraham and discussing the fate of Sodom with him, only two of the three visitors arrive in Sodom itself. Presumably God himself was the third visitor.

But beyond the text itself, nearly every single dramatized version of this story that I have seen has suggested that there was something different about one of the three visitors. So I had always assumed that that was a standard interpretation of the text, if not the standard interpretation of the text.

Here is how five different films and TV shows have dealt with this story.

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Bad movies don’t die, they just get television spin-offs

Sometimes it can be more fun to write about a really bad movie than a good movie. Sometimes a movie is so awful that it excites the mind in a way that merely okay movies don’t, especially when the awful movie in question is on a subject that you’re really interested in. Such was the case for me, three years ago, with Legion (2010), an apocalyptic shoot-’em-up that starred Paul Bettany as an archangel who turns against God when God decides to destroy all of humanity.

At the time, I listed ten reasons why the film was a major disappointment, even on its own ridiculous terms, and I was content to leave it at that. But apparently the filmmakers were not. Deadline reported yesterday that Syfy has commissioned a 90-minute pilot for a potential series called Dominion, which would take place a couple decades after the movie:
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