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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The Bible and Son of God: just how different are they?

sonofgod-bluray-aIf you’re the sort of person who has wondered just how much overlap there was between The Bible and its big-screen spin-off Son of God, have I got the spreadsheet for you!

It’s still a work in progress, but for now, anyone who is interested can download it from this Dropbox link. The basic idea is this: in one column, I list the timecodes for every scene from the last five episodes of The Bible (with the episode number where the hour would be), and in another, I list the timecodes for every scene in Son of God.

The advantages of this format are twofold: First, you can compare the relative lengths of the two versions of any given scene; more often than not, the movie tightened things up a tad, but every now and then the movie padded things out by adding elements that were missing from the miniseries. And second, because the movie added some scenes, deleted some scenes, and rearranged some other scenes, you can select either column and list all the scenes from one version of the film in the order in which they appeared in that version.

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The Ascension of Christ in film: literalism, symbolism, etc.

Today is the Feast of the Ascension, when Christians remember how Jesus was taken up into heaven 40 days after his Resurrection. It’s one of the stranger bits in the Gospels — both difficult to understand, given our modern cosmology, and difficult to pull off visually — and most of what we know about it actually comes from the Book of Acts. So it’s not too surprising that most films about Jesus have tended to skip this episode.

Nevertheless, a few films have depicted the Ascension, often by mixing it with elements from other stories in the gospels; and even those that don’t depict it have often made a point of ending on a note that suggests Jesus has transcended this life in some way that parallels the Ascension. Here are a few examples.

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Creation, evolution, the Fall and more in a new Noah clip

Six weeks after Noah came out in theatres, the filmmakers have released another clip — and it’s one of the best sequences in the entire film. The Creation sequence begins with a single shot that captures billions of years of evolution, from the Big Bang to the mammals that existed just before humanity came along, and it goes on to show the Fall, Cain killing Abel, and the violence that has continued throughout human history right up to the present day. You can watch the video — and read a few thoughts I have about the significance of this clip — below the jump.

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Son of God — coming to Blu-Ray on June 3

Now that Easter has come and gone, it’s time for Son of God to look beyond its theatrical release — and sure enough, yesterday came word that the Blu-Ray and DVD release is set for June 3. According to High-Def Digest, the bonus features will include: “Son of God: Reborn; Making of Video (includes Spanish version); Son of God Set; and Compassion Video.” Curiously, this movie, which consists of about four episodes’ worth of the ten-episode mini-series The Bible, is currently selling at Amazon for $35.99 (a slight reduction from the official retail price of $39.99), whereas The Bible itself is selling in its entirety for $29.99 (less than half the official retail price of $69.99).

Ethnic diversity, or the lack thereof, in the new Bible movies

One of the issues that some people have had with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah — it was never a big-enough deal to become a full-fledged controversy, per se — concerns the ethnicity of the actors.

The film depicts the annihilation of the entire human race, except for one family that will go on to produce the entire human race as we know it today — so it seems a little odd to some people that pretty much every character we see in this film fits into a single ethnic category, i.e. Caucasian.

It seems even more odd when one considers that the human race was entirely dark-skinned at first, and that lighter skin was a later genetic mutation that emerged as certain population groups moved “into areas of low UV radiation”. The film flips this around by positing that the entire human race was light-skinned at first, or at least right after the Flood, and thus darker skin must have evolved later.

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