Newsbites: Mary Magdalene! Chasing the Star! Jesus VR!

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Three quick items about three new Jesus films coming out later this year.

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Sony Animation reveals the cast for Nativity film The Star

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The studio hasn’t released any pictures yet, to my knowledge, but today Sony Pictures Animation sent out a press release announcing the voice cast for its upcoming film The Star, which tells the story of the first Christmas from the animals’ point of view.

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Review: The Holy Family (dir. Raffaele Mertes, 2006)

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The Young Messiah, which came out on DVD yesterday, isn’t the first movie to spend more than a scene or two on Jesus when he was a boy. It isn’t even the second. A few months ago I reviewed A Child Called Jesus, a 1987 film that has some striking parallels to The Young Messiah. Now I’d like to take a brief look at The Holy Family, a two-part TV-movie that has fewer parallels but is still interesting in its own way.

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The Young Messiah: a scene guide (w/ clips and references to the scriptures, the apocryphal texts, and the novel)

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Last month I wrote up a scene guide for Risen, noting which scriptures different parts of the movie were based on. Now it’s The Young Messiah’s turn — and this time, matters are complicated by the fact that the film is based not directly on the Bible, but on Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which in turn makes use of Old and New Testament apocrypha in addition to the scriptures.

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Review: A Child Called Jesus (dir. Franco Rossi, 1987)

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The Young Messiah — which comes out this Friday — isn’t the first film to focus on the early childhood of Jesus. Nearly 30 years ago, an Italian filmmaker named Franco Rossi directed a two-part TV-movie called Un bambino di nome Gesù (a.k.a. A Child Called Jesus), and it’s striking to see how much the two films have in common.

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The prophet Isaiah at the movies: a quick round-up

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Today is the feast day for the prophet Isaiah in the Orthodox Church, so I figured it might be good to round up a few films that have referenced and depicted him.

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