Our first look at the Genesis-themed The Red Tent

redtent-ew-aThe Red Tent — the adaptation of the Anita Diamant novel that tells the biblical story of Jacob and Joseph from the perspective of Jacob’s wives and daughter Dinah — now has an airdate. Entertainment Weekly reports that the two-part miniseries will be shown on the Lifetime network December 7 and 8.

That’s right in the thick of the Exodus: Gods and Kings rollout (it opens overseas the week before that, and it opens in North America the week after that). And, as it happens, both films will feature Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass as a royal figure of some sort. In Exodus, she plays Bithiah, the Egyptian princess who adopts Moses, while in The Red Tent, she plays Re-Nefer, the queen of Shechem.

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Is Ridley Scott’s Exodus the first Bible epic to be shot in 3D?

The first big wave of 3D films came and went in the early 1950s, right around the time when Bible epics were surging in popularity — but to my knowledge, the two trends never met. No Bible films were made in 3D back then, nor have any Bible films been made in 3D since then.

Well, that all changes right now, because it turns out Ridley Scott is shooting his life-of-Moses movie Exodus in 3D, and doing so with the same cinematographer who produced such fantastic 3D images for him in last year’s Prometheus. We can only hope that the script they’re working with will be much, much better this time, but it seems a safe bet that Exodus will look great, at least. The IMDb has the details.

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Review: The Nativity Story (dir. Catherine Hardwicke, 2006)

The Passion of The Christ was an independent movie, paid for entirely out of Mel Gibson’s pocket. The Prince of Egypt was an animated film that emphasized the common ground between Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Last Temptation of Christ was a low-budget art-house flick based on a heretical novel.

You would have to go back at least as far as King David, the mid-1980s box-office flop starring Richard Gere, to find another live-action movie produced by a major Hollywood studio and based directly on the Bible. And you would have to go back even further — to the bathrobe epics of the 1960s, at least — to find a mainstream biblical movie that was as blatantly Christian as The Nativity Story.

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