Last Days in the Desert: the Sundance round-up

lastdaysinthedesert-cropped

Last Days in the Desert, the low-budget film that stars Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan, had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival two nights ago, and the reviews so far have been pretty positive. The filmmakers were also there to discuss the film. What follows is a round-up of reviews and interviews from the festival.

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He played Xerxes in 300, now he’s Jesus in the new Ben-Hur

rodrigosantoroContinuing the trend whereby actors of Portuguese and/or Latin American descent play Jesus in movies produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro has been cast as Jesus in Timur Bekmambetov’s upcoming remake of Ben-Hur, which Burnett and Downey are co-producing.

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Christianity Today speaks to the director and star of the indie Jesus film Last Days in the Desert

lastdaysinthedesert-51253The film won’t premiere at Sundance for another 13 days, but Christianity Today’s Alissa Wilkinson posted an exclusive interview tonight with Last Days in the Desert director Rodrigo Garcia and his star Ewan McGregor, who plays both Jesus and Satan in the low-budget film — and along the way, she offers a few review-ish opinions of the film itself, all of them positive.

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The Magnificat, and the politics thereof, in film

vlcsnap-2014-12-25-18h31m18s119Christ is born! Glorify him!

Fred Clark posted a really interesting item this morning, noting that “the true meaning of Christmas” can be found in a poem spoken by Mary not long after she learned that she was pregnant with the Son of God — and he notes that the poem in question has a significant political edge, in which the powerful are brought down from their thrones while the humble are lifted up, and the rich are sent away hungry while the poor are filled.

This got me curious as to how many films have actually reflected the edgier aspects of this poem, which is known as the Magnificat. And the answer is: not many. In fact, there are very few films that incorporate the Magnificat at all, and those that do usually cut out the more politically-charged stuff. Usually, but not always.

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More pics from the Jesus/Satan film Last Days in the Desert

last-days-in-the-desert-ewan-mcgregor-hi-resNew photos from Last Days in the Desert, the indie film starring Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan, went online today. They include logo-free versions of the McGregor photos that came out last week, as well as all-new photos of Ciarán Hinds, Ayelet Zurer and Tye Sheridan as the “family in crisis” that Jesus encounters near the end of his 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. Check ’em out below the jump.

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Ewan McGregor on playing Jesus — or, rather, Yeshua — and the Devil in Last Days in the Desert

last-days-in-the-desert_1200x800Two days ago, the Sundance Film Festival revealed that one of the many films premiering there next month would be Last Days in the Desert, starring Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and the Devil in a story set during the 40 days of temptation that followed Jesus’ baptism.

Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly posted the first official photo from the movie, along with an article that confirms that the “family in crisis” Jesus encounters on his way out of the wilderness is a first-century Jewish family: [Read more...]


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