Exclusive: My interview with Killing Jesus star Haaz Sleiman, plus a mini-review of the film


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of Killing Jesus at the Sun Valley Film Festival and speaking to Haaz Sleiman, the actor who plays Jesus. We had met before when I visited the set last year, but back then he still had certain crucial scenes to film, including the crucifixion, whereas when I spoke to him in Sun Valley, he and I had both just seen the completed film for the first time.

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Watch: Actors and filmmakers discuss the themes of Killing Jesus, and the challenges of making it, in new videos


Killing Jesus, which had its world premiere at the Sun Valley Film Festival two weeks ago, is getting a red-carpet premiere in New York City on Monday and will air on the National Geographic Channel the following Sunday. As the airdate nears, the channel has released a steady stream of videos on YouTube, featuring interviews with the filmmakers and new clips from the film. Check ’em all out below the jump.

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Killing Jesus round-up: new photos, new interviews, and rumours of a swimsuit competition with the cast of A.D.


Killing Jesus — the National Geographic Channel adaptation of the book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard — had its world premiere at the Sun Valley Film Festival in Idaho last Saturday. I’ll have more to say about that in the near future. In the meantime, here’s a quick roundup of some of the stories about this film that have appeared over the last few weeks on other blogs and websites.

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The Story of Judas premieres at the Berlinale


Now here’s one I didn’t see coming. Only two weeks after Last Days in the Desert premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, here comes another unusual arthouse take on the gospels — this time from the point of view of Judas Iscariot.

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Newsbites: Noah! Christ the Lord! Nazareth! A.D.! Clavius!

vlcsnap-2014-10-03-16h10m29s238Happy Monday. Here’s a round-up of recent Bible-movie news (with pictures!) to help you start the week.

1. Darren Aronofsky, whose films have received serious Oscar buzz more often than not (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan were all nominated for their acting, among other things, and the last of those films actually won), is still doing what he can to keep Noah on the Academy’s mind.

Last week he spoke to Variety about the excellent work that cinematographer Matthew Libatique, production designer Mark Friedberg, editor Andrew Weisblum, visual effects supervisor Dan Schrecker, composer Clint Mansell and, of course, Patti Smith contributed to the film; and tonight, Aronofsky and Smith will be hosting a screening of the film at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

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Bible movie of the week: Jesus, the Spirit of God (2007)

Christians aren’t the only ones who hold Jesus in high esteem. Muslims do too, though they have radically different beliefs about him — and at least one movie has actually tried to dramatize those beliefs the same way other Bible movies have dramatized their own filmmakers’ beliefs.

But wait… is it right to call Jesus, the Spirit of God, an Iranian film produced in 2007, a “Bible movie”? Is not much of the film based on the Koran and other post-biblical sources, such as the late-medieval document known as the Gospel of Barnabas, rather than on the Bible itself?

Well, yes, the film is based on those other documents, but I’d still say it counts as a “Bible movie” on some level, inasmuch as many of its narrative elements can be traced back through those sources to the Bible itself. If we can accept Ben-Hur, which was based on a novel, or The Passion of the Christ, which was based on the visions of a 19th-century nun, as “Bible movies” because they contain elements that go back to the scriptures, then we can certainly put this film under the same broad umbrella.

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