Watch: The first trailer for the Lumo Project’s adaptation of The Gospel of Luke, now available on DVD in the UK
My friend Steven D. Greydanus is going to be on the big screen tomorrow night, as one of the co-hosts of a panel discussion following a special-event screening of Easter Mysteries, a stage musical about the death and resurrection of Jesus — and to mark the occasion, Steve has written a short round-up of the year’s Jesus movies.
Watch: The threat of violence hangs over the early Church in the latest A.D.: The Bible Continues “special preview”
Another week, another video for A.D.: The Bible Continues. Like some of the previous videos, this one emphasizes the threat of violence, whether actual (as committed by the Romans and other authority figures) or metaphorical (note the title card calling the early Jesus movement a “rebellion”). Check it out below the jump.
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.
And so it ends. Here are my first impressions of the final episode of The Bible, which aired last night.
Continuity between Bible stories, redux. Once again, I am impressed by the fact that this adaptation-of-the-whole-Bible approach — whatever its limitations — has allowed the filmmakers to emphasize the continuity between Bible stories in a way that you rarely see in other films.
There have been many films about the life of Jesus, and a handful of high-profile movies from The Sign of the Cross to Quo Vadis? have detailed the persecution of Christians in Rome some 35 years later. But the dramatic transition Christianity made between those two points — from a marginal Jewish sect to a thriving, if persecuted, community in the seat of Gentile power — has received scant attention even from Christian filmmakers.
Into this void steps Acts, the second film from The Visual Bible. (The first was Matthew.) Like the aborted Genesis Project of the 1970s, the minds behind this South African venture hope to film the entire Bible, using the New International Version as their script. Says the press kit in bold, coloured letters: “No scriptwriter’s liberties. No interpretations. No dramatic license.”