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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Noah on Blu-Ray: some quick notes on the bonus features

noah-target-aThe Noah Blu-Ray is here — and with it, a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff that we have never seen before. Here are some quick notes on the bonus features.

First, a reminder that different editions of the film come with different bonus features.

As far as I know, seven bonus features have been released one way or another so far, and all of them are available on the “exclusive” Target edition of the Blu-Ray. (The bilingual packaging on the disc I bought here in Canada listed only six bonus features, but the actual disc had all seven.) But only three of them are available on the Blu-Ray that is available everywhere else.

Also, three bonus features are apparently included if you purchase the film directly from iTunes (if you use iTunes to get the free “digital copy” that comes with your disc, you won’t get any bonus features, just the film), but one of the iTunes bonus features is actually from the Target disc and not from the regular Blu-Ray.

Confused yet? I’ll try to sort it all out below.

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Noah: five new making-of videos mark the Digital HD release

The most controversial Bible epic of the year — so far — Noah came out on Digital HD today and is now available for purchase through several different streaming services.

As far as I can tell, none of these services include any bonus features except for iTunes — but the bonus features included with the iTunes package are not identical to the bonus features that have been advertised for the upcoming Blu-Ray.

The Blu-Ray will include three featurettes totaling over an hour, on ‘Iceland: Extreme Beauty’, ‘The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits’ and ‘The Ark Interior: Animals Two By Two’. The iTunes release comes with the first two featurettes but replaces the third with ‘Special Makeup FX on Noah,’ which just happens to be one of the featurettes that is rumoured to be on the exclusive Target edition of the Blu-Ray. The iTunes featurettes add up to almost 51 minutes of bonus content.

To mark the film’s digital release, Paramount released at least two exclusive clips to two websites today — and I have no idea at this point if these clips are taken from any of the existing bonus features, or if they are unique to these websites.

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Noah interview round-up: d.p. Matthew Libatique

I already have “interview round-ups” for director Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel, so hey, why not one for cinematographer Matthew Libatique, who actually shot the images without which a film like Noah couldn’t exist?

Libatique went to film school with Aronofsky and has shot all but one of his feature films (the exception being 2008’s The Wrestler). Libatique even shot a couple of Aronofsky’s early short films!

Libatique has also worked multiple times with filmmakers like Spike Lee (She Hate Me, Inside Man, Miracle at St. Anna), Joel Schumacher (Tigerland, Phone Booth, The Number 23) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Cowboys & Aliens).

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Noah video round-up: a new clip, a new music video, and soundbites from faith leaders and filmmakers alike

The movie officially comes out in North America on Friday, but plenty of theatres will be showing it Thursday night. So with three days to go until the film comes out, the studio has released another clip from Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. You can check it out below the jump, along with a new (and possibly unauthorized) music video for the theme song that Patti Smith wrote for the film, as well as some interview clips with the filmmakers and with “faith leaders” who have endorsed the film.

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Noah news round-up: a good first day in Mexico, the filmmakers talk about fear, grief, and literalism, and more

More good news for Noah from the foreign market: the film, which already had a strong opening in South Korea a couple days ago, had a similarly strong opening in Mexico yesterday. In both cases, the studio says the movie’s opening days were on par with the opening days for Gravity in those markets.

Several reviews of the film went online Thursday night (or Friday morning, if you live on the east coast) — you can read my own first review here — and it currently has a 73% score at Rotten Tomatoes.

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