The Exodus: Gods and Kings trailer: a shot-by-shot analysis (lots and lots of horses, and a tip of the hat to Simple Minds)

The first trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings is here — and it’s pretty much what you’d expect. Spectacular images (which will no doubt look even better in 3D), an enormous sense of scale, and hints of a brotherly love between Moses and Ramses that turns sour when Moses and his God turn against the Egyptians and their gods to liberate the Hebrew slaves. Oh, and horses. Lots and lots of horses. You can check it all out below the jump.

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Moses and the Pharaoh have swords in new Exodus posters

The first posters for Exodus: Gods and Kings are here — and for a film that is supposedly going to be promoted as the next big battle epic from the director of Gladiator, it’s striking to see how sombre and lacking in action these first promotional images are.

They’re also strangely colourless. As you can see from the main poster to the right — which shows Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses kind of glaring at each other while they touch their swords — the images are essentially black-and-white, except for gold-tinted highlights and just a hint of blue.

I also can’t recall ever seeing a Moses movie that made a pyramid as central to its imagery as this poster does. It gives the poster an Illuminati-esque feel, and I’m afraid the first thing it brings to mind is the fact that Exodus director Ridley Scott is attached to an HBO series which will play on the idea that the ancient Egyptian civilization was built in part with help from aliens.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: new photos, a new Entertainment Weekly profile, and hints of a trailer coming soon

At last, I can finally stop rotating the same three or four pictures of Christian Bale as Moses at the top of my Exodus: Gods and Kings posts!

Entertainment Weekly posted a “first look” at Ridley Scott’s movie today, including five new photos and a handful of interview snippets. The Italian website Cinemamente also posted a couple of behind-the-scenes shots that I had never seen before, including the picture above.

On top of all that, the movie’s first trailer, which was recently shown to exhibitors in Europe, was approved by the film classification boards in at least two Canadian provinces last week. The Alberta website gives the trailer a PG rating and says it runs 90 seconds, while the British Columbia website says it runs 96 seconds, but in any case, it sounds like we’ll all get to see the trailer for ourselves fairly soon.

More pictures and interview snippets below the jump, including Sigourney Weaver as an Egyptian queen, Aaron Paul as Joshua and Ben Kingsley as Joshua’s father.

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Here we go again: Ridley Scott’s Exodus and “accuracy”

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I’m no fan of the expression “biblically accurate”. It’s not that I don’t like analyzing biblical and historical epics to see where they deviate from their source material; I do that sort of thing all the time. Rather, the problem is the way that phrase has been turned into a weapon, signifying little more than whether or not a movie has earned the approval of the person who uses that phrase.

Just in the past year and a half, we have seen people call The Bible and its big-screen spin-off Son of Godbiblically accurate” even though that miniseries was full of embellishments and got many details wrong, and we have also seen people condemn Noah for its alleged lack of accuracy even though it tackled lots of obscure biblical details that many people never think about. One film was “accurate” because it gave the audience what it wanted, and the other wasn’t because it didn’t.

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The silence, justice, mercy and love of God in Noah

Questions of personal taste aside, most of the problems that people have had with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah don’t stand up to all that much scrutiny. Does the film reflect a Gnostic theology? Not at all. Is the snakeskin worn by Adam and his descendants necessarily evil in the Jewish tradition? Not at all. Were the righteous people who lived before the Flood vegetarian? Actually, yes. And so on, and so on.

The one complaint that arguably does have some merit is the one that says God does not speak in this film. God talks a lot in the biblical version of this story, but in the film he is silent, communicating through visions and signs that are open to more than one interpretation, and leaving some pretty crucial decisions to Noah himself.

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Be as wise as serpents, but stay away from snakeskins!

“Temptation led to sin.”

That’s the second sentence in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. It’s printed on the screen for all to see. It is accompanied by an image of a serpent flicking its tongue at the camera. And it is followed by images of violence and destruction.

To those who are even half-familiar with the story of the Fall, you might think that this would all seem pretty straightforward. But no. Instead, a bizarre idea has surfaced in recent days, to the effect that Aronofsky’s film espouses a kind of Gnosticism.

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