VIFF capsule reviews: The Red Turtle, Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, The Unknown Girl

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The Red Turtle (dir. Michael Dudok de Wit; Netherlands/France/Japan)
Oct 6 @ 6:15pm @ Vancouver Playhouse

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The Ten Commandments celebrates its 60th anniversary

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This is a year for Bible-movie anniversaries. Intolerance turned 100 last month, The Bible: In the Beginning… turns 50 on Wednesday, and The Nativity Story turns 10 in December. But the most significant Bible movie celebrating the end of yet another decade on our screens would have to be the second and most famous version of The Ten Commandments, which premiered 60 years ago in the fall of 1956.

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Is Paramount going to remake The Ten Commandments?

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Paramount Pictures seems to have a thing for Bible epics. First they revived the genre with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, and then they partnered with MGM on a remake of Ben-Hur that is due next year. Now comes word — via The Tracking Board — that the studio may be planning a remake of The Ten Commandments, as well.1

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Watch: Zealots help the apostles escape from Jerusalem, and more, in new clips from A.D. The Bible Continues

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The Nielsen ratings are in, and the news for A.D. The Bible Continues is… good, but could be better.

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Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings (dir. Ridley Scott, 2014)

exodus-DF-02770Early on in Exodus: Gods and Kings, there’s a scene in which Moses, who is still an Egyptian prince oblivious to his Hebrew heritage, confronts an Egyptian viceroy named Hegep, who is supposed to be building a new city for the Pharaoh but seems to have diverted some of the funds towards his own luxurious lifestyle. Hegep tries to deflect Moses’ attention by pointing to the troublesome Hebrew slaves, and says he needs more resources to deal with them. As proof of how rebellious these Hebrews are, Hegep says, “Do you know what ‘Israelite’ means in their own language? ‘He who fights with God’.” An annoyed Moses replies, “‘He who wrestles with God’. There’s a difference.”

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Moses at the Movies / When we trace more than a century of movies about the Exodus, what do we learn?

tencommandments1956Ridley Scott isn’t the first filmmaker to tackle the story of Moses, and he certainly won’t be the last. There’s drama in the prophet’s confrontations with the rulers of Egypt, there’s spectacle in the miracles he performed to liberate his people, and there are lessons to be learned from the way he led the Israelites and forged them into a nation, not least by giving them the Law. And filmmakers have been turning to Moses’ story for inspiration since pretty much the dawn of cinema.

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