Not your father’s Jesus
Sanctimony with a veneer of spectacle
Now in theatres in a 3D version, Ben-Hur is the latest screen adaptation of the best-selling American novel of the 19th century. Never out of print since its publication in 1880, Lew Wallace’s book is subtitled A Tale of the Christ, a reminder of who its real hero is. That, in turn, reminds us of the many actors who have played Jesus on screen since the coming of sound. Among the more memorable: Jeffrey Hunter’s clean-cut American portrayal in director Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings (1961); Max Von Sydow offering a touch of European angst in George Stevens’s The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965); Robert Powell, unblinkingly English in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1976 TV mini series Jesus of Nazareth; Willem Dafoe, gritty and human in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988); and Jim Caviezel's seriously tortured Saviour in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004). The rock generation introduced musical messiahs, with Ted Neely singing the title role in Norman Jewison’s Jesus Christ Superstar and Canadian Victor Garber assuring us it was “All for the Best” in David Greene’s Godspell (both 1973). Turning back the clock is the carpenter we met on Friday. Born on this day (August 22) in 1975, Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro offers a motivational speaker's version of redemption in director Timur Bekmambetov’s current Ben-Hur.
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Second helping just a little different
Director John Badham’s first working visit to Vancouver was to make the 1987 action comedy Stakeout, the story of two likeably inept Seattle cops assigned to surveillance duty. Born on this day (August 25) in 1939, Badham returned to make the 1993 sequel, Another Stakeout
Genius of the system
Washington a city of broken dreams
On this day (August 28) in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made history with the words “I have a dream,” spoken to an audience of over 250,000 in Washington, D.C. The political reality King challenged was the subject of satire in director Jonathan Lynn’s The Distinguished Gentleman (1992).
Surrounding us with natural beauty
The 32nd item in Reeling Back's 38-part series recalling the cinema of Vancouver's Expo 86 reviews Portraits of Canada, the Circle-Vision 360 movie produced by Walt Disney and presented in the Telecom Canada pavilion.
Death to dust bunnies!
My Blog; Your Guide to What's New
When computers work, they’re wonderful. On occasion, though, they go slowly, or do things that are as maddening as they are incomprehensible. Last week was one of those times, and I had to put Reeling Back on hold and pay a visit to some tech folk who did what needed doing.