I've still not quite gotten the hang of this blogging thing back yet. I'm not quite consistent in my theme or subjects, not yet regular in my posting schedule. So I decided to try and give myself some direction, some constant to keep me posting on related topics. I know I love writing and talking about movies, and I love writing and talking about religion (esp. Christianity). And I seldom find organic ways to blend the two topics. Until I realized there's a perfect way to blend them.
I'm going to do a series on representations of Jesus in movies. I've selected about 16 movies on or related to the narrative of Jesus' life, in several different genres and styles, from classic biblical epics to musicals, from respectful Christian approaches to more artistic portraits from secular filmmakers, plus maybe something irreverent, a few foreign interpretations (including an Iranian film featuring a Muslim perspective on Christ's life - that is, if I can get a hold of a copy). If anyone has additional suggestions or ideas, let me know.
I'll start writing on the first movie (Ben-Hur) very soon, and hopefully another (The Robe) by the end of the week. Neither are typical Jesus narratives - rather, Jesus is a supporting or even tangential role. I hope that by looking at films with main characters who are ordinary people who interact with Christ, these will allow for a good rubric to consider the effect of Jesus' presence on the other characters and viewers.
So, this is gonna be an adventure - I hope a bunch of you stick around and maybe get to expand your ideas about what it looks like and means to represent Jesus in film, fact, and fiction. There might be The Greatest Story Ever Told, but that does not mean it is The Greatest Movie Ever Made. And there might be The Passion of the Christ, but what happens when people get too passionate about the Passion? These are important questions for us as Christians, as non-Christians, as agents in modern culture and subjects of an enormous media industry, and I'm excited about what possible answers there might be.
(I will, of course, try to keep up some regular posts on current events and whatever is bugging me on a given day.)