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Messiah

5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Photographer-filmmaker William Klein takes on Handel’s Messiah and has created a gorgeous concert film that mixes the sacred with the profane. Performed in its entirety, the oratorio provides a narrative of Christ’s nativity, passion and resurrection juxtaposed against images of absurdities and abuses against the human species across the world. The film reveals a wide array of worshippers from the Bodybuilders of Christ to the Lavender Light Gay and Lesbian Interracial Choir to the Dallas police choir.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlotte Hellekant, Lynne Dawson, Magdalena Kozená, Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre
  • Directors: William Klein
  • Writers: Charles Jennens, George Frideric Handel
  • Producers: Michel Rotman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Content/Copy-Protected CD, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BFJM1M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,429 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Messiah" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samir Nasr on February 8, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The description for this item in the web site was misleading, so vague. When I received the item it was described clearly that it was making fun of the oratorio. sooooo bad
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cecelia Schmieder on March 18, 2015
Format: DVD
This has gotten negative reviews from people who thought it was anti-religion, as well as enraptured reviews from those who found it moving. I rented it to hear Minkowski's Messiah recording (especially the divine Brian Asawa) without buying the CD. I was prepared for the horror of Las Vegas, but not for the real-life violence. This review is a warning (one I wish I'd had) to others not numbed by constant television and internet viewing.

As an atheist, I have no opinion on this movie's religious stance, if it has one. The eccentric juxtaposition of image and text was sometimes clever, sometimes pretentious, and sometimes just pointless. There are lots of extreme close-ups of singers that cut off parts of their heads. (Adding to the distorted camera effect, the copy I watched was improperly encoded as 4:3 instead of 1.66:1, requiring some ugly compromise--"natural wide", ugh-- to try to get an acceptable aspect ratio.) Much of the footage could be seen as a god's-eye view of humanity. If so, the god is jaded and incapable of sustained attention--so maybe it is anti-religion, after all.

What earned this movie a one-star rating was the random use of violent images. First were bloody accident victims being loaded into an ambulance. ( Rubberneckers must love that bit.) Then, about an hour and twenty minutes in, there is footage of a man lying in the street as soldiers kick him, play with his still-moving body, and finally bayonet him. At this point I fast-forwarded to the end credits. If you are the sort of person who watches internet videos of people being beheaded, whether to feel tough or to spark the cold remains of your compassion, this won't bother you. If you are not desensitized to human suffering, skip this one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fleabus on January 20, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is strange and unusual and I thoroughly loved it.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on September 18, 2006
Format: DVD
George Frideric Handel's most famous work, the inspired 1741 oratorio, MESSIAH (Koch Lorber) is taken from Judaism and Christianity's interpretation of the prophesied "anointed one;" that is, Jesus, the Savior, Prince of Peace and God in the flesh.

Originally conceived for performance at Easter, with a text taken from the King James Bible, the work has become a staple of Christmas celebrations in the English-speaking world.

Filmmaker William Klein's audacious take on Handel's Messiah -- performed in full -- mixes a potpourri of images both sacred and profane that keeps the central message of both the oratorio and Jesus' life front and center.

The stirring narrative of Christ's life from birth to death to resurrection is performed by an extreme mix of human types, and heard over images of humanity at its worst. I especially liked the shirtless guy singing alone in the desert, the prison chorus, the gay and lesbian interracial choir and the chorus of Dallas cops.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Kinosian on April 4, 2010
Format: DVD
VERY moving AND very disturbing presentation of a classic and very complex piece of music which does it proper justice in a way that typical Christmastime religious presentations of the work do not.

I saw this on the big screen in Columbia, SC on Good Friday with the concertmaster of the South Carolina Philharmonic. The performances are a mixed bag, with some top notch world class and some amateurish but moving. It shows the nuttiness of American holy-roller megachurch religion silently and without comment juxtaposed on Handel's score.

People who take all the religious bull$#!+ seriously AND don't have a very high I.Q. will be highly offended. Those religious people who are not complete morons will really like this film and find that it adds depth to their faith.

In either case, it's better than 'Avatar.'
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