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Cinematic Savior: Hollywood's Making of the American Christ 1st ed Edition
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"[H]umphries-Brooks reconstructs the making of a cinematic savior with clarity and unhurried reason. Beginning with Cecil B. DeMille (and overlooking earlier film versions of the Christ story), the author teases out cultural reflections from a half dozen American film adaptations of the Gospel story. Interpretative insights follow previous studies, scanning parallels between director George Stevens's Jesus and his Western Shane and white American action-hero values in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Though several unique asides pay tribute to such peculiar bits as the Oscar Wildean antecedent of Salome, this well-written, engaging book settles down to finding American icons of the Savior that reflect anxiety, alienation, mainstream Protestant assurance, and Roman Catholic sacramental mysteries within contemporary society. The marketing of the myth of a messiah ultimately means that Hollywood has made another consumer product that sells well. Even without significant original sources on the films themselves, Humphries-Brooks provides a leisurely, intelligent prepackaged tour of the cinematic land of Holywood. Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers; professionals." - Choice
"Humphries-Brooks offers a different take from the dozen other similarly themed books from the last ten years….The strength of Cinematic Savior stems from the way it refrains from basing its critique in adaptation, in how well the films hold up to the literary accounts found in the Gospels. Instead, even though Humphries-Brooks was trained in the Gospels, he wisely sets his readings withing a reception history of Jesus films themselves, suggesting that students and other contemporaries receive their understandings and images of Jesus from Hollywood more than from the Gospels, Church teachings, or more traditional iconography….Cinematic Savior is a provocative work at the intersection of christology, popular culture, and visual culture." - The Journal of Religion
"This book may not, as is suggested, do for the cinematic Jesus what the great biblical scholar Albert Schweitzer did for the historical Jesus, but it explicates the enormity of what movie-makers attempt--and the need for movie fans to beware." - Times Literary Supplement (London)
"… an engaging and provocative study that traces the development of the representation of Jesus upon the screen in six films …." - Religion and the Arts
"This cogent and timely study maps the changing culture of mainstream America through a fascinating lens. Humphries-Brooks is doing for the cinematic Jesus what Albert Schweitzer did a hundred years ago for the historical Jesus." (Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford)