- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: Read the Spirit Books (November 5, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1942011067
- ISBN-13: 978-1942011064
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,635,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jesus Christ, Movie Star Paperback – November 5, 2015
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Instead, he does something more useful. He selects 12 "Jesus" films (or TV mini-series), and devotes a chapter to each film. He focuses on a "key scene" in each film, talks about how this scene reflects an aspect of Christ's spiritual character, guidance, or philosophy, and discusses how the filmmakers illustrate or depict that aspect of Christ in the movie.
He ends each chapter with questions for reflection/discussion, which are designed to help the reader think and contemplate about the depiction of Christ in each film. As Rev. McNulty explains in the book, these end-of-chapter questions are meant for church groups, who should have discussions and conversations about these "Jesus" films after they watch them.
In the book, Rev. McNulty starts by examining "Life of Jesus" films, such as 1964's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew," Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," and of course, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, "Jesus Christ, Superstar."
He also looks at some of the less-famous "Jesus" films, such as 2003's "The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John" (where he names Henry Ian Cusick as the best cinematic depiction of Jesus he's seen), and 2014's "Son of God" (with Diogo Morgado). He discusses the TV movies and mini-series, including "Jesus" (with Jeremy Sisto), and the animated "The Miracle Maker" (with Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Jesus).
Then, Rev. McNulty looks at some "Christ figure" films, where the main character is a symbolic representation of Christ. There are some films here you might not expect, including "Cool Hand Luke" (with Paul Newman), Woody Allen's "Broadway Danny Rose," the 1987 indie film, "Baghdad Café," and foreign-language films like "Babette's Feast" and "Jesus of Montreal."
(I thought he should have included discussions of two additional "Christ figure" movies: 1972's "The Poseidon Adventure," and 1973's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," which has a bizarre "Seagull as Christ Figure" theme. But, oh well…)
The book ends with a closing chapter full of short reviews of the many movies (i.e. "King of Kings," "The Greatest Story Ever Told") and TV series (i.e. "Jesus of Nazareth") depicting the life of Jesus.
Christian church groups and faith groups, whether Catholic, Protestant, or non-denominational, will enjoy this book and its in-depth exploration of Jesus Christ on film, and will find the discussion questions for each film especially helpful. But it shouldn't stop there. This book will also be of interest to theologians, Jewish and inter-faith groups, and anyone who just has a love for the movies.
The Rev. Dr. Ed McNulty is a Christian film critic who has explored the many aspects of faith (both obvious and non-obvious) that are depicted in the movies. His spiritual film reviews have been collected in two volumes, "Praying the Movies: Daily Meditations from Classic Films" and "Praying the Movies II: More Daily Meditations from Classic Films," both of which I highly recommend to film goers.