Christ movies

"you think all jesus' films are exploitation and propaganda flicks by religious fanatics?"

Most films in the "King of Kings" or "Greatest Story Ever Told" vein are Hollywood kitsch meant to cash in on the Jesus phenomenon.  "Jesus of Nazareth" was a more sincere effort, with a literate script by Anthony Burgess, but frankly Franco Zefferelli has no talent as a filmmaker.

There are three films on Jesus that I really liked: Pier Paolo Pasolini's "The Gospel According to Matthew" is the simplest and most straightforward, an almost documentarylike approach done on less than a million dollars, with a Spanish student playing Christ (compare that to $25 million and Caviezel as Christ). If you want sincerity, I think Pasolini had it in spades--and he was a homosexual and communist!

But even the Catholic church recognized Pasolini's achievement--they have his film listed as among the most important ever made.

Jean Luc Godard's "Hail Mary!" is more interesting--Joseph as a gas station attendant, Mary as a sullen young Frenchwoman who definitely did not conceive Immaculately, Godard's mischievously intellectual approach to the miracle of Christ.  Not the best Godard, but definitely one of the more interesting Christ films.

My personal favorite is Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ." Terrific filmmaker, very personal and radical interpretation, very human portrait of Christ (not only does he sweat and bleed and suffer, he has sexual fantasies, too).  And I love the relationship between Christ and Judas--as two close friends destinied to betray each other.

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