To his credit, Stevens realized that the central role of Jesus needed an actor who was not burdened with preconceived negativity by critics or audiences. His choice of the Swedish actor Max von Sydow to play Jesus was an unusually ...
Author: Phil Hall
Publisher: BearManor Media
The life of Jesus Christ has challenged and inspired filmmakers from the pioneering works of the late 1890s through today’s digital cinema. No other life story has been the subject of so many films, with so many wildly different interpretations. The big screen Jesus has traveled through multimillion dollar epics and microbudget underground films, recreating the miracles of the Gospels while also advocating for modern political issues. Moviegoers have seen Jesus walk on water and conquer death, and also break into show tunes and play straight man to a zany Bette Midler. Films about Jesus have inspired a diverse range of controversies, ranging from a groundbreaking copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Thomas Edison to an intellectual scandal that rocked the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair to accusations of anti-Semitism against Mel Gibson’s distinctive interpretation of the New Testament. Phil Hall, author of the critically acclaimed books The History of Independent Cinema and In Search of Lost Films and host of the award-winning podcast The Online Movie Show, takes the reader on the most extraordinary odyssey in cinematic studies by tracing how filmmakers from across the years and around the world have sought to fill theaters with the story of Jesus. Beloved classics and bizarre curios are part of this memorable journey as the “light of the world” brings illumination through the lens of a movie projector.