Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It may not star Monicca Bellucci, but...

Sure, I'm a bit dissapointed that Monica Bellucci hasn't chosen to follow up her excellent work in The Passion with a sequel, but that doesn't mean the gap is being left unfilled.

Matt Page over at The Bible Films Blog reported on a new film called Magdalena: Released from Shame. It tells the story of Mary Magdalena, post crucifixition, as she spreads the word of Jesus. According to the offical website's synopsis, she tells the story of Jesus life to a group of women who have a hard time believing that God could care about any human, let alone such lowly women as themselves. Mary responds by telling the various stories of Jesus literally going out of His way to help women.

What makes this film really interesting is that it uses footage from older Jesus films, specifically the 1979 film Jesus starring Brian Deacon, and weaves it in with new footage. I'm always interested in projects that use older films this way. For those of you who don't know, I'm a film student and filmmaker myself, and using archival footage is one of my personal passions.

Anyway, the film stars Rebecca Ritz as Mary Magdalane, Gigi Orsillo as Salmone(described as "Mary's friend"), Brian Deacon as Jesus("archival footage" as the IMDB would put it) and Shira Lane as Rivka.

Matt mentions on his blog entry that the film seems to be unique among Jesus films in that it specifically references the man who is not proseucted for adultery along with the woman that Jesus saves. But I would also like to point out that the film seems to be making a distinction between Mary Magdalane and the adulterous woman, which is also highly unusual for a film about Jesus. Maybe this film can help Mary overcome some of Pope Gregory I's slander.

The official website for this film stinks of typical movie websites, with too much reliance upon animation and forcing you to navigate through a bizarre image intensive interface. But, it does have a trailer(click "Multimedia") and several clips from the film(after watching the trailer click the small "X" and then click on the women in the background to view clips).

I'm really interested in seeing how this film turns out, since Jesus spent a lot of time helping women and that is rarely highlighted in films. Hopefully we'll be able to review it on DVD when it is released.

Even though it, in my opinion, wrongfully identifies Mary as the adulterous woman, this clip from The Passion features Monica Bellucci as Mary, so that trumps historical accuracy. Come to think of it, invoking Monica Bellucci pretty much trumps anything...what was this post about again?

(story from The Bible Films Blog)

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