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[Nettime-ro] GOOD AND EVIL film series {AT} Location One
locone-admin on Wed, 20 Feb 2002 08:08:15 +0100 (CET)


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[Nettime-ro] GOOD AND EVIL film series {AT} Location One


GOOD AND EVIL
Popular Cinematic Images Of Jesus


February 26th at 8pm  “The King of Kings” (Cecil B. DeMille, 1927)
February 27th at 8pm  “King of Kings” (Nicholas Ray, 1961)
February 28th at 8pm  "Life of Brian" (Monty Python, 1979)

Location One
26 Greene Street NYC, Between Grand and Canal
Subway: Canal Street (N, R, 6, A, C, E, J, M, Z)
(212) 334-3347
Tickets: $5 (Members Free)


This series examines popular American religious ideas as expressed in
commercial films about Jesus. In the wake of recent events—the World
Trade Center attack, Bin Laden’s declaration of holy war against all
American “infidels,” President Bush’s call to defend the country against
the “Evil One,” and Jerry Falwell’s statements about the perdition of
those who died on September 11th without a Christian baptism—it behooves
us to examine our culture’s prevailing attitudes toward religion. Each
screening will be introduced by Pamela Grace and followed by closing
remarks and an open discussion with the viewers.

The first film in the series, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 THE KING OF KINGS,
is one of the most frequently screened movies of all time, a silent
Hollywood extravaganza that was shown in church halls as well as
commercial movie theatres. Even after the content was contested during
the film’s production, and then somewhat altered, the film suggests that
God strongly prefers some groups of believers over others. The movie’s
images of Christ and its depiction of God’s intervention in human
affairs are still alive in the popular imagination three-quarters of a
century after the film was made.

The success of DeMille’s movie about Jesus led Hollywood producers to
shy away from grand-scale attempts at the same topic for many years.
Finally, in 1961, Nicholas Ray took on the challenge, adopting a nearly
identical title, KING OF KINGS. Ray countered DeMille’s stiff, godly
Christ with a radically different image—a gentle, hippie Jesus played by
Jeffrey Hunter. Ray also reconfigured the representation of good and
evil, the concept of God, and the portrayal of various religious and
political groups.

For all their differences, the two “KING” movies have much in common: a
somber “and-it-was-written” style of narration (in the form of
inter-titles or voice-over), an aura of historical authenticity, an
interest in the miraculous, and a reassuring moral tone—all qualities
that are parodied in Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN, the British comedy
group’s 1979 send-up of the Jesus movie. Begun as a joke that turned
into a low-budget movie, Brian plays with cinematic conventions, various
theologies, and revisionist history, featuring characters such as the
Roman Biggus Dickus.

PAMELA GRACE teaches film at Brooklyn College and is writing on movies
about Jesus.

Location One (www.location1.org) is a new not-for profit art center,
which fosters the convergence of all types of creative expression. We
maintain a gallery space suitable for every form of performance and
exhibition, and within this space, multimedia net-broadcasting
facilities that allow us to webcast a 24-hour stream of both live and
archived events. Our International Residency Program invites artists
from other countries to experiment with emerging technologies. Location
One is an exploration space for continual creative discovery.



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