Sunday, April 09, 2006

Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday! Easter-lite as I fondly think of it. A marked increase in church attendence, the Sunday School projects have a Resurrection theme, and the beginning of a sword and sandal movie fest lasting throughout the week, culminating in The Ten Commandments (1956) Easter night. They had the sense to balance Charleton Heston with Yul Breynner, although there is a sense that the overbundance of personality on set would have overwhelmed anything but a Cecil B. DeMille epic. Quick trivia links DeMille also produced 1927's King of King's which starred H.B. Warner as Jesus. Warner later starred as Amminidab in DeMille's second version of The Ten Commandments.

Anyway. I am starting out the viewings with the definative Jesus pic of my Kidhood, Jesus of Nazareth (1977) which I filched from my folks house in anticipation of this week's marathon. Starring Robert Powell as Jesus, Olivia Hussey as Mary, mother of Jesus, and a whole cornucopia of names (Stacey Keach as Barabbas!), Zefferelli's movie completely covered my mental imagery of scripture to the point where I picture Olivia Hussey when I read about Mary - or at least the young Mary. I have got to admit, Maia Morgenstern has wrenched away the older Mary in my mental landscape. Robert Powell was never my picture of Jesus, a blue eyed Savior always jarred me, but he did portray a slightly spooky, immeasurable calm that was a wonder. I could go on and on about the beauty of some of the scenes (Mary visiting Elizabeth comes to mind) but I won't.

Next up is Prince of Egypt the animated retelling of Moses and the Flight from Egypt. Aside from the comic disconnect of Steve Martin and Martin Short as Egyptian priests/magicians, this movie does a great job of portraying a brotherly relationship between Moses and Rameses. It also deserves a viewing if only for they opening song "Deliver Us".

Mid-week is Ben-Hur which I have blogged before and will not go into here.

Friday I'll watch The Passion of the Christ along with about 8 tissue boxes. Jim Caviezel was, and here I hesitate trying to find the right word, compelling as Jesus. Alot of to-do was made over the blood and brutality portrayed but really, to me the hardest parts of the movie were the flashes of his mother, Mary, remembering Jesus as a child or young man.

Saturday will consiste of egg hunts and a last minute birthday party, so I may have to forego Howard Keel (Adam Pontipee himself) as The Big Fisherman (1959), but I will try and fit it in earlier in the week. Sunday concludes with Heston and Breynner trying to outstrut each other.

No comments: