Imre Szeman requests:
"Can anyone help a student of mine who sent me the following e-mail?
> i have another unrelated question for you. i am in a religion
>and film class right now and i am going to write a paper on christ
>figures in film. i was wondering if you had any interesting
>suggestions? let me know if you do. thanks."
Aside from the many films from the silent era on that deal with aspects of
the life of Christ itself (eg., KING OF KINGS, THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD,
BEN-HUR, etc.), there are several SF films whose heroes seem to be allegorical
Christ figures--Klaatu (aka "Mr. Carpenter") in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL,
E.T. (of course), and John Carpenter's STARMAN.
There are other treatments, especially by foreign directors that use allegorical
Christ-like figures, such as Dreyer's ORDET and Bresson's BALTHASAR (although
Bresson seems to simultaneously encourage and debunk the notion of the donkey
as a "suffering servant"). (There is also Pasolini's THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
More controversial takes on Christ or Christ-figures include Scorsese's
THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and Peter Medak's THE RULING CLASS, with
Peter O'Tool as a dotty English lord who thinks he's Jesus. And, of course,
there's MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN.
If you want to stretch a point and include characters who redeem themselves and
others by dying, there a number of films about convicts who make such a final
gesture, from MANHATTAN MELODRAMA and ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES to DEAD MAN
Hope these help.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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