God x 3

I'm starting to think I should go to Iceland. I keep coming across movies and shows made there. And I am going across the Pond next year—hmmm... Meanwhile I'll stick to film. The Deep (2013, dir. Baltasar Kormákur) could be received anti-climactically, but I found it a quiet rumination on several themes. While it is somewhat an action piece, that's not the bulk of it. If you want a thought-provoking film, eat the popcorn during the first half and then settle down. The star, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, is a sort of Icelandic Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) here, and his understated performance is part of the reason the brakes go on during the narrative based on a true story.
Speaking of our late fave actor, I chose God's Pocket because I LOVE him and really appreciate John Turturro and Richard Jenkins. But a few minutes in, I realized I'd seen it (all Philip's indie pictures tend to conflate for me) and I wasn't in the mood for its violence and disconcerting effect on me. I don't see a review of it in either edition of this blog, but if black comedy tickles you, I'd say check it out.
I was wondering how I'd gone 40 years without seeing Martin Scorsese's (1988) The Last Temptation of Christ and was mesmerized by this belated viewing, until it got to the guardian angel part, and I realized that was familiar to me; perhaps I'd seen the last bit in a film course. But this effectively was a new film to me. MIND. BLOWN.
My main reaction was to make constant comparisons and contrasts between it and Jesus Christ Superstar (dir. Norman Jewison, 1973), which I have seen probably 50 times and have wanted to do an academic critique of for ages. Anyway, some elements were incredibly close in the two films, but I also liked the differences. I may re-watch it with the directorial commentary to see if Scorsese discretely made artistic choices similar to Jewison's for certain parts. It was amazing to read the DVD notes about the fundamentalist backlash when the film was released, but I guess that would be the same even now, especially under 45. FWIW, I thought David Bowie made a good Roman! Still processing, but I think I will add it to my Good Friday observance and make it a double bill from now on.


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