During the mid-1980s, there was a brief output of productions that focused on what life would be like in the aftermath of a nuclear war. These films were fueled by anxiety from the left that President Ronald Reagan was recklessly pointing the world into an apocalyptic arms race. Of course, that didn’t happen, but the legacy of that fear did create some provocative works of art. Continue reading →
The most strident denunciation of Jesus’ divinity in cinema history came with the 1976 drama The Passover Plot. The film was based on a controversial 1965 book by British Biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield that argued Jesus was a man who schemed to take advantage of ancient prophecies by creating a following that would recognize Him as the long-awaited Messiah, at which point He would lead a rebellion by the Jewish people against the Roman occupation force in the Holy Land. Continue reading →
In 1973, movie audiences were assaulted by three very strange musicals based on the life of Jesus. All three films offered an unusual consideration of Jesus’ mission and ministry, albeit with varying degrees of success. Continue reading →
Up until the 1960s, the cinema depiction of Jesus followed a consistent standard in terms of how He was depicted – the long-haired, bearded, white-robed Jesus of Renaissance paintings – as well as in the manner of how He conducted himself. The big screen Jesus was a symbol of piety and respect, with filmmakers and actors working with a clearly defined parameter. Continue reading →
Today, The Criterion Collection released a new DVD and Blu-ray edition of John Hughes’ 1985 feature “The Breakfast Club.” While many fans of this film were happy to see its inclusion in The Criterion Collection’s line-up, there were also many movie lovers who were displeased that this film was selected for re-release, especially since it has been widely available for home entertainment viewing for years and it saw a 30th anniversary release in 2015.
Too many people today look at Woody Allen’s 1979 “Manhattan” for evidence of the filmmaker’s alleged perversions. After all, his character in the film is a 42-year-old having a relationship with a 17-year-old girl played by Mariel Hemingway – and wouldn’t logic dictate that everything Allen does on screen is autobiographical?
Barely seen since its 1922 theatrical release, this silent epic is a major surprise: a charming, entertaining adventure that contradicts the long-held prejudices by film scholars against the costume dramas starring the much-maligned Marion Davies and produced by her lover, publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst.
Documentary filmmaker Thom Andersen (Los Angeles Plays Itself), began this nonfiction feature as his UCLA thesis project and finished it a decade later; it was rejected by the Los Angeles PBS station that helped finance the project, but later had a brief theatrical release before mostly vanishing from circulation until its 2013 restoration and 2015 inclusion on the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.