Sunday, May 07, 2006

I've been watching Bible movies...

Yes, I'm back from retreat! It was really good, as usual, this time it was different for me, but that's a good thing. I wouldn't say I got a specific touch from God that I could link back to the retreat, but rather it seems to have set things in motion for God to work in my life in a new way. Which is great.

It has been really good for our group as a whole, though. The monthly prayer meeting was interesting, it's one that our youth group has every first Friday of the month, and it is from 10:00 to 1:00 a.m. Don't ask, even I'm not exactly sure why it is that time. But while we usually just pray by ourselves, God moved and we were praying for each other and interceding...it was pretty awesome.

And on a completely unrelated subject, here in our family we saw...I'm almost too embarassed to say...Demetrius and the Gladiators. I'm glad most of you don't recognize the title, it's the sequel to The Robe and even cheesier. You see, at our house we have this thing about Bible movies from the 60's. I don't mind them, they're fun to watch, and very fun to snark at.

Not at the Bible parts, but at some of the extra-Biblical little touches they add, and the portrayal of Bible times. Like how you didn't have to be ripped to be the male lead, walking around with your shirt off and yet still be a tough guy. (Now, I don't like watching really muscled guys walk around with their shirts off either, but honestly. There's a reason why normal people keep their shirts on.)

Also, the fact that if you are a young male Israelite, you must be hot-headed and yearn to give it to the Romans/Egyptians/Name-The-Tyrant and get yourself in lots of trouble fighting with them. If you are a young female Israelite, you must be under twenty, nubile, water girl/hand-maiden/servant of someone, completely innocent, also prone to fall madly in love with the lead, for no other reason then he's a guy and she's a girl. Oh yes, did I mention that she must get attacked/hauled off/threatened with the worse-than-death by the Name-The-Tyrant so Hot-Head can rush in and save her, possibly getting them in a lot of trouble.

Yeah, and how come Victor Mature is in all of them?.Cecil B. DeMille probably had to cast him as some unamed slave in The Ten Commandments to give it true Bible movie status.

Speaking of The Ten Commandments, it is, of course, the best known Bible movie and practically everyone has seen it, (If you haven't...don't give me any wimpy excuses about it being 4 hours, be a man and go sit through it. All of it.) I saw it when I was really young, I just remembered how it lasted fore-EVER, and had something about Moses and an Egyptian hussy that I did not remember from Sunday school.

But, over the Easter weekends that have passed, I have recognized it for the Gone With The Wind of Bible movies that it is. And noticed how much Charlton Heston looks like a living skeleton. And then occasionally I've been known to sometimes announce in my best Yul Brynner impression, "So it shall be written, so it shall be done."

Another good example of extra-Biblical enhancement is The Story of Ruth. Which should be seen, it was an enjoyable movie . Nonetheless, did you know that Ruth was a priestess of Moab? And her first husband, Mel-whassiname died not from sickness but escaping from Moabite prison, only to die hours later after having a bedside marriage to Ruth? And that Boaz was a hot-head? AND prejudiced against foreigners?

Oh, well. Normally you can't let your knowledge of history, or solid Christian doctrine, for that matter to engage fully to enjoy them. (Although The Robe and it's superstitious hocus-pocus about Jesus' clothes drove me CRAZY) Quo Vadis had it's little prophysing boy who then "woke up" and was all "What did I say?". The Egyptian (which goes down in my book as Worst Bible Movie Ever except for Peter Ustinov's performance but then Peter Ustinov was the best thing to happen to the whole genre) was odd, because the entire movie had nothing to do with anything in the Bible and was just a sword and sandals sort of thing, until the last two minutes, where out of nowhere the main character has sudddenly met Paul and become a Christian and the movie ends with a verse. It was fine in itself, but what? Did that have anything to do with what happened before?

As I said before, Oh,well. They're not for analyzing. Just some good, men-in-skirts wearing, damsels-in-distress, dragon slaying...no, wait I've my formula genres crossed...anyway, they're just for having a good cheesy time.

2 Comments:

Blogger RC said...

How funny...love your "realizations" about bible movies.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

4:48 PM  
Blogger Rabenstrange said...

Whatever the problems of Bible movies, it sounds like your viewing habits are better than mine.

I've been watching sitcom reruns with my little sisters. Every minute I sit in front of the screen I can feel braincells die.

6:37 PM  

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