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“What better time, it would seem, to explore the life of God as Man?”

from Cincinnati’s CityBeat

Come Again?

The second coming in the age of sequels and reboots

By tt stern-enzi

Has The Greatest Story Ever Told ever been remade, rebooted or turned into a series of sequels? That question doesn’t refer directly to the 1965 George Stevens epic, which was a a retelling of the story of Jesus Christ from his birth to the Resurrection, starring Max von Sydow as Jesus, but more to the narrative itself, from the most widely read book in the history of Mankind. As the central figure of the New Testament, Jesus is far more than a religious presence; he is a cultural icon, known and referenced with reverence far beyond the world-wide community of believers.

It is curious, though, that as society has anxiously awaited his return, especially in our modern narrative age, we have refrained from speculating as to what manner of man Jesus would be today and how would he respond to life in the New Millennium. The Rapture and the Left Behind series, notwithstanding, The Greatest Story Ever Told stands as too imposing a creative monolith. It is, after all, Gospel?

Controversial author James Frey’s forthcoming novel, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, dares to do just that. Promoting the book on his website, Frey explains: “My goal was not to retell the story of Christ. That has been done, and done well. My goal was to create a new mythology. One that is relevant in a world with nuclear weapons, advanced physics, the internet, genetic testing and manipulation, one where we know homosexuality is not a decision. My goal was to create a mythology, to tell a story, to make a work of art that made sense in a world where we know things that people, and writers, 2000 years ago could never have known or imagined.”

What better time, it would seem, to explore the life of God as Man? Our heroes are darker, more conflicted beings, grappling with ethical quandaries and the nature of morality. Machines have become more human as we have begun to mix and co-mingle with them. If we cannot re-imagine Jesus now and make him relevant, then when?

This isn’t to say that Jesus hasn’t already inspired filmmakers. In signature examples, like The Terminator franchise and The Matrix Trilogy, the messiah looms in the future, he is still to come and he is a rebel fighter, no longer ready and willing to turn the other cheek.

[ click to continue reading at CityBeat ]

Posted on April 20, 2011 by Editor

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