Biblical Horror Stories for Children

September 7, 2009

Greenbelt09.jpgI've had a number of people ask about getting hold of my Greenbelt talk - Biblical Horror Stories for Children. The majority of Greenbelt seminars are recorded, but I was on at one of the venues where that wasn't possible. So the bad news is that the quality isn't great here, as I had to record this on my laptop, but the good news is that it's free! (Greenbelt seminar downloads usually cost £2). Feel free to post any comments below or email me.

[To save a copy click on the download link under the "Audio MP3" icon. That will take you through to another page. Right click on the "download" button and chose "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Firefox) or similar for other browsers.]

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The Nativity Story (2006)

December 4, 2008

2006Nativitydonkey.jpg
Just in time for the start of the Christmas period my latest podcast is looking at one of the more recent films about Jesus - 2006's The Nativity Story.
(Director - Catherine Hardwicke)

(Cast:Keisha Castle-Hughes - Mary, Oscar Isaac - Joseph, Hiam Abbass - Anna, Shaun Toub - Joaquim, Ciarán Hinds - Herod, Shohreh Aghdashloo - Elizabeth, Stanley Townsend - Zechariah, Alexander Siddig - The Angel Gabriel, Nadim Sawalha - Melchior, Eriq Ebouaney - Balthasar, Stefan Kalipha - Gaspar, Alessandro Giuggioli - Antipas)

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Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

September 30, 2008

1979LoBSeptember's podcast is looking at what is arguably one of the best in the genre - Monty Python's Life of Brian
(Director - Terry Jones)
(Cast: Ken Colley - Jesus, Sue Jones-Davies - Judith, Rest of Cast - Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam).

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Jesus (1979)

July 31, 2008

1979Jesus
It's claimed that Jesus is the most watched film on the planet even though it has no special effects or star actors and is frequently criticised by reviewers. It's also one of the few films to be based on a single gospel rather than all four.

(Directors - John Krish and Peter Sykes)
(Cast: Brian Deacon - Jesus, Rivka Neuman - Mary, Joseph Shiloach - Joseph, Niko Nitai - Simon Peter, Mosko Alkalai - Matthew, Kobi Assaf - Philip, Eli Cohen - John the Baptist, , Eli Danker - Judas Iscariot, Peter Frye - Pontius Pilate, Nisim Gerama - Thomas, David Goldberg - Judas son of James, Richard Kiley - Narrator (Luke), Miki Mfir - Simon the Pharisee, Yitzhak Ne'eman - James, Richard Peterson - Herod, Milo Rafi - Simon Zelotes, Gad Roll - Andrew, Alexander Scourby - Narrator, Daud Shah - Adam, Talia Shapira - Mary Magdalene, Shmuel Tal - John, Michael Warshaviak - Bartholomew, Leonid Weinstein - James son of Alphaeus).

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Godspell (1973)

May 30, 2008

1973GodspellJesusAfter a month's absence I'm back looking at Godspell based on the hit musical Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. It's one of the more heavily criticised Jesus films as it has not dated at all well, but the musical still remains possible and it's attempts to reinvigorate Jesus's teaching is still interesting today.
(Director - David Greene)
(Cast: Victor Garber - Jesus, Katie Hanley - Katie, David Haskell - John / Judas, Merrell Jackson - Merrell, Joanne Jonas - Joanne, Robin Lamont - Robin, Gilmer McCormick - Gilmer, Jeffrey Mylett - Jeffrey, Jerry Sroka - Jerry, Lynne Thigpen - Lynne, John-Michael Tebelak - Pharisee Monster [voice]).

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Next Podcast

April 30, 2008

Unfortunately I haven't had time to create a podcast entry this month and as the next couple of weeks look fairly busy I won't be able to get around to recording the next one until the middle of May. Apologies to anyone who was looking forward to it.

The Passion (2008)

March 31, 2008

The Passion-Jesus.jpgThe Passion is a BBC1 drama that aired this Easter in the UK and will be shown in the States next Easter on HBO. The UK broadcast was stripped over 4 episodes between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, though the HBO version might be over 3 or even 6 nights instead. Being a TV drama the series should be coming to DVD in the next few months.
(Director: Michael Offer)
(Cast:Joseph Mawle - Jesus, James Nesbitt - Pilate; Ben Daniels - Caiaphas; Stephen Graham - Barabbas; Penelope Wilton - Mary; Darren Morfitt - Peter; David Oyelowo - Joseph of Arimethea; Roger Ashton-Griffiths - Syrian Prefect; Paloma Baeza - Mary Magdalene; Jamie Sives - John; Denis Lawson - Annas; Vinette Robinson - Mina; Lewis Clay - Thomas; Tom Ellis - Philip; Daniel Evans - Matthew; Martin Hutson - Pilate's Secretary; Mark Lewis Jones - Marcus; Esther Hall - Claudia; John Lynch – Chief Temple Guard; Johnny Harris - Asher; Dean Lennox Kelly - James; Stuart Kidd - Simon; Steve Morphew - Thaddaeus;)

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Son of Man 2006

February 28, 2008

2006SonofMan-Jesus.jpgMark Dornford-May's Jezile (Son of Man) is the first of two films about Jesus being released next month, so seeing as this is the one that I have seen, I'm going to look discuss it this month and the BBC's The Passion next month.
(Director: Mark Dornford-May)

(Cast:Andile Kosi - Jesus, Pauline Malefane - Mary, Andries Mbali - Satan, Gabriel - James Anthony, Joseph - Joel Mthethwa, Herod - Sibusiso Ziqubu, Child Jesus - Vuyo Sonyaka, Peter - Sibulele Mjali, James - Ntobeko “Top, John - Mvakalisi Madotyeni, Thomas - Ebenezer Sawuli, Bartholomew - Mzukisi Gqadushe, James the Younger - Bongani Bubu, Matthew - Thembela James, Thaddea - Nobapostile Msongelwa, Andie - Thandiwe Mesele, Judas - Jim Ngxabaze, Caiaphus - Mvuyisi Mjali, Pilate - Zamile Gantana, Mary Magdalene - Ruby Mthethwa, )

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Gospel of John 2003

January 31, 2008

2003GospelofJohn.jpgThe first Jesus films podcast of the year, on the Visual Bible's The Gospel of John, arrives late, and with the odd bit of distortion that I've not been able to fix! Apologies to regulars I'll try and get it sorted and re-post.

I comment on both versions of the film the recent 2 hours cut as well as the complete original.
(Director: Philip Saville)
(Cast:Henry Ian Cusick - Jesus Christ, Christopher Plummer - Narrator, Stuart Bunce - John, Daniel Kash - Simon Peter, Stephen Russell - Pontius Pilate, Alan Van Sprang - Judas Iscariot, Diana Berriman - Virgin Mary, Richard Lintern - Leading Pharisee, Scott Handy - John the Baptist, Lynsey Baxter - Mary Magdalene, Diego Matamoros - Nicodemus, Nancy Palk - Samaritan Woman, Elliot Levey - Nathanael, Andrew Pifko - Philip, Cedric Smith - Caiaphas, Tristan Gemmill - Andrew, Aaron Abrams - Man in Temple Crowd #3, Salvatore Antonio - Judas (Not Iscariot) (as Salvatore Migliore), Miriam Brown - Martha, Donald Ewer - Annas, Jan Filips - Joseph of Arimathea, Miriam Hughes - Mary, Lazarus' Sister, Alex Karzis - James, Nitzan Sharron - Lazarus, Andy Velasquez - Thomas the Twin)

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The Passion of the Christ (2004)

November 29, 2007

This month I'm looking at Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ which became one of the most controversial, and successful films of all time when it was released in 2004. Back then it was the film that everyone seemed to have an opinion on, and its success has paved the way for a score of films about the Bible to be created.
(Director: Mel Gibson)
(Cast:James Caviezel... Jesus, Maia Morgenstern... Mary, Christo Jivkov... John, Francesco De Vito... Peter, Monica Bellucci... Mary Magdalene, Mattia Sbragia... Caiphas, Toni Bertorelli... Annas, Luca Lionello... Judas, Hristo Shopov... Pontius Pilate (as Hristo Naumov Shopov), Claudia Gerini... Claudia Procles, Fabio Sartor... Abenader, Giacinto Ferro... Joseph of Arimathea, Olek Mincer... Nicodemus, Sheila Mokhtari... Woman in Audience, Lucio Allocca... Old Temple Guard, Luca De Dominicis... Herod, Pedro Sarubbi... Barabbas, Jarreth Merz... Simon of Cyrene, Rosalinda Celentano… Satan)

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The King of Kings (1927)

October 31, 2007


This month I'm looking at Cecil B. DeMille's silent classic The King of Kings (1927).

The recent Criterion Collection DVD release for this film included both the widely seen 1928 version of this film and the original, longer 1927 cut.

(Director: Cecil B. DeMille)
(Cast:H.B. Warner... Jesus, the Christ, Dorothy Cumming... Mary, the mother, Ernest Torrence... Peter, Joseph Schildkraut... Judas Iscariot, James Neill... James, brother of John, Joseph Striker... John, the beloved, Robert Edeson... Matthew, the publican, Sidney D'Albrook... Thomas, the doubter, David Imboden... Andrew, a fisherman, Charles Belcher... Philip, Clayton Packard... Bartholomew, Robert Ellsworth... Simon, the zealot, Charles Requa... James The Lesser, John T. Prince... Thaddeus, Jacqueline Logan... Mary Magdalene, Rudolph Schildkraut... Caiaphas, high priest of Israel, Sam De Grasse... Pharisee, Casson Ferguson... Scribe, Victor Varconi... Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, Majel Coleman... Proculla, wife of Pilate, Montagu Love... Roman Centurion, William Boyd... Simon Of Cyrene, Micky Moore... Mark, Theodore Kosloff... Malchus, captain of the high priest's guards, George Siegmann... Barabbas, Kenneth Thomson... Lazarus, Alan Brooks... Satan, Viola Louie... Adulterous woman, Muriel McCormac... Blind girl)

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Jesus (1999)

September 27, 2007

Jesus (1999) is one of the latest Jesus films being released only 8 years ago. It first aired on CBS in America and Sky in the UK, but has been broadcast many times since in a number of different countries. Whilst unmistakably set in the 1st Century it takes a very modern approach to the story.

(Director: Roger Young) (Cast:Jeremy Sisto...Jesus, Debra Messing...Mary Magdalene, Armin Mueller-Stahl...Joseph, Jacqueline Bisset...Mary, Gary Oldman...Pontius Pilate, David O'Hara...John the Baptist, Claudio Amendola...Barabbas, G.W. Bailey...Livio, Luca Barbareschi...Herod Antipas, Luca Zingaretti...Peter, Christian Kohlund...Caiaphas, Elena Sofia Ricci...Herodias, Stefania Rocca...Mary of Bethany, Gabriella Pession...Salome, Maria Cristina Heller...Martha of Bethany, Jeroen Krabbé...Satan (Man), Manuela Ruggeri...Satan (Woman), Peter Gevisser...Lazarus, Thomas Lockyer...Judas, Ian Duncan...John, Gilly Gilchrist...Andrew, Fabio Sartor...James, Sebastian Knapp...Matthew, Sean Harris...Thomas, Karim Doukkali...Philip, Said Bey...Thaddeus, Abedelouhahad Mouaddine...James the Less, El Housseine Dejjiti...Simon, Mohammed Taleb...Bartholomew, Omar Lahlou...Nathanael, Miles C. Hobson...Jesus (6 Years Old), Josh Maguire...Young Jesus, Zack Maguire...Young John, Rick Warden...Jared, Iddo Goldberg...Seth)

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Life and Passion of Jesus Christ

August 30, 2007

The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1905) is the earliest Jesus film that is widely available today (although the exact release date of the DVD version of this film is not entirely clear). The film is a million miles away from today's slick movie making, yet there's something very genuine about it's earnest depiction of it's subject.

(Directors: Lucien Nonguet and Ferdinand Zecca) (Cast:Monsieur Normand...Jesus, Madame Moreau...Virgin Mary, Monsieur Moreau...Joseph, Monsieur Jacquinett...Judas, Le Petit Briand...Jesus as a Boy. Other actors unknown)

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Last Temptation of Christ

July 31, 2007

Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ caused uproar when it was first released and even today it's still primarily discussed in those terms. But as it nears its twentieth anniversary it's about time that the film started to be discussed on the basis of its artistic merits.

(Director: Martin Scorsese) (Cast:Willem Dafoe... Jesus, Harvey Keitel... Judas, Paul Greco... Zealot, Steve Shill... Centurion , Verna Bloom... Mary, Mother of Jesus, Barbara Hershey... Mary Magdalene, Harry Dean Stanton... Saul/Paul, David Bowie... Pontius Pilate, Juliette Caton... Girl Angel , Andre Gregory... John the Baptist, Peggy Gormley... Martha, Sister of Lazarus, Randy Danson... Mary, Sister of Lazarus, Tomas Arana... Lazarus, Gary Basaraba... Andrew, Apostle, Irvin Kershner... Zebedee, Victor Argo... Peter, Apostle, Michael Been... John, Apostle, Paul Herman... Phillip, Apostle, John Lurie... James, Apostle, Leo Burmester... Nathaniel, Apostle, Robert Spafford... Man At Wedding, Doris von Thury... Woman with Mary, Alan Rosenberg... Thomas, Apostle, Roberts Blossom... Aged Master, Barry Miller... Jeroboam, Del Russel... Money Changer, Nehemiah Persoff... Rabbi, Donald Hodson... Saducee, Peter Berling... Beggar)

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King of Kings

June 28, 2007

This month I'm looking at King of Kings (1961) directed by Nicholas Ray.

Despite it's flaws it's one of my top ten Jesus Films, (although perhaps the least defensible selection) mainly down to some great visuals.

(Director: Nicholas Ray) (Cast:Jeffrey Hunter... Jesus, Siobhan McKenna... Mary, Hurd Hatfield... Pontius Pilate, Ron Randell... Lucius, Viveca Lindfors... Claudia, Rita Gam... Herodias, Carmen Sevilla... Mary Magdalene, Brigid Bazlen... Salome, Harry Guardino... Barabbas, Rip Torn... Judas, Frank Thring... Herod Antipas, Guy Rolfe... Caiaphas, Royal Dano... Peter, Robert Ryan... John The Baptist, Grégoire Aslan... Herod (as Gregoire Aslan), Gérard Tichy... Joseph (as Gerard Tichy), Antonio Mayans... Young John (as José Antonio), Rubén Rojo... Matthew (as Ruben Rojo), Michael Wager... Thomas, Félix de Pomés... Joseph of Arimathea (as Felix de Pomes), Rafael Luis Calvo... Simon of Cyrene, Tino Barrero... Andrew, Orson Welles... Narrator)

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Il Messia

May 31, 2007

This month I'm looking at Il Messia a less well known Jesus film by the great Italian director Roberto Rossellini.

Next month (June 2007) the film will receive a rare theatrical screening at the National Film Theatre in London as part of the BFI's Rossellini Retrospective.

(Director: Roberto Rossellini) (Cast:Pier Maria Rossi... Gesù, Mita Ungaro... Vergine Maria, Carlos de Carvalho... Giovanni Battista, Fausto Di Bella... Re Saul,, Vernon Dobtcheff... Samuele, Antonella Fasano... Maria Maddalena, Jean Martin... Ponzio Pilato, Toni Ucci... Erode Antipa, Vittorio Caprioli... Erode il Grande, Tina Aumont... L'adultera, Flora Carabella... Erodiade, Raouf Ben Amor... Giuda, Luis Suárez... Giovanni, Hedi Zoughlami... Simon Pietro, Renato Montalbano... Matteo)

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The Miracle Maker

April 30, 2007

This month I'm discussing the Russian-Welsh animated Jesus film The Miracle Maker. Released in 1999 it's the most recent film I've discussed so far, and whilst, surprisingly, it's still not that well known, the list of those who admire it is certainly growing.

(Directors: Derek W. Hayes, Stanislav Sokolov) (Cast:Ralph Fiennes... Jesus, Michael Bryant... Voice of God/the Doctor, Julie Christie... Rachel, Rebecca Callard... Tamar, James Frain... Thomas, Richard E. Grant... John the Baptist, Ian Holm... Pontius Pilate, William Hurt... Jairus, Anton Lesser... Herod, Daniel Massey... Cleopas, Tim McInnerny... Barabbas, Alfred Molina... Simon the Pharisee, Bob Peck... Joseph of Arimathea, Miranda Richardson... Mary Magdalene, Antony Sher... Ben Azra, Ewan Stewart... Andrew, Ken Stott... Simon Peter, David Thewlis... Judas Iscariot)

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Jesus Christ, Superstar

March 30, 2007

1973JCSSRoadtoCross.jpgThis month I'm speaking on Jesus Christ, Superstar, Norman Jewison's 1973 film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera. Jesus was played by Ted Neeley.

(Director: Norman Jewison) (Ted Neeley... Jesus Christ, Carl Anderson... Judas Iscariot, Yvonne Elliman... Mary Magdalene, Barry Dennen... Pontius Pilate, Bob Bingham... Caiaphas, Larry Marshall... Simon Zealotes (as Larry T. Marshall), Josh Mostel... King Herod (as Joshua Mostel), Kurt Yaghjian... Annas, Paul Thomas... Peter (as Philip Toubus), Pi Douglass... Apostle, Richard Orbach... John, Robert LuPone... James, Jonathan Wynne... Apostle, Thommie Walsh... Thaddeus, Richard Molinare... Andrew, David Devir... Apostle, Jeff Hyslop... Philip)

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Jesus of Montreal

February 28, 2007

This month I'm discussing Denis Arcand's Jésus de Montréal (Jesus of Montreal). The film tells the story of an actor who gets the role of Jesus in a play, and begins to find his real life becoming more and more like the one he is portraying.

(Director: Denys Arcand)

(Cast: Lothaire Bluteau...Daniel, Catherine Wilkening...Mireille, Johanne-Marie Tremblay...Constance, Rémy Girard...Martin, Robert LePage...Réné, Gilles Pelletier...Fr. Leclerc, Yves Jacques...Richard Cardinal, Denys Arcand...Judge)

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

January 29, 2007

Stevens After a month off for Christmas (!), this month I'm looking at George Stevens's The Greatest Story Ever Told. Whilst the film did poorly at the book office, there's much to appreciate in the film despite its flaws.

(Director: George Stevens)

(Cast: Max von Sydow...Jesus , Michael Anderson Jr....James the Younger, , Carroll Baker...Veronica, Ina Balin...Martha of Bethany, , Pat Boone...The figure in the tomb, Victor Buono...Sorak, Richard Conte...Barabbas, Joanna Dunham...Mary Magdalene, José Ferrer...Herod Antipas, , Van Heflin...Bar Amand, , Charlton Heston...John the Baptist, , Martin Landau...Caiaphas, , Angela Lansbury...Claudia, Janet Margolin...Mary of Bethany, David McCallum...Judas Iscariot, , Roddy McDowall...Matthew, Dorothy McGuire...The Virgin Mary, , Sal Mineo...Uriah, , Nehemiah Persoff...Shemiah, , Donald Pleasence...The Dark Hermit - Satan, , Sidney Poitier...Simon of Cyrene, , Claude Rains...King Herod, Gary Raymond...Peter, , Telly Savalas...Pontius Pilate, Joseph Schildkraut...Nicodemus, Paul Stewart...Questor, , John Wayne...Centurion at crucifixion, , Shelley Winters...Woman who is healed, , Ed Wynn...Old Aram, John Abbott...Aben, Rodolfo Acosta...Captain of lancers, Michael Ansara...Herod's commander, , Robert Blake...Simon the Zealot, Burt Brinckerhoff...Andrew, Robert Busch...Emissary, John Considine...John, Philip Coolidge...Chuza, John Crawford...Alexander, Frank DeKova...The tormentor (as Frank de Kova), Cyril Delevanti...Melchior, , Jamie Farr...Thaddaeus, , David Hedison...Philip, Russell Johnson...Scribe, Mark Lenard...Balthazar, , Robert Loggia...Joseph, John Lupton...Speaker of Capernaum, Peter Mann...Nathanael, , Tom Reese...Thomas, , Marian Seldes...Herodias, David Sheiner...James the Elder, Frank Silvera...Caspar, , Joseph Sirola...Dumah, Abraham Sofaer...Joseph of Arimathaea, , Harold J. Stone...Gen. Varus, Chet Stratton...Theophilus, Michael Tolan...Lazarus, Ron Whelan...Annas, )

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