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Friday, November 01, 2013

Saints' movies

On All Saints' Day, here are some movies about saints. First the ones I've seen, then the ones I haven't ...

Alexander Nevsky ... a 1938 historical drama film directed by Sergei Eisenstein. It depicts the attempted invasion of Novgorod in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights of the Holy Roman Empire and their defeat by Prince Alexander ... a musical score by Sergei Prokofiev. I did see this movie about Alexander when I was in college ... the battle on the ice was cool :)

Becket ... a 1964 film adaptation of the play Becket or the Honour of God by Jean Anouilh ... The film stars Richard Burton as Thomas Becket and Peter O'Toole as King Henry II, with John Gielgud as King Louis VII, Donald Wolfit as Gilbert Foliot, Paolo Stoppa as Pope Alexander III ... I did see this movie about Thomas Becket recently and posted about it here.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon ... a 1972 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker. The film is a biopic of Saint Francis of Assisi. Saw this film about Francis too and liked it very much, especially the music by Donovan. I posted a couple of clips from the movie here.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc ... a [1999] French historical drama film directed by Luc Besson ... The Messenger portrays the story of St. Joan of Arc, the famous French war heroine of the 15th century and religious martyr, played by Milla Jovovich. Also saw this and found it very interesting, especially the depiction of Joan's religious experiences. Didn't like the Dustin Hoffman character ("The Conscience"), though - too campy.

Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire ... a 2010 two-part television miniseries chronicling the life of St. Augustine, the early Christian theologian, writer and Bishop of Hippo Regius at the time of the Vandal invasion (AD 430). I haven't seen this - it doesn't seem to be a Netflix or at the library :( It stars Franco Nero as Augustine and the trailer makes the movie look really good (I think).

Vision – From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen ... a 2009 German film directed by Margarethe von Trotta ... tells the story of Hildegard of Bingen (Barbara Sukowa) the famed 12th century Benedictine nun, Christian mystic, composer, philosopher, playwright, physician, poet, naturalist, scientist and ecological activist. I also haven't seen this film about Hildegard and I doubt I will, given her support of complementarianism - eek!

Theresa: The Body of Christ ... a 2007 biopic written and directed by Ray Loriga and starring Paz Vega as the title character, Saint Teresa of Ávila. The film has been criticised by Spanish bishops for its erotic representation of the saint's visions, ... I haven't yet seen this film about Teresa, but if bishops hate it, I'd probably like it ;)


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