Thursday, April 22, 2021

Movie Review: "Dara of Jasenovac" (2020)

Since today, April 22nd, the Serbian Orthodox Church commemorates the Serbian new martyrs of the Ustasha death camp in Jasenovac, I thought I would bring to people's attention an excellent new movie about the horrors of this period of Serbian history, called Dara of Jasenovac.

The film Dara of Jasenovac, directed by Predrag Antonijević and written by Nataša Drakulić, is the first feature film about the suffering of Serbs, Jews and Roma, including children, in the Ustasha death camp in Jasenovac, during the so-called Independent State of Croatia, a fascist/nazi puppet-state during World War II. The historical war drama about one of the most horrific concentration camps in history was filmed 76 years after its closure, based on authentic testimonies of camp survivors and with the support of the Film Center of Serbia.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Movie Review: "The Girl Who Believes in Miracles" (2021) with a special mention of "The Unholy" (2021)


Since my goal is to review every movie that has ever been made in which Jesus makes some sort of an appearance, I could not overlook a movie I saw a few weeks ago called The Girl Who Believes in Miracles. It's about a young girl named Sara who is taught at home and in church to have faith in God, but when one day she makes the claim that Jesus appeared to her as a man wearing a t-shirt and jeans over a lake after praying, an encounter that gives her the ability to work miracles and healings which leads to her own loss of health, few believe her except those who share the same simple faith that she does.

Overall the message of the movie is that simple faith has power and reaps rewards, even a vision of Jesus Christ Himself. Typically I would look at a movie like this as silly and dumb, but I must confess the film moved me and it did a good job in conveying its message. In a way, I think the movie is supposed to be sort of silly and dumb, in order to highlight the fact that it is faith in its simplicity that pleases Jesus. Even though the movie does show Sara going to church, it does the best it can in not making it a story within the confines of a certain denomination, but it is a typical American girl in a typical American family that lives in a typical American town where everyone lives a typical American life. The focus is meant to be on simple faith.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Movie Review: "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988)

The Last Temptation of Christ

Director: Martin Scorsese

Producer: Barbara De Fina

Screenplay: Paul Schrader

Based on: "The Last Temptation of Christ" by Nikos Kazantzakis

Cinematographer: Michael Ballhaus

Music: Peter Gabriel

Starring: Willem Dafoe as Jesus

Production company: Cineplex Odeon Films

Country: United States

Initial release: August 12, 1988

Run Time: 163 minutes

The Last Temptation of Christ is a 1988 film directed by Martin Scorsese that was adapted from Nikos Kazantzakis' controversial 1955 novel The Last Temptation of Christ, shot entirely in Morocco. Although a box office failure, it received positive reviews from critics and some religious leaders, and Scorsese received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director. Barbara Hershey's performance as Mary Magdalene earned her a nomination for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Peter Gabriel's music score also received acclaim, including a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. Dafoe's performance was praised, with some thinking he should have been nominated for Best Actor. However, Harvey Keitel's performance was not well received and he was nominated for Worst Supporting Actor.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Prince Philip, Orthodoxy and His Unknown Visit to Mount Athos in 1992

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born on the Greek island of Kerkyra on the dining room table of the villa of Mon Repos on 10 June 1921.

He was baptized by the Greek Orthodox priest Fr. George Sardanis, at the Church of Saint George in the Old Fortress.

When he was eighteen months old he was exiled from Greece with his family. His father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, had been sentenced to death for high treason after the Asia Minor catastrophe, and was saved at the last minute, with British intervention. He was blamed in part for the country's defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) and for the loss of Greek territory, and the family was forced into exile until the restoration of the Greek monarchy in 1935.

The British naval vessel HMS Calypso evacuated Prince Andrew's family, with Philip carried to safety in a cot made from a fruit box. Philip's family went to France, where they settled in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud in a house lent to them by his wealthy aunt, Princess George of Greece and Denmark. Prince Andrew and his family were stripped of their Greek nationality, and traveled under Danish passports.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Movie Review: "Jesus Christ Superstar" (1973)

 Jesus Christ Superstar

Director: Norman Jewison

Producer: Norman Jewison, Robert Stigwood

Screenplay: Melvyn Bragg, Norman Jewison

Based on: "Jesus Christ Superstar" by Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber

Cinematographer: Douglas Slocombe

Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber

Starring: Ted Neeley as Jesus

Production company: Universal Pictures

Country: United States

Initial release: June 26, 1973

Run Time: 106 minutes

Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Broadway rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar recounts the last days of Jesus Christ (Ted Neeley) from the perspective of Judas Iscariot (Carl Anderson), his betrayer. As Jesus' following increases, Judas begins to worry that Jesus is falling for his own hype, forgetting the principles of his teachings and growing too close to the prostitute Mary Magdalene (Yvonne Elliman). After Jesus has an outburst in a temple, Judas turns on him.