April 23rd, 2011: The Last Temptation of Christ

Cast and Crew:   Paul Schrader (Screenplay); Barbara Hershey, Irvin Kershner, John Lurie, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie

What It’s About: The story of Christ’s last temptation-to live the life of a normal man and avoid his fate.  Based on Nikos Kazantzakis’s novel and directed by Martin Scorcese.

Why Watch it Today?: Today is Holy Saturday, the day between Jesus’s death and his resurrection.   Every year my mother would take us to the Easter Vigil on the evening of Holy Saturday, a special and very solemn mass that always lead me to reflection.  The Last Temptation of Christ was attacked at the time of its release for depicting an earthly, tempted Christ, but for this “recovering” Catholic, the film was moving and reminded me of many of the things I valued from my days with the Church.  The film is actually a very thoughtful (and fairly unique, on film, at least) take on the life of Jesus and of his disciples, with an excellent cast headed by Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel.

Where to Get It: Libraries, Netflix, or Amazon

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