History and Anti‐History

Adele Reinhartz

in Jesus of Hollywood

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780195146967
Published online May 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785469 | DOI:
 History and Anti‐History

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This chapter looks closely at the various techniques by which the Jesus movies stake their claim to historicity. These techniques include introductory scrolled texts, voice-over narration, and, more subtly, details of setting, costuming, music, and the physical appearance of the characters. The chapter then outlines the ways in which the Jesus biopics undermine their own stated claims to historicity and studies in detail two movies that self-consciously negate the claim to historicity, The Last Temptation of Christ and Jesus of Montreal.

Keywords: historicity; biopics; voice-over narration; silent movie intertitles; Scorsese; Arcand; Gospels; Synoptic Gospels; chronology; two-document hypothesis

Chapter.  8592 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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