Thursday, November 02, 2006

Braveheart in Persia

I went to see One Night with the King and enjoyed it immensely— especially the part where Esther risks her life. I always wish I could be so wise and brave.

That aside, a few things in the movie struck me as odd. First, there was this Braveheart-looking king of Persia…I hadn’t realized that the Irish mixed with the Persians! Then, there was a eunuch who talked suspiciously like one of my fellow New Yorkers. The eunuch said he was kidnapped from his country, but who would have guessed he came from America? And, continuing with the America theme, there were odd mumblings about terrorists and democracy and freedom.

I don’t know. The same production company has a Christmas movie coming up. And though I’ll probably go see it, I’m a little concerned about what I’ll find in the manger …maybe a Starbucks cup, under the donkey’s hoof? Still, I’m curious to find out whether Herod was a Republican or a Democrat. I never could figure that out from the biblical accounts.


Blogger Andrea said...

HA! Very funny. I always wonder about those kind of "cultural things" in movies, too. I'm always looking for authenticity--in movies, in people, in books, in blogs. ;)

8:12 AM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Very funny, you have a gift with words and I will look out for your blog about the Christmas film review!

I noted in your last blog about your daughters and thought you would like this joke, it made me laugh!

"A boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an
urgent problem with one of the main computers, dialled the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper.


"Is your daddy home?" he asked.

"Yes," whispered the small voice.

"May I talk to him?"

The child whispered, "No."

Surprised, and wanting to talk to an adult, the boss asked, "Is your
mommy there?"


"May I talk to her?"

Again the small voice whispered, "No."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"

"Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."

Wondering what a policeman would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, "May I speak to the policeman?"

"No, he's busy", whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"

"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.

Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a
helicopter through the ear piece on the phone the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A hello-copper" answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" asked the boss, now truly alarmed.

In an awed whispering voice the child answered, "The search team just landed the hello-copper."

Alarmed, concerned, and even more then just a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied along with a muffled giggle:

Chat to you soon L.L!!!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

I am unfortunately cursed with a deep suspicion of Christian media. Though I adored Facing the Giants, despite myslef.

I'm glad to hear that One Night with the King at least wasn't embarrassing to the Christian community. Certainly it has quite a cast!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

This made me laugh!
All they need now is an African sparrow.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Judy Callarman said...

That sounds verrrrry strange. Like Andrea, I am always on the lookout for authenticity!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Kirk and I went to see the film and walked out. We thought the dialogue wooden, the acting undeveloped, and the costumes and makeup more attended to than anything else. I felt deeply disappointed that this film didn't do more to show mainstream society the level of art and thoughtfulness the Christian community could be capable of. But at least it will touch people in our Christian community already . . . which is maybe who it was geared for in the first place . . . but I guess doesn't include me or Kirk.

4:26 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Andrea... the trouble with authenticity in this movie was probably too much license taken with the story. Still, I enjoyed it.

Martin... oh, now I have to go see it, huh?

Mark... I'm not sure whether this is embarrassing to the Christian community or not... as Christianne points out after you, it may be an "insider" movie more than an outreach.

Heather... a sparrow? Hmmm... I wonder where that fits in the story of Esther... or, perhaps that's your point! :)

Judy.... indeed, some parts of the movie were strange, especially if you know the true story.

Christianne... walked out? Wow. I'd love to hear more about that. Were you offended or just bored?

...I think my experience of the film was colored by the fact that it was preceded by dinner with my girlfriends (without kids) and plenty of annoying chitchat (from us) throughout the film. Plus, I was having a good time trying to recall what was accurate and what was poetic (or unpoetic, as the case may be!) license. :) So, you have to tell us if there's a Christian film you like.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

This was great!--and funny. What an image... "maybe a Starbucks cup, under the donkey's hoof?" I will probably be thinking about that line the first time I see a nativity scene this Christmas

9:43 PM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...


haha. Wonder what gives there. Still does sound like worth a watch.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

I know. I've only ever walked out of one or two movies before in my life.

I'm pretty surprised by how strongly I (negatively) reacted to it. It probably has something to do with how much I had been anticipating seeing it. My work showed the trailer last month during a staff meeting, and the trailer made it look amazing. I'd been waiting with bated breath for it to come out.

But then, nothing. I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed, annoyed, frustrated, irritated, and did I mention embarrassed? Maybe this has something to do with Kirk and I feeling a specific call to reach Christians in media and entertainment who want to reach the culture for Christ (which means creating work that is worthy of being seen, read, watched). This one, in my opinion, didn't do that. Or maybe it had something to do with being a Christian watching this movie in a theatre filled with people who, for all I knew, may not have been. I felt embarrassed to have such an intimate knowledge of the story and the Bible, only to have some voice-over God talk to us as though he's telling the story and then poor story tracking and bad acting.

Sorry to get all rantish on this. I've let it go, really. :) But I do find it interesting that the other movie we were watching that same weekend was Vanilla Sky. And even though the story is disturbing in many ways, Kirk and I had to admit it was crafted and told infinitely better than ONWTK.

11:16 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Jim... hope I didn't ruin your Christmas season! :)

Ted... well, I guess it's up for grabs... see Christianne's comment below yours.

Christianne... thanks for this very honest discussion about your reaction. Maybe the fact that I saw it in a virtually empty theater left me free to watch and not mind what others thought. I completely appreciate your response, and I sure hope you and Kirk bring more vitality, beauty, and truth to the world of Christian media (even if it's just by saying, "That was so bad we had to walk out!")

12:01 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Thanks, L.L. It's so nice to find people with whom you can share honest reactions to books, movies, music, whatever, and enjoy the perspectives and conversation without getting all wiggy about it. So many of my friends are afraid to tell me they didn't like a particular book I recommended to them. But my thought is: why not? I'd like to hear what does or doesn't yank their chain, and besides, it would make for stimulating conversation to talk about a good (or bad) book (or movie) and what makes it meritorious or not.

Anyway, there I go with another one of my rants. I need to stop doing that!

By the way, I did think of a superior Christian film that you should definitely go watch. It's called I Am David. Have you heard of it?

1:26 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, now, Christianne, you are always welcome to "rant" in my backyard. I like hearing different viewpoints.

No, I've not heard of that movie. Thanks for recommending it! :)

11:06 AM  

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