Stranger Things Have Happened

So we have all heard of stranger danger right? Well some strangers; such as the tall, dark, and handsome ones we read in books and watch in movies, could enter our lives. I mean there is a small percentage.

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That’s why one must always be on the lookout and prepared:

Stranger

Because you never know when the possible stranger could become more…

Really?

Really?

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For more of my musings, go to It’s the Most Woeful Time of the Year

He Has Risen

heisrisen Easter Jesus

So ends another Easter countdown. May you all have a blessed day!

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” –Matthew 28:2-7

The Death of Christ

1500-Pieta Michelangelo

So happy Good Friday everybody. This year we have looked at very different mediums; a photograph, woodcut, and now a sculpture.

This piece is the Pietá by Michelangelo. He did this piece when he was extremely young, in his early twenties, and it shows his genius at sculpture. Even though Michelangelo could paint and sculpt, he never thought of himself as a painter. He always said that he saw the things he wanted to make in the marble, that it was alive and spoke to him; all it wanting was to be freed.

1500-Pieta Michelangelo

This piece is amazing. First of all it is not proportionate and Mary is too young; but Michelangelo wanted to create the essence of the person rather than the actual, realistic self. So let’s talk first about Mary.

We have the youthfulness of when she was told by an angel that she would be the mother of Christ. She is distraught at the death of her son, that she is holding his body in her lap.

Her body os much larger than Jesus’ is as to mimic the way the mother could hold a small child, their baby; which even though Jesus is an adult he is still her baby. Mary’s stance also mimics the way that mother’s would give birth in that time, the birthing stool. So in birth and death she is with her child.

Now let’s look at Jesus:

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In his face we see no life in him, but that he died with a smile on his lips. He has fulfilled the plan of God and the great sacrifice; to save us and have us reign in heaven forever.

Also look at his body and hair, not to mention the folds of his clothes. They just look so real. As if they are two people under a cloth rather than carved out of marble.

Many people didn’t believe that Michelangelo created such an advanced piece of art, so he went back and signed his name in a large script. This is one of the few pieces to bear his signature.

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”–Luke 23: 39-43

“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)… Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.”–Mark 15: 33-36

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”–John 19: 30

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open…When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”–Matthew 27:51-54

“So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body…Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”–Mark 15: 42-46

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For more Good Friday posts, go to The Lamentation of Christ

For the previous painting, go to The Arrest

The Arrest

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So the next artwork we are going to look at is The Betrayal of Jesus by Albrecht Dürer, a woodcut.

Now Dürer was a painter from Germany, his work becoming a part of the German Renaissance. He also did a series of woodcuts, a media made popular after the Gutenberg Press was invented as it was easy and cheap to make.

This woodcut was a part of a series Dürer did, called the Little Passion. This was before he became a part of Martin Luther’s protestant movement; and changed to doing Reformation art.

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So as we look upon Dürer’s work we see a lot of similarities to the Giotto and Duccio pieces I have reviewed in the past. We are given a window onto a world, with the background being about Christs’s arrest and the foreground on Peter’s attack.

But there are a few differences. If you look at the action in the background you see how intense the capture of Christ was. We have men with ropes, spears, and axes; reaching to pull Judas out of the way and capture Jesus. If you look clodsely at the interaction between Jesus, Judas, and the guard; you’ll notice that Caravaggio copied it for his own work almost 100 years later.

We also see a very intense scene with Peter. While most art depicts him cutting the ear off of a guard trying to attack Jesus, this one is more extreme. Not only is Peter about to slice of the man’s appendage, but he has knocked him to the ground, tossed the lantern in his face, and has completely overpowered him.

If you look at Jesus’ face, we can also see that his expression is not one of anger or sadness, but acceptance. He knows what is in store for him, willingly going ahead with the plan.

I choose this painting for the intensity along with the way it brings the text to life. I think this is a powerful woodcut, especially in its depiction of Peter.

“Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him.”–Mark 14:43-46

“Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear…Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”– John 18: 10-11

“And he [Jesus] touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22: 51

“Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”–Matthew 26: 52-56

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For more paintings on the arrest of Christ, go to The Taking of Christ

For more paintings of Christ, go to What If God Was One of Us?

What If God Was One of Us?

Jesus

So the next portrayal of Christ on our list to cover is The Last Supper. Now for the past few years I have been reviewing classical paintings, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper; but this year I decided to shake it up. I was looking online trying to decide which painting to do next when I came across this photograph by Freddy Fabris.

Jesus

Fabris has been recreating famous Renaissance paintings, this one being based on Philippe de Champaigne’s Last Supper.

I liked this photograph because it tries to set Jesus and his disciples up as people ordinary people. Which is what God did when he sent him down to become a man and live on the Earth with us. Jesus wasn’t wealthy or born as a king or prince; instead he was the son of a carpenter, becoming one himself. Carpentry wasn’t as wealthy as tax collecting, but was a solid profession.

I liked the update of Jesus and the disciples being mechanics, as carpentry and fishing are done differently today, and the mechanical work and the strength needed are similar.

I also like how Jesus and the group are eating ramen and cheap cheeseburger & fries; even though it isn’t the wine and bread in the scripture, it does seem like something constantly traveling and moving people would eat.

The only thing I don’t like is that there are not enough disciples in the photo, there should be three more around the table. I also don’t like how Jesus looks. Who picked out that t-shirt?

But most of all I enjoy this photograph because it is a great take on Jesus being one of us.

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.”–Mark 14: 12-17

“Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’ His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, ‘Ask him which one he means.’ Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’ But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.”–John 13: 21-30

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”–Matt 26: 26-29

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For more Last Suppers, go to Take and Eat, This is My Body

For more portrayals of Christ, go to Entry Into Jerusalem

Oh, Moses, Moses: Happy 60th Anniversary to The Ten Commandments

10commandments

So this past Sunday I decided to celebrate Easter/Passover in the best way I could think of. Going to the movies to see the rerelease of The Ten Commandments for it’s 60th anniversary.

It originally came out on October 5th 1956, but as I will be doing Horrorfest, and they rereleased it this week, I felt it was better to review now.

This was actually my first time watching the film.

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I know? How could a cinephile like me miss it? Well my mom tried to get me to watch it with her back when I was five, but my attention span was strong enough. Since then I never got around to seeing it. However, it was sooooo amazing I just can’t believe I missed viewing it before.

I love it

This movie is what The Price of Egypt is based on, but it is waaaaaay better. The tried to carefully follow the story in the bible along with other historical documents. The special effects they had were amazing for the time, the sets magnificent, and the actor unbelievable.

Wow

Wow

The film took four years to make, 13 million dollars, and was Cecille B. DeMille’s last film.

Every year since 1973, ABC airs this film on Easter, or Passover. In 1999, when they chose not to they received so many irate phone calls from people than they have for any other film they have ever telecast. I will say I think it has become my new Easter tradition.

AWESOME!!!

AWESOME!!!

This film was the highest grossing film, after Gone With the Wind (1939), until The Sound of Music (1965). It was the highest grossing religious film until The Passion of the Christ (2004)This is currently the 7th highest grossing film of all time.

keanu Whoa

So we have the two main leads who were just phenomenal. First we have Yul Brynner as Rameses II, the pharaoh believed to live at the time of Moses. Brynner played the role as a jealous brother, which some may think Ralph Fiennes was better and more brotherly, but I think it was spot on. For those who don’t know history, the game of who would get the throne could get ugly.

There is no middle ground.

There is no middle ground.

The Pharaoh would typically marry his nearest female relation to keep the blood pure; and then marry other wives/concubines. The wives and kids would battle each other in order to gain favor and the throne. In fact Rameses II had over 100 children, outlived most of his children due to their killing each other, and their mothers plots against each other (plus a few accidental deaths and illnesses.)

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When Brynner found out he would be playing against Charlton Heston, he really worked out in order to prove that he deserved the role

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And then we have the very hunky Charlton Heston. I mean you look at him and hear his voice, and you can see why every girl wanted him.

If he existed.

Not only did he make Moses a total action hero; but also presented the spiritual side beautifully.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Heston wasn’t the original choice, but was later picked because he bore a similarity to Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses.

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And let’s not forget that Vincent Price is the amazing, sinister, and sleazy master builder. Even if his character is horrible, I love him.

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The rest of the actors were just as good; along with the sets, and the extravagant costumes. This was just a phenomenal film that everyone needs to view at least once in their lives.

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For more anniversary posts, go to We Wish You a Merry Christmas

For more on Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston, go to The Greatest Show on Earth

For more Vincent Price, go to A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)