As some vaguely-connected thing to my studying, I decided to watch a telemovie I recorded while I wrote out my revision notes and vocabulary. I think it might have been the third in the series of 'Imperium' films (about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire) though this one didn't focus on an emperor, but instead on St. Peter. I was hoping that because Omar Sharif was playing the title role that it would be a pretty good watch.
And it totally wasn't. It stunk to high heaven, like the last two films on Augustus and Nero.
To give some idea of how poor the production quality is, it's a joint venture between the US and Italy. Most if not all of the actors were Italians, but for some entirely stupid reason, they dubbed all the Italian actors with American accents. Now the cast might have spoken perfectly good accented English, but presumably in order to appeal to an American audience they got dubbed. And it completely ruined it for me. God, what I wouldn't give for authentic accents! Judeans and Romans who sound like they're from the Mediterranean/Middle East! But no, we got atrociously modern American accents all the way through (couldn't they at least have continued the grand tradition of having Romans sound like Brits?!). Only Sharif didn't get dubbed (presumably because he's the star), everyone else did (Jesus, the apostles, Nero, all the Romans, etc.). They did the same with the previous films too. And that's what pisses me off more than anything else.
The film could probably be divided into two parts: Peter in Judea and Peter in Rome. The Judea scenes follow what happens in the New Testament fairly closely. However, the Pentecost scene was all wrong. The apostles were complaining that they couldn't understand Greek. DID THE WRITERS NOT RESEARCH ANYTHING ABOUT ANCIENT JUDEA? Judeans probably would've known maybe three or four languages: Latin (the language of the Roman Empire), Koine Greek (because there was a substantial Greek population in Judea; a good portion of the New Testament was written in Greek), Hebrew (the language used for the Tanakh) and Aramaic (most of the apostles would've known Aramaic; Jesus himself spoke it). I get that the Pentecost scene is supposed to show that the apostles are granted the ability to speak in tongues so they can preach the gospel in other places, but the lack of historical background was serious fail. Mel Gibson did this all so much better in The Passion of the Christ. It may have been the work of a guy who borders on hardline in his faith, but it was much more authentic.
What they only sort of hinted at that should've been expanded upon were the conflicts at the Council of Jerusalem. Peter and Paul are made out to be allies and BFF in the film, but according to the NT accounts Paul got rather pissed and took Peter to task for being afraid of pissing off certain factions in the council and not taking a stance for the conversion of gentiles himself. The film makes out that the council ended happily with everyone in agreeance but it didn't, particularly. Paul was so annoyed with his offsider Barnabas' behaviour at the council that he continued on his mission without him afterwards.
(That's me going off on a tangent about the stuff I research for my thesis. Sorry!)
The Rome sequenece was kind of meh. It seemed less about the establishment of Christianity in Rome and about the soap opera mini-dramas happening among the Christian community. There is a silly love story about a patrician pagan boy who can't marry his girlfriend because she's Christian; another about a conflicted Christian slave/gladiator and his pagan master who blames Peter for his elderly mother's catatonic state. Rather melodramatic stuff. An unusually slim Nero puts in a brief appearance, and naturally the Great Fire of 64 injects some action into things (interesting: in this film they executed Paul before the Great Fire, but in the Nero film he was still alive when it happened).
However, it is pretty much all a sorry state of things. I feel bad that Omar Sharif got himself involved in this. The money must've been pretty damn good.
Amy and I went to the Andy Warhol exhibition at the modern art gallery on Sunday. Amazing stuff, and anyone in Bris Vegas should go while it's still here. It's very fun and very interesting.
Latest episode of Dirt was not quite as good as the previous one. Wayne Brady playing a badass thug for the manager of the dead rapper was a lot of fun. But seeing teh Ian getting beat up yet again wasn't. Seriously, does Don get beat up in every episode? And then appears to get no more than a pat on the back from Lucy for his efforts? Because it's looking that way. ;p