Mikel J. Koven
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Mythic cinema and the contemporary biblical epic
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Myths are sacred stories; stories which embody a culture’s most significant ideas. As a ‘mythic vision,’ these ideas are demarcated in the cinematic text as moments of discernible difference. Moments which demand we stop and contemplate the sacred’s imposition in the continuity of the film. This chapter explores Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014) in terms of its mythic vision, a big-budget mainstream Hollywood biblical epic retelling of Genesis 6–9. But this chapter will also consider Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), a film which, rather than a ‘mythic’ vision, tries to recontextualise the story of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt into a desacralised retelling, a film which denies the mythology inherent in the narrative. By discussing Scott’s Exodus, Aronofsky’s mythic vision in Noah is highlighted in relief.

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The Bible onscreen in the new millennium

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