‘Squint against the grandeur’
Iconoclasm and film genre in The Passion of the Christ and Hail, Caesar!
in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
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This chapter considers Hail, Caesar! (2016) as a distinctive, although far from dogmatic, Jewish American meditation on visual representation of ‘the godhead’ and invocations of faith in classic Hollywood and post-classic cinema. In some ways, Hail, Caesar! is an indirect riposte to The Passion of the Christ (2004). I also consider Hail, Caesar!’s exploration of these issues in relation to A Serious Man (2009), the Coens’ early meditation, albeit in a different mode, on faith, and Ben-Hur (1959). Hail, Caesar! reworks the Charlton Heston Ben-Hur more profoundly and compellingly than the blockbuster remake of this film released later in 2016.

The Bible onscreen in the new millennium

New heart and new spirit

Editor: Wickham Clayton



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