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Author Topic: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not  (Read 3606 times)

Altair

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NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« on: March 30, 2014, 07:43:15 pm »
Has anybody else seen the new Darren Aronofsky movie NOAH yet, starring Russell Crowe?

I'm putting this here rather than under "Music, Television, and Film" because it's the Judeo-Christian myth aspect of the movie--or lack thereof--that I find most fascinating. This is a completely different myth, keeping only the barest bones of the original and re-interpreting it into an enviro-vegan manifesto.

No wonder the right-wing Christians are up in arms!

But do they have cause to be? Is it fundamentally wrong to take someone's sacred story and change it beyond recognition to create a new one? Or does it depend on the circumstances? We neopagans of various stripes have seen wonky movies of our sacred stuff, from THE CRAFT to the THOR movies, and for the most part we shrug them off as entertainments irrelevant to our religions. Should Christians and Jews do the same here? Are some of them so irate simply because they're unaccustomed to seeing *their* myths transmogrified into something new?

As its own myth, I found NOAH somewhat interesting. But since they decided to call it NOAH, did the filmmakers have an obligation to stay true to the original?
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MattyG

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 07:52:18 pm »
Quote from: Altair;144063
Has anybody else seen the new Darren Aronofsky movie NOAH yet, starring Russell Crowe?

I'm putting this here rather than under "Music, Television, and Film" because it's the Judeo-Christian myth aspect of the movie--or lack thereof--that I find most fascinating. This is a completely different myth, keeping only the barest bones of the original and re-interpreting it into an enviro-vegan manifesto.

No wonder the right-wing Christians are up in arms!

But do they have cause to be? Is it fundamentally wrong to take someone's sacred story and change it beyond recognition to create a new one? Or does it depend on the circumstances? We neopagans of various stripes have seen wonky movies of our sacred stuff, from THE CRAFT to the THOR movies, and for the most part we shrug them off as entertainments irrelevant to our religions. Should Christians and Jews do the same here? Are some of them so irate simply because they're unaccustomed to seeing *their* myths transmogrified into something new?

As its own myth, I found NOAH somewhat interesting. But since they decided to call it NOAH, did the filmmakers have an obligation to stay true to the original?

 
Fun fact: They actually take a lot of the material out of the Book of Enoch, so there is some textual support for some of their changes, even if it is apocryphal.

But really, no. Nobody really has any legitimate reason to be upset when somebody makes a film based off of their mythology, unless, perhaps, the changes are designed to reflect poorly on the culture that created or continues to embrace those myths (for example, if Noah was anti-semitic, I would find that very distasteful). They remade this movie to actually be relevant to a modern audience. The reason some Christians are pissed is that their innate martyr complex perceives any loss of complete control as persecution.

They need to suck it up and accept that somebody took the time to make an incredibly entertaining movie based off of their mythology. One that actually addresses some of the complex human drama inherent in determining the will of your creator and acting in a moral way in a corrupt world.

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 10:17:25 pm »
Quote from: Altair;144063
Is it fundamentally wrong to take someone's sacred story and change it beyond recognition to create a new one? Or does it depend on the circumstances? We neopagans of various stripes have seen wonky movies of our sacred stuff, from THE CRAFT to the THOR movies, and for the most part we shrug them off as entertainments irrelevant to our religions. Should Christians and Jews do the same here? Are some of them so irate simply because they're unaccustomed to seeing *their* myths transmogrified into something new?

As its own myth, I found NOAH somewhat interesting. But since they decided to call it NOAH, did the filmmakers have an obligation to stay true to the original?

 
Do they have a right to get annoyed? Sure, go nuts. Is it kinda stupid to get annoyed? Yup. It's myth. Myth is there to be interpreted, and sometimes that takes the form of special effects flicks. The problem arises from people who take the Bible as literal truth - they're the ones getting their knickers in a knot.

I haven't seen the film, and every time I saw the posters around town I'd start picturing Russel Crowe singing this. So. I'm clearly not the target audience.

mlr52

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2014, 10:18:52 pm »
Quote from: Altair;144063
Has anybody else seen the new Darren Aronofsky movie NOAH yet, starring Russell Crowe?


But do they have cause to be? Is it fundamentally wrong to take someone's sacred story and change it beyond recognition to create a new one? Or does it depend on the circumstances?

As its own myth, I found NOAH somewhat interesting. But since they decided to call it NOAH, did the filmmakers have an obligation to stay true to the original?

 
Hollywood has a history of making films that have little or no relatioship to the title.
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Olivia

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2014, 10:26:58 pm »
Quote from: Mama Fortuna;144078
Do they have a right to get annoyed? Sure, go nuts. Is it kinda stupid to get annoyed? Yup. It's myth. Myth is there to be interpreted, and sometimes that takes the form of special effects flicks. The problem arises from people who take the Bible as literal truth - they're the ones getting their knickers in a knot.

I haven't seen the film, and every time I saw the posters around town I'd start picturing Russel Crowe singing this. So. I'm clearly not the target audience.

 

I agree with you. Honestly I think it is a little funny when people get worked up over silly things like this. It is just a movie.

On another note. When they announced that Russel Crowe was playing Noah did anyone else automatically think "wow that is some terrible casting"?

Neteruhemta RaShuSet

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 10:42:03 am »
Quote from: Olivia;144080
I agree with you. Honestly I think it is a little funny when people get worked up over silly things like this. It is just a movie.

On another note. When they announced that Russel Crowe was playing Noah did anyone else automatically think "wow that is some terrible casting"?

 
Personally, I think having Christian Bale as Moses in "The Exodus" is a worse casting decision.

I get irritated when there isn't consistency in changing the story. If a film crew is going to run with their own version, run with it being their version. If the film is meant to be informative, get the facts straight. If the film is meant to be an interpretation of a story, then pose it as such.

It sounds like they ran with Noah as interpretation. I plan on watching it, but I don't know if I want to spend $15 on it.

MadZealot

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 07:49:23 pm »
Quote from: Altair;144063
No wonder the right-wing Christians are up in arms!



 
The Book is ALWAYS better.*

For the fundies hatin' on the movie, that oughtta be their slogan and strategy... alas, they're sooo busy kvetching about Noah, they're missing the obvious, ready-made opportunity to, ahem, get the Word out.**

Good on ya, fundies. I'm pretty sure you can file your Epic Fail(ure) under "WJWD." ("What Jesus WOULDN'T do.)

* See that? A ready-made tagline. That one's free. You're welcome. (No, no royalties, please... consider that a tithe.)
** Look! ANOTHER freebie. I swear, sometimes this shit writes itself.
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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2014, 08:25:40 am »
Quote from: Neteruhemta RaShuSet;144111
Personally, I think having Christian Bale as Moses in "The Exodus" is a worse casting decision.

As I'm an old fogie, when I think of Moses, this is who I see:



Charlton Heston, of course.
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Olivia

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2014, 03:05:42 pm »
Quote from: Neteruhemta RaShuSet;144111
Personally, I think having Christian Bale as Moses in "The Exodus" is a worse casting decision.

 
Oh ick! I didn't know that. That is horrible. I say this as a complete classic movie fan who hates remakes but no one should be allowed to play Moses except Charleton Heston!!!!!

Jack

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2014, 03:28:38 pm »
Quote from: Olivia;144197
Oh ick! I didn't know that. That is horrible. I say this as a complete classic movie fan who hates remakes but no one should be allowed to play Moses except Charleton Heston!!!!!

 
You know who'd make an awesome casting choice for Moses? A Jewish person. =P
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Faemon

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 07:46:04 am »
Quote from: Altair;144063
This is a completely different myth, keeping only the barest bones of the original and re-interpreting it into an enviro-vegan manifesto.

No wonder the right-wing Christians are up in arms!

But do they have cause to be? Is it fundamentally wrong to take someone's sacred story and change it beyond recognition to create a new one? Or does it depend on the circumstances?

First, I advise to always say "the book was better than the movie". It giveth thee hipster credientials, even if it turns out to be a novelization of a movie that's based on a book.

Quote
We neopagans of various stripes have seen wonky movies of our sacred stuff, from THE CRAFT to the THOR movies, and for the most part we shrug them off as entertainments irrelevant to our religions.

For the most part, yes, but I do also see fellow pagans up in arms about sacred stuff done wrong, like Roald Dahl's The Witches.

Quote
Should Christians and Jews do the same here? Are some of them so irate simply because they're unaccustomed to seeing *their* myths transmogrified into something new?

Not really going to tell them what they should do, I'm not their mother. Did Mel Gibson's The Passion get this much flack, though? I either didn't notice or don't remember.

Quote
As its own myth, I found NOAH somewhat interesting. But since they decided to call it NOAH, did the filmmakers have an obligation to stay true to the original?

Well, the only leeway for that would be to repeat the original. The filmmakers will put their own spin on it, sometimes it works for some people, sometimes it doesn't work for anybody. Who are the filmmakers obliged to? A bolt of lightning that will strike them dead for hubris? Or people who write bad reviews about a movie that says nothing about the mechanics of a movie but only its premise?
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Redfaery

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 08:34:52 am »
Quote from: Jack;144199
You know who'd make an awesome casting choice for Moses? A Jewish person. =P


You win teh internets.:D:

I personally can understand a devout Christian being upset or uncomfortable about movies that take liberty with aspects of their faith, just like a person of any religion would be upset or uncomfortable with their religion being used for entertainment value...and then shown inaccurately. The place to draw the line is the whining and false feelings of victimization.

You're the friggin' majority in this country. Put on your big kid pants and DEAL.
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MattyG

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 11:33:50 am »
Quote from: triple_entendre;144237
First, I advise to always say "the book was better than the movie". It giveth thee hipster credientials, even if it turns out to be a novelization of a movie that's based on a book.

 
Normally I'd agree with you, but this movie is totally a case where that's not true. The Biblical Noah story really kind of lacks any detail (tell me anything about the different character's personalities besides "Noah wasn't wicked"). The new movie is really kind of great. It actually displays the kinds of existential problems that a person would have to face when dealing with an unstoppable force that's committed to wiping out thousands of men, women, and children. The different characters actually have psychological struggles they have to deal with and they have to figure out how to operate in the world where divine intentions aren't perfectly clear.

Essentially, the original Noah story doesn't really contain any information to help an ordinary person live their life and this movie does. Really, I think that should be the standard by which myths are judged.

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 02:38:07 pm »
Quote from: triple_entendre;144237
First, I advise to always say "the book was better than the movie". It giveth thee hipster credientials, even if it turns out to be a novelization of a movie that's based on a book.


Whenever I hear "novelization of a movie that's based on a book," it reminds me that they had to make a novelization of Bram Stoker's Dracula...and that there are many reviews on Amazon where people complain about the original not having that horrid romance plot.  So thank you for causing me to taste my own stomach bile for a few seconds there.

Quote

Not really going to tell them what they should do, I'm not their mother. Did Mel Gibson's The Passion get this much flack, though? I either didn't notice or don't remember.


It got flack, but mostly it was accusations of Anti-Semitism (which, given who made the movie, is probably valid).


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Redfaery

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Re: NOAH the Movie: The Bible It's Not
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 04:34:15 pm »
Quote from: triple_entendre;144237

Not really going to tell them what they should do, I'm not their mother. Did Mel Gibson's The Passion get this much flack, though? I either didn't notice or don't remember.

 
In my neck of the woods, the evangelicals LOVED passion of the Christ, and they were going out in their church bible study groups to see it. One of my high school friends up and called me to go....that was the time she was trying to "save" me I guess. She was also inviting me to revivals and stuff, and I'm like, "no, but if you just want to get lunch together and chat, I'd love it...":eek:

I *did* hear criticisms of it from some clergy (especially Catholic) that it was exploitive. The one that stuck in my head was that the film lingered in such detail on Jesus's sufferings, in a really excessive manner, and didn't balance it out with a discussion of theology.

It was certainly gory. I've never seen it, because I know that level of violence is something I can't tolerate. It just seemed gratuitous. Like Gibson was really relishing all the blood and guts and guilt aspects of it.
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