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The Last Temptation of Christ [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Martin Scorsese's controversial re-telling of the life of Christ emphasises Jesus' human struggle. Unsure of his destiny, Jesus (Willem Dafoe) makes crosses for the Romans to crucify Jews on. Judas is sent to kill the collaborator, but decides to follow him instead, sensing that he may be the Messiah. In the most controversial sequence, Jesus succumbs to the temptation of normal human existence in a vision on the cross.
It isn't difficult to imagine why this 1988 retelling of the Crucifixion story was picketed so vociferously on its release in the US--this Jesus bears little resemblance to the classical Christ, who was not, upon careful review of the Gospels, ever reported to have had sex with Barbara Hershey. Heavily informed by Gnostic reinterpretations of the Passion, The Last Temptation of Christ (based rather strictly on Nikos Kazantzakis's novel of the same name) is surely worth seeing for the controversy and blasphemous content alone. But the "last temptation" of the title is nothing overtly naughty--rather, it's the seduction of the commonplace; the desire to forgo following a "calling" in exchange for domestic security. Willem Dafoe interprets Jesus as spacey, indecisive and none too charismatic (though maybe that's just Dafoe himself), but his Sermon on the Mount is radiant with visionary fire; a bit less successful is method actor Harvey Keitel, who gives the internally conflicted Judas a noticeable Brooklyn accent, and doesn't bring much imagination to a role that demands a revisionist's approach. Despite director Martin Scorsese's penchant for stupid camera tricks, much of the desert footage is simply breathtaking, even on small screen. Ultimately, Last Temptation is not much more historically illuminating than Monty Python's Life of Brian, but hey, if it's authenticity you're after, try Gibbon's. --Miles Bethany --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a fan of Keitel anyway, (he plays Judas) and DeFoe, their combined presence is ample to engross the movie fan, add David Bowie's understated pilate and Peter Gabriel's score, Barbara Hershey (say no more), this is a film to be reckoned with. For those with religious views, I'd like to say that I'm a confirmed Christian, and this film played a part in strengthening my faith.
It's a profound experience...
As screenwriter Paul Schrader explains on the commentary track included on this disc, those who were horrified by "The Last Temptation of Christ" picked the wrong reasons. Most of the controversy focused on a scene in which Jesus and Mary Magdalene make love, but that, of course, only happens in the dying Christ's imagination, as Satan is tempting him with visions of the normal life he has given up. The real heresy in "Last Temptation" (which Schrader adapted from the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis) is its depiction of Judas as Jesus' most loving and loyal disciple, chosen for the difficult act of betrayal necessary to ensure human salvation. Nobody noticed, and so a film intended as a reverent, deeply serious exploration of faith was widely understood, for better or worse, as blasphemous.
The story explores the real life of our world...
Since then I have become a baptised Christian and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Plus I feel my faith is strong enough to be able to face any negativity that might be portrayed in the film. The opening statement that the story is not based on the events in the gospel puts the viewer in no doubt that they are watching something contrary to the gospel accounts. Therefore the viewer is prepared to be challenged at the outset.
It deals mainly with the humanity of Jesus and how most of us feel about the prospect of the Crucifixion. It is such a barbaric and cruel death that our humanity rails against it.
It raises many good discussion points, the humanity/Divinity of Christ and issues regarding Christ's betrayal by Judas. For example, the often asked question, can Judas be forgiven if he was so necessary to the Salvation of mankind? The Divine Jesus must have known all along that Judas would betray Him. The Temptation sequence is just that, it is not real. This film enhanced my faith and made me love Jesus more.
The beautiful music score enhances the visual images.
A well acted, directed and produced film.
Unfortunately the desirable USA Criterion release is REGION-A LOCKED - although it doesn't say so on Amazon.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.
Luckily the other is REGION FREE - so that will play on UK machines (even if some say the print isn’t as good).
Check you’re purchasing the right version before you buy the pricey Criterion release...
Not based on the gospels disclaimer ;)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is an interesting biopic and well-made, but is controversial because Scorsese make a lot of inaccuracies about historical figure Jesus Christ who is played very well by Willem... Read morePublished 13 months ago by josh91
arrived quickly,realy enjoyed this movie, an eye opener,many thanksPublished 17 months ago by me and my missus
Dafoe gives a great performance as a Messiah struggling to cope with His Deity. Unfortunately the sexual content has been overplayed by critics many of whom probably were reacting... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mark William