The Last Temptation Of Christ

1988, Movie, R, 164 mins

Review

LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, THE
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Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's controversial novel The Last Temptation of Christ seeks to emphasize the human aspects of Jesus Christ, a figure described in the Bible as both fully God and fully man. The film opens with the carpenter Jesus of Nazareth (Willem Dafoe) making crosses upon which the Romans crucify rebellious Jews; it closes with the controversial last-temptation sequence, depicting the human love and gratifications Jesus sacrificed to fulfill his destiny as the savior of humankind. Between these powerful and affecting scenes is a fresh and vivid retelling of the Gospel's familiar events--the assembly of the disciples, the miracles, and so forth. Striving for historical accuracy, Scorsese presents Jerusalem as a flat, arid, harsh land suffering under the oppressive thumb of Roman rule. Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus's and production designer John Beard's evocative vision of the Holy Land combines with Peter Gabriel's musical score (derived mostly from traditional and contemporary Arabic rhythms) to vividly convey Christ's world and time--and it is not the lush, picturesque, sanitized Hollywood version popularized by Cecil B. DeMille. Powerful, haunting, and at times very moving, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST presents its account of the events and conflicts of Christ's life with a depth of dramatized feeling and motivation that renders them freshly compelling. leave a comment

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The Last Temptation Of Christ
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