A very special Easter edition of Screenshot Saturday, celebrating Martin Scorsese’s polemical masterwork The Last Temptation of Christ. The film was condemned for it’s unorthodox depiction of Christ as profoundly flawed, afraid, mystical (at one point taking out his beating heart) and, in the film’s most controversial hallucination, sensual, as he marries and then makes love to Mary Magdalene. A French Catholic organization fire-bombed a theater in Paris showing the film, seriously injuring 13 audience members, while other move goers around the world were clubbed or teargassed.
The controversy surrounding the film unfortunately obscured the brilliance and beauty of its craft and passion. Based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ equally renowned and attacked novel of the same name, Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel and Peter Gabriel came together to create an unorthodox but profoundly human and moving portrait of one of the most important figures of human history.
By Britta R. Moline 4/23/2011