The Body is about the finding of what could possibly be the skeletal remains of Jesus Christ. Back when this film was first released on video, I kept passing it on the shelf at the video store, curious but cynical that my faith would be favorably — and honestly — represented. Was it just a mockery of Christianity? And how would Judaism and Islam be represented?
Well, I finally rented it, and was so impressed with the story and the acting (some big names in this, and even the supporting actors are great — I especially like the cheeky Irish brother) that I eventually bought a used VHS tape of it and have watched it several times since. Being a fan of widescreen, however, I finally broken down and purchased the DVD.
Yes, faith is affirmed, but I will not reveal the ending, which is absolutely perfect.
And there are critics who don’t like movie, think it should have adhered more to the book (which I tried reading and ended up only skimming), but I think they miss the point.
Meantime, I also purchased Strangers on a Train and Witness for the Prosecution, classic noir, the first directed by Alfred Hitchcock and the second by Billy Wilder. Highly recommended. As with The Body, Strangers on a Train differs from its novel, too: in the book, the main character succumbs to the other guy’s scheme, but remains more heroic in the film. Witness for the Prosecution is the expanded version of the stage play written from a short story by Agatha Christie.
More experienced writers than I have warned me against dreaming of a filmed version of my novels, because film adaptations can go horribly wrong (I still don’t like what happened to The Two Towers). But, before any pie-in-the-sky, not-sure-I-really-want-it dreams, I just want my stuff to be read and enjoyed.
One of my writing rituals involves a cup of fresh coffee beside the computer, and though I’m inhaling the imagination-inspiring aroma, now I’m debating whether or not to watch one of the movies. Work or play. Work or play. Hmmmm….