Monday, June 19, 2006

Superman Preview

I have not blogged in awhile because my work has actually kept me from going to the movies lately. However, over the weekend, I got the chance to see Cars and The Lake House. I will be blogging on those later this week.

In the meantime, I have posted this excerpt from TIME magazine by film critic Richard Corliss on the connection of Superman Returns with the story of Christ from the New Testament. It has a few spoilers, so be warned. Through next week, I will be blogging more about this expected summer blockbuster and its biblical allusions. Until then, enjoy this preview.

The Gospel of Superman
by Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
(excerpt from the June 26, 2006 issue)

"Earlier versions of Superman stressed the hero's humanity: his attachment to his Earth parents, his country-boy clumsiness around Lois. The (Bryan) Singer version emphasizes his divinity. He is not a super man; he is a god (named Kal-El), sent by his heavenly father (Jor-El) to protect Earth. That is a mission that takes more than muscles; it requires sacrifice, perhaps of his own life. So he is no simple comic-book hunk. He is Earth's savior: Jesus Christ Superman.

"Using snippets of Marlon Brando's performance as Jor-El from the 1978 Super-man movie, in which Brando passes on the wisdom 'The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son,' Singer establishes his own film's central relationship. It is not romantic, between Lois and Clark. It's familial--the bond of two sets of fathers and sons: Jor-El and Superman, then Superman and Jason. Each parent tells his child that he must surpass the old man's feats, improve on Dad's legend. Poignantly, this strength, this divinity, isolates Superman from Earth's humans. He can save them but not be one of them. Lois can love him but never understand him.

"The movie cogently ransacks elements from all kinds of myths, classic and modern. Superman is the god who fell to Earth, enduring a cycle of death and transfiguration. And since he has sired a boy who is part human, he could be the Jesus of the Gnostic Gospels. And Lois? Mary Magdalene!

"...The best Hollywood movies always knew how to sneak a beguiling subtext into a crowd-pleasing story. Superman Returns is in that grand tradition. That's why it's beyond Super. It's superb."

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