The Pentecost Sunday Intertitle: Moses Supposes

Bloke goes up mountain for forty days (and nights), comes back with a couple of stone slabs, claims they’ve been inscribed by the finger of God. So, what’s he been doing up there? Waiting? Why couldn’t God show up in a more timely fashion?

If I were of a more suspicious nature, I’d suggest that Ol’ Mose might have spent at least some of that time with a chisel, and the rest of it rehearsing a convincing story. As George Harrison says in HELP! (while being pursued by a faux-Hindu death cult), “I don’t want to knock anyone’s religion, but…”

Mind you, Cecil B. DeMille and his collaborators have knocked up some smashing compositions here.

I did a quick internet search and came across the claim that Moses was forty when he left Egypt. Theodore Roberts, who plays him here, was over sixty, and looks older. If that’s Moses at forty, I’m skeptical of the Bible’s claim that he lived to be a hundred and twenty.

Interesting that in 1922 we get Michael Curtiz’s SODOM AND GOMORRAH in ’23 we get the DeMille, and in 1928 Curtiz makes NOAH’S ARK, each of which embeds a bible tale within a contemporary narrative it’s supposed to reflect upon. What’s interesting is that this form, explicitly intended to show the continuing relevance of the Old Testament, has disappeared from the cinema. Can you think of another example since the silent era? It seems to me that by concentrating on purely period bible yarns, Hollywood was treating the stories as escapism, without contemporary relevance…

In a very different way, Kieslowski’s DEKALOG may have a similar mission to the silent spectaculars, I guess.

Buy — The Ten Commandments (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

9 Responses to “The Pentecost Sunday Intertitle: Moses Supposes”

  1. Faithful Shadowplay observes Shavuot!

    It’s a good thing Moses knew how to chisel, or it would have been like trying to remember the seven dwarves.

  2. Thou shalt not grump.
    Thou shalt not sneeze.
    Thou shalt not dope…

  3. Was Mel the first jewish Moses, I wonder? has there EVER been a Jewish Jesus?

  4. Outisde of Mel never a Jewish Moses.

    As for Jesus — of course not. He was an anti-semite. Didn’t Mel Gibson make that crystal clear?

  5. A self-hating God? That might explain a lot about the cosmos.

  6. Moomin Troll Says:

    So, Finch – was simplstic to assume that Moretti hate for Funny Games would translate into Hate for Amour! Haneke has matured a lot since then + Moretti’s objection was to the violence: no surprise then that the ultra-violent Carax walked away empty handed, or that the character-driven, downbeat and aesthetically unremarkable Haneke flick nabbed the Palme (couldn’t that just as well be a description of The Son’s Room after all?!). The Loach was a no brainer too, with Arnold, McGregor and the serio-comedy duo of Moretti an Payne on the jury, duh ;)

  7. Sounds about right!

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