I hadn’t heard of Valerio Zurlini until Shane Danielsen programmed a retrospective of this fascinating figure at the Edinburgh Film Festival some years back. Being strapped for cash at the time and not possessing a press pass, staff pass or filmmaker pass, I wasn’t able to see very many of the films, so it was with pleasure that I recently caught up with BLACK JESUS, enabling me to write a few words about it for The Forgotten. Thanks to retrospectives like Edinburgh’s, Zurlini isn’t as hugely forgotten as he was, but he’s still far from being what you might call a household name. Even in my household.
If the idea of Woody Strode, the same year as his iconic cameo in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, playing at one and the same time Patrice Lumumba and Jesus Christ, doesn’t tickle your fancy, I have to ask if your fancy isn’t perhaps overdressed for the weather.