Christ Recrucified

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.


6 Responses to “Christ Recrucified”

  1. Woody Strode is an incredible actor and a perfect idea to cast as a Christ figure. In Spartacus, his death ignites the revolution and refers to the Civil Rights movement of the 60s. I’d like to see this film.

  2. jiminholland Says:

    Although David Ehrenstein and I have recently spoken quite harshly to (at?) each other on this blog, I want to emphatically thank him for the youtube link to this film.

    And co-sign the first of the comments to be found find at the link:

    I dig on the Strode, dude!

    Didn’t know of this film or this director until your post, David Cairns.

    Hats (Bailey Wilder Outback Fedora, natch) off to you.

    As movies on youtube often disappear unexpectedly, it might be helpful for people to know about:

  3. judydean Says:

    I saw Black Jesus during the Filmhouse’s Zurlini season which folllowed the Edinburgh Film Festival’s, and was impressed by it, but not as much as I was by Desert of the Tartars, which I thought a magnificent film, beautifully shot in a fantastic location (the city of Bam in Iran, since destroyed in an earthquake) and dealing with issues of futility, tedium, and bureaucracy – things that anyone who’s ever had a job can readily identify with. It is, in the words of one reviewer, Waiting for Godot meets Lawrence of Arabia.

  4. You’re welcome Jim.

  5. Judy, I agree about Desert of the Tartars, a remarkable anti-epic or counter-epic, which still manages to look totally epic. I might have chosen to write about that one this week, but I’d never seen Black Jesus and wanted to…

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