By Dave Hopwood
I was thinking about the Bible and how to communicate it a bit more effectively. A few years ago they reissued different bits of the Bible and they invited famous authors to write introductions to each separate book. But I reckon that’s not enough.
An introduction with someone’s opinions and thoughts about a Biblical book are okay but that won’t really help people understand what is in the book. It won’t help them to experience the laughter, the shock, the pathos and humanity.
The whole thing needs to be retold and re-imagined understood from the original but then translated so that people in our time and culture can understand it.
Which happens in the Bible, anyway. Different characters come along and take what happened a hundred years a go or a thousand years ago and they retell it so that it makes sense again for the people listening to it in their day.
So I thought we should get some famous directors to make movies of the different books. It shouldn’t cost much cause we’ll get them to do it on the cheap.
So this is my hit list.
I reckon we should get George Lucas to make Genesis, the beginning of everything, long ago in an empty void far, far away and all that. Big screen stuff creation, the flood, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, all these massive stories, get Lucas on that one.
Spielberg could then do Exodus which is the big Moses story, parting of the Red Sea, fighting Egyptians, the ten plagues, gnats, boils, death, blood. Happy stuff like that. Then Mount Sinai, God and people meeting for the first time lightning, fire, thunder, bang bang bang – special FX all over the place.
Tarantino could do the book of Judges because it’s all about sex and violence. It’s a strange time of heroics and dark deeds. It’s called Judges but really it should be called Governors, because the story is that God doesn’t want the people to have a king, because we all know what leaders are like they want power and palaces and status and kudos. So God organises these judges to rise up temporarily to rule the people at times of crises. Some of them are hitmen or hitwomen, some are just really wise, some are heroes and villains all rolled into one. Inglorious Barstools you might say. There are loads of action scenes, and these governors appear and disappear when the job’s done. Uma Thurman could be Deborah and Brad Pitt could be Samson.
Scorsese could do the book of Samuel the rise of King David politics and power and religion – lots of near-catholic guilt kicking around. A bad father a lousy husband – a mean musician and a man who should never have looked out of his window at bathtime.
Ridley Scott should do the book of Acts supernatural happenings, people dropping dead, shipwrecks and snakebites, it’s stuffed full of mystery and mayhem. Scott could bring some of his moody atmospherics to all that.
Tony Scott should do the book of Joshua. The book of Josh is all about the Israelites taking the land of Canaan lots of battles and military stuff and a huge brass band, Hans Zimmer should do the soundtrack Crimson Tide in the desert.
The gospels should be done by Danny Boyle Mr Slumdog himself he’d bring an honest earthy style to the story of Jesus and his friends and enemies. A sort of miracle-spotting with Jesus busting out of a shallow grave then melting away into the sunshine 28 days later. That kind o’ thing.
Peter Jackson could do the Book of Revelation Lord of the Rings all over again only shorter.
Guy Ritchie should do the book of Kings basically a book about loads of kings. Again, lots of sex and violence, a lot of fighting and deposing going on a sort of Lock, stock and too many smoking funeral pyres. But to make it more streetwise would be good, maybe set it in the seedy London underworld.
Joe Johnson did Atonement so he could do Ruth another tale of loss and heartache.
Ang Lee could do the book of Esther schemes and harems and Shakespearean comedy.
And Tim Burton should do the book of Job, with of course, Johnny Depp playing the lead role. Job’s all about suffering very long, way too long really, could have been done in 10 chapters. I think we need to get Tim Burton in there, get him to really draw out the angst and darkness in Job’s life, and maybe just tell it in a cartoon kind of way.
So there we go that’s what I reckon we should do get the Bible away from the churches and into the multiplexes.
Dave likes loud music, good comedy, great films and Tony Parson’s novels. He finds the Bible hard to read so is dedicating much of his time to retelling it using all kinds of inappropriate things. That’s not his natural hair colour.