The Celluloid Madonna

From Scripture to Screen

Catherine O'Brien

Wallflower Press

The Celluloid Madonna

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Pub Date: December 2011

ISBN: 9781906660277

224 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00£19.95

Pub Date: December 2011

ISBN: 9781906660284

224 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£62.95

Pub Date: December 2011

ISBN: 9780231501811

224 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $20.99£16.95

The Celluloid Madonna

From Scripture to Screen

Catherine O'Brien

Wallflower Press

The Celluloid Madonna is the first book to analyze the life of the Virgin Mary on screen from the silent era through to the present. For decades, Mary has caught the imagination of filmmakers from a range of religious backgrounds, whether Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Marxist, or atheist, and film's intersection of theology and secular culture has inspired some of the most singular and controversial visions of this icon in cinema history. Focusing on the challenge of adapting Scripture to the screen, this volume discusses Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings (1927), Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth (1977), Jean-Luc Godard's Hail Mary (1984), Jean Delannoy's Mary of Nazareth (1994), Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004), Catherine Hardwicke's The Nativity Story (2006), and Mark Dornford-May's Son of Man (2006).
This volume has taken up the challenge not only of listing and commenting on movies about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, but offers solid biblical and theological contexts for the key presentations of Mary on screen, mostly from the Gospel narratives but also from the long traditions of tales about Mary (including from the Koran) and the centuries of apparition stories. The author uses meticulous scholarship in examining the often quite different ways in which Mary episodes have been portrayed for more than a century of filmmaking. Peter Malone, SIGNIS, The World Catholic Association for Communication
This is a thorough and engaging study of the portrayal of the Virgin Mary in film, understanding its subject in relation to both religious and secular contexts. It should be read by anyone interested in gender or religion in film, and equally by anyone concerned with the reception of religion in modernity; and will become a staple in the reading lists for my own students. Sarah Boss, Director, UK Centre for Marian Studies
The text is remarkably readable and wholly (and holy) engaging. Choice
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
1. Contexts
2. Announcement and Commission
3. Mary and Joseph
4. Virgin and Mother
5. Mother and Disciple
Conclusion
Notes
Filmography
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Catherine O'Brien is senior lecturer in film studies and French at Kingston University in the U.K. She has published widely on the intersections between Marian theology and secular culture.