Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Last Temptation of Christ

 I've been reading Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ and was struck right from the start how well it could be adapted into a one season television series (unless, of course, the producers would want to carry on with the second coming in season two--which might be a hoot.)  Each chapter could be a complete episode, and would rely on the iconographic feel that the imagery in the book has.  I mean Greek iconography--the icons that the iconoclast worked so hard to destroy (but in the long run failed to.)  The visual design of the piece would be magnificently surreal, like those icons. I can see lots of flat lines of disciplines lined up in rows, warmed in golden light. Perhaps the irony would be that they would be dressed as "ragamuffins" as the translator so gleefully used the word, rather than all kitted up like Byzantine aristocracy.  Jesus's baptism strikes one as a perfect set piece from the book, with its Roshomonesque quality of no one quite certain what actually happened (nor hearing what the bird said).  I can see it playing out in several different versions on screen--one magnificent and trascendant--one gritty and realist--and one, perhaps, surreal.  No doubt it is a book that probably shouldn't be made into any thing else but the book it is, though.

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