Monday, August 07, 2023

The Chosen (2)

 Forging ahead with The Chosen ... (see previous post)

I'm about at the 4th episode, season 1.  The miraculous draught of fishes (Luke 5:1-11) was very well done, I thought, and vividly presented.  High marks to whoever wrangled all those fish for the filming. 

I'm not so happy with the staging of Jesus' teaching: the hearers seated in rows before him, while he stands and talks, like a Sunday School class. That just felt wrong. In those days, the students stood and the teacher sat, if possible at an elevation that had speaker's and hearers' heads at the same level; or else the teacher would walk and talk and the students followed. (Notice that in Luke 5:2, Jesus sits down.) (I told the rector of our church this years ago, and he said, "Wow ... if I could sit, I could preach for hours.") 

In fact, there is too much sitting going on in this show.  At mealtimes, everyone is shown sitting on chairs around a table. But, back then, if people sat down to eat, it was usually on the ground; but if a table was present, the diners would recline at an angle and reach for food in front of them:

This actually makes a number of scenes in the gospels easier to imagine, such as the notice in Luke 7:38, that the woman who anoints Jesus "stood behind him, at his feet"; or the disciple "whom Jesus loved" "leaned back against Jesus" at the Last Supper (John 13:23). It'll be interesting to see how the producers stage these scenes.

I know I'm carping, and in general, this is a good show (so far). But my concern is that people will watch it and think they're getting the Bible straight, instead of seen though a modern-day filter.

Many thanks to this site, from which I lifted the illustration. 

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