Luther -- the Movie

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by NeilUnreal, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. NeilUnreal

    NeilUnreal
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    I just finished watching the movie Luther. A good combination of accurate history with excellent production values and acting.

    And for a Friday night, the cinema was comparatively empty! Ahhhh, there are some benefits to preferring history over action/adventure...

    -Neil
     
  2. rsr

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    Not scheduled to play here yet, alas. Looking forward to it.
     
  3. swaimj

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    I was hoping someone on the board would review the movie. Thanks. I have no time to see it this weekend but will probably try to catch next weekend.
     
  4. KenH

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    The movie has not come here yet. Here on Yahoo! are reviews - web page

    The critics give it a C+ but the moviegoers give it an A-. I think there is a bias by the critics. After all this is a film about a major Christian figure in history.
     
  5. Chrift

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    I have noticed that too Ken. Reading the reviews will tell you a lot about the people writing them. :rolleyes:
     
  6. NeilUnreal

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    I would also give the movie an "A-." The main thing I didn't like about the movie was that there were a number of interesting lines of plot development or historical elaboration that were not taken. Given the scope, there just wasn't time -- even in a two-hour movie. Making it a three-hour movie would probably have taken it to at least an "A" in my opinion.

    I would have liked more elaboration of the political situation in Europe at the time, especially of Rome and proto-Italy vis-a-vis proto-Germany. This could have been done with interstitial voice-overs. I'm in that category of people who have studied that era, but don't keep the timetables, etc. immediately in mind -- some gentle reminders would have been helpful.

    Joseph Fiennes does a good job at portraying Martin Luther at several stages of his life. Jonathan Firth is absolutely astounding as Girolamo Aleandro -- his demeanor and facial expressions were almost a capsule summary of 16th century power-politics. Uwe Ochsenknecht was great as Pope Leo, but I would have liked to have seen that character developed more completely.

    I was pleased that the film portrayed the Lutheran movement in it's proper context as part of a general change of thinking in Christendom and political Europe. It avoided the us-vs.-them, protestant-vs.-Catholic tinge that hindsight wants to read into the events.

    As I was watching Luther I kept thinking about how much it reminded me of the faux historical settings of films like The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed those films, but Luther -- being "real" -- was a far superior experience. As the quote from The Lord of the Rings says "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." Luther is about one man, full of foibles and faith, who really did change his future and our present.

    -Neil
     
  7. TheOliveBranch

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    I saw the movie last night. It was a very good film, accurately portraying Luthers work and the uprisings of the peasants, along with the RCC and it's problems of interpreting Scripture for their own benefits. With so much "religion" in the film, I can see why the critics would not recommend it. I was amamzed that the truth of history was in any secular theatres. It is worth watching.
     
  8. swaimj

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    I saw the movie last night and enjoyed it very much. What an actor Sir Peter Ustinov is!
     
  9. NeilUnreal

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    [qoute]...Sir Peter Ustinov...[/quote]

    I agree. I guess forgot to mention him in my review because he's so predictably top-notch it just goes without saying!

    -Neil
     
  10. swaimj

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    The movie impressed me because, at least in the portions in which I was familiar with the history, it was accurate. For instance, Luther's words at the Diet of Worms were word-for-word or at least very close as I recall them from Schaff's church history. That made me wonder about the cartoon which was shown in which Luther lampooned the Pope as playing the harp with his hind-quarters. (If you haven't seen the movie, that one is worth the price of admission!). I wondered if an actual cartoon like that circulated. Does anyone know?
     
  11. Major B

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  12. swaimj

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    Thanks...I think. :eek:
     
  13. Major B

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    If you have read the history of the Reformation, you know that these guys never heard of PC! I remember an introduction by Calvin to one of his treatises, where he said that he had delayed the publication because the Catholic monk whose teaching the book attacked had died, and he "did not want to kick a dead dog..."
     
  14. swaimj

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    The Apostle Paul referred to his opponents as "dogs", as did Peter, so I suppose Calvin's response is well within biblical precedent!
     

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