Keynote Speaker: Professor Anne Moore (Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary)
Banquet Time/Location: Saturday, April 29, 2017 (6:00 p.m., Location: SU300A)
Title: The Return of the Biblical Epic
Abstract: Where did Darren Aronofsky get the idea of stone giants for his film Noah (2014)? Was he trying to combine Lord of the Rings with Genesis? We know Aronofsky tends to portray tortured male figures; however, how could the righteous Noah conceive of murdering his own grandchildren? And what was Ridley Scott thinking when he decided to cast Christian Bale as Moses for Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)? Did he think any other actor could replace Charles Heston? Given computer imaging, could Scott not have been more imaginative with the plagues? This is the director that relived the ‘sword and sandal” epic with his move Gladiator, could he not create again a strong hero figure? You have a story written by Anne Rice, a well-known and successful novelist and the mystery of Jesus’ childhood; this seems to be the start of a successful project. So, why did The Young Messiah (2016) fail? Are these films more examples of Hollywood’s continuous parade of serials and remakes that are more focused on money-making formulas that do become boring? Or, do they show that the biblical epic has little relevance for today’s audience?