Depicting the Divine: The Ambiguity of Exodus 3 in Exodus: Gods and Kings
AuthorsCollins, Matthew A.
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractRidley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings offers a distinctly innovative approach to the perennial problem of how to depict the divine in film. This article first briefly considers some of the ways in which previous directors have grappled with the issue of depicting the divine, before assessing the effectiveness of Scott’s own ‘solution’, focusing in turn on questions of implied identity, tangibility, and character/imagery. In particular it is argued that, whether intentional or not, the ambiguity as to the specific identity of the divine character mirrors rather precisely an ambiguity present in the biblical text itself. Similarly, the manner in which the character is portrayed, while adopting and adhering to a number of modern tropes and keeping the door open to more naturalistic interpretations, likewise reflects (and indeed, can shed light upon) much that is in the textual tradition. Ultimately it is argued that Scott’s representation of the divine can be said to (perhaps unintentionally) reflect simultaneously both the most progressive and the most successfully ‘biblical’ depiction to date.
CitationCollins, M. A. (2016). Depicting the divine: The ambiguity of Exodus 3 in Exodus: Gods and Kings. In D. Tollerton (Ed.), Biblical Reception 4, A New Hollywood Moses: On the Spectacle and Reception of Exodus: Gods and Kings (pp. 9–39). London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury T&T Clark.
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