Mary (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Mary 2005

Directed by Abel Ferrara

Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) takes on Mel Gibson style showbiz religiosity, starring Matthew Modine as a man who directs a movie in which he plays Christ, with Juliette Binoche as Mary Magdalene.

France / Italy / USA In English
83 minutes 35mm

Director

Screenplay

Simone Lageoles
,
Abel Ferrara
,
Mario Isabella

Photography

Stefano Falivene

Editors

Fabio Nunziata
,
Langdon F. Page

Music

Francis Kuipers

With

Juliette Binoche
,
Forest Whitaker
,
Matthew Modine
,
Heather Graham
,
Marion Cotillard

Festivals

Venice
,
Toronto 2005

Elsewhere

Tony Childress (Matthew Modine) has just directed a contentious movie starring himself as Christ and Juliette Binoche as Mary Magdalene, aka the thirteenth disciple. The actress, deeply moved, abandons movies and begins a life of simple devotion in Jerusalem. Tony, meanwhile, returns to New York to rile Orthodox Jews into opposing the film and getting himself onto TV talk shows. Forest Whitaker plays the host of an improbably weighty series on the ‘true meaning of Christ’ which is so successful that he finds himself at the crossroads, tempted by pride and Mammon. There’s such fervour to Abel Ferrara’s fast and furious ‘exposé’ of showbiz religiosity that its wild implausibility only adds to the pleasure. The man who made Bad Lieutenant storms the temple, ready to cast out all who exploit faith in God. Modine is riveting, a mind-boggling amalgam of primary target Mel Gibson and Ferrara himself. The incurably Catholic Ferrara has suffered plenty at the hands of those who broadcast their piety. If a quarter of what he throws back at them here sticks, he should be gratified.