Origins of Christianity Series

Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader are getting the band back together for a three-year series that will explore the origins of Christianity. Religion has played a big part in both Scorsese and Schrader’s careers, and the two worked together on what is arguably the best religious-themed movie of all time – The Last Temptation of Christ. So the prospect of them reuniting for something like this is incredibly exciting and promising. Per Schrader, the show will be dramatized – not a docuseries – and will be called The Apostles and Apocrypha.

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Being alone indoors is a common facet of pandemic life, but in The Vigil and Saint Maud, it’s also a recipe for religious horror. These two films, which recently hit VOD and streaming, bend in opposite directions yet are cut from the same cloth. Both have first-time writer-directors at the helm and both are distributed by indie-horror labels (IFC Midnight and A24, respectively). Moreover, both center on an isolated individual who comes to believe that a supernatural force is reaching out to them. In The Vigil, it’s a demon from Jewish folklore, the mazzik. In Saint Maud, it’s a Welsh-speaking version of God himself.

Throw in a twitchy dead body under a white sheet, and a bed-ridden woman who’s ready to go Regan MacNeil on you, and you might think you were in store for a schlocky double feature. We’ve seen plenty of flicks like that (not naming any names, but there’s a whole subgenre of exorcism movies, many of which carry abysmally low Tomatometer scores.) What separates The Vigil and Saint Maud from those and unites them as thematic cousins is their serious-minded depiction of trauma and mental health.

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Redeeming Love

Director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) has a new movie on the way: Redeeming Love, an adaptation of Francine Rivers‘ novel that’s a retelling of the Biblical book of Hosea, but set in the American Old West.

Logan Marshall-Green (Upgrade), Abigail Cowen (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries), Famke Janssen (X-Men, Taken), Tom Lewis (Gentleman Jack), and Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy, The Last Ship) are leading the cast. Get a breakdown of the plot below.
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Penny Dreadful City of Angeles trailer - Natalie Dormer

Creator John Logan set his Showtime original series Penny Dreadful in Victorian England and took inspiration from classic novels like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to tell his story. Now, years after the original series came to an end after a three season run, Logan is back with a spin-off that seems more indebted to film noir than Gothic fiction.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels shifts the setting to Los Angeles and trades Eva Green (Casino Royale) for Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), who’s vamping her way through the city and leaving all kinds of trouble in her path. Check out the newest trailer below, as well as a clip from the show and a video showcasing Dormer’s transformations into multiple characters throughout the series. Read More »

Jamie Foxx Directing When We Pray

Jamie Foxx has worn many hats throughout his run in show business. Though he’s best known for his Oscar-winning acting career, Foxx has also dabbled in stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, sitcoms and even became a chart-topping R&B/hip hop singer. Just a couple years ago, he threw on another hat as the director of the forthcoming sports comedy All-Star Weekend starring himself and The Soloist co-star Robert Downey Jr. Now he’s getting back in the director’s chair again, but this time, it will be for a film in the increasingly popular faith-based drama genre. Read More »

mary magdalene trailer

Mary Magdalene‘s journey to the big screen has been Biblical unto itself, as the film starring Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix was hit with delay after delay. But as the spiritual drama directed by Garth Davis finally readies itself for an April theatrical release, IFC films has released a new Mary Magdalene trailer. Watch it below.

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shawn snyder interview

Science and spirituality intermingle in one man’s off-kilter quest for absolution. In this dark comedy To Dust, a Hasidic cantor by the name of Shmuel (Géza Röhrig) pursues scientific answers to his spiritual question. In Shmuel’s Jewish spirituality, the soul finds peace when it decays into dust. If the body isn’t dust yet, then the soul is still around. In his heart and nightmares, Shmuel senses his wife’s soul will suffer for a long time if her body doesn’t decompose soon enough.

Thus, Shmuel ventures outside his community onto a journey of blasphemy to bring himself peace. Hilariously, he ends up dragging along a community college biology professor (Matthew Broderick) onto his quest. With its dose of orthodoxy, To Dust is an unorthodox film about how far one man goes to take his grieving process into his own hands. Director and writer Shawn Snyder discusses the Jewish influences and how Röhrig and Broderick came to be.

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come sunday trailer

At first glance, Come Sunday is nothing we haven’t seen before out of Hollywood. There’s a tormented man in a position of authority, a deeply religious story about a church community, and a powerful performance from an underrated actor. But little did you know, Come Sunday is actually the beginning of a burgeoning new genre of films: podcast adaptations.

That’s right, Come Sunday is one of the first prolific films to be adapted from a podcast. And it won’t be the last.

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I can only imagine box office

I Can Only Imagine, a faith-based film from Roadside Attractions, is a surprise box office hit. The film ended up in third place over the weekend, just below reigning box office king Black Panther and new release Tomb Raider, and above Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time. How did this happen? I can only imagine.

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Pope Francis – A Man of His Word Trailer

Not to be outdone by that randy Young Pope fellow, Pope Francis is taking to the screen in a new documentary from director Wim Wenders. Wenders was given unprecedented access into the life of Francis, a figure who has often been at odds with his predecessors. Watch the Pope Francis – A Man of His Word trailer below. Peace be with you.

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