Sunday, September 07, 2014

"The Story of Jacob and Joseph" (from Genesis); and a short film on Jack Andraka


The Story of Jacob and Joseph” (1974, Sony TriStar, dir. Michael Caycoyannis) covers more ground that “Jacob: the Man Who Fought with God” (Nov. 11, 2009), and it seems very rushed in 103 minutes.

The first half hour or so is taken up largely with the story of how Jacob (Keith Michell) took Esau’s (Julian Glover) birthright, and it makes more of the old cultural idea that hairy men are supposed to be more manly.  Esau’s forearms are made up with obvious sleeves of grizzly bear fur, which is what Jacob puts on to fool Isaac. Jacob makes fun of himself in front of his mother for having “smooth skin”, but later scenes, when he is older, show him with ample chest chair himself.  It all looks pretty silly now, even in Sunday school, in an age when actors buy sleeves to pretend they have tattoo illustrations (fully removable).

The main opportunity in this story really should be to show Jacob wrestling with the angel, and then his dream of “Jacob’s Ladder” (itself a sci-fi thriller about a prolonged near-death in a Vietnam casualty, (1990, directed by Adriane Lyne, with Tim Robbins)).   The whole subject of angels, when they become physically manifest and function as men, is really quite interesting to me.  But the film skips that entirely.

  
Instead if moves on to the story of Joseph (Tony Lo Bianco), and how he angered his brothers by telling of dreams that made Joseph the center of attention. The movies skips what went into the Broadway musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” which I saw in Washington DC, I think in 1993. Joseph’s prescient dreams prepare his people, it turns out, for hard times, as they migrate to Egypt. 

The latter part of the film certainly shows a lot of attractive young men. 
  
I rented the DVD for this film from Netflix. 

  

As a completely unrelated short film, let me recommend Morgan Spurlock’s “You Don’t Know Jack” on Vimeo from Focus Forward, link here , about the teen scientist Jack Andraka, who developed a new cancer test (Wikipedia story here ).     This will probably get shown in the pre-show at Angelika theaters (I should have put this short-review up with yesterday’s film).   There is a review of the CBS 60 Minutes story on Jack on the TV blog, Nov. 6, 2013.  

June 5, 2015

There's another film "Just Jack" about Andraka with Linda Peters on Vimeo, from GE Focus Forward.  His mother appears.

(Don't confuse this short with a similarly titled HBO film April 28. 2010.) 

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