Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter, JC Superstar

When I was a teenager, I was absolutely enthralled by the hit musical of the times, Jesus Christ Superstar. And I loved the 1973 movie version by Canadian director Norman Jewison too. It was on TV again this Easter weekend, of course. I watched it for the umpteen-gazillionth time and enjoyed the movie as much as ever.

Jesus Christ Superstar taught me that it was okay to question Christian dogma and to search more deeply for the truth. I still regard it as a central milestone in my spiritual journey.

I also really like the re-visioned 2000 made-for-TV movie version based on a UK stage production. It stars Glenn Carter as Jesus and Jérôme Pradon as Judas.
The clip I'm posting this Easter morning is the play's final big song and dance number when Judas audaciously questions Christ.



However, this rendition is much, much darker than the cheeky-but-still-earnest 1973 movie version. In a significantly more pointed fashion than the original, it also questions the depth and sincerity of our modern society's ability and desire to search for spiritual truth. Are we just too self-absorbed and superficial to truly understand the significance of the Easter message? Judas certainly appears way more interested in courting paparazzi attention than in truly striving for enlightenment. He's essentially portrayed as being just an obnoxious prick, not a truth seeker at all.

29 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

Gosh, I haven't thought of that in years. Thanks for the memory.
Mary

Snap said...

One of my favorite musicals. The search for some just doesn't exist. Perhaps because we are more cut off from each other? We don't have to look someone in the face to communicate. Ah, well. Much to think on and that makes my head hurt! Another day ..........!!!!
Happy Spring!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

jesus christ superstar impacted me much more than the 20 years i spent as a catholic. it liberated me! i know every word to every song! happy easter!

jadedj said...

With you! I absolutely love this musical. "What's the buzz...tell me whatsa happening..." LOVE IT!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I've actually never watched that musical. Perhaps it's time?

Happy Easter and happy Sunday!

Melanie said...

My mother would play the soundtrack every year while we colored eggs. It scared the crap out of my three year old self. I think it was a little much for me at the tone...

Melanie said...

Time... not tone...this is why I don't comment from my phone!!

Adam said...

first time I've heard of this movie

Jeanne said...

Totally love the original musical. It was so 'out there' for the time period. Definitely stretched the limits for many people. But somehow missed the remake. :0(
I think the different versions mirror our society at the time each was made.
Happy, Hoppy Easter!

The Happy Whisk said...

Hope you have a groovy day, Debra. Cheers and boogie boogie.

The Silver Bunny said...

Of course my impression of this little rendering might have been impaired by the ad for really nice shoes that appeared at the bottom of the screen but all I could think was :"My God, this Jesus has really nice teeth !". That will be my own bit of soul-searching for today !

knitwit said...

We did an entire unit in school on Jesus Christ Superstar when I was 10. Watched the movie, and went out and saw a live production. This was in England, back when you were still allowed to mention things like Jesus in public school! Haven't thought about it for years, but I do remember all the songs--they were obviously very catchy!

Linda Wildenstein said...

Joe and I saw a production of this in San Fran in 1973.....had a profound effect on me then.....and still is a great musical.

Francie M said...

Well as you will find out this week I decided that last week was going to be the end of my blogging career. Glad I changed my mind because otherwise I would have missed this. I am sorry I missed this remake. Not sure what it would mean to anyone not
raised in the church but if you know the story it seems to be making a greater impact on people than the original.

DEZMOND said...

I know about it, but I haven't seen it myself.

greekwitch said...

Happy Easter, haha! Nice touch with the JC superstar!

Jim said...

Good post Debra. Thanks.

Hindustanka said...

I watched Jesus Christ Superstar few years ago, but they don't show it on TV frequently... may be there is a reason. I enjoyed the movie. Rest I have seen only The Passion of The Christ later on.
Yea.. Judas sitting on the cross in the video...

greekwitch said...

I read your comment as soon as I woke up and it gave me a smile that I think will last all day!!

Elsie Amata said...

I saw this on Broadway when I was a teenager. It was part of a high school (or junior?) field trip!

A Beer For The Shower said...

I still have never seen this in any form. I mean, on one hand it sounds cool and people rave about it. But on the other hand... it's a musical.

lgsquirrel said...

Wishing you a blessed Easter.

Magic Love Crow said...

I have never scene this musical! I hope you had a great Easter ;o)

Riot Kitty said...

I've actually never seen it. Echo A Beer For The Shower.

heartinhand said...

I don't know if I've seen this. Someone should put it on Netflix. :) lol

Cheryl said...

I, too loved the play. I went to see it on Broadway at one point.
I rarely watch movies any more related to the crucifixion. The brutality of it, even if you aren't looking at it from a religious point of view, is just too hard to watch.

JACKIESUE said...

I remember my granddsughters going thru my record collection and finding Jesus Christ Super Star...Im sure my sons and wives were not happy with their small kids came home singing it..they were very dramatic when they sang it too..made my day..'

Professor Chaos said...

There is a touring company coming to Atlanta doing Superstar with Johnny Fucking Rotten playing King Herod. I don't know how to feel about that, except really old.

theduchessofh said...

This is one of my favourite films. I watch it every Easter, and think about it every time I hear Rush's, Distant Early Warning song. The guitar break in that song always reminds me of the, " take him to Pilate,;take him to Pilate" guitar part of that song in the film.