Friday, January 20, 2012

Bet you won't hear a sermon like this on Sunday...

The Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday is from the book of Jonah. While the reading for this Sunday is not the famous Jonah and the Whale story, it does come right after that incident. Whenever Jonah comes up in the Lectionary (which is all too infrequent in my opinion), I always think of the classic sermon given by Orson Welles as Father Mapple in the 1956 version of Moby Dick.

The cinematography and acting in this scene is terrific. You get an entire sermon (when was the last time you heard that in a blockbuster movie?) The pulpit is actually the mast of a ship. Notice how the image of the cross emanates from that pulpit in a very nautical type way. It is a truly fascinating scene. And the sermon is actually pretty good ends not in a fire and brimstone way which is what you expect at the beginning because Welles is extremely melodramatic.

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