Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ten Thoughts About the Noah Movie from Someone Who Has Been Resolutely Not Paying Attention

by Lyndsey Graves

I have not been paying attention to anything about the new Noah movie. Here are my thoughts about it.

1. Please tell me the Nephilim are in there.

Because if anything in the Bible has been patiently waiting to be cinematically depicted in all the glory the 21st century’s SFX can muster. It is the Sons of God and the Nephilim.

2. Also Utnapishtim.

When does Sumerian/Babylonian Noah appear?

3. And Steve Carell.

That guy makes me laugh.

4. I want to see the 40 days and 40 nights montage.

Can’t decide whether I hope it’s set to ZZ Top or just a mashup of sad songs about rain.

5. Is there a “making of” featurette about animal handlers?

And does Steve Carell have a funny parrot?

6. Is this movie controversial because evangelicals don’t like rainbows anymore?

Or because of the full-frontal nudity tacked on to the end of Noah’s bit in Genesis?

7. All the photos I have seen include people with glamorously-bedraggled hair.

How long does it take to make your hair look like that? Why do we think they didn’t have hairbrushes/fingers to fix their tangles?

8. Did anyone check if the ark is actually the right dimensions in cubits?

I only watch Hollywood Bible movies that observe the utmost in scrupulous accuracy.

9. Why do we care about this movie?

Whether to attack it or defend it or philosophically analyze the character development, what are we trying to prove? That we are the right kind of Christian? That we read the Bible better than others? That we watch movies better than others?

Since when do we even care about the Noah story itself? The BIBLICAL version people on my Facebook keep referring to - it’s completely weird. Even the coloring-book version is pretty weird: “The people were very bad people. God was tired of them. He drowned them all. Except Noah. So every time you see a rainbow, remember that God’s not going to destroy you like he did to the very bad people.” What is that about? And for real, who are these “Sons of God” and Nephilim? They were never in my coloring book.

I just don’t know how people are so emotionally attached to this story. God comes off as this totally capricious dude (unless you compare him to the Sumerian/Babylonian gods), and it makes me super uncomfortable. I can’t really remember a time this story has ever strengthened my faith; I also can’t think of a way to make it more existential so I could ruminate over it in a dark corner of a coffee shop later. I read this story as an action flick with crazy characters of mythic proportions and a sort of bewildered Noah: “What is this ‘rain’ you speak of?” So if I ever see the movie, I hope that’s what it is.

10. If I wanted to make a quick buck, I’d back a movie that contained, in this order:

1) Emma Watson
2) egregious violence
3) generally benign but slightly controversial subject matter
4) a parrot

11. This has been your daily dose of free publicity for Noah, in theaters everywhere.
Lyndsey lives in Boston, MA where she is pursuing her Master's in Theological Studies at Boston University. She enjoys Community, Mad Men and Beauty and the Beast and her spirit animal is a sloth. She would like to know if this is some kind of interactive theater art piece. You can follow her on Twitter @lyndseygraves and you can find more of her writing at her blog To Be Honest. 

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