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The Book of Life (1998)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 26 May 1999 (Belgium)
The end of the millenium has taken on a certain significance in modern day prophecies. What happens if Jesus Christ has second thoughts about the Apocalypse? It is December 31, 1999 and New... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Magdalena (as P.J. Harvey)
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Katreen Hardt ...
Receptionist
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True Believer
Anna Köhler ...
Hotel Clerk (as Anna Kohler)
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Martyr
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Waitress (as Olga Alexandrova)
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Computer Wizard
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Mormon Thug #1
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Mormon Thug #2
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Man at Airport
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Storyline

The end of the millenium has taken on a certain significance in modern day prophecies. What happens if Jesus Christ has second thoughts about the Apocalypse? It is December 31, 1999 and New Year's Eve takes on new meaning when the Devil, Jesus Christ, and Christ's assistant Magdelina discuss and debate the end of the world, the opening of the seven seals, and the essence of being human. Written by Tracy <tjc217@is2.nyu.edu>

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A controversial retelling of the Apocalypse See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

26 May 1999 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Az élet könyve  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Satan: Childlike innocence is not a viable alternative to despair.
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User Reviews

 
Much better than "Dogma"
30 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

Though not Hal Hartley's best work (my personal favorite is "Surviving Desire"), there is still much to like about this movie, especially for fans of Hartley's dialogues. Even to audiences new to Hartley, I would definitely recommend this movie over the sophomoric "Dogma." This movie is more intelligent, truer to its source material (the Bible), and more fun than any of the other pre-millennium apocalypse movies.

This movie is actually part of the French "2000 As Seen By." (2000 Par Vu) series; as such, it is perhaps even a lower-budget film than Hartley's other works. While the need for simple scenes shot with digital camera is understandable in this context, the main problem with this movie is the unfortunate overuse of the blurry/jittery effect. I'd be happy to never see this effect used in a movie again; especially at the beginning, it almost makes the movie unwatchable. But overlook this flaw, and you'll be treated to a fine film. Especially notable is Magdalena (played by P.J. Harvey) relating how Jesus saved her from being stoned to death; a short scene I found surprisingly moving. (Despite the fact that it was NOT Mary Magdalene that this happened to; the woman in the Bible was unnamed.)


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