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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 »

Director:

Hal Hartley

Writer:

Hal Hartley (a film by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Donovan ... Jesus Christ
PJ Harvey ... Magdalena (as P.J. Harvey)
Dave Simonds ... Dave
Thomas Jay Ryan ... Satan
Miho Nikaido ... Edie
D.J. Mendel ... Lawyer
Katreen Hardt Katreen Hardt ... Receptionist
James Urbaniak ... True Believer
Anna Köhler Anna Köhler ... Hotel Clerk (as Anna Kohler)
Martin Pfefferkorn ... Martyr
Layla Alexander ... Waitress (as Olga Alexandrova)
Michael Ornstein ... Computer Wizard
Paul Albe ... Mormon Thug #1
Don Creech ... Mormon Thug #2
Joseph McKenna ... 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

2000 seen by... Hal Hartley See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1999 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Az élet könyve See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Dave: I have a mind, I have senses. The soul is really just our awareness of things and is a material phenomenon.
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Connections

Referenced in In a Savage Land: Cast & Crew Interviews (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much better than "Dogma"
30 September 2003 | by lybertySee 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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