The Nativity Story
Reviewed by Michelle L. Thurlow
1. For earlier research on disaster movies as popular culture see for instance Schechter, Harry and Molesworth, Charles, “‘It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature’: The Disaster Movie and Technological Guilt”, Journal of American Culture 1:1, 1978, pp. 44–55; Broderick, Mick, Nuclear Movies. A Critical Analysis and Filmography of International Feature Length Films Dealing with Experimentation, Aliens, Terrorism, Holocaust and Other Disaster Scenarios, McFarland & Co., Jefferson, NC and London, 1991; Dixon, Wheeler Winston, Visions of the Apocalypse. Spectacles of Destruction in American Cinema, London and New York, Wallflower Press, 2003; Feil, Ken, Dying for a Laugh. Disaster Movies and the Camp Imagination, Wesleyan University Press, Middleton, CT, 2005.
2. The Latin text of this work by Jacobus de Voragine has been published in a critical edition by Th. Graesse, Jacobi de Voragine Legenda aurea, Breslau, 1890 (reprinted in Osnabrück, 1969). I will refer to the modern English translation by William Granger Ryan, The Golden Legend. Readings on the Saints, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1993, 2 vols.
3. Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, pp. xiii–xiv (introduction)
4. Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, pp. xvii–xviii (introduction)
5. See for instance the accounts on St. Andrew, St. Amand, St. Agnes, St. Vincent, St. Ignatius, and St. Blaise, all in The Golden Legend.
6. See for instance the accounts on St. Blaise, St. Andrew, St. Secundus, St. George, all in The Golden Legend.
7. See for instance the accounts on St Anastasia, St Agnes, St Blaise, all in The Golden Legend.
8. See for instance the accounts on St Andrew, St Lucy, St Silvester, St Agatha, all in The Golden Legend. This can be compared to martyr texts from the first centuries of the Christian era, cf. the collection The Acts of the Christian Martyrs, Herbert Musurillo (ed.), Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1972, where these traits are found in almost every one of the texts.
9. There is one interesting exception to this rule, the recent Snakes on a Plane (2006). In it, we find the classical motif of the oldest of the stewardesses who sacrifices herself for a baby, but there is also a dog that is killed. This dog, however, is a severely traumatized lap-dog that probably does not quite qualify into the “family dog”-category of the sturdy dogs in the other films.
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