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Author Topic: Orthodoxy in movies  (Read 21129 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: December 15, 2004, 11:47:53 PM »

>>>Lemko Rusyn,
>>>Wouldn't you be mad if a Rusyn turned Baptist?
>>>Anastasios

I was surprised to meet such people when I first began to encounter them, and I was a little offended, I guess.

But now I know more Rusyn (American, mostly) atheists, agnostics, Protestants, "Bible meetingers", and Jews (converts from BC or EO) than I can count.  Some were baptized BC or EO and formed in the faith; others were raised in their particular sects; others were the children of socialists and atheists themselves and remain unchurched or anti-religion.

Mad?  No; I'm totally over it.  They're good people.  C'est la vie.
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« Reply #46 on: December 15, 2004, 11:58:50 PM »

In the horror genre there's a few that come to mind.

Mario Bava's Black Sunday aka The Mask of Satan (1961) is adapted from a Nikolaj Gogol short story, and is set in 19th-century Moldavia.  There is a priest character (minor, but important) who looks traditional Orthodox (incl. a riasa and pectoral cross), and an icon and its Church Slavonic inscription is a plot point (the priest has to "decipher" the inscription) but certain of the other religious trappings appear more Latin than Byzantine.  Believe it or not, the priest seems portrayed as kind of quaint, but his faith and that of the townspeople is not ridiculed; on the contrary, it helps bring about a victory over evil.

The Keep (1983) which I've only seen once, many years ago, based on an F. Paul Wilson novel, is set in Romania and I distinctly remember it had a strong religious theme tied to Romanian Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2004, 12:09:35 AM »

Aaron,

You & I agree regarding Cardinal Mahony's creation ? Oy vey !

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« Reply #48 on: December 16, 2004, 12:22:02 AM »

Li Richard Burton played an Episcopal priest who freaks out and turns against God in some black-and-white movie.

That would be "Night of the Iguana", with Susan Lyons and Ava Gardner (if it had been about an Orthodox priest I suppose it would have been called "Night of the Igumen")
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« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2004, 03:12:04 AM »

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(if it had been about an Orthodox priest I suppose it would have been called "Night of the Igumen")


LOL
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« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2004, 09:30:12 AM »

Unfortunately Tom Hanks will be stariing in the Da Vinci Code movie.

http://romanticmovies.about.com/od/thedavincicode/a/davinci113004.htm
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« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2004, 09:56:48 AM »

Unfortunately Tom Hanks will be stariing in the Da Vinci Code movie.

Figures, doesn't it? Hollywood...what a joke.
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« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2004, 03:32:08 PM »

There was an episode of the TV show Taxi that also did a bad number on Orthodoxy.  If I remember correctly the wife of one of the men went to the "Orthodox" priest because her husband cheated on her.  The "priest" told her she needed to cheat on her husband -- sort of a way to punish him, I guess.

Vlad Dracula was originally Orthodox, but converted to be a Roman Catholic.  That's were some people believe that he is a vampire because left left the True Church. There was a tv movie, about 2 yrs ago (?), that played up the Orthodox side.  They had the Church responsible for Vlad being murdered.

Another tv show, I think it was called Millinium (?), had an episode in an Orthodox church, with the icons of Christ and the Theotokos reversed on the icon screen.

Fiddler on the Roof, also had little scenes with Orthodox.

By way the worse movie I saw was the Russia, Rasputin.  There is a scene of Rasputin bedding a woman and having a group of monks come in and attack Rasputin.  As they are beating Rasputin, the woman gets dressed, she is a NUN.
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« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2004, 03:57:33 PM »

Quote
There was an episode of the TV show Taxi that also did a bad number on Orthodoxy.  If I remember correctly the wife of one of the men went to the "Orthodox" priest because her husband cheated on her.  The "priest" told her she needed to cheat on her husband -- sort of a way to punish him, I guess.

Already mentioned 'Taxi' - yes, Father, that's the worst example of several from that programme ’cos it 1) gave the most misinformation and 2) to top it off, Latka's wife says after being given this ridiculous order from the priest, 'Ve are Orthodox'. Ugh.

Quote
Fiddler on the Roof also had little scenes with Orthodox.

Love the 30 seconds in the introductory scene/song ('Tradition') when Tevye introduces the Russians in the larger town of Anatevka outside the shetl, even though the organ music is out of place describing them! The hieromonk giving the girl a blessing, the onion domes and crosses above them in the background... beautiful.

The scene where Tevye's wife visits the church to find out what happened to daughter Hava (she married a Russian against Tevye's wishes) seem unflattering in part but accurate - the minor cleric or monk said rather rudely 'What are you doing here?' - but I also remember the priest looking benevolent.
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« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2004, 04:08:08 PM »

Just remembered, Are You Being Served? with one of the gentlemen dressing as a "GreeK" Archbishop for a fake wedding.  Also, Freinds, they needed a minister for a wedding and they dragged in an Orthodox priest, only to be shoved aside by Joey a minister of some group.

I also remembered a movie made in the 50's called, And The Next Voice You Hear...  It was about a voice on the radio that was beleived to be God.  This lead to a group of farmers in Russia, I guess, digging up some trunks.  The next scene is a procession with icons and the leader of the farmers is a bishop.

Do you notice in alot of movies with Orthodox monastics the headgear is nothing like it is today/
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« Reply #55 on: December 16, 2004, 04:15:36 PM »

Has anyone ever noticed in all the Dracula films, with Christopher Lee, from Hammer Films, the churches and clergy are always Catholic.  It was only in The Vampire Circus that they showed the body of an Orthodox  priest, dead from the plague, and the interior of the church.
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« Reply #56 on: December 16, 2004, 04:26:54 PM »

Quote
Just remembered, 'Are You Being Served?' with one of the gentlemen dressing as a "GreeK" Archbishop for a fake wedding.


Didn't see that one. I don't like that show very much except for Mr Humphries and even he in a black-humour way is part of the dreariness, the class hatred and 'hanging on in quiet desperation' of the show - in short, reflecting unpleasant and true aspects of real life in England.

Quote
Also, 'Friends', they needed a minister for a wedding and they dragged in an Orthodox priest, only to be shoved aside by Joey a minister of some group.

I saw that and it wasn't that bad - he seemed vested properly and the ruse was they claimed Chandler, Monica or both were Greek. Detail alert: the sign in front of the reception hall for the Greek wedding had 'Anastassakis' as one of the family names on it, and I think that might be Jennifer Aniston's real or least historical family name.

Quote
Do you notice in a lot of movies with Orthodox monastics the headgear is nothing like it is today?

I hadn't but on 'Seinfeld' the hats were exaggerated but almost right - about the only thing accurate in the whole episode.
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« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2004, 04:43:09 PM »

I think it might have been in Fiddler, the veil just hangs loose in the back, not gathered as it is today.

There was a show, I can't remember the name...it had Black Dragon in it.  It was about some German, I think, Catholics looking for a route through Russia to China.  They encounter Ukrainian Cossacks and while in Russia they were arrested and when they found out one of the members was a Jesuit they were planning to excute them all.  This scene was very interesting...it beginning with the "Our Father" being chanted by a group of monks.  Each prisoner was taken to the priest and if he crossed himself in the Orthodox fashion and kissed the cross he was not excuted.  But he was quickly dragged to the river's edge and dunked 3 times.  Anyone not doing so was hung on the spot.  Of course the Jesuit refuses to cross himself and he's about to be hung when he rushes back to the priest and crosses himself and gets "baptised.  The leader of the group says, "Priest you made the right choice...Orthodoxy or death."  When they finally get to China they meet with a Russia priest-monk named German.  The natives offer the Jesuit a wife...he refuses and one native says, "Father German accepted the gift."
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« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2004, 05:20:20 PM »

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Do you notice in alot of movies with Orthodox monastics the headgear is nothing like it is today/

I know that in Andrei Rublev, it was set during the Tatar yoke, so the headgear was according to the old rite: monks wore simple veils and skufiyas, not kamilavkas. You can see a screenshot with the old-rite monastic gear here.
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« Reply #59 on: December 16, 2004, 05:24:05 PM »

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I know that in Andrei Rublev, it was set during the Tatar yoke, so the headgear was according to the old rite: monks wore simple veils and skufiyas, not kamilavkas. You can see a screenshot with the old-rite monastic gear here.

Thanks for the info. Today only the patriarch of Moscow wears that style of monastic hat in the Russian Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #60 on: December 16, 2004, 05:25:50 PM »

Thanks, Beayf. I personally prefer the monastic habit according to the Old Rite. Tho, I don't know how my Archbishop would react. Even the tunic is different...it has a set of buttons going down to the waist and the rest of the tunic is in one piece. Reminds me of my former Franciscan days.
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« Reply #61 on: December 16, 2004, 05:45:36 PM »

Of course, the fact that Andrei Rublev got it right for the time period it was set in is no excuse for films set in modern times having inaccurate clerical garb.
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« Reply #62 on: December 16, 2004, 05:50:33 PM »

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Just remembered, 'Are You Being Served?' with one of the gentlemen dressing as a "GreeK" Archbishop for a fake wedding.
 
Serge
Didn't see that one. I don't like that show very much except for Mr Humphries and even he in a black-humour way is part of the dreariness, the class hatred and 'hanging on in quiet desperation' of the show - in short, reflecting unpleasant and true aspects of real life in England.

Ania:
I love this show, and when I saw this episode I was ROLLING.  Mrs. Slokum (sp?) was supposed to get married to a Greek gentleman, who left her.  Rather than let her face embarassment in front of her family and friends, the rest of the cast threw a fake wedding.  I didn't find it offensive, the old man obviously had no idea what he was doing, somehow involving salt & pepper shakers and intoning "Arystotle, Olympus...."

Quote
Also, 'Friends', they needed a minister for a wedding and they dragged in an Orthodox priest, only to be shoved aside by Joey a minister of some group.

Serge:
I saw that and it wasn't that bad - he seemed vested properly and the ruse was they claimed Chandler, Monica or both were Greek. Detail alert: the sign in front of the reception hall for the Greek wedding had 'Anastassakis' as one of the family names on it, and I think that might be Jennifer Aniston's real or least historical family name.

Ania: I saw it too, it wasn't so bad.
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« Reply #63 on: December 16, 2004, 06:04:09 PM »


Excuse if me if this seems impolite, but what is an altar rail doing in that Orthodox church?

Actually, in Russia these railings are quite common.  They are not alter rails in the Catholic sense.  From what I saw in the big cathedrals they serve the practical purpose of keeping people off the stairs to the amvon. 
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« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2004, 07:04:00 PM »

I took the photo tour of St. Sophia Cathedral ( http://www.stsophia.org/photo.asp ) and it really is a beautiful church.

Much more appealing to the eyes than Cardinal Mahoney's monstrosity that poses as a "cathedral".



I was going to ask if Telly Savalas was Orthodox and if he practiced the faith, but I guess the above info answered my question before I even asked it.  Smiley

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That multiuse building called a cathderal is not what I call "Catholic"!!! I have been told by some one who keeps acquiantance with witches that they would love to have such a 'worship space"! THe insanity
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« Reply #65 on: December 16, 2004, 08:13:05 PM »

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That multiuse building called a cathderal is not what I call "Catholic"!!!

Neither would I!  Angry

Quote
I have been told by some one who keeps acquiantance with witches that they would love to have such a 'worship space"! THe insanity

Somehow, I am not surpised...  Shocked

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« Reply #66 on: December 17, 2004, 02:17:25 AM »

Telly Savalas was Orthodox, and his funeral was held at St. Sophia's in LA. Jennifer Aniston attended; Savalas was her baptismal godparent.
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« Reply #67 on: December 17, 2004, 11:46:24 PM »

 I fondly remember a scene from the (yes, made-for-TV), "Young Catherine" which, although a rather soap-operalike version of Russian history has some lovely view of Russian Church interiors and an excellent portrayal of a Metropolitan who counsels Catherine the Great before she converts to Orthodoxy. He tells her that he respects her Lutheran Faith and tries to explain to her that what she had been brought up to believe about Icons and images was  not actually the case. He also stands up to Empress Elizabeth (in a great portrayal by Vanessa Redgrave) telling her that Catherine should not be forced into Orthodoxy.
 Does anyone elso remember this film??
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« Reply #68 on: December 18, 2004, 12:19:42 AM »

Telly Savalas was Orthodox, and his funeral was held at St. Sophia's in LA. Jennifer Aniston attended; Savalas was her baptismal godparent.
So does that mean Jennifer ANniston is Orthodox also???
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« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2004, 12:28:35 AM »


So does that mean Jennifer ANniston is Orthodox also???

I don't know if she is practicing, but she was baptized Orthodox.
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« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2004, 06:00:39 PM »

I think it might have been in Fiddler, the veil just hangs loose in the back, not gathered as it is today.

There was a show, I can't remember the name...it had Black Dragon in it. It was about some German, I think, Catholics looking for a route through Russia to China. They encounter Ukrainian Cossacks and while in Russia they were arrested and when they found out one of the members was a Jesuit they were planning to excute them all. This scene was very interesting...it beginning with the "Our Father" being chanted by a group of monks. Each prisoner was taken to the priest and if he crossed himself in the Orthodox fashion and kissed the cross he was not excuted. But he was quickly dragged to the river's edge and dunked 3 times. Anyone not doing so was hung on the spot. Of course the Jesuit refuses to cross himself and he's about to be hung when he rushes back to the priest and crosses himself and gets "baptised. The leader of the group says, "Priest you made the right choice...Orthodoxy or death." When they finally get to China they meet with a Russia priest-monk named German. The natives offer the Jesuit a wife...he refuses and one native says, "Father German accepted the gift."
How barbaric!!!
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« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2004, 03:26:48 PM »

From Russia, With Love (1963) includes a scene inside what Bond calls "St. Sophia mosque" (Yikes! Lips Sealed) in Constantinople.

Captain Corelli's Mandonlin shows a whole lot of extras crossing themselves the wrong way.

Shirley Valentine includes a minute or two of a Greek wedding, shown very tastefully.

And the big city in Star Wars: Episode I looks a whole lot like Constantinople.
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« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2004, 04:44:25 PM »

Telly Savalas was Orthodox, and his funeral was held at St. Sophia's in LA. Jennifer Aniston attended; Savalas was her baptismal godparent.

Telly Savalas was a married man with children who had a mistress on the side.  A mistress who bore him an illegitimate son.  A son who he waited until he was around eight years old to have baptised because he wanted it done in Greece.  Orthodox?Huh?

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« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2004, 04:56:06 PM »



Telly Savalas was a married man with children who had a mistress on the side. A mistress who bore him an illegitimate son. A son who he waited until he was around eight years old to have baptised because he wanted it done in Greece. Orthodox?Huh?

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« Reply #74 on: December 21, 2004, 06:36:36 PM »



Yes.

Now why doesn't that surpriseme?

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« Reply #75 on: December 23, 2004, 03:52:41 AM »

Orthodoc...
You have no idea the family dinamics that went on the Savalas household.  What the media portrays, or what even the family portrays to the outside world could be extremely different from what actually happens.  What if Mr. Savalas repented?  Who are you to judge?  Everyone sins, in thought & action.  You are in no position to judge Mr. Savalas.  He died, hopefully after confessing his sins & receiving absolution.  I know a lot of people who unfortunately have had relations outside of marriage, and even a few that resulted in children.  Unfortunate, yes, but it is your kind of attitude that drives these people farther away from the chuch, as well as their children & loved ones... Its the people who judge, can't fogive, can't understand, that are the bane of our beloved Church's existance. 
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« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2005, 07:19:01 PM »

Orthodox in movies I have seen have always been negative depictions besides "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".
In the "Peacemaker" it has a Orthodox Serb Terrorist who sneaks in a nuclear weapon into the United States, and when he sees it on the baggage belt being loaded onto the plane he crosses himself Orthodox style, not Catholic style, as he would if he was a Croat. "Behind Enemy Lines" is full of anti-Serb Orthodox propaganda, as when the Serb sniper kisses something (i think it was his baptismal cross) when he shoots down the U.S. plane, and when they are in the Serb military headquarters you can see Orthodox graffiti all over the walls, and in the office with the General (who was in the beginning of the movie supervising the filling up of a mass grave of muslims) has a Orthodox icon on the wall of the Theotokos. "Stiletto Dance" has  a shotgun-wielding Orthodox priest who is in cahoots with a Serb Terrorist organization and the Russian Mob. It just looks to me like some directors in hollywood have an axe to grind........


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« Reply #77 on: January 26, 2005, 09:46:32 AM »

quote: indifferent person joins to please wife and/or in-laws. (in reference to my big fat greek wedding)

I'm sorry but i love that movie, and it is one thing that made me want to go check out the GO church...it put me in mind of the wonderful people i knew when i was dating a GO boy...I've never experienced anything but warmth and welcome fromt the local Greek community.

I don't think they (those who join when getting married) are or that character was indifferent in general, and in that case in the movie, I think it was that he loved her enough to become a part of her faith life as well as her life life. Of course the two are intertwined, so there you go. Wink Besides, it was a movie, they arent going to delve into a deep spiritual analysis in a family comedy, are they?

I've never seen Deer Hunter, and only saw the Exorcist once (that was enough) though i may have to check into some of the films listed (i do love movies) as for negative terrorist type protrayals, aren't there nutters in every bunch?  I dont want to get political, but religion has been used to justify terrorism for aeons, even while the actions totally conradict the teachings of the faith. 

one more thing, a question, about crossing, why the difference between RC and GO, O in general? is there a thread on this (I'll go look)
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« Reply #78 on: January 26, 2005, 12:59:04 PM »

one more thing, a question, about crossing, why the difference between RC and GO, O in general? is there a thread on this (I'll go look)

I think it's more a cultural/historical "accident" than anything, but I have read elsewhere that it may have grown out of different reactions to the priest blessing the faithful. That is, the priest faces the faithful and makes the sign of the cross over them, moving his hand up and down, then to his left and right. It may be that in the East the people "mirrored" the movement -- moving horizontally from their right to left -- and in the West they imitated the motion exactly -- their left to right.

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« Reply #79 on: January 26, 2005, 01:22:10 PM »

There is a thread on the different ways of making the Sign of the Cross; I don't recall where exactly it is, but if you search for it, I think you may find it useful. 
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« Reply #80 on: January 27, 2005, 10:33:35 AM »

Quote
as for negative terrorist type protrayals, aren't there nutters in every bunch? I dont want to get political, but religion has been used to justify terrorism for aeons, even while the actions totally conradict the teachings of the faith.


In the case of the Serbians it is deliberate attempt to recast the Serbs as the Villians for a genecide that never occured in Kosovo and Bosnia to the Albanians.  It is not a case "nutters in every bunch" or anything that flippant.  To this day the persecution of Christians in the Balkans continues and is aided by Western Governments. 
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« Reply #81 on: January 27, 2005, 10:57:08 AM »

I didnt mean to come off as flippant, far from it.  I wanted to avoid an essay on extremism in religion, and how far some will go to "justify" their personal agendas by using religious beliefs, twisting them up and totally removing them from the original intent.

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« Reply #82 on: February 08, 2005, 01:16:58 AM »

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« Reply #83 on: February 10, 2005, 09:33:49 PM »

I just got done watching a movie more balanced in the take of Bosnia. Its called "Savior" starring Dennis Quaid and directed by a Serb Director. It has an Orthodox Priest in it whose later martyred by Muslims. Its a very good movie but not for the faint of heart. Also, if anyone has seen it, and is familiar with Serb folk song, theres a song played while Dennis Quaid is supervising the prisoner exhange with his sniper rifle. I absoulutely love it and would love to know the name of it or where to purchase it on a CD.

In XC,
Justinian
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« Reply #84 on: February 16, 2005, 09:15:21 AM »

Justinian,

Yes, Savior is a fantastic film (in a grim way - that scene with the hammer wielding paramilitary literally gave me nightmares!). I, too, would say that's about the most balanced film I've seen on the wars in former Yugoslavia - most are just Serb bashing rubbish. There was also a pretty balanced drama on British television a few years ago about two friends from Sarajevo, one Muslim and one Serb and how the war affected them - can't for the life of me remember what it was called, though.

James
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« Reply #85 on: February 16, 2005, 09:29:10 AM »

I just read through this thread and noticed that the subject of that awful Bram Stoker's Dracula film was brought up. I know that I have a bee in my bonnet about this but...

There never was anyone in Romanian history called Vlad Dracula - Bram Stoker based his character on Vlad Tepes, his grandfather Vlad Dracul and Countess Bathory. 'Dracula' is grammatically impossible in Romanian, it would be like saying 'the he/she-devil'.

Vlad Dracul was Orthodox for his entire life (despite the title meaning the Devil). His grandson Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), on the other hand, did convert to Roman Catholicism in the hope of western help against the Turks. This never materialised and I'm unsure as to whether he returned to Orthodoxy - in any case he wasn't a particularly good Christian and he certainly was never more than a political convert to Catholicism - there's a famous story of him nailing Catholic legates' hats to their heads!

There ends the rant. Was anyone here aware of a direct descendant of Vlad Tepes trying to sue Francis Ford Coppola over Bram Stoker's Dracula, by the way? I saw it on Romanian news one time when I was visiting the country - she was claiming that the scene in the church at the beginning where Vlad stabs the cross was deformation of character. I never did find out how that panned out. I'd love to know, though.

James
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« Reply #86 on: February 16, 2005, 09:44:50 AM »

I just got done watching a movie more balanced in the take of Bosnia. Its called "Savior" starring Dennis Quaid and directed by a Serb Director. It has an Orthodox Priest in it whose later martyred by Muslims. Its a very good movie but not for the faint of heart. Also, if anyone has seen it, and is familiar with Serb folk song, theres a song played while Dennis Quaid is supervising the prisoner exhange with his sniper rifle. I absoulutely love it and would love to know the name of it or where to purchase it on a CD.

Justinian,

     Haven't seen this movie because as a general rule I avoid all the blatant anti-Serb propoganda flicks, but I'll make a point of checking it out in the next few weeks and I'll let you know if I know the song.  I might be that I already own it, if so, I'll send you a copy.  I have a pretty extensive collection of songs from the homeland.  Wink

      To add to the discussion, I've seen countless documentaries on Sundance with regard to the Orthodoxy.  In fact, I have my Tivo set up to tape any programs appearing with certain "keywords".  Orthodox is one of those.

       Often I get documentaries on Orthodox Judaism and as a result am slowly becoming an expert on all things Jewish. LOL  Grin
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« Reply #87 on: February 18, 2005, 04:56:48 PM »

My wife has a thing for these $1 DVDs at Wal-Mart. Last night she came home with an old Robert Wagner film, "Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef" - about Florida (GreeK) Cypriote sponge divers. Loaded with things Orthodox. I enjoyed it.
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« Reply #88 on: February 19, 2005, 01:02:55 AM »

one more thing, a question, about crossing, why the difference between RC and GO, O in general? is there a thread on this (I'll go look)

Believe it or not, Aurelia, as far as I know, the Latins used to cross themselves in exactly the way we did. But then a pope mandated that this should change, in order to further distinguish the Latins from the Greeks, because this pope was angry at the Greeks. I guess you should look for that thread and see what others have to say, as I am a bit foggy on this.

Bob
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« Reply #89 on: February 19, 2005, 12:14:01 PM »


There ends the rant. Was anyone here aware of a direct descendant of Vlad Tepes trying to sue Francis Ford Coppola over Bram Stoker's Dracula, by the way? I saw it on Romanian news one time when I was visiting the country - she was claiming that the scene in the church at the beginning where Vlad stabs the cross was deformation of character. I never did find out how that panned out. I'd love to know, though.

James

Hey, James. Nice to have your more first hand input here. I discern you are in agreement with Professor E. Miller's relatively recent work on Vlad. I am amazed at how quickly her version has been propagating on the internet. A few years ago( before she published) what historical facts I could glean did not exactly deny what she wrote, but they did state that while he was from an Orthodox family he was not Orthodox himself. Further, he did not convert to Rc-ism but was finally baptized (and for the reasons Miller gives). No matter. This is not something I'll go to the wall over.
Historians apparently disagree and I'll accept your version if it's actually Romanian-based. I have no doubt that he was (and apparently still is) a local hero of sorts.
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