I've loved this film ever since I first saw it. I just finished watching it on Blu-Ray for a second time and just thought I'd comment about its photography.
Dafoe has said that everything was done in a very low-budget way and if you look at the film's simplicity, it's true. A great example is when Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemene and God appears to him. Scorsese cuts from Jesus to the rustling branches of a tree soaked in blue moonlight, as the camera slowly dollies forward. He cuts back to Jesus rising from the ground and looking around. In the very same shot, Jesus finally fixes his eyes on a figure ("God") and the camera dollies back to reveal the back of the figure cloaked in shadow. And all along we have Peter Gabriel's haunting score pervading the scene. That has to be one of the simplest yet effective sequences I've ever seen.
The entire film has the spiritual qualities that Scorsese was going for, but I really wonder if he was fully aware of how every element of the film encompassed them. Everything from the rhythmic camera movements, to the gorgeous soft-lighting to the beautiful, earth-toned color palette (rich blue skies and golden sun and sands.)
I've always felt this was the closest Scorsese ever came to a Kubrickian film.
The Last Tempation of Christ
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