Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Special Effects Reveal Story of Cloning Jesus

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Special Effects Reveal Story of Cloning Jesus

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEXANDER WALKER

SPECIAL effects can turn a movie into a spectacle. But if that's its main appeal, they can also suck the life out of the story. Such is unlikely to be the fate of Revelation.

Opening next month, this Britishmade occult thriller has special effects by the tonne-load. But it also has an idea, perhaps the greatest idea in the world, if it ever came true: what if we could clone Christ?

"It would herald the crossover of science and religion in the new millennium," says its writer-director Stuart Urban.

Revelation, an impressive looking [pound]6 million production, is the biggest film yet made by Urban, whose credits include the recent TV series Our Friends In The North and the award-winning Falklands drama An Ungentlemanly Act.

From opening credits to finale, its storyline spans two millennia. It opens in Roman Legionary times, then does a visually stunning fastforward through some of the most violent eras of European history up to the present in pursuit of a sacred relic which has survived such vicissitudes as the Knights Templar heresies, chemical alchemy, sacred geometry and modern technology.

"What makes it rise above the narrow limits of the occult thriller genre - gives it edge - is its extension into genetic engineering which, after all, is a kind of updated magic," Urban says.

"Much of the storyline incorporates serious research into myths, religions, heresies, even offbeat aspects of great historical figures, such as Isaac Newton's secretive experiments with alchemy."

Shooting over 12 weeks took the unit to seldom-used baroque locations on Malta - where the opening Crucifixion sequence coincided with an alarming electric storm as the cameras were rolling - as well as the bizarre Village of Mysteries at Rennes-le-Chateau in Languedoc, home to the 12th-century Cathars, a gnostic sect that defied Rome and held Mary Magdalene to have been Christ's bride.

Freemasonry also drives the plot. …

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