The Last Temptation of Christ 1988
164 mins USA Director. Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s fascinating variation on the religious film is one the director’s most visually and aurally adventurous films. Adapting Nikos Kazantzakis’ book, a radical reimagining of Biblical scripture that focuses on Christ’s human torment and temptations, Scorsese fuses the vivid colour of Hollywood epics with the gritty street realism of his stable performers such as Harvey Keitel and Victor Argo. The result is a brilliant evolution of the earthy naturalism of Pasolini’s religious films, driven by Scorsese’s faith and genuine passion for the subject.
And Scorsese’s eye for the perfect collaborator sees Peter Gabriel provide a stunning, world-music-infused soundtrack, while David Bowie puts in a typically idiosyncratic performance as Pontius Pilate.
Greeted with controversy and suspicion upon its release, this mid-career classic can now cement its place as one of the filmmaker’s top-tier titles.