An Evening with Director Bob Elfstrom and his star Johnny Cash
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Bob Elfstrom is a director and cinematographer who specializes in documentary filmmaking. In this program, Elfstrom will reach way back to 1971 when he worked with county legend Johnny Cash to create a musical documentary about the life of Jesus Christ.
Elfstrom worked with Cash on two occasions. The first time, he served as the director of a critically acclaimed, but fairly standard, documentary about Cash’s music. That experience got him the job as the director and star of Cash’s much more unusual musical biopic.
Some critics love this film and feel it has been hugely influential on many subsequent films about Jesus’s life. Others freely admit to being totally befuddled about the approach Cash and Elfstrom took to telling this story.
The movie is based upon a script written by Cash and Larry Murray shortly after Cash converted to Christianity. It features songs sung by Cash and written by Cash and the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Joe South, John Denver and Christopher Wren.
Shot with a tiny budget of Cash's own money, mostly on location in Israel, the film threw many of the conventions about biblical films out the window. For example, Cash, wearing his usual all-black outfit, gave himself the role of narrator, singing almost all of the film's dialog. The only major character given a speaking role in this film is Cash’s wife June Carter Cash, who plays the role of Mary Magdalene — which was probably a statement about her life as a religious but divorced woman.
The day before shooting began, Cash decided to cast the blond director Elfstrom as the star of the film -- Jesus Christ himself.
Of course all these unusual decisions upset some folks. But they also won a great many converts. For example, the Bible Films Blog gushes effusively about Elfstrom’s cinematography, which it found to “introduce a simplistic beauty into the film.”
Elfstrom will introduce the film and will regale us after the screening with stories about working with Johnny Cash
When: June 21, 2013 at 8:00 PM
|Where:||Community United Methodist Church Sanctuary|
(corner of Johnston)
Half Moon Bay
|Directions:||From Main Street in Half Moon Bay turn east on Miramontes to Johnston (just one block).|