Friday, January 29, 2010

Luther spoke in King James' English?

I have just finished watching Luther, the 2003 production. The movie started with Luther praying in modern day English. Then he conducted his first mass in Latin. Then he quoted from the King James Version Bible "Thou art...." while studying for his Doctorate in Theology. And throughout the movie, every characters in the movie refer to the German language as their everyday language.

More than just a movie about Luther's life, it is a snippet into the producers' attempt to re-enact Babel through the movie. A historically confusing piece of historical work. (Talking about postmodernism's influence over our generation?)

I very much prefer a Luther movie in Latin and German, perhaps a little bit of Spanish. Not minding a bit should I need to read the English subtitles throughout the show. Or they should just make film it in contemporary English, like the 300 and Braveheart.

That is much better than having all the anachronism flashes through a movie depicting a historical person. Not being historical in making an historical epic is of course calling its own historical credibility into question.

Luther took his doctorate in the early 1500s while King James Version Bible came out only in 1611. It is chronologically wrong that Luther quoted from the KJV Bible.


pearlie said...

But he can't very well use NIV too now can he? :) So maybe they thought KJV will be the closest and IF they speak English, they'd speak it King James style. I know ... won't hold water, but still, it'll be easier to watch it in English than in German.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Pearlie,

He should use The Message! :)

Yes, it is easier to watch it in English. I would prefer they made the entire film in English, excluding even the Latin, etc. The existent of Latin, which is an attempt to make it more real, in effect made it unreal due to the English.

It is not blurring the line between reality or fiction but creating another reality which does not make sense at all.

pearlie said...

Ah! The Message ...

"You're the one, God, you alone; You made the heavens, the heavens of heavens, and all angels; The earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them; You keep them all alive; heaven's angels worship you!" ??

Nah ... won't cut it.

You still need the King's English:
"Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee."


I watched it some time back - did not remember any Latin.

Sivin Kit said...

But he was a good looking Luther in the movie! :-)

pearlie said...

Errr ... he was?