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There Be Dragons
Directed by Roland Joffé
Produced by Roland Joffé
Ignacio G. Sancha
Ignacio Núñez
Guy J. Louthan
Written by Roland Joffé
Starring Charlie Cox
Wes Bentley
Dougray Scott
Unax Ugalde
Olga Kurylenko
Golshifteh Farahani
Geraldine Chaplin
Rodrigo Santoro
Cinematography Gabriel Beristain
Editing by Richard Nord
Release date(s) 2010
Country United States
Argentina
Spain
Language English
Budget $30 million
For the archaic cartography expression, see: Here be dragons.

There Be Dragons is an upcoming historical epic written and directed by Roland Joffé, a British filmmaker well known for directing The Mission and The Killing Fields. It is a drama set during the Spanish Civil War which features themes such as betrayal, love and hatred, forgiveness, friendship, and finding meaning in everyday life. The film, scheduled to be released in late 2010 or early 2011 includes the story of a journalist, his father, and a real life priest, Josemaría Escrivá, a recent Roman Catholic saint and founder of Opus Dei, who has been called the saint of ordinary life.

The movie stars Charlie Cox (Stardust and Casanova), Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Rodrigo Santoro (300), Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius), Golshifteh Farahani (Body of lies), Dougray Scott (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Desperate Housewives), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), and Lily Cole (Rage and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus).

Contents

Story and themes

The director Roland Joffé said that There Be Dragons is “a film about what it means to be a saint in this day and age."[1] It is "a story about people trying to find meaning about their lives," he said.[2] The film includes the early life of Josemaría Escrivá, a modern-day saint and the founder of Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that ordinary human life is a path to sanctity. Escrivá, who died in 1975, was canonized by John Paul II in 2002. Joffé, who initially shied away from the project, was "ultimately intrigued by the chance to dramatize the life of a modern-day saint, particularly considering Escrivá's 'liberating' view that a path to God could be found in an ordinary life."[3]

The epic film tells the story of a present-day Spanish journalist, Robert, who is mending relations with his dying father, Manolo, who took part in the Spanish Civil War. The journalist discovers through his investigations that his father was a close childhood friend of Josemaría Escrivá, a candidate for sainthood, with whom he had a complicated relationship.[4][3] Manolo became a soldier during the Spanish Civil War and became obsessed with a beautiful Hungarian revolutionary, Ildiko. She rejects him and gives herself to a brave militia leader Oriol. Manolo becomes jealous and takes a path of betrayal.[5]

There Be Dragons is a drama which explores themes such as betrayal, forgiveness, friendship, and finding the meaning of life in everyday life. According to Joffé, they are "making a film about love, human love and divine love, about hate, about betrayal, about war, about mistakes, about everything it is to be a human being."[3]

Joffé, an agnostic who was nominated for the Academy Award for his film The Mission which deals with Jesuits and liberation theology, said that he is "very interested in the idea of embarking on a piece of work that took religion seriously on its own terms and didn't play a game where one approached religion denying its validity."[6]

The story was written by Joffé himself, who said that he has creative freedom over the project and likened this to that of St. Josemaria who "made no attempt to influence the people he worked with in terms of their politics. At that time, that's pretty heroic. That's a time when almost all human beings were faced with making extraordinary choices," he said.[7] He said that freedom is "the key to Josemaria, a key to his message."[8][2]

"Reconciliation matters" is the main take away message that Joffe expects from the viewers. Life, he said, is an opportunity to love: "It’s a choice, and in making that decision you become free. You do not become free when you hate. The weird thing is when you really love, you feel it like a breath of freedom, you think ‘Oh my God, I’ve chosen this, and it’s beautiful’.”[9] He emphasized that Christianity is about love and the teaching of St. Josemaria "encourages a spiritual relationship with God in 'very simple things,' in cooking a meal, being with one’s family, or even having a fight."[9]

The title refers to its theme exploring the unknown territories of hatred, guilt, and forgiveness, said the producer Ignacio G. Sancha.[3] "There be dragons" is an abbreviation of "here there be dragons" from the Latin hic sunt dracones, an ancient way of denoting in maps a place where there is danger, or an unknown place, a place to be explored.

Cast

The film stars Charlie Cox (Stardust) as Josemaría Escrivá and Wes Bentley (American Beauty) as his friend Manolo.

Dougray Scott (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Desperate Housewives) plays the role of Robert, the journalist son of Manolo.

Olga Kurylenko of Quantum of Solace plays the role of a young Hungarian woman fighting with the Republicans in the International Brigades.

Olga Kurylenko plays a young Hungarian woman fighting with the International Brigades.

Golshifteh Farahani of Body of lies plays the role of Leila, Robert's girlfriend.

Rodrigo Santoro ("Xerxes" in 300) plays the role of Oriol, the young left-wing revolutionary that leads the "Iron Column".

Derek Jacobi of I, Claudius plays the role of Honorio.

Model and actress Lily Cole of Rage and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus plays the part of Aline.

Production

The film is produced by Roland Joffé (who is the director and the writer of the screenplay), Guy J. Louthan, Ignacio G. Sancha, and Ignacio Núñez. The last two are members of Opus Dei.[1] Funds came from an investment fund created by Ignacio G. Sancha and Ignacio Núñez that has 100 private investors which include believers and several atheists.[4][3] The television network and media company, Antena 3, the first private station in Spain, is also funding the film. Roland Joffé, the Director, is also funding the movie. The production services have been provided by Morena Films of Spain and Historias Cinematográficas of Argentina.

The New York Times, which called the movie a religious epic, reported the script was first offered to Hugh Hudson and Alejandro González Iñárritu who both turned it down. Joffé also turned down the offer to work as film director. "But he said he reconsidered after he saw a video of Escrivá answering a question from a Jewish girl who wanted to convert to Catholicism. Escrivá told her that she should not convert, because it would be disrespectful to her parents. 'I thought this was so open-minded,' Mr. Joffé said."[4] In the press conference held in Buenos Aires on 24 August 2009, Ignacio G. Sancha stated that "our role is to create a space of free creativity for Roland, who has absolute free hand as a filmmaker. The value of the project lies in the fact that someone completely independent is portraying Josemaría according to his own view."

Joffé then wrote the new script, travelling to Spain, Italy and South America to do research.[4]

There Be Dragons also features Argentine production director Eugenio Zanetti, who won the Oscar in 1996 for Restoration. Costume designer is Yvonne Blake, who won an Oscar for Nicholas and Alexandra and designed the costume of Superman. Two-time Oscar winner Michele Burke is in charge of the special make-up effects.

Fr. John Wauck, an Opus Dei priest and a professor of Literature at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, serves as an on-set adviser, playing the same role that Daniel Berrigan played for Jeremy Irons in The Mission. Luis Gordon, a former spokesman of the prelature of Opus Dei, stated that "The film team asked us for help in gathering information and we gave them access to the documentation. That's the beginning and end of our collaboration with this film."[10]

To portray Madrid in the 1930s, a part of the movie was filmed in Lujan, Argentina.[11]

The movie will be released in May 2010.[12]

Reactions

There has been controversy surrounding the film as it was accused by ex-members of Opus Dei of being a propaganda for Opus Dei. It has also been accused of being a mere response of the organization to The Da Vinci Code.

Joffe denied that the film is a response to The Da Vinci Code, because, he says that this is too expensive to be a mere response. The Opus Dei prelature also denied involvement in the film, simply stating that the organization was asked by the producers for help in obtaining accurate information about Escriva.

Actor Wes Bentley said that There Be Dragons "rivals American Beauty in character."[13]

References

  1. ^ a b DPA (2009-08-26). "Director of The Mission shooting film on Opus Dei founder - Feature". Earthtimes. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/282848,director-of-the-mission-shooting-film-on-opus-dei-founder.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b Catholic Herald Staff Reporter (4 September 2009). "British actors line up for film about life of Opus Dei founder". Catholic Herald. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000632.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Nicole Neroulias (August 31, 2009). "After 'Da Vinci,' Opus Dei cautiously optimistic about new film". Nola.com. http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/08/after_da_vinci_opus_dei_cautio.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d Laurie Goodstein (Aug 21, 2009). "Bringing a Saint's Life to Screen". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/movies/22opus.html?scp=3&sq=opus%20dei&st=cse. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  5. ^ Reuters live phone conference
  6. ^ Thaddeus M. Baklinski (2009-08-26). "Academy Award Nominee to Film Movie on Opus Dei Founder". Lifesite News. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09082504.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  7. ^ Mark Pattison (28 August 2009). "Filming starts on biography of Opus Dei founder". Catholic Spirit. http://thecatholicspirit.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2425&Itemid=33. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  8. ^ Presentation of the film
  9. ^ a b Catholic News Agency (31 October 2009). "Upcoming movie about St. Josemaria Escriva focuses on love, forgiveness and redemption, says director". Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17545. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  10. ^ Austen Ivereigh (2009-06-08). "Opus Dei founder gets 'The Mission' treatment". America Magazine. http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=43282913-3048-741E-5441352727319255. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (Aug 24, 2009). "Roland Joffé filming Opus Dei pic". Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3ia3f0e0ee831a6936dd0723f09a3e454b. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  12. ^ Jorge Enrique Mújica LC (12 Feb 2010). "There be dragons: san Josemaría Escrivá en las pantallas de cine en mayo de 2010". Camineo.info. http://www.camineo.info/news/200/ARTICLE/6685/2010-02-12.html. Retrieved 2010-03--8. 
  13. ^ http://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/news/01-2010/wes-bentley-back-in-the-drivers-seat_24209.html

See also

External links

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For the archaic cartography expression, see: Here be dragons.
There Be Dragons
File:There be dragons
Directed by Roland Joffé
Produced by Roland Joffé
Ignacio G. Sancha
Ignacio Núñez
Guy J. Louthan
Written by Roland Joffé
Starring Charlie Cox
Wes Bentley
Dougray Scott
Unax Ugalde
Olga Kurylenko
Golshifteh Farahani
Geraldine Chaplin
Rodrigo Santoro
Cinematography Gabriel Beristain
Editing by Richard Nord
Release date(s) 2010
Country United States
Argentina
Spain
Language English
Budget $30 million

There Be Dragons is an upcoming historical epic written and directed by Roland Joffé, a British filmmaker well known for directing The Mission and The Killing Fields. It is a drama set during the Spanish Civil War which features themes such as betrayal, love and hatred, forgiveness, friendship, and finding meaning in everyday life. The film, scheduled to be released in Spring 2011, includes the story of revolutionary soldiers, a journalist, his father, and a real life priest, St. Josemaría Escrivá, a recent Roman Catholic saint and founder of Opus Dei, who has been called the saint of ordinary life.

The movie stars Charlie Cox (Stardust and Casanova), Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Rodrigo Santoro (300), Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius), Golshifteh Farahani (Body of Lies), Dougray Scott (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Desperate Housewives), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), and Lily Cole (Rage and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus).

Contents

Story and themes

Director Roland Joffe said that There Be Dragons is "a story about people trying to find meaning about their lives."[1] The epic film tells the story of a present-day Spanish journalist, Robert, who is mending relations with his dying father, Manolo, who took part in the Spanish Civil War. The journalist discovers through his investigations that his father was a close childhood friend of Josemaría Escrivá, a candidate for sainthood, with whom he had a complicated relationship.[2][3] Manolo became a soldier during the Spanish Civil War and became obsessed with a beautiful Hungarian revolutionary, Ildiko. She rejects him and gives herself to a brave militia leader Oriol. Manolo becomes jealous and takes a path of betrayal.[4]

The film includes the early life of Josemaría Escrivá, a modern-day saint and the founder of Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church which teaches that ordinary human life is a path to sanctity. Escrivá, who died in 1975, was canonized by John Paul II in 2002. Joffé, who initially shied away from the project, was "ultimately intrigued by the chance to dramatize the life of a modern-day saint, particularly considering Escrivá's 'liberating' view that a path to God could be found in an ordinary life."[3]

There Be Dragons is a drama which explores themes such as betrayal, forgiveness, friendship, and finding the meaning of life in everyday life. According to Joffé, they are "making a film about love, human love and divine love, about hate, about betrayal, about war, about mistakes, about everything it is to be a human being."[3]

Joffé, an agnostic who was nominated for the Academy Award for his film The Mission which deals with Jesuits and liberation theology, said that he is "very interested in the idea of embarking on a piece of work that took religion seriously on its own terms and didn't play a game where one approached religion denying its validity."[5]

"Reconciliation matters" is the main take away message that Joffe expects from the viewers. Life, he said, is an opportunity to love: "It’s a choice, and in making that decision you become free. You do not become free when you hate. The weird thing is when you really love, you feel it like a breath of freedom, you think ‘Oh my God, I’ve chosen this, and it’s beautiful’.”[6] He emphasized that Christianity is about love and the teaching of St. Josemaria "encourages a spiritual relationship with God in 'very simple things,' in cooking a meal, being with one’s family, or even having a fight."[6] Joffé states that this is “a film about what it means to be a saint in this day and age."[7]

The title refers to its theme exploring the unknown territories of hatred, guilt, and forgiveness, said the producer Ignacio G. Sancha.[3] "There be dragons" is an abbreviation of "here there be dragons" from the Latin hic sunt dracones, an ancient way of denoting in maps a place where there is danger, or an unknown place, a place to be explored.

Cast

The film stars Charlie Cox (Stardust) as Josemaría Escrivá and Wes Bentley (American Beauty) as his friend Manolo.

Dougray Scott (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Desperate Housewives) plays the role of Robert, the journalist son of Manolo.

Olga Kurylenko of Quantum of Solace plays the role of a young Hungarian woman fighting with the Republicans in the International Brigades.

Golshifteh Farahani of Body of lies plays the role of Leila, Robert's girlfriend.

Rodrigo Santoro ("Xerxes" in 300) plays the role of Oriol, the young left-wing revolutionary that leads the "Iron Column".

Derek Jacobi of I, Claudius plays the role of Honorio.

Model and actress Lily Cole of Rage and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus plays the part of Aline.

Production

The film is produced by Roland Joffé (who is the director. As of July 2010, the writing credit for the film has not been determined. Barbara Nicolosi wrote the original screenplay which Joffe was hired to rewrite), Guy J. Louthan, Ignacio G. Sancha, and Ignacio Núñez. The last two are members of Opus Dei.[7] Funds came from an investment fund created by Ignacio G. Sancha and Ignacio Núñez that has 100 private investors which include believers and several atheists.[2][3] The television network and media company, Antena 3, the first private station in Spain, is also funding the film. Roland Joffé, the Director, is also funding the movie. The production services have been provided by Morena Films of Spain and Historias Cinematográficas of Argentina.

Screenwriter Barbara R.Nicolosi (co-writer, Mary, Mother of Christ) was engaged in 2004 by IMMI Pictures of Los Angeles, CA to write a bio-pic about St. Josemaria Escriva. After several months of research including trips to Spain to interview surviving acquaintances of Escriva, Nicolosi made the creative decision to set the story during the tempestuous years of the Spanish Civil War.

Director, Roland Joffe signed on to direct the screenplay two years later in 2006.[citation needed]

The New York Times, which called the movie a religious epic, reported that NIcolosi's script was first offered to Hugh Hudson and Alejandro González Iñárritu who both turned it down. Joffé also initially turned down the offer to work as film director. "But he said he reconsidered after he saw a video of Escrivá answering a question from a Jewish girl who wanted to convert to Catholicism. Escrivá told her that she should not convert, because it would be disrespectful to her parents. 'I thought this was so open-minded,' Mr. Joffé said."[2] "In writing the new script, Mr. Joffé came up with a convoluted plot in which a young journalist discovers that his estranged father has a long-buried connection to Escrivá," reported the New York Times.[2] Joffé traveled to Spain, Italy and South America to do additional research.[2] In the press conference held in Buenos Aires on 24 August 2009, Ignacio G. Sancha stated that "our role is to create a space of free creativity for Roland, who has absolute free hand as a filmmaker. The value of the project lies in the fact that someone completely independent is portraying Josemaría according to his own view."

There Be Dragons also features Argentine production director Eugenio Zanetti, who won the Oscar in 1996 for Restoration. Costume designer is Yvonne Blake, who won an Oscar for Nicholas and Alexandra and designed the costume of Superman. Two-time Oscar winner Michele Burke is in charge of the special make-up effects.

Fr. John Wauck, an Opus Dei priest and a professor of Literature at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, was the initial theological consultant to Barbara Nicolosi during her research for the screenplay. Later, Fr. Wauck served as an on-set adviser, playing the same role that Daniel Berrigan played for Jeremy Irons in The Mission. Luis Gordon, a former spokesman of the prelature of Opus Dei, stated that "The film team asked us for help in gathering information and we gave them access to the documentation. That's the beginning and end of our collaboration with this film."[8]

To portray Madrid in the 1930s, a part of the movie was filmed in Lujan, Argentina.[9]

According to the movie's official website, it will be released in Spring 2011.

Reactions

There has been controversy surrounding the film as it was accused by some detractors of Opus Dei of being propaganda for Opus Dei. It has also been accused of being a mere response of the organization to The Da Vinci Code.

Additional disputes concerning the film have to do with writing credit. Two writers in addition to Joffe are on record as having worked on the script.

Joffe denied that the film is a response to The Da Vinci Code, because, he says that this is too expensive to be a mere response. The Opus Dei prelature also denied involvement in the film, simply stating that the organization was asked by the producers for help in obtaining accurate information about Escriva.

Actor Wes Bentley said that There Be Dragons "rivals American Beauty in character."[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ Catholic Herald Staff Reporter (4 September 2009). "British actors line up for film about life of Opus Dei founder". Catholic Herald. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000632.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Laurie Goodstein (August 21, 2009). "Bringing a Saint's Life to Screen". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/movies/22opus.html?scp=3&sq=opus%20dei&st=cse. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Nicole Neroulias (August 31, 2009). "After 'Da Vinci,' Opus Dei cautiously optimistic about new film". Nola.com. http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/08/after_da_vinci_opus_dei_cautio.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  4. ^ Reuters live phone conference
  5. ^ Thaddeus M. Baklinski (2009-08-26). "Academy Award Nominee to Film Movie on Opus Dei Founder". Lifesite News. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09082504.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  6. ^ a b Catholic News Agency (31 October 2009). "Upcoming movie about St. Josemaria Escriva focuses on love, forgiveness and redemption, says director". Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17545. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  7. ^ a b DPA (2009-08-26). "Director of The Mission shooting film on Opus Dei founder - Feature". Earthtimes. http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/282848,director-of-the-mission-shooting-film-on-opus-dei-founder.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  8. ^ Austen Ivereigh (2009-06-08). "Opus Dei founder gets 'The Mission' treatment". America Magazine. http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=43282913-3048-741E-5441352727319255. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  9. ^ Associated Press (August 24, 2009). "Roland Joffé filming Opus Dei pic". Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3ia3f0e0ee831a6936dd0723f09a3e454b. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  10. ^ http://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/news/01-2010/wes-bentley-back-in-the-drivers-seat_24209.html

External links

Template:RolandJofféFilms


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