Harlan Ellison died yesterday, peacefully, in his sleep, at the age of 84 - one of the few things he's done peacefully in his 70+ years of working, writing, and living. Harlan was one of the great men of our time, often characterized as "the dark prince of American letters" and "the most contentious man in America". He was no stranger to controversy - often inviting it in like a family welcomes its cousins in at Thanksgiving, only more frequently - and was as well-known for his excellent short stories as he was for his explosive temper. Harlan was one of my idols, right up there with Frank Zappa, Bruce Lee, my father, etc. I'm going to tell you as much about him as I can until grief stays my hand.
Directed by: Norman Jewison
Music by: Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Starring: Ted Neeley, Yvonne Elliman, Carl Anderson, Barry Dennen, Philip Toubus, the principal from Billy Madison
Cinematography: Douglas Slocombe
Are we still giving credit to huge movie studios that don't love us back?: Universal Pictures
There is no great shortage of biblical film adaptations; it's called the greatest story ever told for a reason. There are varying degrees of success here; one can quickly point to either version of The Ten Commandments or Ben-Hur as useful and worthwhile works of art, while Wholly Moses! and Noah's Ark are wastes of time. It's a tricky balancing act; you've got to respect both the belief system that's been around for a couple millennia lest you upset one of the biggest religious movements in the world, but you've got to commit to the art form as well lest you disappoint the general moviegoer. Right about the 1970s, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber had a really bright idea: how about a musical that portrays Jesus Christ as some sort of funk rock superstar?