Top 5 Subliminal Nativity Films!
I know everyone goes on about how this is a reworking of Hamlet but, Shakespeare nuts, look a little bit closer and you’ll see some crucial differences. Scar is Herod, determined to get ‘the boy king’ out of the way in order to cement his own authority. It might be a stretch to call Mufasa God… but, you know, he’s pretty hot shit. Obviously there are some crucial nativity moments that were overlooked by Disney but the assembly of animals to witness Simba’s birth is a pretty obvious nod to the shepherds and the wise men. Obvious.
Taxi Driver is all about immaculate conception. Sounds odd but it’s true. Jodie Foster is, to begin with, a symbolic angel, born (seemingly) without parents and there to drive Travis Bickle to his ultimate fate. But Bickle’s own ideas are conceived immaculately as well, the lack of a catalyst here representing the lack of semen in the nativity. It’s a complaint that we hear every year but there is simply not enough semen in the nativity story.
All chase movies are, in essence, about the nativity. The nativity was, in fact, the first big chase as the Three Kings raced across the Middle East following a star. The ‘star’ in Spielberg’s masterful con-artist movie is Leonardo DiCaprio’s teenage trickster, that elusive heavenly light. Tom Hanks (aka The Three Wise Men, as he’s known in Hollywood) eventually find the star and it brings great prosperity and success to him. So, as we can see, this story is a classic reworking of The Magi’s arrival and the star here is even brighter than in the Bible.
2.) Knocked Up
On the face of it this is a more obvious nativity story, but how can all that bawdy humour fit in with a Biblical classic? Well, the relations between Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl might as well be heaven send due to the, how do I put it delicately, difference in attractiveness. The gestation period and lack of appropriate gynecologist (‘There’s no room in the inn!’) are all classic nativity features. And, to cap it all, a baby actually gets born in this film so I don’t think you call even call ‘tenuous’ when it comes to Knocked Up. Oh, and you think that ‘crowning’ isn’t a metaphor?
Whilst, on the face of it, this movie seems to be pretty much totally, 100% about the crucifixion of Christ it is, subliminally, about the birth of Christ. How so? Good question. My recommendation here is to watch the film on Christmas night and you will, finally, understand the nativity message that lies beneath the sadistic violence, Bible bashing and not-too-obscure anti-Semitism. I will take no blame for ruining Christmas if you choose to follow my recommendations. Any of them.