google-site-verification=-dZePfgWB2ZtA3dxPB_nPrOD55Shnmh0iXAEngMSTwE dZePfgWB2ZtA3dxPB_nPrOD55Shnmh0iXAEngMSTwE
We all know God had a son, but a ten year old daughter?! Now she has a story all her own.
We all know God had a son, but a ten year old daughter?! Now she has a story all her own.

BIFF Review: The Brand New Testament

If you’re looking for a good time at the movies, The Brand New Testament has got you covered. The balance of surreal silliness and heart makes this one of the winners of BIFF.

God is a miserable, rumpled middle-aged man stomping around his Brussels apartment in pajamas and bath robe. He spends his days tormenting the human race, which he created specifically for that purpose. His son has run away from home and embarrassed his father, while his wife and daughter are prisoners in their own home. Until, one day, God’s abusive nature turns its focus from humanity to his 10 year old daughter Ea. She gets her revenge when she steals the key to his office and sends everyone on earth a text message telling them when they will die, then blocks her father’s access to his computer (the source of his power, still seemingly running DOS), and escapes to the real world to recruit six more apostles. The stories of those six as they navigate a life whose end date is known, and Ea’s quest to both lift up the world and escape her oppressive father, make Jaco Van Dormael’s The Brand New Testament one of the most enjoyable films to air at BIFF in years.

The Brand New Testament is full of absurdity and tenderness, moments that are at once silly and touching. Ea is a remarkable girl. Her compassion for the slightly broken and mostly lonely apostles she collects would not be as believable in an older character. The gorgeous bombshell with one arm; the middle manager with an untapped love of birds; the sex addict who has never actually had sex; the murderous life insurance salesman; the aging trophy wife with an extreme case of “jungle fever”; and the sickly young boy who wants to be a sickly young girl are all depicted with compassion and warmth, each telling their own backstory until their true story as apostles begins. Perhaps the most love is saved for her scribe, Victor. Homeless and dyslexic, he is the first person Ea meets, and he faithfully records the wisdom of those who follow her. 

The God created by Van Dormael, on the other hand, is pure id – a crass, petulant bully. Early on, we see God gleefully creating annoyances for his people, such as, “the other line always moves faster” and “toast always falls jelly-side-down.” Upon his arrival on Earth, having been mistaken for a homeless bum, God is sent to the emergency room, where he shoves the doctor for not giving him morphine, steals a slice of toast from a young girl in the waiting room, and promptly drops it, with predictable results. Later on, still appearing very homeless, God finds himself in the slow-moving line at a soup kitchen. Within minutes he has been pummeled by both the other patrons and the priest running the kitchen. Seeing this awful character fall victim to his own viciousness is really quite enjoyable, as long as viewers are receptive to blasphemy.

As the Belgian submission for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, The Brand New Testament is certainly deserving of recognition. Often visually stunning and creatively shot, I found myself too distracted to read the subtitles. There will be those who don’t appreciate the portrayal of God as such a buffoon, but for those willing to take things less seriously, the surreal silliness of The Brand New Testament is not to be missed.


The Latest Haps

NewsEntertainmentLifestyleFood/DrinkTravelSports
ktx seoul

Railroad Strike Planned for Next Week

The government is hoping railway services will be running without any major disruption despite a unionized railroad workers’ scheduled strike next week.

0 comments
bulguksa-temple-gyeongju

Aftershocks May Continue for Months

The Korea Meteorological Administration(KMA) is predicting that more aftershocks with a magnitude of three to four will likely continue in Gyeongju, for as long as several months.

0 comments
busan

Busan Only Felt Magnitude 3 Earthquake

The magnitude of the earthquake measured in Gyeongju was 4.5, but the earthquake intensity that people felt was 3 in Busan and 2 to 3 in most areas of Gyeongnam.

0 comments
Image: Busan One Asia Festival

Busan One Asia Festival Main Music Line-up

The Busan One Asia Festival will have five main K-pop concerts at the Busan Asiad Gymnasium throughout the first 23 days of October.

0 comments
open-talk-660x330

21st BIFF Event Schedule

The Busan International Film Festival has released its main event schedule for this year’s 21st edition. Updates as of September 22, 2016.

0 comments
bigdatahaps

“Wired” Magazine Chooses Big Data as Top 5 Podcast

Wired magazine has chosen local cartoonist Ryan Estrada’s “Big Data” as one of its top 5 podcasts of the week.

0 comments
health

Seomyeon Medical Street Festival to Run for Two Days

The 6th Seomyeon Medical Street Festival is starting on September 30th.

0 comments
friends

You Can Choose Your Family But You Can’t Choose Your Friends

That’s not a misprint, but just the way it seems to work when you live abroad. John Bocskay explains.

0 comments
baby

Is Korea the Worst Place to Raise an Expat Family?

Korea ranked dead last on the 2016 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey to raise a family, one of the largest global independent surveys of expat living.

0 comments
Image: Pei Wei

Pei Wei Asian Diner is Coming to Busan

Pei Wei Asian Diner is set to open a location in Busan by the end of 2017 according to a company press release.

0 comments
chicken-mac

McDonald’s Korea Introduces the “Chicken Mac”

McDonald’s Korea has introduced its newest offering, the Chicken Mac.

0 comments
Image: Facebook

Galmegi Brewing Co. Launches New Fried Chicken

Galmegi Brewing Company has announced its newest menu item, “Nashville Fried Chicken”.

0 comments
Seoul

Seoul #10 Most Popular Travel City

A new survey by MasterCard shows that Seoul is once again the 10th most popular city for travel in the world.

0 comments
ulsan

Travel Korea: Daytripping in Ulsan

Busan’s neighbor to the north has a lot going for it for a fun weekend that’s not so far from home.

0 comments
Image: Wikicommons

International Travel: Wats Happening in Chiang Mai

While many head to Thailand in search of its magnificent culture, Chiang Mai is a great place to start and one of her best offerings are her awesome temples, known as “Wats”.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

Is this the Worst Goalkeeper Blunder Ever?

North Korea’s goalkeeper gives up one of the worst goals ever — to the opponent’s goalkeeper in an AFC U-16 championship match.

0 comments
bungee-vid

Video: Safety Rope Fails from 42m Bungee Jump

A 29-year-old woman was seriously injured this month when a bungee jump operator failed to secure her rope to the safety hook.

0 comments
paddle

Suyeong-gu Office Runs the SUP Academy at Gwangalli Beach

Suyeong-gu Office runs the Stand Up Paddle Board Academy at Gwangalli Beach in September and October.

0 comments

 

 

Comments

comments

About Seth Fellenz

Check Also

cameras

Chinese Gov’t Cancels Events and Broadcasts to Protest THAAD

The Chinese government has cancelled a number of broadcasting programs and events filmed in Korea.

Leave a Reply