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Michael Medved

Text and Context: Diverse Readings of The Last Temptation of Christ

How one reads a text—including how one evaluates the aesthetic merits of a text—is almost entirely dependent on a host of factors that, taken as a whole, are best summed up in a word: context. This is an obvious point. Nonetheless, let me give an example. I’ve now watched Martin Scorsese’s 1988 picture The Last Temptation of Christ twice. My first screening was five years ago, my second, a few days ago. Based on more knowledge of the film and the controversy that engulfed it—based on more context—my judgment of the movie has changed. Read more