Power in the Blood


My friend and most excellent Young Scholar and touch football quarterback Darren Dochuk, currently enjoying the largesse of Princeton's Center for the Study of Religion's fellowship, is working on a new project about oil and evangelicalism in the 20th century. Some time ago on our blog, Kelly wrote about academic books that become fodder for screenwriters. Darren didn't even have to write his book before it happened. See this review of the new film by Paul Anderson, There Will Be Blood, which is about, well, oil and evangelicalism, more or less, based loosely on Upton Sinclair's Oil. Anderson also made the movie Magnolia, which I recall as a splendid failure, and Boogie Nights, one of my all-time favorites. Here's the first paragraph of the review -- the movie doesn't make it out here to the boondocks for some weeks yet, but perhaps those of you in more cosmopolitan environs can check it out sooner:

“There Will Be Blood,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic American nightmare, arrives belching fire and brimstone and damnation to Hell. Set against the backdrop of the Southern California oil boom of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, it tells a story of greed and envy of biblical proportions — reverberating with Old Testament sound and fury and New Testament evangelicalism — which Mr. Anderson has mined from Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel “Oil!” There is no God but money in this oil-rich desert and his messenger is Daniel Plainview, a petroleum speculator played by a monstrous and shattering Daniel Day-Lewis.

Read the rest here. NY Times' reader reviews of the movie are here.


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