Episode 33: Michael
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam talk with Brian Blount, president of Union Presbyterian Seminary, about the 1996 Nora Ephron movie Michael. From the heart of the mid-90s post-Pulp Fiction renaissance of John Travolta, this I-guess-we-call-it-a-romantic-comedy is about three tabloid reporters who track down Michael the archangel in an out-of-the-way town in Iowa. William Hurt plays Frank Quinlan, a somewhat broken soul, who is looking for a quick buck when he meets Michael, a very bawdy and very worldly angel played by Travolta. Frank convinces Michael to roadtrip back to Chicago with him so that they can get some good pictures and cash in on his story. Along the way Michael works on Frank’s heart and opens it to one of their traveling companions, played by Andie McDowell.
In the first segment, Brian leads a conversation about the value of the unexpected in Advent and how the terrestrial nature of the incarnation subverts our visions of God’s action and person. In our second segment, the group examines the Advent 2 texts for year B and how Isaiah and Mark’s vision for the coming of Christ disrupts our understandings of time and space. Finally, in our final segment Adam and Matt discuss Christmas music and cooking battles. So, friends, stay awake! The glory is breaking forth soon. In the meantime, while you are waiting, pass the time with another episode of Technicolor Jesus.
Brian Blount is president and professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of numerous books on scripture and homiletics, most recently Invasion of the Dead: Preaching Resurrection.
Elizabeth Mitchell, The Sounding Joy: Christmas Songs in and out of the Ruth Crawford Seeger Songbook