‘Tell me where the confessional is!’

On the hit show 24, Kiefer Sutherland spent a lot of time looking for stuff (bombs, chips, daughters, etc.); now he’s back in a new web-only series on Hulu, looking for something slightly different. Over at Patheos, Tony Rossi explains:

When a cold-blooded hitman bursts into a hotel room to execute someone, the intended victim does something unexpected: he asks the hitman for a moment to make his peace with God. The hitman lowers his gun as the victim takes a chain with a crucifix from around his neck, holds it tightly in his hands, kneels down with eyes closed, and begins moving his lips in silent prayer. Now peaceful and resigned to his fate, the victim opens his eyes, looks at the hitman, and says, “I forgive you.” The hitman hesitates, looking confused and even regretfully at a peace he’s never seen before, but then pulls the trigger anyway.

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That’s the incident that propels the story in the new online web series on Hulu.com called The Confession. Shot partially in the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York City, the series stars Kiefer Sutherland as the hitman, and John Hurt as the priest to whom he contentiously goes to gain an understanding of what he witnessed.

This sounds intriguing for a number of reasons: One, confession isn’t usually played straight in TV or movies these days, and it certainly doesn’t form the main backdrop for the action. True, the trailer below trades a little more in melodrama than I think the average Catholic experiences in the confessional, but I’m interested to see where they take those conversations between hitman and priest.

But the other reason it caught my eye is the fact that the series was created solely for the web. Last week, Joseph Susanka talked about the future of film moving online:

Streaming content, in particular, is radically changing the way many of us experience cinema. While Netflix is certainly the market leader, Amazon PrimeRedBox, and a growing host of other competitors are making serious inroads. Nearly every DVD player, Blu-Ray player, and gaming console released in the last few years features a streaming component, and the arrival of such dedicated devices as Boxee and theLogitech Revue on the scene further underscore streaming videos’ status as an industry game changer.

… For about $16 a month (roughly the price one will have to pay to watch James Cameron’s next 3D IMAX extravaganza), you can sit down to consecutive evenings of Army of Shadows, The Secret in Their Eyes, Firefly’s “Our Mrs. Reynolds,” Moon, The Seventh Seal, Battlestar Galactica’s“Kobol’s Last Gleaming,” Hobson’s Choice, and Bright Star. And that’s just barely scratching the surface.

That doesn’t look like the death of a medium; that looks like a Renaissance.

Of course, those examples were all made for TV or film first — but could original web series like The Confession (told in five-minute “chapters,” no less) be the wave of the future? Check it out here and see what you think. [video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVcSczfLn48 635×355]


  • Margaret Cabaniss

    Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at SlowMama.com.

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