John Anderson, for the Times, profiles Loyola Productions, a nonprofit film and television production company run by Jesuits. This is supposed to seem novel—the article opens with a description of a salacious-sounding scene from a period drama, then drops in a hey-whoa-it’s-Jesuits-crazy-or-what reveal—but it’s mostly useful as a look at the art-versus-commerce hustle enacted by all artists with a message to spread. (So, all of them, really.)
Loyola Productions make some money producing religious content for specialty distributors, but their ambitions are for crossover success: The Borgia Popes, for instance, a feature film sold as “The Tudors… without the sex-drenched visuals”; or Hidden Treasures of the Jesuits (an image from the pilot is pictured), a TV “series about different works of art or artifacts connected to the order” (“CSI meets Antiques Roadshow,” the studio head says). As it happens, a trailer for Hidden Treasures of the Jesuits is on YouTube, so watch it after the jump and tell me—closer to Ben Hur, or Gravity: The Shadow of Joseph?