Mel Gibson's The Passion

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Mr Roxy
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Mel Gibson's The Passion#0
Posted: 2/20/04 at 9:03pm
It will be interesting to see this version compared to the sanitized versions of the 60's like King of Kings ( I was a teenage Jesus ) & The Greatest Story Ever Told ( Look there's Pat Boone, Look there's Sidney Poiter, Look there's Sal Mineo etc)

I think Mel needs to give his dad shock therapy for some of the inanities & moronic statements that have emanted from his mouth.
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Updated On: 2/20/04 at 09:03 PM
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re: Mel Gibson's The Passion#1
Posted: 2/21/04 at 10:16am
Watching Gibson talk about this film on Primtime made me loose any desire I may have had to see it in the first place. In a way, I do feel sorry for the man that the press is really pressing for a reaction from him about his father's comments. But part of it makes me wonder how far the apple falls from the tree. My biggest probelm with the film is that it just focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus' life and no historical background is provided. To me the interesting story is what led up to the crucifixition, not the crucifixition itself.
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re: re: Mel Gibson's The Passion#2
Posted: 2/21/04 at 11:03am
Amen, Erik. Literally. The whole story of Jesus is always worth revisiting, because this man was a true radical, in every sense of the word. But context is everything. To appreciate the danger he placed himself in, taking on the Roman hierarchy (and going against much of his own religious upbringing), you need to see the impact of his preaching and teaching, incrementally. The Passion really is about the eleventh hour political machinery that manipulated a hasty execution, not the man Himself.

But what's also odd is wild-eyed Mel's obsession with the violence done to Jesus. Ask any born-again person: Jesus himself asked the world to remember his ressurection, not his death. Mel seems to have made the opposite, a movie that frankly suggests a kind of pandering to the video game bloodthirst in the world. What's the life of Jesus about, if not TRANSCENDING such violence? There's not much in his teachings that suggest He'd be pleased with close-ups of nails going through his palms. His "special effects" aimed a little higher than that, didn't they?
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
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re: re: re: mel gibson's the passion#3
Posted: 2/21/04 at 11:41am
i think that this movie is really an expression of mel's faith. i think that he believes that the jewish hierarchy at the time was responsible for the death of jesus. i also don't think that necessarily makes him anti-semitic bacuse i don't think that he carries that blame on to modern jews. i'm kinda sensitive to this issue having been raised in the same kind of conservative catholicism that mel practices. it's a fine line that must be walked.

what he's said is that he wants people to understand and remember the sacrifice that jesus made for all mankind (humanity, sorry, n.o.w.). in order to tell the story of jesus' life, you'd need hours and hours and incredible amounts of his life would have to be cut out in order to make a movie that would be theatrically viable. by choosing the last 24 hours, mel's able to distill the pure essence of the amazing sacrifice made by jesus. in catholicism, that's why jesus was made man. to die. to die for our sins and to open the gates of heaven to mankind.

this is purely opinion now and must be taken as such. to me, i see a man from his statements who is raging against a worl din which he sees no sense of responsibility and no appreciation of the scarifices that have been made throughout history by great men and women for the benefit of others. this story is one he knows and believes in deeply. i too believe in it deeply. whether it's anti-semitic or not? it's a subjective decision made by each person who sees the film and the lens through which they view it. i haven't seen it yet, so i cannot say.

i look forward to seeing it, though. even if i have probably done more harm than good with my incoherence in this post.
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re: re: re: re: mel gibson's the passion#4
Posted: 2/21/04 at 11:48am
We're all into speculation, but I still say, The Passion is the easy part. It's actually lazy to focus on it. Ask any writer -- landing on the violence is quick-fix melodrama, the black and white issues that procude visceral responses. What about the grays? The story of Jesus is full of grays. Yes, people leave screenings "shaken" -- but isn't it easy to use the filmmaker's bag of tricks get people to shake, showing blood and viscera in the dirt? I think it would take a complex, shaded -- dare I say artistic? -- vision of the life of Jesus to make a film that teaches us more about Him and HIS vision other than Crucifixion Hurts.
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i wouldn't worry, auggie. if passion sells throught the roof, you'll see a boatload of biblical themed films to follow. i can already see the story fo mary and joseph as being a hot commodity for the holidays. and i imagine that you'll get plenty of "artistic" movies about the life of jesus. i see nothing wrong with mel chosing this though. it's a historically relevant story that's been passed down through the ages and has never really had a truly graphic film adaptation.
r.i.p. marco, my guardian angel.

...global warming can manifest itself as heat, cool, precipitation, storms, drought, wind, or any other phenomenon, much like a shapeshifter. -- jim geraghty

pray to st. jude

i'm a sonic reducer

he was the gimmicky sort

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I wonder if Mel saw Dereck Jarman's SEBASTIANE.
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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I'm all up for seeing it (although I might lose it- since I dislike excessively gory movies...and I heard it does get graphic), and I hate that 'anti-semitic' crap. There are movies that are 'anti-white/black/Chinese/Muslim' etc. and I don't see everyone raising hell over those.

And if they took it from the Bible as I heard, throw the 'anti-semitic' rah rah people a Bible and tell them to read it, watch the movie, and compare it. (I hope that it is the same, though! I've read the Bible's interpret., so I'm interested)

And as for Mel's obsession with violence, my guess is that he wants us to see for REAL, the cruelty that our Savior (at least for Christians/Catholics) faced just to save us.
Updated On: 2/21/04 at 12:16 PM
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I'm wondering how Mel Gibson handles the gay elements of Christ's Passion. Matthew's Gospel has that naked man in the Garden of Gethsemane. What in Heaven's name was going on behind the bushes when Jesus and his disciples were praying there? And why does Matthew make such an obvious point about it? Why, oh why, does John (the Evangelist) constantly refer to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved"?

Please folks, I'm not implying that anything improper was going on here. It's just that to a gay mentality, these references have a different meaning to our straight counterparts.

How will Mel handle them in his film?

And considering how much criticism of this film that I've already read, I can assume that much of the story of Christ's life is told in flashback as the film progresses--even His infancy.

Let me jusst say that the Jews weren't responsible for the death of Christ. It was a Roman governor who pronounced the sentence. However, Mel's arm makes a cameo appearance in the film. It is Mel who is wielding the hammer which nails Christ to the cross. Folks WE are the ones who are reesponsible for the Passion and Death of Jesus. He died for our sins and that includes the sins of every religious and ethnic group.

Regardless of our religious beliefs, perhaps we should all take advantage of the Lent to think about our sinful natures and to do a little research about the beliefs of other denominations so that we can have a better understanding of what spirituality is like in today's world.

As Auntie Mame said: "Knowledge is power!" Let's grow in our knowledge of other religions this Lent.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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Lady Guenevere, there is a difference between a film that features racial stereotypes and slurs and a film that refuels the Catholic Church's 2,000 year history of anti-Semitism, particularly at a time when world anti-Semitism is at a new high.

As for Gibson and his father, the younger is simply a more reserved version of the elder. Consider Mel's father's dismissal of the Holocaust as "fiction," with Mel's demure "millions of people died in World War II and some of them were Jews in concentration camps."
"Gif me the cobra jool!"
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As I said, if it was interpreted exactly from the Bible, it would be perfect to have those people that believe that it is all anti-semitism to read it. And everyone knows that we cannot take the Bible so literally in real life.

So...I hope that will controversy will hopefully die down a bit with the release.

I'm so curious to see how much it's going to make in the first week.
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Darlings, I don't care whether it's Kabbalah, Scientology, or an obscure offshoot of Catholicism, celebrities need to keep their religious whing-dings to themselves. You aren't theological thinkers, your real religion is your career, so just sing, dance, put on your little suit and entertain us, goddammit!!!!!
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Oh sure. When you consider the atrocities that have been committed in honor of the New Testament over two millenia, a
Mel Gibson movie is a mere trifle.
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BB, sorry, but that statement just seemed SO wrong.
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so i take it from your statement borstalboy that no movies should ever be made about religious subjects? why stop at movies? heck let's include books, articles, songs, plays, etc. are there any other topics that you'd like to ban, mein fuhrer?
r.i.p. marco, my guardian angel.

...global warming can manifest itself as heat, cool, precipitation, storms, drought, wind, or any other phenomenon, much like a shapeshifter. -- jim geraghty

pray to st. jude

i'm a sonic reducer

he was the gimmicky sort

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I say why so much controversy over a movie no one has even seen yet. Let's all see it, then talk.
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Jesus H. Christ! (oops!) All's I'm sayin' is that I just don't think Mel Gibson is one of the great theological thinkers of our time, kay? AND I think he is--like many celebrities--hyper-concerned about his image and career. It is my belief that he was out to make money and (more importantly)self-aggrandize himself. Of course I don't think religion should be BANNED from popular entertainment, liebchen, (I love the religious works of Bergman, Fellini, Pasolini, et al.) but when someone like Madonna or Mel Gibson is on (and on and on)about their respective beliefs, I get a little queasy. If Madonna had a cosmic choice between another huge album hit like the days of yore and Kabbalism, I think we all know what choice she would make.
Expose your boob at the Super Bowl or nail an actor to a cross, it's going to get them talking about you, you, you.
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali
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uh huh, deep as a puddle on the sidewalk.
r.i.p. marco, my guardian angel.

...global warming can manifest itself as heat, cool, precipitation, storms, drought, wind, or any other phenomenon, much like a shapeshifter. -- jim geraghty

pray to st. jude

i'm a sonic reducer

he was the gimmicky sort

fenchurch=mejusthavingfun=magwildwood=mmousefan=bkcollector=bradmajors=somethingtotalkabout: the fenchurch mpd collective
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I am riveted to your posts on this Borstalboy. I think you have nailed (pardon the word) Mel's queasiness-inducing MO. He made world-weary, cynical shoot-em-ups for years, and then,like the Steve Martin character in "Grand Canyon" (remember that?), opted to Help the World after a personal epiphany that he was a f--k up. Now, suddenly, he has God On His Side, and all is right with the world--unless you disagree with his take on history. Not religion--history, for that is where the controversy lies. He was just so self-righteous with Sawyer, sneering at anyone who'd doubt that his 35 million dollar Mea Culpa erases all thought of his being a chain-smoking, gun-toting (and firing) bad boy all those years.

I'm personally put off by people who shove their conversions under our (ticket-buying) noses, and profess to know The Truth more than anyone else. And I'm sorry, telling Diane that he knows the Holy Spirit had a hand in his film is beyond presumptuous. Belleview is full of people who feel that kind of "influence." (Check out a few of the characters in "Assassins," while we're looking for Divine whisperings in the ears of movers and shakers.)

I stand with Max Von Sydow in HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, when he says to Barbara Hersey, "...If Jesus came back, and saw everything being done in His name, he'd never stop throwing up."

And as I wrote to a dear friend on this board, I personally prefer to find God in the works of Anne Tyler. I don't think the bloodiest R-rated depiction of His son's death is necessarily the best advertisement for His Love.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
Updated On: 2/21/04 at 02:43 PM
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well, it's kind of a catch-22. the more attention mel gets for the movie, the more people will see it, thus the more people he will expose to his vision and the more people will bear witness to his telling fo the tale of the passion of christ. conversely, the more attention mel gets for the movie the more people will see it, thus he'll make more money.

is it all about the money or is it about the faith? or is it a little bit about both?

for his part, gibson's faith, while as imperfect as anyone's, has been a subject that's been broached repeatedly. i read articles about mel and his faith as far back as the mad max/road warrior years, so it's not like this is a new thing. i specifically remember finding about his faith as i thought how cool is it that mel gibson and i say the same prayers on sunday in latin? which to me was quite something as there was absolutely no one cool at my church. none.

in the end, i am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as i think that his heart's in the right place on this one. does that mean he's completely altruistic? no freakin' way. like i said, it's a catch-22. draw attention to yourself and your movie and you draw an audience which gets exposed to your message (whatever it is), but at the same time you make yourself a whole pisspot fulla cash. which is he doing? it depends on what you think of him.
r.i.p. marco, my guardian angel.

...global warming can manifest itself as heat, cool, precipitation, storms, drought, wind, or any other phenomenon, much like a shapeshifter. -- jim geraghty

pray to st. jude

i'm a sonic reducer

he was the gimmicky sort

fenchurch=mejusthavingfun=magwildwood=mmousefan=bkcollector=bradmajors=somethingtotalkabout: the fenchurch mpd collective
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I see all your points, Papa. I just quibble about one issue, which sticks in my craw. Look at the number of Gibson films that hardly turned out to be a testament to the human spirit. Some of his films in the 90s really bugged me, in particular "Pay Back," which is as nasty and mean-spirited and gratuitously violent as they come. Personally, it's hard to swallow his "vision" thing now, after he so arbitrarily segregated his quest for filthy lucre from his spiritual life. I'm in the minority, I enjoyed "Signs." But before that, we saw a lot of ugly stuff. In a way, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Maybe "The Passion" is the solution. We'll see.
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
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i agree, auggie, he should have been flogged for payback. ever see the original? it's actually a re-make of a a 1967 film "point blank." what a freakin' great flick. john boorman's first american movie, lee marvin in the lead, john vernon's debut and as the hooker, who else but angie dickinson? man, it's freaky but classic. although, payback did have one great moment of james coburn admonishing mel who'd just shot a hole in his suitcase full of suits, "man that's just mean!"
r.i.p. marco, my guardian angel.

...global warming can manifest itself as heat, cool, precipitation, storms, drought, wind, or any other phenomenon, much like a shapeshifter. -- jim geraghty

pray to st. jude

i'm a sonic reducer

he was the gimmicky sort

fenchurch=mejusthavingfun=magwildwood=mmousefan=bkcollector=bradmajors=somethingtotalkabout: the fenchurch mpd collective
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You're right, Papa "Point Blank" is a near-classic in comparison or otherwise. I was in high school when that came out--I forgot it was the source! Even further off-topic: I'm a huge Coburn fan, loved the "Flint" movies (even) in my youth, and think it's great he finally won an Oscar before he checked out. (Nolte's dad in that dark but riveting "Affliction.")
"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
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ahhhh, affliction, whatta flick! mrs. mambo and i shared our first valentine's day watching "affliction" at lincoln plaza. do i know how to show a girl a good time or what?
r.i.p. marco, my guardian angel.

...global warming can manifest itself as heat, cool, precipitation, storms, drought, wind, or any other phenomenon, much like a shapeshifter. -- jim geraghty

pray to st. jude

i'm a sonic reducer

he was the gimmicky sort

fenchurch=mejusthavingfun=magwildwood=mmousefan=bkcollector=bradmajors=somethingtotalkabout: the fenchurch mpd collective
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BB and Augie, very good posts, I agree with what you originally said. I don't want to get started on the religious aspects of the film and whatever Gibson believes in. I've learned not to debate certain topics, especially on line!

All I want to say is that he brilliantly created enough hype on this film to insure plenty of dough in his pocket.
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