Mel Gibson's The Passion

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yeah, the slight difference being, dolly that the last temptation did not have preachers ending their sermons by exhorting their flocks to attend it. passion has that and more. the midwest is a big ol' place.
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If Fr. Kevin so much as mentions this film in tomorrow's homily, I'll stand up and talk back to him. (I've done this before). Movies and church don't mix.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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according to what i read, jane, it was based on demands from theatre owners and advance sales. but then, who's to say what's real and what's hype?
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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Exactly, papa. I've become such a cynic in my old age, that I'm skeptical about everything. One thing I'm sure of though, is that the bottom line is almost *always* about money...
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Considering Jesus is white yet again, how accurate can it be? With Mel's bloodlust in the goriness of the project, I'm surprised he didn't ask Quentin Tarantino to direct it.

Kill Christ: Book 1

I think I'll skip it.
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Updated On: 2/21/04 at 09:06 PM
Mrs B
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I love Mister Matt.

And I am back- for now. Since I was threatened with physical harm for offering an opinion on something NOT religous, why not jump back in? Especially when the parties involved in the threats have been traced and will br facing legal charges. But I digress.

I think Mel has the right to make the movie he wants, under freedom of speech. He is actually standing up for something he beleives in- hot many people actually do that.

That being said, his claims of accuracy are preposterous.People were crucified nude and as the blood went lower in the body, uhm how to say this delicately- people on crosses were not going to need Viagra if you catch my drift.

But God forbid Jesus be naked- that would sexualize him. And the fact that bodies sagged and did not stay in the nice lines depicted in crucifixions- well, why ruin a good shot? I will not even attempt to analyze the frightening psychological ramifiactions that Mel's hand is the one driving the spikes into Jesus's hands (Another point- the nails actually were driven into wrists- but gosh, why show those people claiming to have stigmata were wrong?)

As for what the film will do- it will polarize people. It is propaganda. Mel's remarks about wanting to kill Frank Rich's dog and stab him in the guts- well, gosh, what could be more "Christian" than killing people who differ in their beliefs? Kind of like people flying planes into buildings to prove they were carrying on a holy war against godless people. Mel is no different than Osama- using filmed images to sway people and cause religous discord. NOT Saddam- remember folks, Saddan was not behind 9/11- no matter what W's assertions and blurring of info would lead people who cannot think to think.

The fact Mel's father is on the record saying the Holocaust was exaggerated, that Mel has said in interviews his wife will not get to heaven because she was divorced (even though on Diane Sawyer he said anyone could get to heaven if they tried) make me feel queasy. Someone who deigns to speak for God without attendant miracles (and appearing in blockbusters does not count as a miracel, VARIETY be damned) is someone who holds little regard for humanity.

A zealot is a zealot- the whole "My God is better than your God" mentality is the reason there have been wars as long as there have been people.

Mel is not focusing on the beauty of what Jesus's sacrifice meant- he is showing violence and promoting intolerance.

I would love to ask him why Jewish people should be damned if they were indeed behind the crucifixion. If Jesus had NOT been crucified and then resurrected, there would be no Christianity as we know it. What if they had said "We're sending you to Gitmo Bay where no one will hear of you" or not killed him? Ooops! There goes the Big Plan! The reason He was allegedly sent to earth was to die for man's sins- so the people who betrayed and killed Him were carrying out God's will- so why despise them for being the neccessary catalyst to make the prophecy come true?

Will I see this film? No. I am sure Mel being a mouthpiece for Catholicism- a church that told people in Africa condoms cannot prevent AIDS- will be hailed as a visionary by many who want to feel justified for hating anyone who isn't just like them.
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I honestly think that the violence arouses Mel. Sexually. I think that is the great "conflict" he feels, that's what all the wailing is over. I think he uses the violence for the same kind of pornographic thrill that Max Steiner uses teenage girl imagery. To each his own, I say.
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re: Gibson#34
Posted: 2/22/04 at 3:22am
That's why I mention SEBASTIANE.
A 1976 film in Latin and Aramic on the life of St. Sebastian, it is essentially a fantasia by Jarman laden with S&M erotic violence under the guise of "religious ecstacy".
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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re: re: Gibson#35
Posted: 2/22/04 at 5:26pm
The movie everyone thought would bomb ( a biblical film in latin & aramaic ) will probably clean up at the box office. Mel is really smart . He will make his money back & make a hefty profit to boot . If he never works again in Hollywod, he is set for life financially.

Many people will go for the hype & others for the gore quotient. I will see it as a Catholic who is interested how this stacks up against the other movies on the subject. In the 60's, they could not be so graphic. Now they can & violence sells.

We shall see
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re: re: re: Gibson#36
Posted: 2/22/04 at 6:04pm
Welcome back, Mrs. B. Fascinating points. I will jump from your sublime (and astute) observations -- about the indifference of the Church to human suffering in Africa -- to the ridiculous (and fun): I agree totally with the Waspy casting. For a man determined to bring accuracy to the tale, Mel has not moved us very far from the Jeffrey Hunter or Max Von Sydow mold, two unlikely candidates to play Jewish prophet-teachers in the year 80. We still have a pretty-puss caucasian hunk, with that critical "swimmer's build." Somehow, I've never thought of Mark Spitz as Jesus, but it's everyone's collective fantasy.

As I posted at the top of this thread: this film seems to relish the very act that Jesus entreated his followers to transcend. His message to the world was the ultimate application of Rise Above. There's a saying in Christianity that is used for a metaphor of transcendence: "Look at the crucifixion, but don't dwell on it..." Mel thinks our wallowing in it will give us greater insight to Jesus's gift to all humanity. I'd rather hear more of his words that inspired his followers -- call me quirky, but in English, even -- and leave the graphic imagery to those who celebrate its value in selling tickets.

But make no mistake, this film will make plenty of money, for all the reasons posted above. .

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
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re: re: re: re: Gibson#37
Posted: 2/22/04 at 6:15pm
I don't think this movie has legs.

Welcome back, Mrs. B. DO stay around.
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re: re: re: re: re: Gibson#38
Posted: 2/22/04 at 8:46pm
Thank you Mrs B. I love you too. Don't let anyone take your voice away. It is your right to use and your gift to give. Those who read your posts may accept or decline the gift. That is their choice to make. And that is the miracle of a forum such as this.
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re: re: re: re: re: re: Gibson#39
Posted: 2/22/04 at 9:00pm
Mrs. B--

There is another inaccuracy in Mel's depiction of crucifixion: the condemned didn't carry the whole cross; just the beam his wrists would be nailed to. And not only were the condemned crucified naked, but often a spike was driven through their testicles.

If Mel is really attempting to illustrate the Gospels, does he include the earthquake that is reported there at the time of Jesus' death? Also, does he show the tombs of the dead opening up and the resurrections of all the "faithful departed" that Matthew (I believe) describes? That certainly would be dramatic movemaking!
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Gibson#40
Posted: 2/22/04 at 10:15pm
In Barabbas in the 60's , there was a total eclipse during the crucifixtion scene
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Gibson#41
Posted: 2/22/04 at 10:21pm
Does anyone know at what point in the story the movie ends? Is the crucifixion the grand finale (shades of JCS) or is the resurrection included?
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re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Gibson#42
Posted: 2/23/04 at 7:21pm
Good question, Iflit. We're still into speculation here, but I suspect that he minimizes it, which is odd for a man seemingly besotted with the ultimate legacy of Christ. It's as if that would detract from what seems to be his greater intention: to portray the crucifixion as if in a snuff film. I am not beling glib; I just read the New Yorker review. David Denby argues, more persuasively than I have in posts above, that Gibson is "...so thoroughly fixated on the scourging and crushing of Christ, and so meagrely involved in the spiritual meanings ofthe final hours, that he falls in danger of altering Jesus' message of love into one of hate... Gibson's obsession with pain, disguised by religious feelings, has now reached a frightening apotheosis... The despair in this movie is hard to shrug off."

DESPAIR? Hardly what Jesus wanted us remember from his life, death and ascendency, no? The film's curious quest for accuracy about the torture and murder clearly upstage the far greater point to this life--that even murder cannot destroy what is good and pure.

It would be ironic indeed if this turns out to be the version of Jesus' life that most exploits the crimes done to him. There's enough despair in ...say, your average Mel Gibson action movie. We didn't needn't that to be the dominate feeling after this story--still, to many, potentially the greatest ever told. We'll soon be able to weigh in ourselves on whether this version sells that idea.
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Updated On: 2/23/04 at 07:21 PM
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Auggie27 - You have so perfectly conveyed my main problem with the history of Catholicism and some of the more radical Christian denominations. I always though Christianity was supposed to be about the teachings of Christ. Not about the pain and suffering of him. It's like all the Christians who claim that Jews or Gays should die and burn in Hell. When did Jesus EVER teach hate or violence? I can't wrap my brain around it.
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Having seen the whitewashed versions of Christs life done so far & after seeing a program last night re making of the film, this is probably closer to the seamy side of what happened than has ever been previously depicted. You whip & scourge someone & give them a crown of thorns, there is going to be blood. Gibson was trying to show that Christ, as a man & also as God, had to suffer tremendous physical pain t die for mans sins. This picture depicts it.
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That's another thing I don't understand. How did he die "for our sins"? Countless others were crucified and never mentioned. When he died for our sins, does it mean we can sin as much as we want and always be forgiven? Does it mean his death was caused by our sins of today? Honestly, I was not raised Christian and have never understood this concept. Nor have I ever understood the concept of "original sin". We're born as sinners? What did we do?
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blood pain torture and sacrifice#46
Posted: 2/23/04 at 9:00pm
warning, papa's religious rant to follow. stop now if you don't wanna get really really upset.




in this day and age when we are loathe to even suffer mariachi bands on the subway without complaining i think that it's a good thing to remember the full horror of the sacrifice willingly undertaken by jesus. his teachings are out there. his life is an open book. but never has there been a graphic examination of the enormity of the sacrifice willingly undertaken by him for our sake.

as a catholic i think that it is very important for this subject to be seen in all it's horror. not so that blame can be assigned. not so that one can cringe at the blood or celebrate violence. but to remember a god who so loved his children that he gave his only begotten son. and to remember that son who knew how his life would end. who knew ther torture that he would endure. who knew the pain that he faced. who was promised a heaven of his own by the devil and the opportunity to avoid all of that. but who chose willingly to accept the pain and the humiliation and the suffering all for our sake.

i think that the exploration of his death gives more weight to his life and teachings. but in a time now when many people are loathe to even lose a moment of their day without something in return, i think it's necessary and proper that they think about how much the son of god sacrificed for them. perhaps that perspective can help them to look at things in their own life and realize how little it takes to help your fellow man. perhaps when faced with the enormity of the passion of the christ they might take stock of how little it would cost them to share a bit more of themselves with their fellow man. i know in my heart that i could never endure all that jesus did for me and this vision of it before me i see as a reminder of all that i have to do to be worthy of his sacrifice.

but that's just me.
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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re: blood pain torture and sacrifice#47
Posted: 2/23/04 at 9:16pm
papa - I think your view is quite noble and respectable. It would be nice if all Christians felt such compassion. But do you think something similar could be achieved in a film that was not about Jesus? Though I'm not a Christian, I still have compassion for him and what he suffered. I have the same compassion for the millions of Jews who knew their fates in the concentration camps during WWII and the victims of Masada. But watching them suffer only brings me sorrow. When Schindler's List was released, a group of high school students in my home town were kicked out of the theatre for cheering and laughing every time a Jew was murdered on screen. I don't think the graphic violence is really the answer. I don't think it's the answer for anything.

And as you said....

but that's just me
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re: re: blood pain torture and sacrifice#48
Posted: 2/23/04 at 9:43pm
"[h]ow did he die "for our sins"?"

jesus is referred to as the "lamb of god" because lambs were used as a sacrifice. sins were ceremonially transferred unto them before their sacrifice. no animal could bear the sins of mankind, so god sent his only son to be sacrificed for humanity.

"countless others were crucified and never mentioned."

jesus was without sin and the son of god.

"[w]hen he died for our sins, does it mean we can sin as much as we want and always be forgiven?"

no it means that he opened the gates of heaven so that the righteous could enter the kingdom of god. unrepentant sinners still go to hell. fire and brimstone, pain and eternal suffering. but, no one can say for sure whether another is dserving of hell or will surely go there, that's god's job. it's actualy a big ol' sin to do it, so those televangelists have quite a bit to answer for!

"[d]oes it mean his death was caused by our sins of today?"

technically because he died for the sins of humanity any sins were taken into account as god knows all, sees all, tells very little.

"[n]or have I ever understood the concept of "original sin"."

yep, according to catholicism we're born with the sin of adam upon us. (this led me to curse my parents as i took baptism, since it wiped away original sin, as a clean slate and as such would have come in handy much later in lfie as opposed to being wasted when i was a freakin' baby!)
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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Here's the kicker but simultaneously the beauty of God's boundless love.

One can live a life of sin and dissapation, a life totally at odds with all of Christ's teaching but if at the hour of one's death one ask's God for forgiveness and repents the sins of one's life, he/she will be forgiven.

So, why go through all the trouble to follow Christ's teaching's during life. I mean, if at the end all you have to do is say "I'm sorry," and all is forgiven, damn, let's eat, drink, *ahem*, and be merry. The reason that's not the wisest course of life is that we never know when the end is for us individually. You might think you'll have that fraction of a second to say "forgive me," but you just might not.

How risk averse are you?

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re: re: re: blood pain torture and sacrifice#50
Posted: 2/23/04 at 10:00pm
Thanks for the explanation, papa. God must be pretty pissed that his plan didn't work. Things haven't improved all that much and the essence of Christianity has been so twisted and abused in the name of hatred, it has all but lost its meaning entirely. Though I still have some problems with many Christians, like any other group, I believe there are good and bad that exist within. Still, it is fascinating to know.
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well, matt, i tend to think that the jury is still out on god's plan. i also think that a religion cannot be blamed for those that would twist it to suit their own purposes. they are human and they will. that's something that i pray every day, for the conversion of those who hide their own selfish ambitions behind the veil of religion, for the conversion of those who preach hatred and intolerance, and for the conversion of those who teach people to kill or be killed in the name of god. that's some of the many. i guess i inherited the prayer gene from my mom. maybe it does no good, but i don't believe that. i believe that just maybe god might hear me ask for it enough times and do it just to shut me up!
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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Updated On: 2/23/04 at 10:08 PM