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Author Topic: More on Mel
lagatta
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posted 20 February 2004 05:36 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here is a Guardian profile on Mel Gibson and his involvement in the (frightening) Society of Pius X, a group of "traditionalist" Catholics loyal to the teachings of collaborator Marcel Lefebvre. http://www.guardian.co.uk/pope/story/0,12272,1152071,00.html

Edited to add: Interestingly, another recent film, The Statement http://www.geocities.com/~polfilms/statement.html is a fictionalised account of the life of Paul Touvier, the "Hangman of Lyon" and French collaborationist counterpart of the equally infamous Klaus Barbie, and how Marcel Lefebvre followers in the "Socieity of Pius X" protected the genocidal scum for years.

And then there is Mel's fondness for torture porn ...

[ 20 February 2004: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 20 February 2004 09:52 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
And then there is Mel's fondness for torture porn ...

Yeah, what is up with that? I don't think it should be banned or anything, but that scene in Braveheart was gratuitous. And according to reviews, the crucifixion scene in his new movie is half an hour of pain-ridden glory too.


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josh
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posted 20 February 2004 10:14 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe this is a clue to Gibson's cinematic fetishism (from the Guardian article):


"But the joke got serious for some, with New York Times columnist Frank Rich coming in for a beating from Gibson following his questioning of the film's religious politics: "I want to kill him," Gibson was reported as saying of Rich in the New Yorker, "I want his intestines on a stick. I want to kill his dog.""


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Loony Bin
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posted 20 February 2004 11:50 AM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
but that scene in Braveheart was gratuitous.

Are you referring to the scene at the end? By torture porn do you mean pornographic violence, or do you mean porn with torture involved?


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 20 February 2004 01:27 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know someone from Scotland who told me he used to walk to school each day past a stone wall in which William Wallace's limbs and sundry organs were widely distributed.

I thought that torture scene in which Wallace screamed "Freedom!" was anachronistic, and came more from Hollywood, USA than 13th century Scotland.

[ 20 February 2004: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 20 February 2004 11:54 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gee, it looks like babblers have had enough of Mel.
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scribblet
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posted 21 February 2004 10:41 AM      Profile for scribblet        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sounds like character assasination to me.
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Hinterland
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posted 21 February 2004 02:44 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Sounds like character assasination to me.

This term "character assassination" is being thrown around pretty loosely. It is properly applied to the situation where a person's character is defamed for the purposes of pursuing an unrelated agenda (...like driving a competitor out of business, tarnishing the credibility of a witness, ruining the reputation of a political opponent, etc.). Criticising Mel Gibson and giving reasons for disliking him is hardly character assassination.


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'lance
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posted 21 February 2004 02:48 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you need reasons for disliking Mel Gibson, you just have to wait until he opens his mouth.
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mighty brutus
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posted 21 February 2004 08:24 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's true, 'likeable' is not a term that comes to mind when I think of Mel Gibson. But I still want to see his movie and make up my own mind. LIke him or not, you have to admire his chutzpah for investing $25M of his own money in something that could fall flat as a pancake.

And look at the bright side---at least he's not ACTING in the film!


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'lance
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posted 21 February 2004 10:32 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And look at the bright side---at least he's not ACTING in the film!

Well it's an ill wind as blows nobody any good, I suppose.

But I don't agree that we have to admire him, just because he's sinking umpty-ump dollars of his own into a vanity project. So what? Donald Trump does it all the time. He's still a prize asshole who destroys heritage buildings in the course of building ugly ones. Being monuments to his ego, they can't help but be ugly.

"Chutzpah" is not usually considered admirable, either.


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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 21 February 2004 10:37 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I absolutely lost interest in the film as soon as I heard that he'd knuckled under and put in subtitles. Without them, it would have been an interesting experience. With them, it is just another Jesus movie, of which I have already seen my fair share.

Brutus: did you respect Travolta for Battlefield Earth?


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Briguy
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posted 23 February 2004 09:26 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I absolutely lost interest in the film as soon as I heard that he'd knuckled under and put in subtitles.

As I said a scant 13 months ago, that whole 'no subtitles' angle was just a transparent attempt to build buzz around the film.

Good buzz, not the buzz they ended up with.


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Michelle
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posted 23 February 2004 10:41 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, did he put subtitles in it? What a sell-out!
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Mandos
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posted 23 February 2004 11:29 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How tedious. Subtitles? No point, then.
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Michael Hardner
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posted 23 February 2004 01:40 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As I said a scant 13 months ago, that whole 'no subtitles' angle was just a transparent attempt to build buzz around the film.

Good buzz, not the buzz they ended up with


I agree. I think even the 'bad buzz' was manufactured by Gibson's people to keep them in the news.

I don't like how certain people seem to be targetted for extra scrutiny just because they're Christian. As I said, I suspect the film company had a hand in this but it's still depressing.


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lagatta
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posted 23 February 2004 02:06 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not because he's Christian, MH. Many filmmakers and other artists have created admirable works based on their faith, whatever it was. It is because Gibson (and his parents) are militants in an ultra-traditionalist breakaway sect of Catholic origin, with proven ties to the far right (from Nazi collaborators to the followers of Jean-Marie Le Pen) .

A Jewish filmmaker who is a follower of the late Meir Kahane or a Muslim filmmaker who thinks Al Q'aida was right on to hit the World Trade Centre would be regarded with at least as much suspicion. Gibson's dad's Holocaust denial and Gibson's own "Holocaust minimalisation" statements are no accident - they are in line with the bigoted doctrine of Monsignor Lefebvre and his followers.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 23 February 2004 03:18 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
... Muslim filmmaker who thinks Al Q'aida was right on to hit the World Trade Centre would be regarded with at least as much suspicion.

I think they would be regarded with suspicion by the right-wing.

I come from a liberal Catholic background and though I'm not religious I perceive an equation of Christian faith with right-wing views.

quote:

I don't like this divisiveness that is fuelled by the news media to get viewers.
Gibson's dad's Holocaust denial and Gibson's own "Holocaust minimalisation" statements are no accident - they are in line with the bigoted doctrine of Monsignor Lefebvre and his followers.

Gibson denies he's a racist, so why not believe him ?

His dad clearly has racist views, but so did my grandmother. I'm glad I'm not famous.


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lagatta
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posted 23 February 2004 03:25 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't believe him because of what I know of the right-wing sect he belongs to. It is NOT the Catholic Church - yes, of course I know there is everything in the Church from Opus Dei to Liberation theologians like Frei Betto (sp?) of Brazil.
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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 24 February 2004 09:34 AM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the IMDb news ...
quote:
The Passion Of The Christ director Mel Gibson has blasted critics of the controversial movie as "demented bigots" who are determined to "persecute" him. The 48-year-old sparked outrage from religious leaders, many of whom have accused the upcoming movie of potentially sparking anti-Semitism because of its depiction of the role of some Jews in the death of Jesus Christ. He says, "I'm subjected to religious persecution as an artist, as an American and as a man. I forgive them all. But enough is enough. We will always have demented bigots around. But I don't believe that we can let those people dictate how we live, how we believe, how we make art. They're trying to make me into some kind of wacko. All I do is go and pray. For myself. For my family. For the whole world. That's what I do." The Passion Of The Christ is released in America on Wednesday.

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mighty brutus
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posted 24 February 2004 01:20 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I still say judge the film on its own merits (or lack of them).

A lot of people didn't like Elia Kazan--does that take away from "On the Waterfront" or his many artistic theatrical triumphs?

There's no denying that Picasso treated women like kleenex, using and then discarding them--does that detract from the power of "Guernica"?

I'm not saying MG is in a league with either of these artists, just making a point that a person, no matter how repugnant we may find them politically or personally, may very well be capable of a valid artistic statement.


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 24 February 2004 01:36 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mighty brutus:
A lot of people didn't like Elia Kazan--does that take away from "On the Waterfront" or his many artistic theatrical triumphs?

I think that On the Waterfront was a pretty hamfisted and transparent attempt to rationalize his decision to sell out.


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mighty brutus
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posted 24 February 2004 02:28 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I knew "on the waterfront" could raise some hackles here, & I will concede it's not exactly subtle. But be honest, if you didn't have a pre-conceived notion about Kazan, would you still feel that way?---
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Loony Bin
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posted 24 February 2004 02:42 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't plan to see the movie. In fact, I plan to intentionally avoid it. I've alrady made up my mind that I don't need to feed Mel's ego, or line his wallet with the price of my admission. I don't want to endorse the film in any way.

The bits I've read about it, and what I know of Gibson's personal religious positionings are enough for me to make the decision that this is not something I need to expose myself to. I'm not interested in hours and hours of suffering and gory bleeding, especially not in the name of one person's distorted view of already highly contested "events" that come out of a book I don't exactly like or believe in at all.

No thanks. I'd rather watch 50 First Dates. But that's just me.


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mighty brutus
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posted 24 February 2004 03:03 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So you have decided, based on your tastes and the information available, that it is something you choose not to see. I respect that completely, Lizard Breath!
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Mycroft_
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posted 25 February 2004 09:11 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The reviews are really panning it bigtime. The Star, Sun and Globe all give it one star and both Rick Groen and Geoff Pevere refer to it as "pornographic" in its violence. Roger Ebert says it's the most violent film he's ever seen. Even Michael Coren attacks it in the Sun today. As for being anti-Semitic, none of the reviews say it is but the description of a scene of Jewish children turning into demons as they taunt Jesus is somewhat shocking (as well as not actually being in the bible).

I've been talking about this film for a year and was really curious to see it but the reviews are even putting me off of it since I'm not a fan of gore and found the descriptions of the violence difficult to read.

Here is Coren's review

quote:
This is some pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic blood cult. It is populated with medieval-type caricatures, screaming out of context, laughing at suffering.

Everyone is gruesome and grotesque, apart from a handful of people such as the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and the apostle John. Mary, by the way, is hardly off of the screen, when in fact she is seldom mentioned in the Gospel accounts.

Herod is some cross-dressing lunatic, the Pharisee leaders, some of the brightest men of the age, are all obscene brutes and the Roman soldiers and the mob resemble crazed gargoyles.

(...)
Modern Christians have tended to play down the blood and gore of the Messiah's death. But Gibson compensates to such an extreme that he gives us a virtual fetish.

Indeed, the scene where a Roman soldier plunges his spear into Christ's side is, I am sorry, almost like something out of Monty Python. The soldier and those around him shower in the water and blood that cascades out of Yeshua's body.

I suppose we should not be surprised. Gibson made Braveheart and The Patriot, with all of their disembowelings, throat cuttings and, of course, massive historical absurdities. Somehow I thought he'd be more sophisticated with something this important.
(...)
There are vile moments, resembling outtakes from some remake of The Exorcist. A mob of Jewish children morph into tiny devils with murderous faces. Maggots eat away at a dead mule. Satan creeps around, worms crawling up his nose, carrying a perverse baby with hairy back and adult features. None of this is Scriptural, of course. It is also so, well, so anti-humanity.


[ 25 February 2004: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 25 February 2004 09:18 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:

I think that On the Waterfront was a pretty hamfisted and transparent attempt to rationalize his decision to sell out.


The Academy Awards show where Kazan got his lifetime achievement Oscar also had a brief tribute to Stanley Kubrick who had died that year. When they showed the famous scene from Spartacus (written by a blacklisted screenwriter) of a Roman general demanding that prisoners point out Spartacus and their responding by standing up one by one and saying "I am Spartacus", "I am Spartacus" someone commented

"I'm Elia Kazan. That's Spartacus over there"


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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 25 February 2004 10:13 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
How tedious. Subtitles? No point, then.

they could have just handed out yellow and black books of "latin and aramaic for dummies" at the door

feb 24, boston globe

quote:
The centerpiece of the film is a long sequence constructed around the flogging of Jesus. It is the most brutal film episode I have ever seen, approaching the pornographic. Just when the viewer thinks the flaying of the skin of Jesus can get no crueler, it does. Blood, flesh, bone, teeth, eyes, eye sockets, ribs, limbs -- the man is skinned alive, taken apart. In these endless moments, with the torturers escalating instruments and vehemence both, the film puts Gibson's decadent "Braveheart" imagination on full display.

On screen and in the theater, there is nothing to do but look away. Long after the filmgoer has had enough, even the Romans stop.

And here is the anti-Semitic use to which this grotesque scene is put: Then Jesus is returned to the crowd of "the Jews," and then, as if they are indifferent to what the filmgoer has just been physically revolted by, "the Jews" demand the crucifixion of Jesus. Not even the most savage carnage a filmgoer has ever seen is enough for these monsters.



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'lance
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posted 25 February 2004 11:25 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's David Denby of The New Yorker:

quote:
In “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson shows little interest in celebrating the electric charge of hope and redemption that Jesus Christ brought into the world. He largely ignores Jesus’ heart-stopping eloquence, his startling ethical radicalism and personal radiance—Christ as a “paragon of vitality and poetic assertion,” as John Updike described Jesus’ character in his essay “The Gospel According to Saint Matthew.” Cecil B. De Mille had his version of Jesus’ life, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Martin Scorsese had theirs, and Gibson, of course, is free to skip over the incomparable glories of Jesus’ temperament and to devote himself, as he does, to Jesus’ pain and martyrdom in the last twelve hours of his life. As a viewer, I am equally free to say that the movie Gibson has made from his personal obsessions is a sickening death trip, a grimly unilluminating procession of treachery, beatings, blood, and agony—and to say so without indulging in “anti-Christian sentiment” (Gibson’s term for what his critics are spreading).

...

In the climb up to Calvary, Caviezel, one eye swollen shut, his mouth open in agony, collapses repeatedly in slow motion under the weight of the Cross. Then comes the Crucifixion itself, dramatized with a curious fixation on the technical details—an arm pulled out of its socket, huge nails hammered into hands, with Caviezel jumping after each whack. At that point, I said to myself, “Mel Gibson has lost it,” and I was reminded of what other writers have pointed out—that Gibson, as an actor, has been beaten, mashed, and disembowelled in many of his movies. His obsession with pain, disguised by religious feelings, has now reached a frightening apotheosis.


Even if I had the slightest interest in the subject -- though I went to The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988, I wouldn't do so if it came out now -- I'd vote with my feet on this one.

Of course, critical disdain and revulsion will likely have no effect on ticket sales. I suspect Gibson will make his money back and then some.

[ 25 February 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 25 February 2004 01:26 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why wouldn't you see Last Temptation if it came out now, 'lance? Curious, is all.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 25 February 2004 01:35 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well my interest in the spiritual side of the story was always slight to non-existent (I was raised an Anglican and drifted away from it as a teenager). So for me it's all about whether a movie can find a fresh take on the material dramatically or artistically. I think the story's been wrung pretty much dry, is all, and perhaps we should give the poor bugger a rest for another couple of thousand years.

I admit I liked and still like Jesus of Montreal, which was ingenious. But movies like that are few and far between.


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skdadl
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posted 25 February 2004 01:57 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
He largely ignores Jesus’ heart-stopping eloquence, his startling ethical radicalism and personal radiance—Christ as a “paragon of vitality and poetic assertion,” as John Updike described Jesus’ character in his essay “The Gospel According to Saint Matthew.”

Isn't that beautiful? Haven't read that Updike -- must look for it.

Superb review, 'lance -- thanks for the link.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 25 February 2004 02:06 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, that

"He largely ignores Jesus’ heart-stopping eloquence, his startling ethical radicalism and personal radiance—Christ as a “paragon of vitality and poetic assertion"

is lovely skdadl. I suspect it is no accident that Lefebvrism ignores the Jewish prophetic and ethical tradition that was the source of Jesus' teachings and worldview - the "utopia and redemption" found in earlier prophets such as Isaiah.

All of the letter, none of the spirit, like so many forms of religious fundamentalism...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 25 February 2004 02:19 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mycroft wrote:
quote:
Roger Ebert says it's the most violent film he's ever seen.

That's out of context, and as such (especially lumped in with the other negative reviews mentioned) implies a criticism. But Ebert also said this:

quote:
I said the film is the most violent I have ever seen. It will probably be the most violent you have ever seen. This is not a criticism but an observation...

Ebert's review was actually highly positive. It's worth reading for an alternative take. Including his remarks about charges of anti-semitism. I don't know if I agree with him or not; I haven't seen the movie. I probably won't--I'm squeamish.


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 25 February 2004 02:28 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jewish groups differ on Gibson film

quote:
Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ is filled with hate and stereotypical images of Jews as villains that is meant to stir up emotions against the Jewish people, Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of the Jewish human-rights organization B'nai Brith Canada, says.

After seeing the controversial movie at a media screening in downtown Toronto, Mr. Dimant declared that it flies in the face of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church toward Jews since the Second Vatican Council. He cited images in the film of the devil moving among the Jewish crowd as they watch Jesus suffer and of Jewish children egging on others to hurt Jesus.


quote:
His comments were in marked contrast to the reaction from Manuel Prutschi, executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who also saw the movie yesterday. Mr. Prutschi, speaking carefully, called it a powerful film, but one that Jews and Christians will see differently.

"I think it's really out-of-line to speak of it as anti-Semitic," he said. "There has to be intent for that to be present. And the intent is to move Christians in their beliefs."



From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tackaberry
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posted 25 February 2004 02:42 PM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's strange that the same hacks that called Kill Bill brilliant becuase of its gratuitus violence, are now calling Passion crap because it is violent with key concepts.

Im not Christian, but I am really surprised by the reactions to the film so far.


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'lance
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posted 25 February 2004 02:46 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's strange that the same hacks that called Kill Bill brilliant becuase of its gratuitus violence, are now calling Passion crap because it is violent with key concepts.

I don't know which hacks you mean, in particular, but Denby of the New Yorker called Kill Bill crap too. He's at least consistent -- and he's no hack, either.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 25 February 2004 02:49 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ebert did give it a good review, denying that it was anti-semitic. Others apparently don't agree. I have no intention of seeing the movie. I certainly wouldn't want to put money in Gibson's pocket.

Nice to see the CJC taking such a forceful stand.


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majorvictory
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posted 25 February 2004 04:12 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gore's the crime of 'Passion'

quote:
No child should see this movie.

Even adults are at risk.

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is the most virulently anti-Semitic movie made since the German propaganda films of World War II.

It is sickening, much more brutal than any "Lethal Weapon."

The violence is grotesque, savage and often fetishized in slo-mo. At least in Hollywood spectacles that kind of violence is tempered with cartoonish distancing effects; not so here. And yet "The Passion" is also undeniably powerful.

Because of all the media coverage of this movie and the way it was shown only to handpicked sympathizers until yesterday's screening for movie critics, many questions hang in the air: Is it historically accurate?

Of course not. As with any movie, even a documentary, this one reflects the views of its filmmakers, who are entitled and expected to use their art persuasively. Gibson has been up-front about his own religious agenda.

But is it any good?

"The Passion" - once you strip away all the controversy and religious fervor - is a technically proficient account of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

The movie is sanctimonious in a way that impedes dramatic flow and limits characterizations to the saintly and the droolingly vulgar.

That said, there are many things in its favor - a heroic physical effort by star Jim Caviezel; stunning cinematography by Caleb Deschanel, and the chutzpah to have the actors speak in the dead language of Aramaic (with some subtitles).

Is Gibson devout, or is he mad?



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Polunatic
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posted 25 February 2004 04:28 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"I think it's really out-of-line to speak of it as anti-Semitic," he said. "There has to be intent for that to be present. And the intent is to move Christians in their beliefs."
Mmmm. Intent? I thought impact was just as important as intent?

I still predict the movie will flop nothwithstanding all the McTicket deals being flogged by some churches.


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lagatta
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posted 25 February 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Josh, since you live in the States, I'm wondering if you know whether Jewish organisations such as B'nai Brith or the ADL have taken as mealy-mouthed a position on this film as the CJC has. Mr Dimant is correct in that it can't build ecumenical feeling - no wonder as one of the major reasons for the Lefebvre split, other than Mass in the vernacular and having the priest face the parishioners, was opposition to Pope Jean XXIII's calls for a more ecumenical spirit and brotherhood, and the later moves by John Paul II (one of the rare things I'll give him credit for!) to repent for the Church's mistreatment of Jews and to call for common prayer by all faiths.

I'm wondering about the anti-semitic caricatures - specifically the "hook noses" the NY Daily News refers to, since just about every ethnic group in the Mediterranean basin tends to have a good share of strong aquiline noses , not just Arab and Jewish Semites. Certainly Anna Magnani and Nia Vardolos (sp?) don't have little turned up ones. Were the "bad guys" more ethnically caricatured than the "good guys"? (I know that was the case in the cartoon "Aladdin", although all the characters were Arabs, the "bad guys" had far more "Semitic" noses...


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josh
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posted 25 February 2004 04:41 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From what I've seen, tougher than the CJC but not as strong as the Canadian B'nai Brith. There is a lot of emphasis on rounding up support from the mainline Protestant denominations and more liberal Catholics. I think they're afraid to respond too strongly for fear of a backlash (no surprise). Ebert's usually a fairly progressive fellow, so his view that it's not as bad as some have said should be taken into consideration. I hope that once the church group bookings are done, the movie will start to disappear.
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josh
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posted 25 February 2004 05:14 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another review:

"I know, it sounds like a Monty Python movie. You're thinking there must be something to The Passion of the Christ besides watching a man tortured to death, right? Actually, no: This is a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie—The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre—that thinks it's an act of faith. For Gibson, Jesus is defined not by his teachings in life—by his message of mercy, social justice, and self-abnegation, some of it rooted in the Jewish Torah, much of it defiantly personal—but by the manner of his execution.

That doesn't exactly put him outside the mainstream: The idea that Jesus died for the sins of mankind is one of the central tenets of Christian faith. But Gibson has chosen those sections of the Gospels (especially the Gospel of Matthew) that reflect the tension between Jews and Christians 50 years after the crucifixion, when the new religion's proselytizers were trying to convert, rather than incite, the Roman authorities. This is the sort of passion play that makes people mad."

http://slate.msn.com/id/2096025/


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Michelle
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posted 25 February 2004 05:24 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre! Ha!

I think I've found my new handle for the movie!


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 25 February 2004 05:34 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about

Good Friday The 13th


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Michelle
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posted 25 February 2004 05:37 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, that's even better, considering that there were no chainsaws in the movie.
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'lance
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posted 25 February 2004 05:38 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I Know What You Did Last Easter.

Nightmare On Gethsemene Street.

Night of the Living Resurrected.

[ 25 February 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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Michelle
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posted 25 February 2004 05:50 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Scourging?
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'lance
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posted 25 February 2004 05:51 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Red wine... red wine..."
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Michelle
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posted 25 February 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Silence of the Lamb!
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'lance
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posted 25 February 2004 06:00 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"A tax collector once tried to test me. I ate his..."
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Mycroft_
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posted 25 February 2004 07:05 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Goriest Story Ever Told


As for quoting Ebert out of context - blame the Star, not me


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 25 February 2004 07:21 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
For Gibson, Jesus is defined not by his teachings in life—by his message of mercy, social justice, and self-abnegation, some of it rooted in the Jewish Torah, much of it defiantly personal—but by the manner of his execution.

That doesn't exactly put him outside the mainstream


No kidding. But after all, this is a religion whose principal symbol is a torture device.


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Mycroft_
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posted 25 February 2004 07:29 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now if I were making a film on Jesus I'd set it in present day New York or LA, have the mobs calling for crucifixion take the form of Fox News, tabloid newspapers and open line radio shows calling for Jesus' death because he's a radical trying to upset the established order and interfering with business and calling for insurrection... I'd have evangelists and archbishops urging the Chief of Police and the District Attorney to do something about him because he's too much of a threat to the established order... I'd make Pontius Pilate into a John Ashcroft or Julian Fantino type figure - I'd have Jesus set upon by a vigalante crowd, papparazzi and tv cameras while being put on a perp walk and instead of Roman soldiers I'd have cops giving him a beating while in custody and before being put on a guerney for a lethal injection.

But that's just me.

I think it would be a better film though. I think the original point of the Gospels (at least the earlier ones that weren't suppressed by the Council of Nicea) wasn't that the Jews killed Christ or that the Romans killed Christ but that "we" did it, "our" society and "our" power structure.


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Hinterland
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posted 25 February 2004 07:38 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Speaking of which, why oh why don't they start making movies about all the stuff that happened after the crucifixion? You ever try to read about the Council of Nicea, The East-West Schism or Vatican II? Bo-ho-ring!...I'd certainly watch Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis as Pope Leo IX and the Patriarch of Constantinople respectively, as they mutually excommunicate each other. Now that's action!
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Michelle
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posted 25 February 2004 07:47 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ha. We could call it 12 Angry Men (or however many were at the Council).
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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 25 February 2004 08:02 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mycroft:
Now if I were making a film on Jesus I'd set it in present day New York or LA, have the mobs calling for crucifixion take the form of Fox News, tabloid newspapers and open line radio shows calling for Jesus' death because he's a radical trying to upset the established order and interfering with business and calling for insurrection... I'd have evangelists and archbishops urging the Chief of Police and the District Attorney to do something about him because he's too much of a threat to the established order... I'd make Pontius Pilate into a John Ashcroft or Julian Fantino type figure - I'd have Jesus set upon by a vigalante crowd, papparazzi and tv cameras while being put on a perp walk and instead of Roman soldiers I'd have cops giving him a beating while in custody and before being put on a guerney for a lethal injection.

One of my favourite Jesus movies -- and, in my opinion, the best version of the Easter story I've ever seen -- is an obscure CBC telefilm from the '60s called The Open Grave.

Jesus is recast as a peace activist who has started a real movement getting workers in munitions factories to go on strike and refuse to build weapons/military equipment. He's framed for murder and executed by the establishment.

The film picks up at the scene of an apparent grave robbery and sets the whole thing up as a news feature using CBC personalities (including Alex Trebek) to tell the backstory as well as the subsequent investigation into what happened.


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Mycroft_
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posted 25 February 2004 08:36 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, I saw Open Grave when it was rebroadcast on CBC a few years ago.
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majorvictory
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posted 26 February 2004 12:14 AM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A dark and bloody spectacle

quote:
In the same way that Jim Caviezel's impregnably beatific Christ is possibly the least conflicted and most divinely one-dimensional movie-Jesus since Griffiths', all of the other characters — save, it must be noted with some interest, Hristo Naumov Shopov's charismatically self-doubting Pilate, a company man with whom Gibson obviously sympathizes — most of the characters in Gibson's film are reduced to figures passing by in a pop-ritual pageant.

If this flattens depiction, abolishes psychology and steamrolls motivation — compared to this rendering, Scorsese's formerly controversial Last Temptation feels like Last Tango in Jerusalem — it's what also facilitates the wholly reasonable charges of anti-Semitism the movie has drawn: Because Gibson is so uninterested in providing anything like a larger political or deeper psychological context for his characters' actions, the inescapable conclusion to be reached by the movie's blunt expositional technique is that Christ died because the Jews demanded it. It might have been for our sins, but it was at their command.

Lest this point prove too understated for his audience, Gibson nails even it home with his recurring use of an androgynous, black-hooded Satan: Although first seen tempting Christ in Gethsemane, this spooky, Bergmanesque figure is subsequently seen lurking only among the movie's crucifixion-crazy Jewish mob.

But if it's the absence of anything but the most basic of dramatic elements that considerably helps reduce the movie's Jews to a pack of bloodthirsty hounds — in one sequence, Judas is even hounded by Yarmulke-wearing Jewish children who morph into Satanic sprites — Gibson's film, for all its vaunted "authenticity" doesn't really offer anyone much of an opportunity for characterological depth.



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bittersweet
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posted 26 February 2004 02:16 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Characterological?" A waste of five dollars, that one.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tackaberry
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posted 26 February 2004 03:55 AM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had just read the Pevere review in The Star. He is the hack I was referring too. Pevere is just an idiot.

Anyway, how is this anti-semetic when the hero and the hero's supporting actors and the villians are all jews? Is the movie anti-Italian for blaming Rome?

Was Braveheart anti-british?

Is Schindler's list anti-gemanic?


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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 26 February 2004 05:24 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now if I were making a film on Jesus I'd set it in present day New York or LA

how about working-class manchester instead?

last year on british tv, there was a drama called "the second coming," by the same writer (russell davies) as queer as folk and the coming dr who revival,

the son of god is a 36-yr old virgin who manages a video rental store, goes out into rural england for 40 days of wandering, returns to maine road football ground in manchester:

turns day into night to convince people, and says that a Third Testament has to be written in five days or it's The Judgement.

[ 26 February 2004: Message edited by: Willowdale Wizard ]


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josh
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posted 26 February 2004 07:54 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tackaberry:

Anyway, how is this anti-semetic when the hero and the hero's supporting actors and the villians are all jews? Is the movie anti-Italian for blaming Rome?

Was Braveheart anti-british?

Is Schindler's list anti-gemanic?



That's just historical tunnel vision. None of the groups you refer to have been subject to 2000 years of discrimination because of the charge which is the subject of the movie.


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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 26 February 2004 08:42 AM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tackaberry:
Anyway, how is this anti-semetic when the hero and the hero's supporting actors and the villians are all jews?
Well, that little fact hasn't tended to stop Christians in the past.

From: Mechaslovakia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
runner
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posted 26 February 2004 01:34 PM      Profile for runner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Willowdale Wizard:
[QB]

how about working-class manchester instead?

the son of god is a 36-yr old virgin who manages a video rental store, goes out into rural england for 40 days of wandering, returns to maine road football ground in manchester:


Was this Kevin Keegan?


From: left behind by the folks | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 26 February 2004 01:50 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been holding onto my comments about the Jews killing Jesus for a few days now, not knowing where to put them. So, if this is the wrong place, I apologize. Here goes....

I try to look at the issue, as a Christian, in both a legal and theological way. However, as many of you have very different world views, I'll not present that here.

In the legal sense, I believe Romans killed Jesus. Pilate ordered the flogging and the crucifixition. Sure, he was encouraged, and maybe even goaded. But he gave the orders. His soldiers did the deeds.

I consider the idea of the Jews killing Jesus as simply wrong, and dangerous.

It is interesting to note that Mel Gibson's own hands were used to hold the nails that were driven into Jesus in his film. Perhaps he's making his own theological comment in this way.

As an aside, there are a lot of important details the New Testament stories ignore. How many people were actually before Pilate cheering for the death of Jesus? How did the Jewish guards who arrested him really treat him? There are others. How these questions are answered can lead to very different depictions of the events leading up to Jesus' death. Every director has had to make assumptions -- perhaps as much motivated by box office sales as scholarship.


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majorvictory
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posted 26 February 2004 06:07 PM      Profile for majorvictory     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Passion: They loved it, they hated it

quote:
CHRISTOPHER HUTSUL
ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER

When the lights came on in the theatre after an afternoon screening of The Passion Of The Christ, Michael Liscio sat and prayed.

He then turned to his 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, whom he'd pulled from school to see the 18A-rated movie, and explained to his confused children why the man in the film was tortured and killed on the cross.

"I had to show them what Christ did for them," he said later in the lobby of the Famous Players Coliseum in Scarborough. "When they see it with their own eyes, they can relate to it."

Though touted by some as one of the most violent films ever made, Liscio and his wife, Glenda, felt compelled to share the experience with their children.



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Michelle
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posted 26 February 2004 06:51 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How could anyone let their 6 year-old see such a violent movie? I can't even imagine how my son would react to that, and he's only a year younger.
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bittersweet
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posted 26 February 2004 08:58 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle, I am even more awed by the irony of the name of the place where they made their children "share" in the violence. Surely we are in the presence of a higher power. And maybe even a poetic answer to the question of responsibility for the whole mess. Famous players, mysterious ways, indeed.
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Jingles
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posted 26 February 2004 11:03 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
William Rivers Pitt wonders why, rhetorically, Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdelene,and Judas are, contrary to Mel's claim of historical accuracy, decidedly white.

quote:
Now, to suggest that Jesus shared a genealogical heritage and physical similarity to the people sitting in dog cages down in Guantanamo is to dance along the edge of treason.

Interesting question. How would American True Christians ® react to see what they consider the face of the terrorist up on the cross?


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 27 February 2004 06:04 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
the new york times says today that "the passion" took $23.5 million on its opening day (5th biggest opening wednesday ever).

quote:
Industry experts agreed that the box-office figure was astonishing for an extremely violent, R-rated, religious film in Aramaic and Latin with English subtitles.

Some producers and studio executives, looking at the numbers, said the film would probably take in $75 million by the close of the weekend and, if attendance continued to hold up, could take in as much as $100 million in the first five days.



From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 27 February 2004 08:45 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, Jingles, they are far too white - although the article you site sets out far too stringent barriers between "white" and "non-white" in the Mediterranean world. Monica Bellucci, for example, has a type that is very common among Palestinian and Lebanese girls.

I think Egyptians tended to have a bit more Black African influence in their genes.

By the way, the Guardian says that Gibson retained the infamous "blood label" line, though the Aramaic isn't translated, at least in the English version.


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drgoodword
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posted 27 February 2004 12:34 PM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An Orthodox Christian Take On Gibson's "Passion"

quote:
Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Chicago have sent letters to all of their parishes warning clergy and the faithful that some of the theological ideas expressed in Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" are not part of their tradition.

"It distorts the gospel message," said the Very Rev. Demetri Kantzavelos, chancellor of the Chicago diocese, which includes 59 parishes in Illinois and five other Midwestern states. "The errors that deviate from the gospel are profound."

"My fear is that this might be the only 'gospel' that people see or read," he said.

"The Passion" chronicles the final 12 hours of Jesus' life, including more than an hour of graphic depictions of brutal scourging and crucifixion. Gibson has said the film is based on New Testament accounts and other scholarship.

A critique of the film also released by Kantzavelos for the diocese said Gibson's interpretation of the death of Jesus "distorted the ultimate meaning of Christ's passion" and was "beyond the embrace of Orthodox Christianity."

"The Orthodox Christian tradition has never focused attention on nor explicitly promulgated an 'atonement theology' as central to church teachings," Kantzavelos wrote in the critique. "The point of Christ's death was to triumph over death and make a way for each of us who come after him to join with him.

"The film misses this point," he wrote. "In Orthodox Christianity, we are asked to identify with his victory, not with his suffering alone."



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DonnyBGood
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posted 28 February 2004 12:07 PM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What makes Gibson interesting as an artist is his use of the use of personal suffering as a vehicle for making plots more effective. As an actor he is fairly uninteresting in terms of skill or subtlety. He is an "average joe" for the most part I think. What is interesting is the plots and characters he chooses and the extreme circumstances individuals of average metal find themselves in.

He often argues that extreme circumstances and the psychological consequences of them develop average Joe types far beyond their capacity.

How does this fit in with the Christian philosophy he espouses?

I am not convinced that he can be labelled as a supporter of fundamentalist catholicism.

In any case I still don't understand the furor around the idea of who killed Christ According to the prophesy mankind was required to kill Christ in order to be saved, if the prophesy was to be fullfilled. I mean he had to be killed by human beings so that he could forgive them and thereby save them. So why are the biggots using this to justify anti-semtism? And wouldn't this make those who believed in the prophesy accepting and tolerant of the agents of our salvation? That is, wouldn't the religious fundamentalists be rabidly against the racists? It makes no sense for them to align themselves with those who would say that Christ should not really have been killed.

It wouldn't have mattered if Christ had been born to an Eskimo family and nailed with walrustusks to an iceberg. The prophesy would have had to had him being sacrificed in some manner or another...

Of course this is all from the official point of view 21 centuries later. Perhaps the real story was something different...


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged

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