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Author Topic: The Passion of Mel Gibson
Mycroft_
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posted 15 January 2003 02:43 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mel Gibson is making a new film called The Passion which follows the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ. The dialogue will be entirely in Latin and Aramaic and the film will be shown without subtitles.
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TommyPaineatWork
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posted 15 January 2003 02:49 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In Aramaic?

It's Greek to me.


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clarabel
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posted 15 January 2003 01:43 PM      Profile for clarabel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think it will fail miserably at the box office. Plus, I think they're going to have a really hard time finding a distributor - how many people are religious or curious enough to be interested? Then, how many people are going to want to see something that they may not understand?
I can see why he might want to make a film like that, but I think it is rather self-indulgent - it's going to have to be quite brilliant if it's going to be at all accessible. People, in general, don't watch this kind of stuff. They watch a lot of crap.

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Timebandit
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posted 15 January 2003 01:49 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, if it's marketed on video/dvd to the Christian market, it stands a good chance of turning a profit.
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Mycroft_
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posted 15 January 2003 02:34 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Somehow, I think someone who makes a film in Latin and Aramaic with no subtitles isn't aiming to make a blockbuster
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Michelle
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posted 15 January 2003 02:35 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Should be interesting...
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Briguy
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posted 15 January 2003 03:48 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I suspect that subtitles will find their way into the final edit. What we see here now, folks, is buzz creation.
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Mycroft_
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posted 15 January 2003 03:54 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I suspect that subtitles will find their way into the final edit.

Either that or they'll have to include Aramaic and Latin phrasebooks with the video

I actually think this is an interesting project. I'm not a Christian, or at all religious, but I find the gospels quite fascinating. I enjoyed Pasolini's Gospel According to St. Matthew, Jesus of Montreal, Last Temptation of Christ and that Goddard film (can't remember the name) that set the gospels in modern France and made the Archangel Gabriel a gas station attendant.

Of course if they do the film without subtitles that's just daft but being able to hear Biblical dialogue in its original tongues would be interesting.

[ 15 January 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


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themorninglight
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posted 15 January 2003 04:23 PM      Profile for themorninglight   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm no Christian either, and have an extremely minute knowledge of the scriptures, but I find this project fascinating. I doubt the "no subtitles" policy will make the final cut, but it'd be really interesting if it did. I discussed this movie briefly with my dad, who was a linguistics major back when he was in school. He said that without subtitles, it's more likely that people with no working knowledge of Hebrew, Latin, or Aramaic will understand this movie. Apparently straight vocal communication - even if you don't understand the language - can convey more of a message than the written word. I imagine emotion, pitches, and body language play a huge role in this.

Anyway, I wish I knew more about linguistics to discuss this further, but I'm compelled by the idea of this film nonetheless.


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Michelle
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posted 15 January 2003 04:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this. I wonder if they will do it in a fashion that you'll be able to follow what's happening even without knowing the language? If you are intimately acquainted with the passion story, then probably you'll be able to tell what's going on.

I'm fascinated, frankly!


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Briguy
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posted 15 January 2003 04:47 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Clan of the Cave Bear tried this approach, did it not? No speaking (more gutteral grunting) and no subtitles. Does anyone remember if CotCB was a critical and/or commercial success?
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Michelle
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posted 15 January 2003 04:52 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ha! I thought I was the only one on the planet who saw Clan of the Cave Bear! No, I think it got panned, didn't it?

I wasn't insane about it - but then, I really liked the books, and the movie is never as good as the books.

[ 15 January 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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paxamillion
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posted 15 January 2003 05:05 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
but I find the gospels quite fascinating.

Me too. I've been asked to preach at my church on the transfiguration story (Mark 9:2 if you're interested), and I'm going to talk about how Peter's actions can help us to be more tolerant and understanding of each other. There's a *lot* to think through in those four small books.


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angela N
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posted 15 January 2003 05:07 PM      Profile for angela N   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lord of the Rings was as good - never in mind did I imagine that Aragorn could look like that... mmm
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ronb
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posted 15 January 2003 05:18 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Clan of the Cave Bear was a financial and artistic catastrophe, but Quest for Fire sure wasn't. It was in a neolithic language entirely invented by Anthony Burgess. A very great film.

The plot of the Passion of Christ is so utterly familiar to everyone in the Western world, I can't imagine anyone needing subtitles. We (those of us who get to see the thing, and that will definitely include me if I can) will know most of the lines anyway... all the way from "Take, eat; this is my body" to "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit".

Although skdadl will doubtless disagree with me (and I hate it when that happens), I think Braveheart was a minor masterpiece, and a very courageous gamble, to boot, so I eagerly anticipate this one too. Mark my words: Palme d'or.

Mad Max 4 however, I'm not so keen to see...


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ronb
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posted 15 January 2003 05:24 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
double post. sorry.

"Hail Mary" was the godard film.


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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 15 January 2003 09:21 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And don't forget Life of Brian or Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, either.

IMDb site for The Passion.


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Michelle
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posted 15 January 2003 09:22 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Always look on the bright side of life..."


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Smith
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posted 15 January 2003 09:42 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank heavens Mel isn't playing Jesus himself. I don't need to vomit profusely until the movie comes out.

(As you may have guessed, I do not like Mel Gibson. Or his movies. Blech.)


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Michelle
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posted 15 January 2003 09:48 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tell us how you really feel, there, Smith. Don't hold back now!
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Mycroft_
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posted 12 March 2003 01:20 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

LA Rabbi Asks Mel Gibson to Reconsider Jesus Film
Sat Mar 8, 1:52 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A prominent Jewish leader on Friday asked actor Mel Gibson (news) to make certain that his new film on the last 12 hours in the life of Christ does not portray the Jews as collectively responsible for the crucifixion.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he was concerned because an article to be published in the New York Times Magazine portrays Gibson as a traditionalist Catholic opposed to the reforms of Vatican (news - web sites) II.

Heir said, "Obviously, no one has seen 'The Passion' and I certainly have no problem with Mel Gibson's right to believe as he sees fit or make any movie he wants to. What concerns me, however is when I read that the film's purpose is to undo the changes made by Vatican II."

He said that Vatican conclave was convened to deal with several critical issues, including the rejection of the notion that the Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Jesus.

"If the new film seeks to undo Vatican II ... it would unleash more of the scurrilous charges of deicide directed against the Jewish people, which took the Catholic Church 20 centuries to finally repudiate," he said.

Gibson is completing the self-financed film on the last 12 hours in the life of Christ and a friend of the Gibson family is quoted as telling the Times that Gibson will graphically portray the intense suffering of Christ, "perhaps as no film has done before." Gibson is directing the film.

The friend, Gary Giuffre, a traditionalist Catholic, also said that the film will lay the blame for the death of Christ where it belongs -- a reference that some traditionalists believe means the Jewish authorities who presided over his trial, the article said.

A spokesman for Gibson had no comment, saying he had not seen the article. Sources close to the actor said Gibson's religious views and those of his family were known.

Discussing his film in a recent TV interview, Gibson was asked whether his account might particularly upset Jews. He said, "It may. It's not meant to. I think it's meant to just tell the truth."



quote:

LOS ANGELES / ABC - Mel Gibson and his parents are under fire today from a leading Jewish group for reportedly anti-semitic impulses in the former's new film and the latter's denial that Al Qaeda executed the Sept. 11 attacks.

The actor's father, Hutton Gibson, told The New York Times he flatly rejected that the terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden had any role in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Sept. 11.

"Anybody can put out a passenger list," the elder Gibson told The Times.

"So what happened? They were crashed by remote control."

He and the actor's mother, Joye Gibson, also told The Times that the Holocaust was a fabrication manufactured to hide an arrangement between Adolf Hitler and "financiers" to move Jews out of Germany to the Middle East to fight Arabs.

"Go and ask an undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body," Hutton Gibson told The Times. "It takes one liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now six million?"

Said Joye Gibson: "That weren't even that many Jews in all of Europe."

Rabbi Marvin Hier, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, shot back.

"To bigots and antisemites, no amount of evidence of scientific proof is ever enough. In their world, only hate matters."

The comments from the Gibson family come just after the actor built a church in near Malibu that caters to a revisionist version of Catholocism. According to The Times, the church has a congregation of 70, including the star of such films as "Braveheart" and "Conspiracy Theory."

Mel Gibson, a devout Catholic, is directing and co-wrote an upcoming movie "The Passion," rooted in a theological movement known as Catholic traditionalism that seeks to return the faith to its pre-1962 period, before the Pope issued what is known as Vatican II, aseries of proclamations that did away with the notion that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.

"If the new film seeks to undo that," Hier told The Times, "it would not be uncovering truth. Rather, it would unleash more of the scurrilous charges...directed against the Jewish people, which took the Catholic Church 20 centuries to finally repudiate."


[ 12 March 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


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fatcalf
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posted 12 March 2003 01:35 AM      Profile for fatcalf        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Speaking of the passion of Mel Gibson (in a more profane way), how about the love scenes between him and Sigourney Weaver in "The Year of Living Dangerously". At one point she is deliciously soaked by a tropical downpour; in another scene, Mel whisks her away from a boring embassy party, but curfew is already in effect. But he drives his automobile right through a roadblock (sparks literally fly) and takes Sigourney to his loveshack (Indonesian style). Great movie -- also has Linda Hunt in an interesting role (she plays a dwarf photo-journalist).
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Michelle
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posted 12 March 2003 09:57 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holy Jesus. I knew that Mel Gibson was a religious Catholic, but I had no idea he and his family were such loonybirds.

My reading of the gospels and "Jesus scholars" who have written about the crucifixion, is that the people who wanted him crucified were a) the Romans because they saw a popular political protester and leader who was rumoured to be the Messiah who would lead the Jews out of Roman bondage, and possibly by a couple of corrupt Jewish leaders (who were contradicted by other Jewish leaders and witnesses) who didn't want Jesus to rock the boat when it came to their privilege as leaders in the temple.

But even that part is contested, I believe, is it not? The gospel accounts of Jesus' trial that cast the Jewish leaders in such a bad light have inconsistencies. Why was the trial held at night, when that was against the rules? There were a few other inconsistencies too that I can't remember right now - I really should read up on it again.

Only the most fundamentalist religious cranks these days actually subscribe to the whole Jewish Christ-killer thing, I should think. Hell, I'm a Baptist, and even people in my church have a more nuanced understanding of the political and social background to the Passion story than that.

As for the elder Gibson's views on the Holocaust...well, I'm speechless.


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lagatta
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posted 12 March 2003 10:39 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not surprising if they are followers of Mgr Lefebvre and some of the other traditionalists who broke with the Vatican after Vatican II - they have never accepted Pope John XXIII. But more ominously, in many countries they have been identified with far-right political movements. In France they harboured old Nazi collaborators on the lam, most notably Touvier

We have a congregation of them near my house, the Fraternité Pius X, their church is called. Not a happy looking bunch. Never a smile as they chat outside their place of worship - I live near a big "normal" Italian Catholic church (the one with the notorious fresco with Mussolini), a Buddhist temple, a couple of evangelical churches attended mostly by Haitians and Latin-Americans, not too far away a mosque. All of the worshippers come out smiling and chatting with each other. But this is a glum bunch.

I believe that there are mainstream Catholic churches that still say Latin mass - another church in my neighbourhood did it at Easter a few years ago - but then my neighbourhood is largely Italian and Latin-American, as well as the original French-speakers, so church Latin is not as foreign as it would be to English-speakers.

The "collective guilt" (of the Jews, not of all human beings) is a convenient way for anti-semites to play down the Judaity of Jesus. By the way, Mel sure seems to like filming torture scenes, if you recall Braveheart.

[ 12 March 2003: Message edited by: lagatta ]


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ben_al
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posted 12 March 2003 11:38 AM      Profile for ben_al     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been taught that Jesus was sent to die for the sins of all humans, not just the Jews, and that if he wanted, he could have stopped his own crucifiction by asking his father to intervene, but because of his love for humans, he CHOSE to die. Therefore, although the Romans and/or Jewish leaders may have initiated the charges that led to the crucifixion, it was ultimately Jesus himself that accepted such punishment as a way of atonement for all who believe and ask for mercy, making EVERYONE responsible in part for his death.
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ronb
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posted 12 March 2003 11:49 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
JUDAS PRIEST! That sure as hell poured ice cold water all over my enthusiasm for his movie.
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Whazzup?
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posted 12 March 2003 12:18 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That WAS eye-opening!! I tracked down the original NY Times magazine article on Mel and papa, and it's definitely worth a (horrified) read:

Click.

quote:
The entire catastrophe [the Holocaust] was manufactured, said Hutton, as part of an arrangement between Hitler and ''financiers'' to move Jews out of Germany. Hitler ''had this deal where he was supposed to make it rough on them so they would all get out and migrate to Israel because they needed people there to fight the Arabs,'' he said.

Whether any of this has rubbed off on Hutton's son Mel is an open question. A church elder at Holy Family says that while the two share the same foundation of faith, Mel Gibson parts company with his father on many points. ''He doesn't go along with a lot of what his dad says,'' he says. And beyond claiming to have seen the plans for Holy Family and attended services with the congregation, Hutton Gibson has no apparent connection to his son's church in California.

Still, Mel Gibson has shown some of his father's flair for conspiracy scenarios. In a 1995 Playboy interview, he related a sketchy theory that various presidential assassinations and assassination attempts have been acts of retribution for economic reforms that challenged the powers-that-be. ''There's something to do with the Federal Reserve that Lincoln did, Kennedy did and Reagan tried,'' he said. ''I can't remember what it was. My dad told me about it. Everyone who did this particular thing that would have fixed the economy got undone. Anyway, I'll end up dead if I keep talking.''

. . . .

Only Gibson knows the precise nature of that personal need, and he declined numerous requests for an interview, limiting his public comments to a January appearance on the Fox news program ''The O'Reilly Factor,'' in which he complained about inquiries regarding his faith and suggested that any reporter asking such questions might be part of a plot to undermine his message of salvation. ''I think he's been sent,'' he told Bill O'Reilly.



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Mycroft_
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posted 12 March 2003 01:24 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's not clear yet whether Mel shares his father's views on the Jews.

quote:
I've been taught that Jesus was sent to die for the sins of all humans, not just the Jews,

I would agree. Let's not forget that, until Paul, the Christian religion was aimed at converting Jews and considered itself to be a form of Judaism, thus parts of the gospels that are critical of Jewish leaders or of Jews as a whole shold be read in that light, ie as a criticism of "us" and "ours" ie of people, not of the "other" so the sense in which the gospels should be read (IMHO) is as a failure of and collective guilt humanity to "save Jesus" not as an intinery of sins for which one group should be blamed or singled out.

[ 12 March 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


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paxamillion
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posted 12 March 2003 01:33 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Consider that Jesus spoke to Samaritans, too. I don't believe he saw his mission as to just the Jews either. So, I think this pre-dates the conversion of Saul of Tarsis.
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Mycroft_
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posted 12 March 2003 02:46 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Samaritans are in the Jewish "family" - they consider themselves to be descended fro the "lost" tribes of Israel - but were looked down upon by other Jews - the whole point about the "good Samaritan" is that such a thing was considered a contradiction in terms.

See http://www.the-samaritans.com/info.htm

[ 12 March 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


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ronb
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posted 12 March 2003 02:54 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Let's not forget that, until Paul, the Christian religion was aimed at converting Jews ...

...well yeah, but very little in the Bible predates Paul, and almost all of it reflects his views, and more importantly, the views of later virulently anti-Jewish Roman Christians. Almost no record of the Jerusalem Church survives outside of Paul's negative record of it.


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paxamillion
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posted 12 March 2003 03:27 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, that may have been how it played out, but I don't think that was necessarily the intention. Consider this passage from Acts 1 (written by Luke):

quote:
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with[1] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
6So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."


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ronb
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posted 12 March 2003 04:16 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But Luke was probably written in the second century, when the international ministry was already well established, James long since murdered and Jerusalem a smoking husk. Attempting to discern Jesus' political intentions based on the gospels seems a bit futile. It is fairly useful for discerning the authors' political inclinations, if you can tease out those who's and whens. Paul is pretty easy to figure out. He signs his letters.
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Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 12 March 2003 06:22 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't forget Jesus' healingof the Centurion's daughter, Philip's meeting with the Ethiopian eunuch, and Peter's vision of the sheet descending from the sky. These all point to a vision for a Christianity that was for Jew and Gentile alike.

But you can see how much that this issue divided the church at the Jerusalem Council, with the local church headed by Jesus' brother James basically arguing for Gentiles having to convert to Judaism and the Antioch delegation of Barnabas and Paul arguing the opposite. Of course, Luke's account of it in Acts is much more flattering to James than Paul's account in Galatians.


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Michelle
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posted 12 March 2003 06:35 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
ronb, have you read Saint Saul? I want this book so badly I can taste it. A friend got it last summer and I've been drooling over it ever since.

[ 12 March 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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ronb
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posted 12 March 2003 06:56 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Paul and James's dispute is fascinating, and it is tantalizing to speculate - I am inclined to favour James, his letter is probably my favourite passage in the New Testament while Paul is clearly the author of a whole lot of misery for many generations of Jewish people.

I just can't help suspecting that the conciliatory gestures to Roman sensibities - the disappearing Apostle Levi, the son of Alphaeus, tax collector eg - were just that, gestures, grafted on much later to flatter gentiles long after the doctrinal decrees from the Jerusalem Church had ceased to be an issue.

Edited to add...

No michelle, I haven't. It looks terrific. It is a REALLY interesting topic, I must say. Katzanzakis' Last Temptation is among my very favourite novels. Thanks. I will seek that one out.

[ 12 March 2003: Message edited by: ronb ]


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Michelle
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posted 12 March 2003 07:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aha, found it. About 8 years ago, I got a book called "The Day Christ Died: An Historical Novel" by Jim Bishop.

Here's the cover description:

quote:
April 6-7, A.D. 30

On his last day on Earth, Jesus moved among those who loved him as the Messiah, and those who considered him a fraud - and hated him for it. His company was the twelve men selected by him to continue his work and carry his word. He prayed. He was betrayed by one closest to him. In his final hours, he chose to suffer as a man. And then he died for our sins.

A journalist historian's approach to the most dramatic day in the history of the Christian world, this is a moving and inspiring recreation of those events. It begins at 6 p.m. - the beginning of the Hebrew day and the time Jesus moved toward Jerusalem and the Last Supper with his apostles - and takes us through to 4 p.m. of the next day, the sorrowful moment when he was removed from the cross.


I read this novel years ago, long before I had really looked critically at the Bible as a historical document. I really should read it again now that I've "lost my faith" and read a lot more "Jesus scholars" than I did when I had read it before. Seems to me that the book is a rather traditionalist view of what happened. It is also endorsed by the Catholic Church, which makes me think that it's probably short on scholarship and long on speculation.

But what I loved about it is that the author told the old story in a form that makes it a real page-turner, very readable, very accessible. I really liked it.

I should make that my "Easter project" this year - read this book again. Maybe I'll get the Easter bunny to put Saint Saul in my basket as well this year.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dr. Mr. Ben
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posted 12 March 2003 09:40 PM      Profile for Dr. Mr. Ben   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder which version of the crucifixion Mel will use. Movies always choose Luke because it's such a Hollywood ending. I hope they do the Matthew one with the zombies though...
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Mycroft_
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posted 15 June 2003 07:44 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Mel Gibson defends his Christ film

ASSOCIATED PRESS June 14, 2003
LOS ANGELES — Mel Gibson is cautioning Catholics and Jews not to jump to conclusions, promising that his forthcoming film about Jesus Christ will "inspire not offend" them.

The movie, directed by Gibson, stars James Caviezel as Christ during the last 12 hours of his life and Monica Belluci as Mary Magdalene. The reported $25 million (U.S.) production will feature dialogue only in Latin and Aramaic with no English subtitles.

"The Passion is a movie meant to inspire not offend," Gibson said in a statement published in the trade newspaper Variety on Friday. "My intention in bringing it to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds (or none) who have varying familiarity with this story."


His statement was designed to rebut criticism that The Passion is anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, Variety reported. The remarks came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had been critical of The Passion, apologized for attacking a film that is still unreleased.


Although Gibson and his production company hope to release the film next spring it has not yet found a distributor.

Controversy over The Passion erupted in March after a profile of Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, appeared in The New York Times Magazine. The profile said the actor's father had controversial traditionalist beliefs not condoned by the Roman Catholic Church and quoted the elder Gibson as denying the Holocaust took place. Some feared Gibson's film would reflect such beliefs.


Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote Gibson a letter expressing concerns that the film would portray Jews in a negative way.

"If the intense scrutiny during my 25 years in public life revealed I had ever persecuted or discriminated against anyone based on race or creed, I would be all too willing to make amends. But there is no such record," the actor's statement read. "Nor do I hate anybody, certainly not the Jews.

"They are my friends and associates, both in my work and social life," Gibson continued. "Thankfully, treasured friendships forged over decades are not easily shaken by nasty innuendo. Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my movie."



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Mycroft_
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posted 29 June 2003 04:35 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gibson Film Condemned as Anti-Semitic
quote:

Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion, which will include a brutal depiction of the Crucifixion and Christ's final 12 hours, has been condemned by influential Catholic and Jewish groups in America for its alleged anti-Semitism and extreme violence.

Religious scholars who have read the script believe that it leans too heavily on an 18th-century book of Catholic mysticism that paints Jews in a particularly harsh light.

The book, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by St Anne Catherine Emmerich, suggests that Jews organised "blood money" for the Crucifixion - paying people to clamour for Jesus's death to sway Pontius Pilate - and that His cross was constructed on the orders of the Jewish high priest.

The scholars are alarmed that The Passion - which has been funded by Mr Gibson, a devout Catholic, to the tune of $25 million (£15 million) - will portray Jews as responsible not only for Christ's Crucifixion, but also for the extremes of His torment.

They fear that the film will be a modern version of traditional Passion plays, which in medieval times popularised the doctrine of Jews as "Christ-killers". Passion plays were often performed during Lent, and were accused of prompting pogroms against Jewish communities in Christian Europe.
(...)
During filming, Mr Gibson told a Italian interviewer that it was inevitable that the Jews would be portrayed as being responsible for Christ's death. "It's true that, as the Bible says, 'He came into His own and His own received Him not'. I can't hide that," he said.




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Smith
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posted 29 June 2003 05:07 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gibson is affiliated with a movement called Catholic traditionalism that seeks to undo, among other things, the change in doctrine absolving Jews of responsibility for the death of Christ.

His parents are Holocaust deniers and quite open about it.

I guess we'll have to see what the actual film is like. Although I won't be watching it, because as I noted, I fucking hate Mel Gibson.

[ 29 June 2003: Message edited by: Smith ]


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lagatta
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posted 29 June 2003 05:25 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I also glanced at an article today in which he boasted about Muslim extras in his film converting to Christianity.

MK or others can set me straight on this, but as I recall Muslims don't believe the prophet Issa (Jesus) was crucified, but called directly up to heaven by God, much like Mohammed later on.

So I hope we can get Jewish and Muslim groups to unite and fight this bigoted film !


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Mycroft_
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posted 29 June 2003 05:30 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Council of Bishops in the US is quite upset too as the script contradicts decisions made at Vatican Council II regarding the crucifixion. Maybe Mel will get himself excommunicatd over this, but as he seems to be a supporter of the Lefebvre schism perhaps he won't really care?
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Smith
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posted 29 June 2003 05:46 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought the point of Catholic traditionalism was rejection of most of the decisions made at that council.
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Mycroft_
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posted 29 June 2003 05:53 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well yes, which is why the more extreme Catholic traditionalists have been excommunicated.
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Mohamad Khan
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posted 30 June 2003 12:03 AM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
nobody's linked to this article by Bill Berkowitz? lagatta and i can include gays in our anti-Mel Gibson movement, alongside the Jews and Muslims:

quote:
I don't know why anyone should be concerned about anti-Semitic remarks made by the parents of Hollywood star Mel Gibson. After all, according to recent polls, an overwhelming majority of the public pay no mind to what Hollywood celebrities say. And if the public doesn't care what the stars themselves say, who would give a rats ass about some ill-chosen remarks by a stars' parents?
Obviously, there is something very troubling about the Gibson Family message. But there is something even more disturbing about Mel Gibson's recent foray into Catholic Church-building and crucifixion filmmaking.

Gibson has been the darling of conservatives long before his historically-challenged film, "The Patriot" whitewashed the American Revolution: He has been stalwart in his opposition to abortion; he favors capital punishment; has opposed birth control; and has occasionally put his foot in his mouth over gay and lesbian issues.

"They take it up the ass," Gibson told the Spanish publication El Pais in a January 1992 interview, as he bent over and pointed to his rear-end. "This is only for taking a shit," he said.


lovely. if you needed any more reasons to dislike Mel Gibson, here they are.

'gatta, what most Muslims believe is that the Prophet Jesus/`Îsa was set up on the cross, but did not die there, being called up to heaven as you've said -- though this wasn't the case with Muhammad; he died like any other guy. a better comparison might be with the Prophet Enoch/Idrîs (Genesis 5.24). (we now have an "Idris" on Babble! ) the Qur'anic verse goes:

و قولهم إنا قتلنا المسيح عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله و ما قتلوه و ما صلبوه و لكن شبه لهم

which we might translate thus: "And they said, 'We have killed the Messiah; Jesus, Son of Mary, the Messenger of God' -- but they did not kill him, and they did not crucify him, but it was obscured to them." (Q. 4.157)

a lot of people don't realise that Muslims, like Christians, believe in the second coming of the Messiah (masîH), i.e., the Prophet `Îsa bin Maryam -- Jesus, Son of Mary.


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 30 June 2003 12:16 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh dear. I didn't know any of these things. I guess I don't read the right magazines.
Oh well, I don't think my life will change radically with this tidbit of knowledge.

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Mycroft_
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posted 30 June 2003 12:52 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mel Gibson brings movie to city's church leaders
quote:

Actor Mel Gibson has been getting closer to God.

On Thursday, that led him to Colorado Springs, where he visited New Life Church and Focus on the Family and previewed his upcoming film, “The Passion.”

Gibson, star of such films as the “Lethal Weapon” series and “Braveheart,” said it was his Christian faith that inspired “The Passion,” which depicts the final 12 hours in the life of Christ.

“I’m not a preacher and I’m not a pastor,” Gibson said. “But I really feel my career was leading me to make this. The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize.”

Although the film won’t be released until March, Gibson brought it to Colorado Springs — a national hub of evangelical Christianity — for one day to make sure its depiction of the Gospel was acceptable to leaders at Focus on the Family and to hundreds of church leaders, including Ted Haggard, New Life’s pastor and president of the National Evangelical Association.



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Michelle
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posted 30 June 2003 07:24 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
He has been stalwart in his opposition to abortion; he favors capital punishment;

Yes, because apparently life is sacred only when it's still in the womb.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 30 June 2003 07:47 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am not sure why there are two threads on this issue however for those that missed my comments in the "News" area where this tread is already situated, here they are:

quote:
I have read a bit about this Gibson endeavour and honestly I don't know what to make of it.

The idea of such a film for general release in Aramaic (one of the most ancient and even moreso than Latin ...unspoken languages today) boggles the mind.

And then to see Gibson as ...what...an evangelical Christian?

Well, at least he is honest about his religion and unlike the quacks in groups like "'Jews' for Jesus" is not being fraudulent about Christianity soo i suppose he gets some points.

But in the end...well this is just too wierd.



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skdadl
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posted 30 June 2003 03:47 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If Gibson does to Christ what he did to William Wallace, I know a couple of persons capable of rising from the dead to smite him.

The man does have some sort of complex. A God-complex? Something.

The biblical exegesis that this topic has inspired here, though, is so interesting. I must go back now and read it carefully. Aren't y'all such charmingly learned souls after all?


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Smith
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posted 30 June 2003 04:32 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know what it is, but apparently he's a real jerk personally and professionally.

I've hated him ever since Braveheart. I saw it on video after it won Best Picture and I could not believe such a jingoistic, poorly written piece of crap had swept the Oscars.

Then I saw half of The Patriot, after which my friends threw me and my roommate out of their room because we were making too many snotty comments. That movie (or the half of it we saw) was a travesty of writing, of acting, of film-making in general.

Signs was okay. I'm glad I snuck in, though, instead of paying for it, because Mel Gibson suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks and needs no more encouragement than he already gets.


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Mishei
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posted 30 June 2003 04:41 PM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Be still my heart, Smith I couldnt have said it better myself.
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marcy
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posted 30 June 2003 05:05 PM      Profile for marcy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
mel gibson, who has never shown any signs of brilliance at all, acted in two reasonably good films - a long time ago - Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously. The latter was released in 1983 and everything he's done since then has stunk up the screen. (Braveheart was stupid) He has no range at all, can't deliver lines in anything but a monotonous growl and (obviously) allows his hair to undergo untold indignities. The guy is so clearly a total lamebrain that I'm shocked that anyone would be shocked at his lousy politics. Who cares what he does to the passion of Christ? I won't be studying my Aramaic - English dictionary. Better to read Elaine Pagels latest work on the Dag Hammadi scrolls.
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lagatta
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posted 30 June 2003 05:13 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Patriot features a massacre scene in which the Brits lock all the inhabitants of a village up in a church and set it alight. This is based on an infamous Nazi atrocity, Oradour-sur-Glane. Here is a funny Guardian take on The Patriot, but the link to Oradour is not funny at all . http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,341861,00.html
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Junkyard Dog
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posted 01 July 2003 03:15 PM      Profile for Junkyard Dog     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I notice that some people here seem surprised about Mel Gibson's anti-gay tendencies, which kinda surprises me, as Gibson is notorious for being one of Hollywood's most proudly open homophobes. He's given at least one interview in which he spewed some truly hateful remarks, and I understand that Braveheart (which I've never seen) is incredibly bigoted in its treatment of Edward II.

A friend of mine who teaches once rented a copy of Braveheart to catalog all of its historical inaccuracies for a project he was working on. Needless to say, the film's bullshit quota was incredibly high, but as it continued, he noticed something he found more disturbing than the film's numerous distortions of historical reality, to wit: The way that the title character was portrayed as a martyr, with increasingly shameless Christ-like imagery to drive this point home. As he told me later, it was only when he thought about it afterwards that it dawned on him just how creepy it was that the same man who directed (& was entirely responsible for) the damn film was basically glorifying himself as a Jesus figure up there onscreen.

But who knows? Maybe the Holy Spirit was "working through him" on Braveheart too.


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Smith
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posted 01 July 2003 03:36 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I understand that Braveheart (which I've never seen) is incredibly bigoted in its treatment of Edward II.

It is. I was about fifteen when I saw it and I caught it then - and I was much less aware of the politics around such things then than I am now. Edward is portrayed as extremely weak, ineffectual, basically a big sissy. And the film pretty much directly ties his political failures to his sexual orientation (about which it's pretty damn explicit). During the execution scene, we cut to Sophie Marceau (the new wife of Edward) whispering that "a child who is not yours grows in my belly." (The script is crap too.) It's a truly stupid, anachronistic, deeply insulting movie.


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Mycroft_
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posted 01 July 2003 04:17 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Considering that Edward II didn't marry until sometime after Wallace's execution and the woman who became Edward's Queen never even stepped foot on the British Isles until after same...

BTW, has anyone seen the film Edward II based on Marlowe's play? I thought it was quite good.


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Boinker
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posted 24 July 2003 10:51 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting and informative article on the matter of the reality of the crucifixion in today's Globe. According to the article Pontius Pilot was a brutal tyrant and the Romans crucified thousands and thousands of men women and children to induce political obedience over the period in which Christ was crucified. Why weren't Romans villified by early Christians the argument goes?

Well, the answer seems to me quite simple, Jews were the scapegoat NOT the ruling hegemony. The article convincingly suggests that the Jews of the day or the Church were probably not even consulted on Christs execution. The entire idea that the masses clamored for Barabas, instead of Christ seems to me to be a complete fiction.

Why was it "necessary" then to "spin" the crucifixtion in this way?

Big question probably another thread or two required for that.

The article in the Globe concludes that while Gibson has a right to present his belief he should be wary of rejigging Catholicism backward to the point where they need a scapegoat for their belief to make sense.

I agree but might go further and ask the question if the Christian belief itself is based on the very idea of priviledge and the notion that faith is based on intolerance of other religions...

Gibson says he is presenting the reality of the crucifixion but if this orthodox spin on the events is the structure, how is it in any sense "real"?

The movie Barabas with Anthony Quinn is an excellent story which illustrates the idea that often the massess are insensitive to what is best in human nature and reject our heroes. The story is told from Barabas' point of view and is a type of parable about "everyman's" spiritual enlightenment. There is little or no reference to Judaism as I recall other than the suggestion that it was the dominant religion of the time and place and as such represented all conventional religions in a way... So I give Gibson the benefit of the doubt and imagine that this will be the type of approach the movei will take.

The problem is for us is that no one has actually seen the film. So are we advocating censorship now? I can't imagine that the movie would be prejudicial to anyone intentionally. The question is though will the theme itself and the traditional take on the events make it even possible for the movie not to be prejudicial?


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skdadl
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posted 24 July 2003 11:40 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mycroft writes:

quote:
thus parts of the gospels that are critical of Jewish leaders or of Jews as a whole shold be read in that light, ie as a criticism of "us" and "ours" ie of people, not of the "other"

-- and that, I'm sure, is the way I've always read the issue of the Jewish leadership at the time (in the Gospels, ie). All the stories that tell of Jesus' confrontations with Jewish leaders sound politically and socially realistic to me -- don't they to you? I mean, are social elders and conservatives generally not even more incensed by their own young whippersnappers than they are by outsiders?

And Boinker, you will note that in the article you've linked to, even the authors admit that there is no contemporary "orthodoxy" in the views that they fear Gibson's film is going to revert to -- and they cite leading biblical scholars on that turf.

I'm with Marcy: the young Gibson made two wonderful films as an actor (The Year of Living Dangerously is haunting), but since then he's shown himself to be a flake, and age is not improving him.


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Boinker
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posted 24 July 2003 12:07 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And Boinker, you will note that in the article you've linked to, even the authors admit that there is no contemporary "orthodoxy" in the views that they fear Gibson's film is going to revert to -- and they cite leading biblical scholars on that turf.

Yes but they do caution Gibson about presenting Catholic views that predate Ppoe john Paul the XXIIIrd's 1965 decree that required the faithful not to blame Jews for Christ's death.

Which leads me to something that always has bothered me about the issue. Why do/did Christians blame anybody for "killing" Christ? I mean wasn't this "human sacrafice" supposed to save humanity from eternal damnation?

Sorry, this is probably one of those questions that has no real answer other than the notion that "humanity" is often nothing more than a homicidal mob...


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Michelle
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posted 24 July 2003 08:43 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've always wondered that too, Boinker. I think we can place that question right next to "Why did the Lord harden Pharoah's heart, and if he did, then how can Pharoah be responsible for persecuting the Hebrews?"
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rob.leblanc
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posted 24 July 2003 08:57 PM      Profile for rob.leblanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why do/did Christians blame anybody for "killing" Christ

I've also wondered that. I have to ask as well (keep in mind this is not an observation on ALL Christians, just the one's that I've dealt with that seem to be in abundence in North America) why are most Christians so judgemental and intolerent of other religions? I've talked with many Christians (usually white but that's probably neither here nor there)that have openly made jokes about religions like Hinduism, Buhddism, Judism etc. where the punch line is about how the religion is complete bullshit. I've never met a hindu or a buhddist that made fun of Christianity. I don't know...that just angers me.

But back on topic (Hard, tiring day at work. brain not working well), I'm excited to see The Passion. My friend is practically shaking in anticipation. It sounds very interesting.


From: Where am I? Where are YOU? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 24 July 2003 09:56 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Most Christian denominations in Canada do not teach and have not during my lifetime taught that "the Jews killed Christ." (I was born in 1945.)

I'm sure I was at least in junior high before I ever heard that awful line. I can't remember now where I first heard it, but I was deeply dipped in 2.5 churches by then, Presbyterian, United, and RC, and I had never heard that line as a child. Never thought it, either, and I had read the Bible by the time I was nine or ten.

So the question at least partly is: where does this stuff come from?


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skdadl
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posted 24 July 2003 09:59 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PS: The one bit of bigotry I had been taught, in a United Church congregation that was still hiring its ministers from Northern Ireland, was that RCs are evil and damned and will eat your children if you don't wear an orange sash on the Glorious Twelfth.

Luckily, I was immune to that message. My mum is an RC.


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BleedingHeart
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posted 24 July 2003 10:49 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to my limitted theological training, it was prophesied that the son of God would die for everyone's sins so didn't the Jewish leadership do everyone a favour by turning Jesus over the Romans for execution.
From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 30 July 2003 11:14 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was a National Geographic special on the Vatican. And what got me about it was the opulence of the faith and the vast treasury of wealth and artworks there.

This seat of Christianity seems to have little to do with the suffering and deprivation Christ endured to pass into heaven "through the eye of the needle."

Much of the artwork in the Vatican was done in the name of God and for the glory of God. Wealth and power dedicated to the notion that God exists and is benevolently controlling events here on earth. Even when the evidence is almost totally contradictory that there is any big game plan in all this (human history) true believers think there is.

So what is Gibson's argument or idea in doing a movie like this? Is it a guilt trip on the masses? A Christian propoganda film? Is it in the vein of the Last Temptation of Christ where the effort was made to show Christ as a human being caught in a terrible dynamic and about whom a web of politics and intrigue, indeed "mythification" was created to further the demand for social change.

Were "historical forces" even at work in the Roman Empire? Some Marxist somewhere must have argued that the Christian mythology (belief) was a development forged by the "class struggle" and that it carried all the necessary components of the ideology needed to overthrow the Roman Empire - ascetic, self sacrificing, antimaterialitic, etc...

These themes might be addressed by such a movie but the consensus here is that they won't be. The only way a Christ movie works is where youi begin with the idea that He is God and that the masses are insensitive and unbelieving in his divinity...

[ 01 August 2003: Message edited by: Boinker ]


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Mycroft_
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posted 30 July 2003 11:28 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Italian film "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" was directed by Per Passolini, a Marxist. It minimises the miraculous aspects of the gospel story (Matthew being the least other -worldly of the gospels) and focusses on Christ's humanity. It'll be interesting to see which of the gospels Gibson draws upon most heavily.

[ 30 July 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 01 August 2003 11:37 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess Christ as a sociological event is very much about the personal and the subjective hence the myriad of ways in which his life is interpreted...

The Passolini film sounds interesting apparently a documetary styled film that used amateur actors. I haven't seen it but would like to.

The critical commentary says that the movie did not show just an individualized interpretation but showed how different cultures adapted the story.

Gibson ought to be wary of trying to "tell it like its is" particularly if the tale is best understood as an allegory. Of course it may be too late for him to worry about that now.

Passolini Masterpiece


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Mycroft_
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posted 03 August 2003 01:53 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Gospel According to Gibson
quote:
Eventually, Gibson’s film will have to face audiences he doesn’t cherry-pick. We can only hope that the finished product will not resemble the screenplay that circulated this spring. That script — which the Gibson camp has said was stolen but which others say was leaked by a concerned member of the star’s own company — received thumbs down from a panel of nine Jewish and Roman Catholic scholars who read it. They found that Jews were presented as ‘‘bloodthirsty, vengeful and money-hungry,’’ reported The Jewish Week, which broke the story of the scholars’ report in June.

Perhaps ‘‘The Passion’’ bears little resemblance to that script. Either way, however, damage has been done: Jews have already been libeled by Gibson’s politicized rollout of his film. His game from the start has been to foment the old-as-Hollywood canard that the ‘‘entertainment elite’’ (which just happens to be Jewish) is gunning for his Christian movie. But based on what?
According to databank searches, not a single person, Jewish or otherwise, had criticized ‘‘The Passion’’ when Gibson went on O’Reilly’s show on Jan. 14 in January to defend himself against ‘‘any Jewish people’’ who might attack the film. Nor had anyone yet publicly criticized ‘‘The Passion’’ or Gibson by March 7, when The Wall Street Journal ran the interview in which the star again defended himself against Jewish critics who didn’t yet exist. (Even now, no one has called for censorship of the film — only for the right to see it and, if necessary, debate its content.)

Whether the movie holds Jews of two millenniums ago accountable for killing Christ or not, the star’s pre-emptive strategy is to portray contemporary Jews as crucifying Gibson. A similar animus can be found in a new book by one of Gibson’s most passionate defenders, the latest best seller published by the same imprint (Crown Forum) that gave us Ann Coulter’s ‘‘Treason.’’ In ‘‘Tales From the Left Coast,’’ James Hirsen writes, ‘‘The worldview of certain folks is seriously threatened by the combination of Christ’s story and Gibson’s talent.’’
Now who might those ‘‘certain folks’’ be? Since no one was criticizing ‘‘The Passion’’ when Hirsen wrote that sentence, you must turn elsewhere in the book to decode it. In one strange passage, the author makes a fetish of repeating Bob Dylan’s original name, Robert Zimmerman — a gratuitous motif in a tirade that is itself gratuitous in a book whose subtitle says its subject is ‘‘Hollywood stars.’’


quote:
Now sectarian swords are being drawn. The National Association of Evangelicals, after a private screening of ‘‘The Passion,’’ released a statement last week saying, ‘‘Christians seem to be a major source of support for Israel,’’ and implying that such support could vanish if Jewish leaders ‘‘risk alienating two billion Christians over a movie.’’
Foxman says he finds that statement ‘‘obnoxious and offensive.’’

‘‘Here’s the first time we’ve heard that linkage: We support Israel, so shut up about anti-Semitism,’’ he added. ‘‘If that’s what support of Israel means, no thanks.’’

But the real question here is why Gibson and his minions would go out of their way to bait Jews and sow religious conflict, especially at this fragile historical moment. It’s enough to make you pray for the second coming of Charlton Heston.


[ 03 August 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


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Mycroft_
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posted 03 August 2003 02:05 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Months Before Debut, Movie on Death of Jesus Causes Stir
quote:
With his movie about the death of Jesus under attack as anti-Semitic, Mel Gibson is trying to build an audience and a defense for his project by screening it for evangelical Christians, conservative Catholics, right-wing pundits, Republicans, a few Jewish commentators and Jews who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
quote:
"Mel Gibson is the Michelangelo of this generation," said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
quote:
A committee of Bible scholars who read a version of the script said that it was not true to Scripture or Catholic teaching and that it badly twisted Jewish leaders' role in Jesus' death. The problem, the scholars said, is not that Mr. Gibson is anti-Semitic, but that his film could unintentionally incite anti-Semitic violence.

One scholar, Sister Mary C. Boys, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, said: "When we read the screenplay, our sense was this wasn't really something you could fix. All the way through, the Jews are portrayed as bloodthirsty. We're really concerned that this could be one of the great crises in Christian-Jewish relations."



quote:

"This was one of the worst things we had seen in describing responsibility for the death of Christ in many many years," Father Pawlikowski said.

In particular, the scholars objected that the Jewish priest, Caiaphas, was depicted as intimidating Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, into going along with the Crucifixion. Several people who saw the film last month said the version they saw had that portrayal. The scholars said that section distorts the fact that the Romans were the occupying power and that the Jewish authorities were their agents.


[ 04 August 2003: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


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Mycroft_
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posted 04 August 2003 01:29 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bloodthirsty or a classic? Gibson's film of Christ's last days alarms Jewish groups

quote:
"When we read the screenplay our sense was this wasn't really something you could fix. All the way through, the Jews are portrayed as bloodthirsty," said Sister Mary C Boys, a professor at New York's Union Theological Seminary. "We're really concerned that this could be one of the great crises in Christian-Jewish relations."

quote:
But one problem, pointed out by Paula Fredriksen, a professor of scripture at Boston University and one of the panel that criticised the script, is that the gospels themselves are not consistent. "In Mark, Jesus's last meal is a Passover seder [ceremonial meal]; in John, Jesus is dead before the seder begins. The release of Barabbas is a 'Roman custom' in Mark, a 'Jewish custom' in John. Between the four evangelists, Jesus speaks three different last lines from the cross."

The Passion's detractors have asked to see the film so they can judge for themselves. "If the movie is a statement of love, as he says it is, why not show it to you or me?" Abraham Foxman, National director, of the Anti-Defamation League, told the New York Times. Gibson's company, Icon productions, has declined. "There is no way on God's green earth," said Paul Lauer, Gibson's publicist, "that any of those people will be invited to a screening. They have shown themselves to be dishonourable."

The escalating row has exposed the fragility of the coalition of Jews and rightwing Christians which has formed over the Bush administration's unwavering support for Israel. "There is a great deal of pressure on Israel right now," said Mr Haggard. "For Jewish leaders to risk alienating two billion Christians over a movie seems short-sighted."


quote:
· Born Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson in 1956 in Peekskill, New York. The sixth of 11 children, his middle names honour two saints. Aged 12, the family left for Australia to avoid the Vietnam draft

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Michelle
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posted 04 August 2003 09:28 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, you have to admit, the ADL guy has a point. What, Gibson figures if he shows it to Jews for Jesus along with his other hand-picked audiences, and they're okay with it, that he's going to be able to use those "Jews" as proof that it's not anti-Semitic? Geez.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 09 August 2003 08:51 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Stills from the film

And more stills

Funny, I always thought JC would look more like someone who was actually from the Middle East.


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Michelle
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posted 09 August 2003 09:50 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, really. He's starred as Wallace AND Jesus Christ. Maybe next he can try his hand at portraying Siddhartha Gautama. He looks just like him, too, I'm sure!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 09 August 2003 07:09 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe they didn't want a Jesus who looked too "swarthy"?
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Mycroft_
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posted 12 August 2003 02:28 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
ADL Concerned Mel Gibson's 'Passion' Will Fuel Anti-Semitism if Released in Present Form
New York, NY, August 11, 2003 … After having attended a private screening of Mel Gibson's new film, "The Passion," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced concerns that the film, if released in its present form, "will fuel hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism" by reinforcing the notion of collective Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus. An ADL representative was present at a private screening of "The Passion" at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
 
"The film unambiguously portrays Jewish authorities and the Jewish mob as the ones responsible for the decision to crucify Jesus," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We are deeply concerned that the film, if released in its present form, will fuel the hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism that many responsible churches have worked hard to repudiate."
 
The version of Gibson's film, as previewed by Rabbi Eugene Korn, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs, contained a number of troubling themes and images, all raising the specter of "deicide," or Jewish complicity in the death of Jesus.
 
"Sadly, the film contains many of the dangerous teachings that Christians and Jews have worked for so many years to counter," said Rabbi Korn.  "This is not a disagreement between the Jews and Mr. Gibson.  Many theologically informed Catholics and Protestants have expressed the same concerns regarding anti-Semitism, and that this film may undermine Christian-Jewish dialogue and could turn back the clock on decades of positive progress in interfaith relations."
 
"We hope that Mr. Gibson and Icon Productions will consider modifying 'The Passion,' so that the film will be one that is historically accurate, theologically sound and free of any anti-Semitic message," said Mr. Foxman.
         
ADL's concerns include:
 
* The film portrays Jewish authorities and the Jewish "mob" as forcing the decision to torture and execute Jesus, thus assuming responsibility for the crucifixion.
* The film relies on sinister medieval stereotypes, portraying Jews as blood-thirsty, sadistic and money-hungry enemies of God who lack compassion and humanity.
*  The film relies on historical errors, chief among them its depiction of the Jewish high priest controlling Pontius Pilate
*  The film uses an anti-Jewish account of a 19th century mystical anti-Semitic nun, distorts New Testament interpretation by selectively citing passages to weave a narrative that oversimplifies history, and is hostile to Jews and Judaism.
*  The film portrays Jews who adhere to their Jewish faith as enemies of God and the locus of evil.


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marcy
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posted 13 August 2003 11:47 PM      Profile for marcy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, folks. Did anyone else notice that (truly) mad mel cast a woman to play Satan? Hmmm, how deep is that?
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lagatta
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posted 13 August 2003 11:52 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Was she Jewish? And swarthy?
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 30 August 2003 02:32 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Passion of Garth Drabinsky
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Mycroft_
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posted 30 August 2003 06:04 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This week's Frank has a funny mock ad for Mel Gibson's production of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"
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marcy
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posted 30 August 2003 06:39 PM      Profile for marcy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lagatta, I couldn't tell if Satan was Jewish. Her last name seemed Italian. And I can't bear to search back through the Mel file to find out if she's swarthy. One thing for sure, though, no horns. Couldn't tell if there was a pointy tail and delicate hooves. D'ya think Mel got Satan confused with Lilith? Anyway, about that Garth movie. I can't believe the author of the article thinks Christopher Plummer is one of the world's greatest actors!!!! One of the most annoying, certainly, but greatest??? Yuck. And I guess Cedric Smith has been hard up for parts since the demise of the "Green Gables" empire.
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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 26 October 2003 12:41 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jesus hit by lightning

quote:
Actor Jim Caviezel has been struck by lightning while playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion Of Christ.
The lightning bolt hit Caviezel and the film's assistant director Jan Michelini while they were filming in a remote location a few hours from Rome.

It was the second time Michelini had been hit by lightning during the shoot.


i don't know about you ... but is He going to miss a 3rd time?


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 26 October 2003 08:50 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Get out! Hahahaha! That's hilarious!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
marcy
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posted 26 October 2003 09:09 PM      Profile for marcy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's gotta be Thor throwing those thunder bolts. By the way, Mel is releasing this gem at Easter. I thought it was to be right about now but I guess he wants the start to have religious significance.
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Gir Draxon
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posted 27 October 2003 12:35 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Babblers hate it and think its bigoted.

I guess this means its a must-see for me


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Michelle
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posted 27 October 2003 08:08 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I'll probably see it when it comes out. I also kept meaning to see The Last Temptation of Christ when it caused all that controversy, but I've never gotten around to it. I generally like to judge these things for myself.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kimura
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posted 27 October 2003 08:49 AM      Profile for Kimura     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lethal Mel continues to annoy me to no end.

"Michaelangelo of his generation?" sure, i suppose Lethal Weapon 4 is a work of profound artistry and stirring conscience. and that scene in The Patriot where he stabs a guy with an American flag pole? yeah, transcendant.

face it, a High Renaissance man he ain't. the guy made his name by making movies chock full of Hollywood violence. what irks me is that it's so often presented as RIGHTEOUS violence.

and no, i'm not just bitter because he killed Jet Li.


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Uri_Eidel
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posted 27 October 2003 10:31 AM      Profile for Uri_Eidel        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Personally, although I am not Christian, I am very interested in seeing this movie. I read in an earlier message that someone was wondering how many people would be interested in a movie like this. I would suggest many.

I think the idea is artistically brilliant. What is most surprising is that the idea came from Mel Gibson, who is not, as far as I am aware, most noted for his sensitivities to the arts!


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Scout
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posted 27 October 2003 01:33 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Michaelangelo of his generation?" sure, i suppose Lethal Weapon 4 is a work of profound artistry and stirring conscience. and that scene in The Patriot where he stabs a guy with an American flag pole? yeah, transcendant.

Brilliant.

I want to see this about as much as I wanted to see Gigli, which was over my dead body. More self-love with no talent. Mel Gibson - The Ego Has Landed, with out the tongue and cheekness of darling Robbie Williams.


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ronb
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posted 27 October 2003 01:59 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Around here, criticism of Mel's directorial abilities seems to be focussed on Braveheart's gross historical innaccuracies.
And his politics, of course. Both of which overlook the film itself, which was surprisingly well made. Thrilling battle sequences, some memorable sequences. By all accounts, Micheal Curtiz wasn't a particularly likable fellow, and the historical accuracy of Captain Blood and Casablanca were faulty to say the very least. However. Both are masterpieces. Was Braveheart a masterpiece? Probably not - the third act was a disaster, IMO - but I would hardly write Mel off as a no-talent hack. Yet. He's clearly deranged. That's not neccesarily an impediment to art.

As an actor, well, he was Mad Max wasn't he? That was a good movie. Other than that, he's a movie star, he's not an actor. He was pitiful as Hamlet - but not as pitiful as Keanu was as Don John.

I despise Clint Eastwood's politics, his acting abilities are - to be charitable - limited and his personal life appears to leave little to be desired. Nevertheless he is one of the very few truly interesting American directors.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 27 October 2003 04:48 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
He's clearly deranged. That's not neccesarily an impediment to art.

i keep having this argument with a friend from high school of mine. he's very much a "what colour is your parachute," "feel the fear and do it anyway", push out pompoms, sis boom bah, fellow, and he considers himself a poet, an artist and someone whose mission it is to capital-I, inspire people. and i keep telling him, artists are emotionally messed up, look at rimbaud!


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 27 October 2003 04:57 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
... of course there's nothing more cringe-inducingly insufferable than folks - usually self-conscious adolescents - who intentionally set out to suffer for their art. I say this with the greatest possible fondness.

I'm not sure that I buy the premise that insanity is a prerequisite to producing original art, but it sure seems to be a frequent co-factor, don't it?

Perhaps your freind is a Rod McKuen devotee?

[ 27 October 2003: Message edited by: ronb ]


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marcy
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posted 05 November 2003 12:10 AM      Profile for marcy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rod McKuen is an artist??? Seriously, about Mel. He actually did seem to have some talent about 20 years ago when he made his last watchable film, "The Year of Living Dangerously". Since then, I gotta say, as an actor, he's stunk up the screen. If you don't believe me, see "Mrs. Sopple" or is it Soppel? Yech. He can make movies all he likes, I just wish he'd stop taking himself seriously, and then others might follow his lead.
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Mycroft_
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posted 05 November 2003 02:31 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mel was quite convincing as an insane paranoid neurotic with bizarre beliefs in Conspiracy Theory. I have to admit I did like Braveheart though the homophobic bit was totally unneccessary.
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marcy
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posted 11 November 2003 03:23 AM      Profile for marcy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I really didn't like Braveheart. Got it mixed up with Rob Roy - definitely thought whoever played Mrs. Rob Roy helped to wreck that flick. I also hated Gladiator. My idea of a good spectacle flick would be 1900 - the 4 1/2 hour version. Now that's true class struggle. But back to Mel. I was shocked years ago to learn that he was politically reprehensible. Since being disappointed, I have made it my personal mission to trash him whenever possible.
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Kanada Dry
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posted 13 December 2003 08:05 PM      Profile for Kanada Dry     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Two minute preview of The Passion of the Christ

http://www.harvest.org/special/index.php/1/2/6.html


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pogge
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posted 28 January 2004 07:31 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jesus, Truth and Mel Gibson's The Passion

quote:
Mel Gibson’s new film The Passion has some concerned that the show based on a composite of Gospel stories will foster anti-Semitism. Gibson, a conservative Catholic, denies the charge. He has set-up special screenings of the film for clergy (mostly conservative evangelicals) who have only praised the film.

That’s because they had to.

It turns out everyone who has attended these special screenings has been forced to sign a Statement of Confidentiality that included a provision allowing clergy to speak to reporters about the film only if they would say good things about it.



From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 28 January 2004 11:57 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read a salon.com interview with a viewee who was fairly critical of the film. He felt the violence and agonies of Christ to be... well, overblown. And was critical of the choice to make it so.

I liked what he had to say in closing best:

quote:
What would be your advice for would-be moviegoers?

I'd say don't bother. I think it's a big bore.

I think a 5-year-old who has to get cancer surgery and radiation and chemotherapy suffers more than Jesus suffered; I think that a kid in the Gaza Strip who steps on a land mine and loses two limbs suffers more; I think a battered wife with no resources suffers more; I think people without medical care dying of AIDS in Africa suffer more than Jesus did that day. I mean, I don't want to take away from that, but this preoccupation with the intensity of the suffering, I think, has no theological or spiritual value.



From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mishei
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posted 29 January 2004 08:35 AM      Profile for Mishei     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And this interesting report in this week's Forward.

The Forward


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Sisyphus
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posted 29 January 2004 10:24 AM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've never understood how the "Jews killed Jesus" crowd can use this infantile slogan as a basis for anti-semitism. Rather, they should be on their knees thanking them for giving Christians a free pass into heaven and a permanent "get out of Hell free" card.

As for movies that more-or-less directly examine aspects of the "Messiah phenomenon", I liked Scorcese's version of the truly great Nikos Kazantzakis novel, The Last Temptation of Christ. Even Harvey Keitel's New York accented Judas was appealing, and the desert temptation scene was great. Willem Dafoe's Jesus was a real stereotype exploder and a courageous portrayal on the part of Scorcese.

"The Ruling Class" with Peter O'toole remains my favourite exploration of the Christ character and how modern society would likely receive a returned Jesus.

"A Man Facing Souhteast" combines the ideas of emotion, logic and morality to imagine an extraterrestrial as a Christ-like figure.

"Life of Brian"- The Masterpiece...

Since wild horses are virtually extinct, I won't be finding myself in front of any screen showing Mel's opus anytime soon.

[ 29 January 2004: Message edited by: Sisyphus ]


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 29 January 2004 05:18 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"A Man Facing Souhteast" combines the ideas of emotion, logic and morality to imagine an extraterrestrial as a Christ-like figure.

This is one of my favourite films of all time.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 29 January 2004 06:13 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As for movies that more-or-less directly examine aspects of the "Messiah phenomenon", I liked Scorcese's version of the truly great Nikos Kazantzakis novel, The Last Temptation of Christ.

I agree that the movie is good. And the book is brilliant. If you like Kazantzakis you'd probably enjoy Par Lagerkvist's Barabbas.

In the film I thought Harry Dean Stanton's haunted vacant look was perfect for John the Baptist.


From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 29 January 2004 07:01 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Life of Brian"- The Masterpiece...

Absolutely.

As for the "Jews killed Jesus thing", just because those responsible for his death were Jewish does not mean that the entire religion is at fault... just that specific group of clergymen ~1,970 years ago. After all, the disciples and Jesus himself were also Jews.

"The Jews" did not kill him, the Jewish religious establishment (enabaled by an apathetic governor) did.

Unless I missed something in the gospels...


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged

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