Movie News

Mr Beaks & PetSnakeReggie share their critical views on THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST!

Published at: Dec. 9, 2003, 2:31 a.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here... Once again we have two more reviews in on THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, one positive by Mr Beaks and one negative. Let's continue this exploration of this highly buzz-worthy film. Literally, everyone I know at BNAT has been debating back and forth all about this film. Fantastic!

THE PASSION OF CHRIST (d. Mel Gibson, w. Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald)

I am a Bush detestin’ (W, that is), Krugman readin’, church avoidin’ liberal, and I not only found Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF CHRIST the least controversial film of Butt-Numb-A-Thon (we’ll get to the non-stop Coon-ery of HAUNTED GOLD in another piece), I also really admired it.

Prior to Sunday, December 7th, 2003, I was a skeptic, having monitored with increasing alarm the filmmaker’s penchant for screening the film in optimal ideological settings (i.e. with pundits, politicians, and clergy already sympathetic to his point-of-view), while largely shutting out those who reside on the other end of the political spectrum (in Gibson’s defense, he did screen it for *one* of his more vociferous critics, a member of the ADL, and was rewarded with a big ol’ embargo break that smacked of headline grabbing by someone who’d made up their mind to hate the film long before they ever saw it). Though I am always careful to give films the benefit of the doubt (even when I detest the shooting script), I was beginning to worry that Gibson had concocted a divisive powder keg that was poised to turn Catholics and Jews into human Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots for the next several centuries, while sending Christians of every denomination on a proselytizing award tour with J.C. their man, goin’ each and everywhere with a Bible in their hand until the natives are shoed, the Muslims are converted Coulter-style, and the Ten Commandments are safely ensconced in every state house on both sides of the Mississippi.

Once again, pre-judging a movie based on its attendant media maelstrom has proved to be a fool’s pastime.

What I found remarkable, and more than a little surprising, about THE PASSION OF CHRIST from the outset is how pensive and reserved the film is. After a quote from the Book of Isaiah, the movie begins with Christ deliberating with an eerily sexless demon, and rejecting the devil’s temptation (represented visually by his squashing of a snake), all of which is juxtaposed with scenes of Judas betraying his master for thirty pieces of silver. In other words, Christ has chosen his destiny, setting up the rest of the film to play like the third act of an epic depicting the entire Gospel. Narratively, this is a bold choice; as a friend of mine perceptively remarked to me today, it’s like stretching out the end of BRAVEHEART to feature length. This shouldn’t work, and there are times when it all feels strangely unmoored, as if it belongs to a much longer epic that has yet to be filmed, but for the most part it’s clear that Gibson isn’t playing from the Hero’s Journey playbook. This is a tone poem that, for me, recalled Michael Mann’s criminally underrated ALI.

But whereas Mann was concerned with ruminating on Ali’s ascendance to god-like status, Gibson is after nothing less than the purest possible cinematic embodiment of sacrifice. His since-scrapped notion to release the film in Aramaic sans subtitles now makes perfect sense, and it would be quite something to see it in that form (hopefully, Gibson will give us that version on DVD at some point). Gibson’s religious convictions are so deeply felt, the film has an overriding emotional logic that almost transcends words. This is not to say that it would make a great silent film, but that hearing these dead tongues spoken gives it all a rich, dreamlike quality, and makes you feel as if you’re watching an eerily accurate dramatization of Christ’s final hours.

Continuing his habit of working with the best cinematographers in the world, Gibson has collaborated here with Caleb Deschanel, whose lush, painterly aesthetic is a perfect match for the film’s almost otherworldly feel. His imagery is perfectly complemented by, unfortunately, the temp-tracked music of Peter Gabriel’s PASSION, which, honestly, works better here at times than it did in the Jesus film for which it was written, Scorsese’s THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. Combined, they have the power to put the viewer in a trance-like state.

Understanding the need for at least some conflict to keep the audience interested, Gibson has taken the unusual step of making Pontius Pilate the film’s most tragically conflicted character (save for Peter, who exits the film too soon to be of much use). Egged on the bloodthirsty mob (identified as “Pharisees” in the subtitles rather than blatantly as “Jews”), Pilate is forced to balance his duty to justice with his political survival instincts; thus, making him a far more reluctant executioner than I think he’s ever been portrayed. Pilate’s wife is also a sympathetic figure, though her distraught gift of a white sheet to the Virgin Mary, which is, in turn, used to sop up Christ’s blood after his brutal whipping, is a new one on me. (An extremely cursory search of Google turned up nothing on the matter, while my good Christian mother isn’t around at the moment to help clear up the matter. Bible-literate talk backers, I leave this up to you.)

Humanizing Pilate at the expense of the Jewish mob – most notably, Caiaphas – might upset some, but Gibson has addressed this to a degree by expanding the role of Simon of Cyrene in bearing the burden of the cross. At first, Simon is careful to remind the crowd that he is only doing this because he has been ordered to by the Centurions, but as the humiliation of the grotesquely wounded Christ continues unabated, Simon lashes out at them, demanding that they leave the condemned man alone lest he refuse to shoulder his burden any farther.

Whether or not that’s enough to satisfy Gibson’s critics is a question I cannot answer (I will say that two of my Jewish friends didn’t seem terribly offended by this depiction.) The best I can offer is that, while Gibson may have been inspired by what some consider non-traditional versions of the Gospel, it doesn’t seem relevant to how it plays as a film. These are textual arguments that really don’t apply to a picture that strives to be about something more than words. And that something is most certainly not blame. What resonates most is not the mob’s single-minded insistence that Christ be put to death, but Jesus’ plea to his father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

Considering that I was among those suspicious of Gibson’s motives, I’d like to challenge his detractors to remain silent until they have an informed opinion, because, judging from their arguments, they’ve got this picture all wrong. THE PASSION OF CHRIST is not an angry film; it’s a solemn and compassionate one.

Faithfully submitted,

Mr. Beaks

And here's the negative review...

Hey Harry

Petsnakereggie here. I just returned to the frozen north from the awesome experience that was Butt-Numb-a-Thon 5 to give the world my thoughts on Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

First, the disclaimers. This was an unfinished film. The soundtrack was not in place yet and Mel Gibson told us he still has some effects and additional scenes to add. What we saw was not what will be in the theatres.

Second, just so we all know my religious angle, I was raised Catholic but fell from the true faith in my teen years and have never looked back. I would define myself as a hopeful agnostic. The story of Jesus is compelling and I'd love it to be true, but I simply do not believe that it is.

The name of the film is fitting not only because of the subject matter but because of the passion Mel Gibson clearly had for his subject. Every frame of this film flows over with his singular commitment to creating the most brutal and honest film about the death of Christ that he could make. This is a personal story and I could see that both during the viewing of the film and in Mel's comments after the film.

Having said that, and having read so many other reviews that gush over the (almost) finished project, the film was tedious and almost antiseptic in it's emotional impact. While I think the final score could improve the emotional content of this film, there were flaws I do not believe a completed score can wipe away.

The primary flaw to the film was the presupposition that the viewer had an emotional connection to Christ and his disciples before they entered the theatre. If we are to be affected by the torture he is about to endure, we need to feel something for the man. To me, this emotional connection needed to be earned.

It is tough to make such a statement in a country where the majority of the population is Christian and has an emotional connection to Christ already. Why should Gibson need to create that when the majority of his audience (even the members that are not Christian) already have a knowledge of who Christ was? Gibson wanted to tell the story of The Passion, not the story of Christ's life to that point.

Yet there was no portrait of the relationship between Judas and Jesus prior to the betrayal. For that matter, there was nothing about Christ's relationships with any of his disciples. All we ever saw was twisted faces watching Christ endure the torture and death. The emotion was lost because I was never allowed into it. I was always an observer.

The other major flaw to the film is the pacing. The sequence of Christ carrying the cross was nothing short of tedious. The intent was to show the extent of the brutality as realistically as possible. A less committed filmmaker would have spent five minutes on this sequence. I have no argument with drawing the sequence out. At some point, however, it became about how long the walk was and not about the suffering endured.

The scourging scene was a better example problem. When the whipping began, I was appalled by the brutality of it. Not just the fact such a thing was done to Jesus but the fact it was done to anyone. As it dragged on, there came a point where I was no longer able to react emotionally. I once again became an observer, unable to engage myself in the experiences of the characters on screen.

It was odd to me that the most sympathetic character in the film became Pontious Pilate. I saw the conflict within him. I saw the pain. I felt what he must have felt when he condemned a man he knew to be innocent because he felt he had no alternative.

I did think that the cinematography was amazing. As a simple experience in visual storytelling, I would recommend the film. The choice to shoot the film in Aramaic forced Gibson to tell more of his story through pictures than through words. The result is a stunning visual achievement.

I wish I could say that it packed an emotional punch to go with the visuals.

I'm going to give the finished product another shot. I would love to have the experience that so many other BNATers had on watching this film. After listening to Mel talk about the project with such affection, I wanted to love it the way he did. I didn't.

I love the story of the Passion. It is one of the great stories in history and it is filled with sympathetic people and shocking brutality. The film never shied away from the brutality of the passion of Christ but I don't feel it ever achieved the sympathy.

Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 9, 2003, 2:33 a.m. CST

    ohmygod

    by jonahmavesin

    first

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 2:40 a.m. CST

    ok, I'll say something if no one else will.

    by jonahmavesin

    I'm psyched about Mel's film, but I'm pretty bummed that it has upstaged ROTK like this on this site. I was really looking forward to the ROTK shockwaves emanating from BNAT. Even if Passion is the more important movie, I would rather have two major experiences of the emergence of film masterpieces, rather than one right on top of the other, muting it. Too bad. Great coup, Harry, but unfortunate programming. I can't imagine PJ would be too happy either, no? Ah well. POTC, ROTK, what's the difference anyway. I'll just go read Time's rave again.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 2:47 a.m. CST

    You shouldn't be concerned.

    by Nordling

    Know that EVERYONE loved ROTK. But this is a lynchpin controversy film, so everyone was going to talk about it at some point. I'm sure you'll be getting some ROTK reviews really soon.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 3:07 a.m. CST

    fair enough....

    by jonahmavesin

    It's just a lot different from this end, where we've been waiting for ROTK for years and haven't really engaged with POTC yet... All the BNAT participants' engagement with POTC after seeing it is obvious and immediate, and that's great. But as a reader/non-participant, it's just tough to shift gears from full-blown slavering anticipation for an already-familiar project to putting that on hold in favor of generating the first super-early-stage interest in a project that I had only read about from a political (as opposed to artistic) standpoint until last night.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Propaganda by Gibson

    by Bcphil

    This movie by Gibson is an obvious attempt to push Orthodox Catholic views on the public disguised as an art film. At least Sorcese took an honest look at the life of Christ, this is purely pro Vatican, and pro Catholic. I also would guess Gibson chose the man he did to play Jesus because he looks so American, it's an easier sell than say Levar Burton, which would have been a much more interesting choice.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Can some tell me what PWNED means?

    by Jon E Cin

    Is it owned with a P for extra Phff? This movie is going to be great.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Actor Joe Pesci to be digitally inserted into The Passion

    by Ernie_is_evil

    Lack of comic relief in the film by test audiences has prompted annoying 'funnyman' Joe Pesci to be cast as a last minute addition to Mel Gibson's controversial new film The Passion.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:04 a.m. CST

    the meaning of pwn...

    by seriatim

    I know this is off-topic but just to clarify for those that don't know, go to the link below to find out what pwned means: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pwn

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Could this be the best religious-themed movie since A MAN FOR AL

    by Cash Bailey

    Sounds like it.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:13 a.m. CST

    I know it's off topic but...

    by KID AB

    does anyone know what lol means? It's driving me nuts, by the way has anyone heard about the Drudup scandal. That guy deserves a lynching. Also the vice for this film makes me want to see it more than anything next year. When's it out?

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Gibson anti-semite

    by Znosaro

    If you followed the story, you'd find that Mel Gibson himself started the controversy. Before any Jewish or otherwise figures criticized the film, Mel Gibson stated that THEY HAD ALREADY DONE SO. When Mel said it wasn't anti-semitic before anyone had made the accusation, it made a lot of people (rightfully) suspicious. He lit and fanned the flames, and then tried to act like he was being burned at the stake. The film may not be anti-semitic, and if so, good. But it was a big publicity grabbing stunt perpetrated by Gibson himself. And it worked. So, you know, there's a moral in there somewhere, but I can't find it. Anyway, stop acting like Gibson is suffering his own Passion at the hands of Jewish opressors - he started the whole thing himself. (See the expose pieces in the NY Times if you doubt me.)

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:41 a.m. CST

    The belief that most of the population are christian are about a

    by TheGinger Twit

    Truth is, there are quite a lot of religions out there. Christianity is like America... it believes itself to be the best and that everyone else are al la bunch of twats - and feels no shame in saying such. But the truth is, christianity is a minority! Fact!

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Jesus Christ it'd be good if this site could post something othe

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 6:01 a.m. CST

    um, why is jesus another white man?

    by obesius

    I think for some solid time now, it's been established that Jesus Christ, based on his geographic location, who his "parents" were, is a dark skinned, kinky haired man, actually shorter than usual and looks more middle eastern. I wish at some point, some money would be spend on some nice "stay-somewhat-true" to what the story was. Because at some point, when the Virgin went through the Immaculate Conception, surely God didn't intend to make every dark person feel like a dumbass when he also makes a blue eyed, light skinned man come out of a dark woman?

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 6:37 a.m. CST

    does it offend Christians?

    by smallmonkey

    It seems like the opinion in this talk balk is that all Christians are going to love this film. As a Christian I have serious reservations about this film, I'm worried that it will portray Jesus as merely an example of a good guy that died and suffered. The truth is however, he is a saviour, he had to die on that cross, and he did so because God loved us so much.. better still he is alive today, and I can have a relationship with him. I just feel if this film won't get this point across is is missing the whole idea of Christianity.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Religion by the numbers

    by Bcphil

    Basic information on various religions: Christianity 2,015 million 33% (dropping) Islam 1,215 million 20% (growing) Hinduism 786 million 13% (stable) Buddhism 362 million 6% stable) Atheists 211 million 4% Chinese folk rel.188 million 4% Judaism 18 million 1% Sikhism 16 million 1% Confucianism 5 million <1% Wicca 500,000? <1% Various others including Chinnese rural 17% Source=http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:02 a.m. CST

    a few points

    by zacdilone

    I find all of you idiots who are complaining that this film is getting too much attention on AICN quite amusing. It was obviously a powerful film, shared by all the geeks in attendance at BNAT. It's only logical that people would want to write on it. There have been plenty of coverage/reviews of ROTK and I don't see anyone complaining. You're just noticing it more because the reviews of Gibson's film are appearing back-to-back. It's called timing, people. It's apparent that many of you are reacting to this film out of your religious intolerance more than anything else. And by the way, the Immaculate Conception does NOT refer to the conception of Jesus, but to Mary's conception (the idea that she was completely untainted by sin because no sinful being could bear the son of God, so her conception had to be immaculate). It's a common misconception, just worth noting FYI. I'm not Catholic, just a fan of good cinema, which it appears this is and then some.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Christ dies at the end of the movie

    by CuervoJones

    heavy spoiler

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Braveheart wasn't exactly historically factual - but it was a go

    by TheGinger Twit

    As I sure this will be. But... Jesus, if he was real - would have been black.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:15 a.m. CST

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/origins.htm

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Jesus Was Neither Black Nor White

    by jweathers

    As a Jew in Palestine during the Roman Empire, Jesus would have looked Middle-Eastern and similar to modern Arabs living in the Middle-East. So yes, he was not white and was darker in skin color than most of the people who portray him, but he wasn't black either.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:52 a.m. CST

    so where there any subtitles?

    by cornolio55

    SO???? where there?

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:53 a.m. CST

    This sounds like Christian porn....

    by gurglesnap

    RE: The excitement of BNAT- Let me tell you this: When you've been up for 24-plus hours, and you're surrounded by a bunch of other nerds, the atmosphere is electric and your critical faculties CRASH AND BURN. To be honest, I don't really believe that this movie is as great as most of the BNAT reviews have implied. CASE IN POINT: Vanilla Sky premiered at BNAT 3, and let me tell you, we all thought it was awesome. Why? Partially because we had been sitting in a theater with that electric atmosphere I just mentioned, partially because we were a bit tired by then (it wasn't at the end, but it was at least a few films into the programming), and partially because after seeing a monster flick from the 50's and King Kong from the 30's, the sight of a brand new, in-living-color, not-yet-released film was a stunning change of pace for the senses. Oh, and I'm sure having superstar Mel Gibson in such an intimate setting as the Alamo watching with you enhances the experience as well. So, while I believe that people enjoyed the film every bit as much as they've claimed, I doubt that it's the celluloid second coming it's being hailed as....

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Return of the Passion

    by johanna_kurt

    hehe.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Christians Are a Minority

    by jweathers

    The interesting thing about polls that indicate that most Americans are Christians is that they are polls of people who _report_ themselves as Christians. I can call myself a Dolphin, but that doesn't make me one. Likewise a person can call themselves a Christian and that doesn't make them one. They can even believe their claim and that doesn't make it so. More in depth studies reveal a rather striking discrepancy between these "Christians" and their knowledge/practice of Christianity. In fact, most Americans are follower of the gods of self, money, and sex. Many of these professing Christians are really agnostics or atheists (for all practical purposes) who have just never bothered to question the identity that their culture has bestowed upon them.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 9:03 a.m. CST

    First!

    by wanton_wallie

    hehe

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 9:03 a.m. CST

    And i can't wait to see the movie!!!

    by wanton_wallie

    my most anticipated film of the history of history.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 9:05 a.m. CST

    The Wiping up of the Blood after the Scourging

    by MovieBoz

    I appears to me from the various reviews that I have read about this film so far, alot of material was used not only from the Gospels but also from the Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The mopping up of Christ's blood after the scourging comes from that book as well as the expanded role of Simon of Cyrene. The Dolorous Passion was a series of visions by Saint Catherine Anne Emmerich who suffered many years with the Stigmata, and those visions were recorded by her friend and doctor.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Beaks is a crack addict

    by genro

    I like Clarence, but that second paragraph is the biggest load of naive shit I have read in sometime. My god...to believe *any* movie can hold sway over people like you claim is the perfect example of leftist arrogance, and this is coming from a Nader-supporter and voter...the most any film can do is distort the truth in an Oliver Stone fashion, and even those who believe that nonsense are tempered by those who actually educate thmeselves on whatever the subject may be...put the movies away and travel outside the film world for awhile. You'll see people are not sheep just because the *majority* doesn't agree with your political and societal outlook...but what should I expect? Anyone who reads Mr. Enron, Paul Krugman, is already suffering from delusions.

  • One question. Those of you who hate Christians so much and think *they* think they're the only religion in town and lump them all together in one big politically incorrect stereotype: how many of you have Christian parents or grandparents? Because there are so many of you, I figure some of you must either come from that majority or have ties to it. I mean come on, for a religion that dominates so much, it has quite a few detractors. What, it's okay to bash that group because there's so darn many of them? Anti-Semitism would be okay if there were more Jews in the world then? Or is it okay to use labels and lump people together so long as we're talking about Christianity? Of course there are ass hole Christians like Jerry Falwell. There are ass hole Muslims like Osama Bin Laden as well. The only difference is one of them has followers desperate enough to commit suicide at his command. They're both hypocrites. They're both full of shit hate speakers. Experience has taught me that every religion (Agnosticism and Atheism included) has evil people in it, claiming to be morally superior, but in fact are just out for selfish fucks (well, maybe not Buddhism). ***************** I look forward to seeing this movie when it comes out. Not sure I'll buy into it, but I'm looking forward to finding out what it's like.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 10:14 a.m. CST

    IYI

    by Octaveaeon

    For those interested in a different angle. I'm not judging at this point for two reasons. 1)I haven't seen the movie yet. 2) I know nothing of Gibson apart from his work on-screen. Either way, i'm watching the sucker... http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0345/winter.php

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 10:19 a.m. CST

    again... (people... put some order in this website!)

    by Octaveaeon

    For those interested in a different angle. I'm not judging at this point for two reasons. 1)I haven't seen the movie yet. 2) I know nothing of Gibson apart from his work on-screen. Either way, i'm watching the sucker... http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0345/winter.php

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Greek language left out!!!!

    by leonidas300

    Apparently from all reports, i have read about people seeing the movie (on this site) and also from the description by Mel Gibson himself, the Greek language is not used any where in the movie. For a person who wanted to make the Passion of the Christ somewhat authentic this is a glaring error, for as is known during that time period, Greek was the main language as english would be considered today. I am not saying that Jesus spoke only Greek, but he would have spoken to the romans in Greek and very possibly to others in that region (Jews would have spoken it too). The Roman empire had taken up Greek culture and ideas and the whole known world at that time would be totally influenced by it. So to have a whole "authentic" movie about Christ's last 12 hours without Greek language being used at all is totally ridiculous. I am suprised no one else brought this up to attention.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Captain First you show your ignorance

    by Sheik Yerbouti

    For the obvious reasons, but then for your belief that Scorcese portrayed an "honest" version of Christ. What constituted that portrayal as honest, the aspect that it wasn't Biblical, it was based on a novel. I am not saying that Gibson's version is any less biased in this respect, but people we need to be clear, just because you don't agree with Christian politics or ideals does not mean you can throw out the historical Biblical account unless you have proof otherwise when speaking about the life of Christ. It seems on this site that the true story of Christ, is whatever depicts Christ in a different version than the Bible, regardless of how they reached that conclusion. I am not saying you must take the Bible at face value, but you have provide some sort of credible evidence to refute it, or bring up a contrary position. Otherwise you just blather on regarding your "opinion" which is exactly what you are blaming the gospel writers with doing. What else is new.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 2:47 p.m. CST

    fictional character

    by septimus_p

    How many of you bible-thumping morons even know that jesus appears nowhere in the historical record of his time? Spartacus, (a rebel slave who was crucified) lived decades before the believed date of jesus' birth, and appears in Roman records of the time. Jesus does not. No mention of him in any historical record of the time! Odd, isn't it? How many of you know that early christians didn't even decide that jesus must have been divine until 400 years after his "death"? Wake up to the fact that as with any religion, christianity is based on superstition and ignorance. Christians are no different in their midguided superstition than a bunch on sun-worshipping Aztecs, except followers of Christ are responsible for a lot more bloodshed throughout history. Fact. Deal with it.

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Oscar

    by BoogiePOP

    Best everything of 2003-LotR:RotK Best everything of 2004-The Passion of the Christ

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 5:02 p.m. CST

    CaptainFirst???

    by Damer1

    "Sorcese took an honest look at the life of Christ" ??? you are kidding right... no historical accounts match his "interpretation."

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 7:16 p.m. CST

    The Vatican on this film: "Stunning cinematography and consisten

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...into the theological meaning of the passion and death of Christ -- all contribute to a production of exquisite artistic and religious sensitivity." Is the ADL going to go head to head with the Vatican on this one? MAN IN SUIT!!! MAIN IN SUIT!!!

  • Dec. 9, 2003, 7:22 p.m. CST

    J_D

    by Charles Martel

    Thank you, good sir, for some sense. I find it interesting that people still engage in such baseless drivel. Yes, many individuals associated with Christianity did some very awful things. Just like, as J_D stated, the Muslim crusades across North Africa and into Spain and those that suffered under their rule. (Read "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters). I also find it interesting that in the last, less than 100 years, the greatest cause of death in the world has been Communism/Socialism. The government that held man as god and the the state as the church, which was designed as the ultimate rejection of religion and the final realization of scientific supremecy in government and society, has killed at least 100 million in less than 100 years. Even the fascists were simply bastard children of socialism. But not even Hitler, in his wettest dream, could have approached the murderous brutality of the Soviet leaders and what has been going on in China for so long. I just get sick of knee-jerk "Christianity killed so many people" shyte. Like idiot racists who insist the Jews killed Christ, when it was the Romans who crucified Christ the Jew. Which, according to Christianity, had to be done. Too much ignorance, historically speaking.

  • Dec. 10, 2003, 2:09 a.m. CST

    "Always look on the bright side of life..."

    by truthseekr1488

    And will the extended-edition DVD contain the controversial "alternate ending" in which Christ is rescued at the last minute by a band of disciples in hang gliders?

  • Dec. 10, 2003, 2:22 a.m. CST

    On a serious note: Christ's suffering versus so many others'?

    by truthseekr1488

    Orthodox believers take it for granted that the suffering of JC was beyond human endurance but it seems to me that millions of humans have suffered far worse than he did, and this knowledge tends to lessen the visceral impact of the Passion (whatever mythic/archetypal/tragic signficance it might have regardless.) Even during JC's own time, _thousands_ of people were cruficied by the Romans, and many times it took days to die on a cross (Christ, lucky for him, only suffered a few hours, if the orthodox gospel accounts are accurate.) Since then millions have died from the most hideous tortures imaginable (isn't burning alive worse than crucifixion? I think so), not to mention in many cases watching their own family or children killed first. Christ fortunately was spared such torture. From a cinematic perspective I guess we could lament the desensitization we've all undergone thanks to being subject to the goriest flicks imaginable in recent years, all of which goes to lessen the impact of a story like the Passion. Maybe these considerations don't apply to the average Christian viewer, I don't know. I just wonder if the Jesus story can be told anymore "straight," without context or some twist (as in "The Last Temptation") to make it fresh. I can't help but wonder what Tarantino could do with this material. ;)

  • Dec. 10, 2003, 3:32 p.m. CST

    charles martel

    by elviskilledjfk

    to say that fascism came from socialism is a hugely miseducated statement. there is no way that socialism (as a theory) promotes any form of fascism, socialism in practice however lead to the rise of despotic dictators, and the simple fact that despotic dictators came to power defeats the actual point of socialism. Socialism in action has really only truly worked in small communities, but basing your knowledge of socialism upon supposedly Socialist/Communist nations definitely leads to misunderstanding. And just so you know, the fascists hated the socialists and vice versa, why? because their ideologies were essentially the opposites of one another.

  • Dec. 10, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Only a single sentence from Roman historian Tacitus of a 'Cristo

    by Red Giant

    And no other mention anywhere,as Septimus said. Typical mythology. As Elrond says,'Men are weak'.

  • Dec. 10, 2003, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Thank God I'm An Atheist

    by Lord Sorry

    What I love most about this film Is no dork can give away the ending...I love reading a talk back of a movie i am yet to see, and not be scared at all by it...ahh, what is also cool is the fact that i have become oh so fuck-all-religions over the years it's ridiculous, yet I can't wait to see this, 'cause it's a wonderful story, among the best, wheter or not one believes in it, plus, Mel Gibson is damn cool, sure, not all his films should be kept with the jewels of the crown, but most do the work they're meant to do, entertain me, and sometimes, fuckin rock my world (IE Payback). Im yet to see million dollar hotel though...that's one that always scares me at the video club, just like Death To Smoochy...damn I'm frightened by the suckin possibility of that film, one day i'll dare though, if only 'cause Norton kicks ass. Hell, I dared with Resident Evil and it sure as hell paid off. This is my first post ever under this pseudonim (that's a terribly hard word) and I don't care. Signing off...

  • Dec. 10, 2003, 8:55 p.m. CST

    The Passion

    by cedemo

    Mel used a lot of material from the mystic Catherin Emmerich. The cloth which you mentioned is detailed in the following web site: http://users.d-n-a.net/dnetjejg/JMD/turin_comment.html