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February 26, 2004 6:08 PM   Subscribe

It's not quite fresh, according to mainstream reviewers polled by Rotten Tomatoes. But Christian Bloggers feel very differently. As one reports, I went into the movie expecting to be moved, but never to the extent that I actually was. But both sides seems to agree the R rating should be taken very seriously.
posted by alms (79 comments total)

 
I found this little foray into Christian Blogdom fascinating. There's no question that devoted christians are deeply effected by this movie. But I do wonder how it will effect them. Will it lead them towards more generous lives? Or will it make them more insular and potentially prejudiced in the security of their faith?
posted by alms at 6:10 PM on February 26, 2004


andrew sullivan's review! presented purely for your edification :D
posted by kliuless at 6:32 PM on February 26, 2004


Blogs4God? Wow. We really are in the 21st century . . . sort of.

I'm supposed to go see this movie tomorrow, and am trying really hard not to make up my mind beforehand. Personally, I think that this review from Plugged In is the most interesting Christian review of the movie. What's frustrating, to me anyway, is the insistence of Christian reviewers that those of us who are "unsaved" will be amazed when we see 'how it really was' for Jesus. Of course, it takes a certain type of person to think that way--as an "unsaved" viewer I doubt that I'll be blown away by the 'reality' of the movie.
posted by josh at 6:37 PM on February 26, 2004


Didn't we do this already, for like umpty-hundred posts? What more could possibly need to be said, that couldn't be handled in that thread?
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:37 PM on February 26, 2004


Or will it make them more insular and potentially prejudiced in the security of their faith?
Their faith has never in the history of this country been more secure than it is right now. People like to talk of attacks against Christianity but it's a crock...the entire government is being bent to their will, from the Education Dept. to the Justice Dept. to the White House. /end rant

Why do so many of the bloggers say they "witnessed" the movie? what does that mean?
posted by amberglow at 6:42 PM on February 26, 2004


/me sniggers in superior glee as the hordes line up with their money to bend over and receive The Penis of The Gibson. life is good!
posted by quonsar at 6:43 PM on February 26, 2004


"witnessed" the movie? what does that mean?

pentacostal code. if you do something ordinary thing, like view a movie, but you do it "in his name", it becomes neccessary to aggrandize the act in some manner to instill it with holiness. thus, one does not "see" the movie, one "witnesses" the movie. when badgering uninterested parties on the street, one is not "being a giant pain in the ass", one is "witnessing to the unsaved".

if you go to a service you'll see them all waving their hands about, open-palmed, to receive the grace flowing from the guy in the sky. hell, you can almost see the beams of white light streaming down from heaven, striking thier palms and filling thier souls with gracxe of such intensity they frequewntly fall to the ground and begin spewing gibberish. and of course, in accordance with the previously explained principle, this is called "speaking in tongues".

ag lada fronu lectus minerva sprog! god is good!
posted by quonsar at 6:50 PM on February 26, 2004


that's just creepy--both the "witnessing" of a piece of popular entertainment, and the gibberish. (i'm guessing they didn't "witness" janet jackson's boob or the superbowl, but just watched it?)
posted by amberglow at 6:53 PM on February 26, 2004


interestingly enough, Franco Zeffirelli (who, among other movies, shot a very good Jesus film in the Seventies) wrote yesterday in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper (the link is in Italian, free and requires no registration -- but will die in 24 hours), talks about "my friend Mel" (Zeffirelli directed Gibson in 1990's "Hamlet"). and mentions a somewhat disturbing anecdote where Gibson/Hamlet tells Ian Holm/Polonius how exactly Polonius' eyes are supposed to move when the character is about to die. and Gibson quietly tells Holm and his director that he's an expert about such things because he owns a big farm and he's often present when cattle are slaughtered. and sometimes, "to relax", Zeffirelli says Gibson told him, "I sometimes slaughter the animals myself".
posted by matteo at 6:55 PM on February 26, 2004


"Witness" also refers to "the spreading of the Gospel". Growing up in a evangelical church, I was encouraged to "witness to my friends", meaning "to tell them the story of Jesus".
posted by 4easypayments at 7:03 PM on February 26, 2004


oh, the language is rich, amber - what do "witnesses" do? why, they "testify"! one witnesses for the lord that one might testify for the lord. my brother, being severely afflicted by this malodorous disorder, often speaks this way, salting every sentence with subtle propoganda, with words and phrases that have special meaning to him and his ilk, sometimes raising his palm in mid-conversation to catch the odd bolt of holy spirit that comes soaring out of heaven like a mortar shell. i could go on, but i'm beginning to feel nauseous now.
posted by quonsar at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2004


stop in to any Assembly of God on a sunday morn, and see for yourself. you'll discover a whole new aspect to, and healthy fear of, the term "mass hysteria".
posted by quonsar at 7:09 PM on February 26, 2004


quonsar -- it seems like these days the only place one has to go to get this uneasy feeling is the Department of Justice .
posted by clevershark at 7:19 PM on February 26, 2004


Growing up in a evangelical church, I was encouraged to "witness to my friends", meaning "to tell them the story of Jesus".
But doesn't that mean that it was Gibson that was witnessing, and not the viewers of the movie?
posted by amberglow at 7:20 PM on February 26, 2004


Do we really need yet another post on gay marriage? Oh, sorry, wrong thread. My bad.
posted by languagehat at 7:21 PM on February 26, 2004


also, don't lots of christians believe that catholics are going to hell? Why such suppport for this retro-catholic movie?
posted by amberglow at 7:21 PM on February 26, 2004


i was witnessing that extra "p" there ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:22 PM on February 26, 2004


as far as i can see, most christians beleive most other christians will fry in hell. luther had no idea the trend he was starting.
posted by quonsar at 7:28 PM on February 26, 2004


actually, thats unfair. most protestants publicly claim fellowship with most other protestant churches and with only minor dogmatic differences between them, most figure god will gently correct the others in his own good time.
posted by quonsar at 7:31 PM on February 26, 2004


i just got back from seeing the film - which i saw for free otherwise i would not have gone - and since i'm not a writer i regret that i can't articulate my thoughts in such a way as to be of some benefit to metafilter readers. my thoughts are pretty scrambled anyway since there's so many issues you could touch upon. i'll just say for now that i feel anyone who walks out of it and says that it's not anti semetic is either a liar or a fool. in another thread i mentioned that i found the trailers on the juvenile side... well i found the whole film to be something that was made by someone with an arrested developement. heavy handed and without insight. all the reviews i've read were pretty accurate. it was an orgy of brutality without enough context to give it meaning, the acting was decent overall, the cinematography was not what it should have been considering the man hired and i often felt like i was watching a bad horror film... some of it verged on being "campy", overdrawn, ridiculous. and i left the film feeling that mel gibson hasn't got one bit of respect or affection for his main character. i felt like i'd just watched the son of god take it up the ass for the sole benefit of mel gibson's ego, agenda, and ultimately his bank account.
posted by t r a c y at 7:41 PM on February 26, 2004


i was thinking of the Bob Jones stuff, whatever branch they are.
posted by amberglow at 7:41 PM on February 26, 2004


and t r a c y, thanks for that review...you may be the first mefite to actually see it.
posted by amberglow at 7:42 PM on February 26, 2004


Quonsar, while I share your distaste for Christianeze (altho I confess I speak it fluently) please understand it is simply the same as "shop talk." Sometimes we forget y'all don't know what the snot we are talking about.

Actually that is one of the reasons I hang out here-I like to be able to remember what things look like from secular viewpoints.
posted by konolia at 7:46 PM on February 26, 2004


Tracy, what was the general mood in the theater?
posted by konolia at 7:48 PM on February 26, 2004


konolia, would you say you "witnessed" the movie?
and tracy, tell us more.
posted by amberglow at 7:54 PM on February 26, 2004


eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?

oy vey! not again :D
posted by kliuless at 7:56 PM on February 26, 2004


konolia, would you say you "witnessed" the movie?

No, that just seems like awkward English. I know that in Christianeze "witnessing" is a term for telling someone how to become born again. I suppose the term originates from the fact that the original evangelists were people who were witnesses of the Resurrection (in the sense that they saw Jesus after He rose from the dead and before he ascended back into heaven.)

Maybe it was meant in the same way as one witnessing a drive-by shooting. I dunno.
posted by konolia at 8:03 PM on February 26, 2004


ahh...were there a lot of them that saw that? (or was it like all the people who say they were at Woodstock?) : >
posted by amberglow at 8:05 PM on February 26, 2004


As one reports, I went into the movie expecting to be moved, but never to the extent that I actually was.

As Christians equate pain and torment as a religious experience (anyone read The Hellbound Heart?) then this, truly, is a reawaking of the Divine.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:18 PM on February 26, 2004


hey, look at the retard! let's all poke him!
posted by poopy at 8:26 PM on February 26, 2004


You know, I don't temember anyone mentioning Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According To St. Matthew. These Realvideos of The Sermon On The Mount and The Crucifixion should give a taste. And the soundtrack, and remember this film came out in 1966, was ground breaking--it included Missa Luba and Blind Willie Johnson's Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground) or --one of the most sublime pieces of music recorded in the 20th Century. It's out on VHS and DVD--it's worth a viewing.

It's available on VHS and DVD--it's worth a viewing.
but do rent a subtitled version if you can.
posted by y2karl at 8:36 PM on February 26, 2004


Tracy, what was the general mood in the theater?

at the outset the mood was ordinary, not charged in any way, people booed the ads and previews, which they always do, and chit chatted 'til the movie started.

the theatre was not sold out (large urban area, new movie, not sold out, that says something i guess) so there were enough empty seats allowing many people to move further back from the screen during the hour long porno of violence, i'd say aprox 40 people walked out on it, and in the lobby afterwards a lot of people had disgusted looks on their faces and the people that zoran and i talked to or eavesdropped on were not impressed. but i live in central canada and religion is much more a private thing here, and christians and other groups... it's just not quite the same here as it is in the usa. i feel safe saying people weren't there as christians, or members of any other religious group, they were there as movie goers first and foremost.

btw, we went with and older catholic couple who thought it was disgraceful. they wondered why more of the story wasn't presented, and where the message of love and forgiveness was.
posted by t r a c y at 8:37 PM on February 26, 2004


i felt like i'd just watched the son of god take it up the ass

maybe i *should* see this movie.
posted by quonsar at 9:02 PM on February 26, 2004


I wish I could see this movie for free so that I could comment on it appropriately.....I just don't like the thought of giving Mel Gibson any money. This feeling of mine - distaste - towards the actor has been building for a number of years, since even before I learned of his extremist catholic leanings and his 12 children (he rejects all forms of birth control, I believe).

Anyway, I scooped this quote from Andrew Sullivan's website. It is a letter written to Sullivan by someone who claims to have watched the film and had a severe reaction - "This canary has no intention of dying from the poisonous gas of hatred. I'm 58. I have voted for every Republican nominee since Nixon and without regrets. Until now. I wish I could take back my 2000 vote. But, in any case, I will work to get out the vote for Kerry or Edwards. I will not vote for a President who secures the basest elements of his base by dividing Americans......And you know what: he is going to lose. That gay marriage announcement was the desperate act of a desperate man."

Actually, I'm thinking that I will see Gibson's film - if only to give it the critique it fully deserves.
posted by troutfishing at 9:02 PM on February 26, 2004


I'm just thrilled that so many people can get so excited watching a good, old-fashioned public crucifiction. It's nice to know that some things never change.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:41 PM on February 26, 2004


This feeling of mine - distaste - towards the actor has been building for a number of years

Me too, except it's become stronger than "distaste." I was well into "nausea," even before this. And now Russell Crowe.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:41 PM on February 26, 2004


Don't waste your time and money, troutfishing. Why not just see "The Dreamers" instead? Eva Green naked, Jimi Hendrix on the soundtrack, and Bernardo Bertolucci paying tribute to movies, politics, and youth: that's worthwhile. This Jesus nonsense isn't.
posted by muckster at 10:23 PM on February 26, 2004


Can I get a witness?
posted by madamjujujive at 10:43 PM on February 26, 2004


God: "Damn! Now that was a crucifixion!"
Jesus: "Well, it seemed a little overblown to me."
God: "What?! It was awesome! It makes the real thing look positively lackluster."
Jesus: "Well, I wouldn't say lackluster..."
God: "No, definitely lackluster. Jeez my boy, I'm afraid you'll have to go back and do it again."
Jesus: "What?!"
God: "Yes - we need to do it again. Mel has once again redefined the pain-levels appropriate to the Atonement. Sorry, m'boy, but you know the drill - we'll have to do it again. I'll just ratchet back the old Wheel Of Time and we'll get you on your way."
Jesus: "But..."
God: "You know, I think this time we'll make your death exponentially more gruesome than Mel's latest hyperbole. We've got to "out Mel Mel" so to speak. Eventually, your actual death throes may exceed Mel's ability to imagine them! Well anyway, we can hope, can't we son? Now, where did I leave that Wheel?"
posted by Opus Dark at 10:48 PM on February 26, 2004


Metafilter : i felt like i'd just watched the son of god take it up the ass
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:57 PM on February 26, 2004




I've heard that in the states they're showing the film with no ads or previews, is that happening in every theatre or just select locations? Tracy saw it and they showed them, and in another (canadian) city where my parents saw it they also showed ads beforehand. If ads are so important that they always force us to watch them, how can Mel afford to have them not run in some theatres? Or would this be a choice solely made by the theatre owners and their own financial problem to deal with?
posted by zarah at 11:15 PM on February 26, 2004


I've seen the movie. I think it's so violent, it loses the larger spiritual picture at hand : Jesus's physical suffering was nothing compared to the spiritual separation from God in those last few minutes. I don't know how the film could have done that. And the whole theme of Jesus cleansing the sins of the world with his blood was very apparent. All in all, the film made sense to me as a Christian, and hit me like a punch in the gut.

I can understand people not liking it. And I don't know if it's really an effective "evangelism" (another christianese word, sorry) tool to those who aren't in the Club. But I guess I'm a little sickened that some of you find it necessary to ridicule God in this thread. Don't like the movie? Fine. But what's up with the "take it up the ass" comments, and such?

As for the catholicism stuff, Amberglow, while the movie has some catholic themes it doesn't make any theological shifts that run counter to run of the mill Protestant believes. The raven plucking the eye out? Yeah that's weird. And I don't think the biggest hardship for Jesus was carrying the cross (a subtle emphasis of works-over-faith). But it still carried a message I think Christians would agree on as a whole.

To sum it up: saw the film, won't see it again, yup it's accurate, yup it's disturbing, sorry some of you hate the idea, please don't bash God or people's beliefs just because you've encounted obnoxious bible thumpers who won't shut up or leave you alone like they probably should.
posted by Happydaz at 12:28 AM on February 27, 2004


i'll just say for now that i feel anyone who walks out of it and says that it's not anti semetic[sic] is either a liar or a fool.

Well, I've seen the movie; saw it yesterday. And I would say that you are possibly both a liar and a fool for saying it is Anti-Semitic.

Just as some Jewish leaders called for Jesus' death, there were two or three members of the the Jewish high council who attempted to stop Jesus' arrest and protested the event, saying that it was wrong.

When I left the theater I had many thoughts and feeling that were caused by the movie, but blaming Jews for the execution of Christ was not one of them.

I find it interesting that now that the movie has been released, the critique of the movie has moved from being Anti-Semitic, to being overly violent.

I've heard that in the states they're showing the film with no ads or previews, is that happening in every theatre or just select locations?

The theater I go to (Marcus Theaters) normally runs movie trivia before the movie, several ads, then previews, and finally the movie. This time, there was just a static of the the Marcus Logo and a tag that said "Thank you For Attending"... it went right to the film. It was a bit strange to me, as I've become accustom to 20 mins of crap before the feature, but a nice change.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:35 AM on February 27, 2004


IIRC, Amberglow, the Ascension supposedly had (if you believe in it at all) around 300-500 eye witnesses.

In any case, as someone who spent a couple decades Protestant before getting his head screwed on straight, I don't know how anyone who actually reads the text of the Gospels could blame the Jews as a race - most of the fourth graders at the Christian school I attended as a kid could tell you that it was clearly a case of the religious leaders amongst the Jews acting in defense of their positions. The entire thesis of the New Testament is that Christ had come to communicate the formation of a new covenant between the Hebrews and God - thus the elect of the old covenant executed him and in doing so made manifest their own obsolescence.

As far as Protestant/Catholic goes, Q, I'm sure you're familiar with the reasons for the Reformation (a desire to destroy the human power structure that had grown up around a faith that did not call for such in its sacred texts), but you may not be aware that many Protestants highlight the line in Revelations about suffering seven times all the punishments in Revelations as the punishment for adding words to the Bible. As a result, they tend to have a much less than rosy outlook on Catholicism as a whole, and look on things like 'writs for sin', etc. with an eye as jaded as any us agnostics/atheists could muster.
posted by Ryvar at 1:14 AM on February 27, 2004


the punishment for adding words to the Bible.

The protestants actually removed parts of the bible and the catholic church is clearly supported by scripture.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:29 AM on February 27, 2004


The only part of this phenomenon which really surprises me is the eerie revelation that, for many people, a "visceral reaction" to a CRUCIFIXION seems to depend for its experience on a friggin' movie.

Outbursts such as "hit me like a punch in the gut" aggravate me. What on earth did you imagine a CRUCIFIXION to be? Am I the only one who, from his earliest childhood, has always imagined a CRUCIFIXION (especially the embellished Jesus-bloodfest presented me by my creative doctrinaires) to be supernaturally unpleasant?

That empathy this basic should enhance from any sort of re-enactment astounds me. What have you people done to your imaginations?

Then again, maybe I'm just a bleeder.
posted by Opus Dark at 2:04 AM on February 27, 2004


sgt.serenity - as I no longer feel any real loyalty towards Protestantism, and only a slightly heightened sense of antipathy towards Catholicism, I'll leave it to others to quibble over the validity of the Apocrypha.
posted by Ryvar at 2:17 AM on February 27, 2004


Still waiting for most people to realize we've seen all this before...between geeks and the Lord of the Rings.
posted by effugas at 4:01 AM on February 27, 2004


carrying the cross (a subtle emphasis of works-over-faith)

ROFL!
posted by quonsar at 4:52 AM on February 27, 2004


God already expressed an opinion about the merits of Gibson's movie :

Lightning strikes Jesus actor twice during filming of Gibson's "Passion" - some people just won't take a hint, will they.

Anyway :




[ The happy Jesus is courtesy of The Jesus Art Index (which sells full size versions of this, and other happy, beaming Jesuses framed in beautiful sunsets, surrounded by lambs, children, and so on). I'm kinda fond of all the nice, happy Jesuses showcased on this site - my personal Jesus is a nice, happy Jesus who has perfect gleamingly white teeth and a strong jaw line. Nice hair too, whether it's jet black, black, or dirty blond and curly. My Jesus always wears sandals and is always beaming - he never, ever frowns. Joyful lepers dance around my jesus, while snarling money changers slink away at his radiant approach. Jesus ]
posted by troutfishing at 6:21 AM on February 27, 2004


"Got Jesus?"

"Got Milk?"

"Got Crabs?"
posted by troutfishing at 6:23 AM on February 27, 2004


Meanwhile,

Coolness showdown - Jesus vs. Satan :

"Jesus was way cool. Everybody liked Jesus. Everybody wanted to hang out with him.
Anything he wanted to do he did.
He turned water into wine, and if he had wanted to,
He could have turned wheat into marijuana, sugar into cocaine, or vitamin pills into amphetamines.
He walked on the water and swam on the land.
He would tell these stories and people would listen. He was really cool.
If you were blind, or lame, you just went to Jesus
And he would put his hands on you and you would be healed. That’s so cool.
He could have played guitar better than Hendrix.
He could have told the future.
He could have baked the most delicious cake in the world.
He could have scored more goals than Wayne Gretsky.
He could have danced better than Baryishnikov.
Jesus could have been funnier than any comedian you can think of.
Jesus told people to eat his body and drink his blood.
That’s so cool. Jesus was so cool.
But then some people got jealous of how cool he was, so they killed him.
But then he rose from the dead!
He rose from the dead, danced around and went up to heaven.
I mean, that’s so cool. Jesus was so cool.
No wonder there are so many Christians."
( "Jesus was way cool", by King Missile )

vs.

"Satan was way cool.

Everybody was in awe of Satan.

He never wore clothes. He just walked around with a goatee and horns coming out of his head. He had tattoos and was probably into body-piercing way before anyone else.

Satan was the snake that tempted Eve. He knew how lame Eden was so he invented sex. Adam and Eve were thankful and had lots of sex which increased the population. Finally, there was too many people, so Satan invented war, so people could kill each other. That way, there was more places to live and more food.
After many wars, people got bored, so God gave them Jesus. Soon they killed Jesus, and got bored again.

So Satan gave them rock and roll.

Rock and roll became bigger than religion. Everyone wanted to be in a rock and roll band. When Robert Johnson wanted to learn how to play guitar, all he had to do was go down to the crossroads and ask Satan. Satan gave Jimi Hendrix a can of lighter fluid to set fire to his guitar. He even lent Jim Morrison some beads and a pair of leather pants. Satan hung out with all the rock stars. And when they got too famous, or too fat, or their music started to suck, he helped them make the best possible career move. He killed them.

That was so cool.

In the early days, Satan used to hang out with God. Then people made up stories, giving Satan a bad name, so God got uptight and wouldn't let Satan hang around anymore.

But that was OK.

Satan went down to the earth, under the ground, and started his own place. This place was way cooler than heaven. People could go there and party and get wasted without worrying about their job or responsibilities.
It was like a big club with no cover charge. There was no rules. Everything was free.
They could go there and stay for eternity."
( "Satan was way cool", by Beck Hansen )

[ Via Whiskeyclone.net ]
posted by troutfishing at 6:29 AM on February 27, 2004


So quonsar, instead of responding intelligently to my post, you mock me? I was just doing my best take on the catholicism in the movie. Am I wrong? Than say so. How is it productive to be an ass? Your comments on this thread, IMHO, are about one step up from Johnny7's clever retorts to Cedar in that thread yesterday. "This is a bad post. " "no, fuck you." etc.

Opus: This movie IS what I imagined the crucifixion to be. It's not like it surprised me. But knowing all those details about his torture/death and then seeing them in a vivid movie is still difficult to handle. And I think that's a problem some critics have with it.
posted by Happydaz at 6:55 AM on February 27, 2004


"How is it productive to be an ass?"

How is it productive to ask quonsar "How is it productive to be an ass?"?

Is this your first time here Happydaz? quonsar? Hello?
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:06 AM on February 27, 2004


But what's up with the "take it up the ass" comments, and such

What's up with that is some of us felt the movie negatively exploited it's main character, and were kind of disgusted with that. We got the sense that Mel was dragging Jesus around for his own benefit. Anyway, it's an expression people use, when they feel they or someone else has been shafted.

yup it's accurate

You weren't there, you have no clue.

but blaming Jews for the execution of Christ was not one of them

Maybe a relatively rational mind such as yours can put those particular cues in the film aside, but otherwise you're giving a huge portion of people too much credit in denying the film is inflammatory. On the other hand Steve in the years I've been reading this board I've seen a lot of hate come from you, so frankly I have to concede to Tracy and just let you fall into the liar category.
posted by zarah at 7:12 AM on February 27, 2004


y2karl: Pasolini... yes! Missa Luba... yes!
troutfishing: Happy Jesus... yes!

Mel Gibson: you are working out some serious psychological problems having to do with your father. He is a mean man, and you hate him, you feel sinful for hating him, and you have internalized a great deal of anger toward him. In your mind, your father (the ultra-conservative Catholic) is conflated with Jesus. Your overwhelming desire to beat the crap out of Jesus, as you have done in this film, is really an overwhelming desire to beat the crap out of your obnoxious father.
posted by Faze at 7:13 AM on February 27, 2004


Will Mel's movie cause a *schism* in Christianity? That is, fundamentally (ahem), isn't it an attack on Liberal Christianity?

The purpose, in many ways, is to shock and horrify those people who saw Jesus as a pleasant, non-threatening, hippy kind of guy, full of sweetness and light, and above all, "niceness."

Mel's Jesus is an old-testament Jesus, the Jesus seen in the Crusades or in Wigglesworth's "Day of Doom". He is NOT a nice guy, and plans to horribly destroy His enemies, sending them to a horrible, dark and especially hot Hell.
posted by kablam at 7:37 AM on February 27, 2004


I think Faze is on to something:

"Since the sense of self and of time and space are dominant within the same functional networks that contain old parental images and their symbolic extensions, intermingling of the God Concept and the sense of self is not surprising. The two are expected to be so intricately interrelated that one evokes the manifestation of the other. . . . When thought sequences are generated about the diminutive self, alone in a terrifying infinity of eternal death, the sense of God emerges, shaped by the patterns of parental images."
posted by whatnot at 7:42 AM on February 27, 2004


*pulls zarah off steve* don't be mean to your fellow mefite, honey, it's unnecessary. i honestly stated my opinion, didn't personally attack anyone, and stand by my mini review. there are millions of people who love blaming the jews and this movie will be their best friend. will it make normal decent people blame the jews, i sincerely doubt it, but those aren't the people i worry about. that said, the anti jewish sentiment is not something i'm dwelling on when discussing the film with friends, family, and especially colleagues. as a piece of film-making (as opposed to a work of propaganda) it has loads of flaws that are much more interesting to examine.
posted by t r a c y at 9:28 AM on February 27, 2004


Well I guess I'll have to watch the movie given that sooner or later somebody will ask me about it ; anybody here old enough to remember Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorsese ?

When the movie was presented to the public it attracted a lot of attention, expecially it was condemned as depicting Jesus as "attracted" to Mary Magdalene.

When I saw the movie I kind of expected God Knows What scenes a-la "Last Tango in Paris" ; but it wasn't so graphically sexual after all.

From the scenes I've seen on the net, Gibson works looks like a bloodbath...mhh..eye candy apocalypse flavour anyone ? Anyway, I'll not pay Mr.Gibson my cash, I guess I'll donate it to some very unfortunate dude I happen to know.
posted by elpapacito at 9:53 AM on February 27, 2004


Mel's Jesus is an old-testament Jesus
One of the funniest statements i've seen here in a while. (but i get what you mean)
posted by amberglow at 10:21 AM on February 27, 2004


it seems like the phrase "taking it up the ass" as a perjorative would be a lot more offensive to homosexual males in general (or any male or female who likes receiving anal sex--yes, i know that not all homosexual males "take it up the ass"), i.e. that "taking it up the ass" is a bad thing and/or sick and reprehensible.

it also seems to subtly reinforce the idea that anyone who "takes it up the ass" does so involuntary.

anyway ... i'm not one of those people who think "piece of shit" is racial invective. really. i even use the word "niggardly" occasionally. say whatever the hell you want. i'm just bringing up the (way offtopic) suggestion that mocking assplay should probably offend asslovers more than xians. i like language. :)

posted by mrgrimm at 10:43 AM on February 27, 2004


elpapacito, i was a huge fan of tLToC, both the movie and the book. the movie was a little over the top (one could say the same about the book), but i absolutely adore them both. and Peter Gabriel has never been better, imo.

Man of Nazareth by Anthony Burgess is another of my favorite adaptations of the story.

(also extremely offtopic) i've always thought that if Jesus was as wise as he was supposed to be, he was having good sex and taking good drugs. maybe Satan came up with rock n roll, but God and Jesus started the sex and the drugs. so i guess i'm a God/Jesus man who only prays to Satan every now and then.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on February 27, 2004


...i'm just bringing up the (way offtopic) suggestion that mocking assplay should probably offend asslovers more than xians. i like language. :)
Nah, it offends the people who see it in the worst possible light. They're the ones who are horrified by the idea, and angered by the suggestion.
posted by amberglow at 10:53 AM on February 27, 2004


satan did not come up with rock and roll and even if he did I'm taking it back. Just sayin'.
posted by konolia at 11:18 AM on February 27, 2004


it also seems to subtly reinforce the idea that anyone who "takes it up the ass" does so involuntary.

yes it was meant as an expression of violation, and vented on the assumption that everyone knows there's no relationship between being unwittingly shafted and taking part in a happy horny consensual sex act (hhcsa™).
posted by t r a c y at 11:20 AM on February 27, 2004



Quonsar:pentacostal code. if you do something ordinary thing, like view a movie, but you do it "in his name", it becomes neccessary to aggrandize the act in some manner to instill it with holiness.

I think the man himself had a little somthin' to say about that :

6:5 And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.

6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:21 AM on February 27, 2004


Interesting reading about The Passion at The New Pantagruel:

“I fell to my knees, and God saved me. The wounds of Jesus healed my wounds.” Underneath the crowd’s whooping, Gibson warmed and explained that he had been meditating on Christ’s passion ever since. “You guys preach,” he said to the crowd. “I don’t know how to do that. But I can make movies, so that’s what I did.” The movie, as he said that morning and has said several times since, was directed by the Holy Spirit. “I believe this has the power to evangelize,” Gibson told the pastors, speaking directly to their most central concern.

and then:

The viewer is sickened not by anti-Semitism (or, for that matter, Jewish duplicity), but by the gore and grotesqueness of Roman capital punishment. We often remember that we are watching a movie by the director of Braveheart, and the gruesome brutality that movie poured onto Scottish and English armies is here funneled onto one character. As Jesus receives the thirty-nine lashes of the Roman guards, I recalled Gibson’s comment that he had been focusing on the wounds of Christ. He forces us to do the same; the scene slows the movie’s pace so that we can hear flesh ripping in two, muscle pulling from bone.
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2004


The purpose, in many ways, is to shock and horrify those people who saw Jesus as a pleasant, non-threatening, hippy kind of guy, full of sweetness and light, and above all, "niceness."

And so it was done, in 1966   yet--with a Jesus much more than just eXtreme ultra-violent punching bag and bloody pulp.
posted by y2karl at 1:38 PM on February 27, 2004


Regarding another big movie which has inspired religious and political debate: Is Arwen pro-life?
posted by homunculus at 2:23 PM on February 27, 2004


Faze has the best and funniest (sorry, quonsar) jibe.
posted by billsaysthis at 2:53 PM on February 27, 2004


unclench
posted by clavdivs at 3:17 PM on February 27, 2004


Does Jesus howl "freedom" at the end of this one?

I hated Braveheart, so I'll probably hate this one.

I am curious how it ends, precisely: Is he just dead or does Gibson bother with the third day, the returning from the dead, or is there going to be
a sequel? You know, the returning from the dead not the dying alway struck me as the main point.

Anyway, I imagine Harold Bloom leaning in with a hoarse whisper: "You have the aura of election upon you."
posted by Slagman at 10:46 PM on February 27, 2004


third day, stone rolls away, freshly laundered and oddly invigorated star ready for revenge (no love or forgiveness in those eyes) and sequel.
posted by t r a c y at 6:32 AM on February 28, 2004


is there going to be a sequel?

Passion II: The Resurrection.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:33 AM on February 28, 2004


Passion II: Electric Boogaloo?
posted by amberglow at 8:06 AM on February 28, 2004




"I dunno man, he manages to rip free of three of the nails before the Romans finally have to shoot him. Mel really macho'd the fuck out of this thing. Also he fights a shark near the middle. I dunno, with eyebeams. JesusBeams, whatever, it's badass. No, you don't see beams, the shark just burns up. Then he decapitates one of the Bad Jews with his halo. No, I'm not kidding, the thing is nutty. I know. Well, somehow it works. It's not like I'm making it sound. I don't know, people don't want to badmouth it, I guess. I really didn't expect the bukkake scene in a mainstream movie like this. Well, it's off-screen but implied, you see it all over his face. I know. I can't believe the Pope was cool with that."


-This thing I say loudly into a cell phone just outside the Jesus Movie.

posted by matteo at 4:35 PM on February 29, 2004


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