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Author Topic: Passion of the Christ  (Read 3622 times)
WalkerInTheWoods
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« on: February 27, 2004, 12:20:50 »

I have not seen it so take this for what it is worth. From what I have heard this is pretty much just for emotional response and holds no true spiritual value. I have heard it focuses on torture and suffering and is very gory. That might be nice for stirring emotions, but what good does that do? 2 hours of gore. It is only about Jesus' last 12 hours. It does not contain much if any of his teachings, which in my opinion is the most important part. (<---- I said my opinion in case you missed that.)

Whether it is a good or bad movie I cannot say. But it does not sound very interesting to me.

(Note I am not a Christian but I hold nothing personal against it.)
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2004, 14:41:20 »

Worthless, will only serve to make Christians that much more holier-than-thou, self-righteous and intolerant.

As if the story wasn't chock full of drama to begin with, Mel Gibson ups the ante even more, Hollywood style, focusing on the violence and misery and martyrdom of Christ, pumping up Christians' egos instead of their spirits. He uses action-movie production techniques to push the drama, stirring up people's emotions and in the end degrading Jesus, transforming him into more of a character, a larger-than-life super-hero that people can worship like a celebrity because of the harrowing punishment and injustice he endured, not because they look to him as a guide to live their lives. And when he's resurrected, is their an expression of joy on his face? No, it's an expression more akin to The Terminator that says, "Next time I come around, I'm really going to kick some butt!" It's as if we should expect to see him in an interview with Diane Sawyer. He should have been on Leno with Mel Gibson. No, wait, Mel's ego wouldn't allow it. What I don't understand is why Mel Gibson didn't decide to play Jesus, since Jesus plays the same overwrought, bludgeon-us-with pathos role as all of his other tragic heros.

People come out of it talking about how deeply it affected them. Well of course it did. Jesus is a ready-made character, we have "known" him a long time through Sunday School and church and through his place in our culture. So seeing the man who embodies our idea of spiritual perfection get his butt beaten would tend to stir one's emotions.

This is just more crass Jesus Marketing, right in line with all those ridiculous t-shirts that say sh** like, "Tried the rest, now worship the best" Unfortunately, stupid Christians (no, not all are stupid)across the nation will embrace this portrayal of Jesus, because the "us-against-them","lone rebel" pull is just too hard to resist.

So is this the way we encourage people toward spirituality now, through cheap drama and the spectacle of violence? Because nothing else moves us?
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2004, 14:41:20 »

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shaman
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2004, 15:05:14 »

The movie is produced by Mel Gibson who is a believer of the rather "old school" of Christianity. In the last half century many reforms have been made in the Vatican to try and find the truth about the Christ and the facts that really happened. The movie of Mel is not taking that into account, it is just going out in the way Mel sees things, not in the way the Vatican declared it sees things. It concentrates on physical atrocities, which at that time, 2000 years ago, where common money, especially in Europe more than in the Holy Land. THe movie is more of a Holywood thing more than anything else. It  is historically not accurate and has not much spirituality. One of the chief Rabis in Israel has asked the Vatican to publicly declared that the movie is not depicting the truth when showing that the Jews were responsible for his death. So there is this aspect also that is beginning to stirr some hot debates about that issue and what were the true historical facts. A movie that will make a lot of noise, not because it is a good one, but because it is reviving the old idea (which the Vatican declared wrong in the early 1960s) that the Jews were responsible for the Christ's death.
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2004, 21:29:30 »

Hi, everyone.  I think Gibson's whole point is that all the other movies which include the death of Jesus Christ are so sanitized -- a few minutes on screen, a beautiful smile, everyone saved and happy.

In so many interviews he has said that he wanted to show the horror of it all - of this kind of death -- which was such a common form of execution at that time.  Since there were mostly only Jews and Romans in Judea at that time, that is what he showed.

I don't see it as anti-Semetic, just that, as they used to say in medieval Europe or the wild West of the USA, there are always some people who "like a good hangin!"  Executions of any kind seem to  draw a crowd anywhere in the world. Some are horrified, but some do cheer.  It seems to be part of our nature to watch.  

There have been debates in the USA about showing executions on TV.  Most of the networks would gladly air something like that because they know the ratings would be high.  I wouldn't watch it, but millions would and some would cheer or mock the condemned person.

As to the biblical accounts he bases it all one, that has been debated almost from the beginnings of Christianity.  I am sure it will be debated for as long as there are Christians.  

I just think he got tired of everyone trying to "pretty it up" and wanted to show it for the brutal death that it was.  He has said he wanted people to see the humanity in him instead of floating around on some cloud somewhere or a big Santa Claus some people pray to.

He does have a point and a point of view.  I am sure the film is gruesome.  I will see it someday, when it is on video and I can start and stop it anytime I want.
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kiauma
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2004, 23:45:20 »

I tip my hat to you Chupa - you really summed up how I feel too.

And Mel, well, he's just telling it like he sees it, same as anyone else - it's just that his budget and his medium is a bit more 'grand' than ours.  [Wink]

Like I said in the other thread about 'Passion' - can't wait to miss it.
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2004, 23:45:20 »



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The AlphaOmega
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2004, 08:26:50 »

I feel that perhaps someone should defend the other side of this movie.  So far the posts that I have seen state that this is a hollywood movie that has no real value on who Jesus really was.  I fully disagree.  I think that the movie depicted Jesus quite respectfully and accurately.  The gore factor was put in there because of it's truth.  Do you think that the lashings and crucifixion of Christ was a pleasant process?  Did you think that he was nailed to the cross with flowers?  In that time torture and pain had developed into a science.  People were being stoned to death among other things.  I don't think it was a ploy as a hollywood sceme, but was used to depict how much Christ truly endured for humanity.  He felt every possible atrosity, emotionally and physically, and endured more than any human ever could for the single purpose of being able to understand everything anyone could ever possibly go through.   As for depicting a negative image of the Jews, I must say that I left feeling angry at the Romans.  But it WAS the Jews that crusified Christ, and the only bible that doesn't believe so is the Jews version.  Jews don't even believe that the living Christ has been to earth yet, so naturally they won't like the idea that they were the ones who killed Him.  But I read a different bible and thought it was an accurate image, not antisemitical, about what the new testiment claims is historical.  I also didn't know if they would go as far as to show Him being resurrected, but that was the WHOLE purpose of His atonement.  You thought He looked like the terminator?  What did you want Him to do?  Jesus jumps for joy screaming "hurray, hurray I'm alive"!  There was no doubt in the making of this movie that it would be a contraversial issue.  Christ Himself was so contraversial that they killed Him for it.  But how many Christians went to see this movie expecting before hand to be disappointed?  I am sure that many Mormons are offended by the idea that a movie about Christ is also rated R.  However when I left the theater I had nothing but complete respect for everything that Christ went through for me.  It showed the most terribly painful hours of His life that He willingly endured for all of humanity, and seeing that is emotional because we finally have a visual depiction of the utter hate that was had for Him.  I don't feel ashamed of the way He was depicted, but grateful that He loved us all enough to go through such horror.
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kakkarot
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2004, 16:23:06 »

i'd like to comment on it, but i've not seen it yet. a bunch of people from my church are going to see it tomorrow night, and we've all heard stuff about it and are wondering what it will be like Cheesy .

i certainly hope it's better than one movie about christ that i saw a long time ago, where the christ was always looking upwards "to the heavens" (or whatever) and always talking in some stupid way that made it seem like he was being phony-spiritual, and other things like that which just annoyed the hell outta me ^_^ . don't remember the movie's name, but i do remember that i saw it at a friend's church, in one of their squash ball courts, using a projector system Cheesy . the projector system part was cool [8D], showed the movie on the whole wall (first time i'd ever seen a projector outside of the theatre).

~kakkarot
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ralphm
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2004, 01:36:53 »

It's probably just what the world needs to fuel the jewish/christian/moslem war that seems to be brewing in these supposed end times. Sorry for the cynical response but we need to explore beyond the physical realms-isn't what this site is about-but it seems like this movie just dwells on the physical.
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2004, 17:02:43 »

Saw it and I was impressed. It's not all blood and guts. It moves you to think...about what Christ went through. You see flashbacks of different characters that show the humanity of the person that was Jesus. Did you think he didn't do normal human things?

The brutality and extremely violent torture portrayed is surely pretty close to reality as the Romans of that era were not known for humane treatment of its enemies. Everyone is so used to the Christ-on-a-cross-with-fair-skin that Christianity has sugar coated for so long and it makes people uncomfortable. I have no doubt it was at least that gory.

For those that are hung up on the "Jews killed Jesus" issue, The Romans weren't in control, The Jews weren't in control and even Satan was not in control. It's not an issue cause God was in control.

It sounds to me like some people here forgot to open their minds. Of course it's not completely factual, duh. It's a good film that makes you see another point of view. Nobody is thumping their bible trying to convert everyone to Christianity. Mel is telling a story based on the gospels.
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kakkarot
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2004, 05:11:32 »

*bump* (hehe, just kidding. i'm actually posting stuff too Wink)

as a movie: pretty good. but there were definate downfalls, like the times when it cut from a nice screen to what almost looked like it was stock footage from 20 years ago, and how it hammed up the emotional aspect (almost /trying/ to force viewers to put their heart into it).

as well, each group of people had an attitude which was pretty much bang on with what you'd think they'd be: the pharisees being (i don't know if there really is a good word to sum them up, so i'll just go with) dumb, the jews who hated jesus REALLY hating him, the jews who loved him caring about him, the romans being the meanies (that's probably the cleanest of the words which could describe them accurately) that they are.

but it seemed the attitudes of the individuals of the movie (mary, peter, the first govenor that jesus was taken to whose name i can't remember ^_^;, etc) needed some more refining and more "honest" emotion to them rather than emotion thats just there to show that the emotion is being conveyed (ie, all the one-tears that people shed :/ ).


as for biblical accuracy: unless they were using a version of the bible which i've never seen (which is very possible), they took *great* liberties at many points, and blatantly contradicted the bible at a couple. (no i can't list them all, i've only seen the movie once and i didn't take pen and paper with me Tongue)

and what the heck was up with the portrayal of satan? oi vey.


as for historical accuracy: romans' torture, i think was a bit overdone from what would have really been done in those days. of course, the romans WERE incredibly vicious and they likely would have beaten jesus to a bloody pulp, but i'm pretty sure it was still exaggerated a little bit extra to (as said earlier) try and "force" people to care.

but the manner of dress and general mindsets and whatnot seemed pretty much like i'd expected (though of course, just because i expected it, that doesn't mean it's true ^_^).


for plot: arr, the flashbacks totally detracted from the movie, but also it seems like pretty much the only way the director could have added them in without people wondering something like "well, why add this part of the bible and not that part?", so it's forgiveable Wink. and i guess it was also a good idea to end the movie right where they did too (well, except for the satan thing) cause after that the bible doesn't really make it seem like jesus is extraordinarily passionate but that he's just loving and caring and basically doing what he did before (but this time with no cross ordeals in his future hanging over his head Wink).

but once again, some parts of the plot seemed made up, or hammed up at least, just for the purpose of trying to get people to care. of course, much of the movie seemed bang on with what you'd expect to have happened, so it's not like it was ALL hammed or made up.



all in all: pretty good movie. i'm still not sure if i'd ever care to go see it again, so it's not an absolutely awesome movie imo, but i certainly don't feel like i was ripped off or anything Smiley.

and that's my opinion of the Passion of the Christ.

~kakkarot
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shaman
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2004, 13:02:51 »

An Italian critic of the movie....

The Passion of the Christ. Directed by Mel Gibson. Starring James Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Gerini and Maia Morgenstern.

I guess like most people who just saw Passion of the Christ, the first thing I thought as I left the theater was, "Wow, those Roman dudes really beat the snot out of that hippie! They must have hated that freaking hippie!"

Also, I guess I wondered why the hell the were beating up the hippie, and what the hippie's deal was. See, there's no context to Passion: just straight-up flesh-ripping violence porn. If you want to see a naked guy get whipped, flogged and nailed, and you live in a community with limited access to gay leather magazines, then this is really the movie for you.

It starts with Yoshua (in the subtitles they call him "Jesus," but he's supposed to be Jewish, not Puerto Rican, so the dialogue has him as "Yoshua") having a bad trip in the garden of his rich friend Gethsemane. Then-- and this is what makes the movie fun--Satan shows up.

Satan has gotta be everyone's favorite literary character. He rocks ... just ask everyone he's worked with, like Jimmy Page or Rob Halford or the RNC. So Satan shows up in the garden, and a snake crawls out of his pants. Seriously. And then Yoshua steps on the snake's head, setting up the generally queer thematics of the film.

Though, to be fair, Satan is played by a chick. But she's all made up to look like a dude, so I think she's supposed to be a dude. Anyway, she, or he, or maybe He, keeps showing up on the outskirts of the action, doing creepy things like cradling a midget in his/her/His arms. Because midgets are scary.

Or at least writer/director Mel Gibson must think so, because in another scene, Judas gets attacked by evil midgets. Why? I don't know. I guess it was cheaper than hiring actual demons.

Other than the cheap-butt "midgets as symbols of evil" bit, though, the special effects in this film are superb. When the Romans start whipping Yoshua with flesh-gouging, metal-tipped whips, you really see the flesh fly and the gouges appear. It couldn't look more real. It's incredibly disgusting, and if you have trouble sitting through, say, a Quentin Tarantino film or a KGB interrogation, then I wouldn't recommend you see Passion. But if you go for that sort of thing, well, this is your one chance to see it while pretending that you're engaging in piety.

On the other hand, it's gonna have to be pretend piety, because this is the most a-religious Christ movie ever. There's one line snipped from the Sermon on the Mount, two sentences from the last supper, and that's about it for the preaching of Jesus. There's no character development, no background and almost nothing from JC's words. Just lots and lots of beatings. Unless you already know who Jesus is, and have already decided to root for him, there's not gonna be much drama in this film, because the movie itself provides little reason to sympathize with the main character, other than the fact that he's getting his butt kicked for about an hour.

Of course, it's by Mel Gibson, who's basically known for making low-brow violence fests, so I guess it's no surprise, but this was advertised as a piece of Christian cinema, which it ain't.

It also isn't the anti-Semitic screed people had warned about. It's really no more anti-Semitic than the Gospels, and, in fact, it's considerably less anti-Semitic than the Gospel of John.

Actually, it's the Roman soldiers who come off as the most evil. The Jewish residents of Jerusalem are not univocal in their attitudes toward Jesus, and it's not like there's some homogenous group called "the Jews" who pick on him. The Italians, on the other hand, all seem like total bastards who really love torturing naked guys. So why aren't Italians all up in arms about how anti-Italic this movie is? As an Italian, I'd like to think that it's because Italians are the one ethnic group who thinks that being a hyper-sensitive whiner is lame. Then again, it's probably because most Italians are Christians, so they just plainly support this pro-Jesus stuff. Oh well.

So I don't quite get the controversy. We know Jesus gets offed, and considering the population of Jerusalem in 30 A.D., the choices for who offed him are (a) Jews or (b) Romans. In this film, the guilt goes both ways, though the Romans seem much nastier and less human about it.

Plus, pretty much every previous Jesus movie told the same story, wherein the Pharisees call for the death of Jesus. It's even this way in total hippie love-fest Jesus Christ Superstar. Why Mel's movie took a hit for this is an open question.

Of course, it's entirely likely that Mel's father's hardcore, vocal anti-Semitism has something to do with it. Mel himself has not been entirely clear on what his own attitude about this is, but he has refused to denounce his father's position, and when asked if he believed the Holocaust happened, he waffled quite a bit, not denying it, but holding back on how much of the standard story he believed.

So maybe Gibson's an anti-Semite. Who knows. But the film, not so much. On the other hand, it is sort of a pointless gore fest, and by the end, Jesus looks like Drippy McBloodspurt. Not a pretty sight, and I wouldn't take the kids.

In terms of aesthetics, the directing is cheesy, but competent. There's too much manipulative music during dramatic moments, and too much recourse to sudden slow-mo to emphasize a point, but I guess it's not supposed to be an art film. In fact, it comes off as an action film, and on that count, it's about as entertaining as any other film in the genre, and about as deep.

By JAMES DIGIOVANNA
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Gandalf
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2004, 21:24:06 »

Never mind any anti-semitic themes; as a Roman historian myself, I get constantly pi**ed off by the continual *anti-Roman themes* in these kind of movies.

The Roman religion of Christianity, along with Roman Law and good government, are the greatest legacies of the Roman Empire and have gone on to form the foundation of modern western civilisation.
(Along with Democracy but that was invented by the Greeks... but it's still a legacy of Classical civilisation and its gift to you and me).

I am sick and tired of all those Hollywood productions from the 50's and 60's (although movies like Spartacus and Ben Hur were great in their own right) who paint the Romans as a bunch of wicked, immoral filth who were the enemies of the true god, the bad guys of the bible etc etc. Ok... I admit that sometimes their discipline was harsh, but no harsher than any of the other systems of the times, is death by stoning any nicer?; in many ways Roman law was actually *less* harsh than foreign laws, although this is never talked about, even although Roman law went on to become the basis of law for most of modern-day western civilisation.

Part of the negative propaganda against the early Romans is actually their own doing, as much of the anti-Roman sentiment in later Christian writings are actually by *ROMAN Christian writers*, like Augustine etc, who tried to distance the Christian Roman Empire from its earlier pagan heritige, and did this by discrediting the practices of the pagan empire, before it adopted the 'true' religion.

In fact as every Christian *should* realise but usually doesn’t, they owe a great dept to the Roman Empire, because it was the Empire who eventually adopted Christianity as the state religion and turned it from a minority faith within the Empire to THE ONLY faith and transformed it into a world religion; Christianity as we know it today, whatever denomination, owes itself directly to the Empire.

The Empire was a great friend to Christianity after 313CE and was its 'staff' in a very real sense, officially promoting the religion and allowing it to grow until its power and authority became absolute. The Roman Empire grew into a Christian theocracy. This would have been impossible without the direct patronage and full support of the Roman state.  

So to say that the Romans were the enemy of the 'true' religion is cr*p; its just that I have heard people say this in the past and it’s irritating. Christians should thank the Romans for their religion, as without the Empire they would never have heard of it; it was the Emperor Constantine who eventually decided what religion was good for you!

It is now almost certain that Christianity would never have become the dominant religion without direct imperial patronage. After 313, the Roman state poured huge amounts of money into the church and funded a massive expansion of church buildings, training and organisation, including building churches in Jerusalem.

If we look at the Sassanid Persian empire next door to the Roman empire in the east, there was a similar number of Christians there as in the Roman empire, however, in the Persian empire, the state never officially adopted the religion so it always remained a minority faith there (staying at about 1/5th), right up until the 7th century when the Arab Muslim conquest swept them and their Zoroastrianism religion all away.

It was all an amazing stroke of luck; After the troubles of the 3rd century, Constantine was looking for things which would help bind the empire together, faith being one of them. It just so happened that his mother Helena was an adherent of that strange eastern religion called 'Christianity'; a light bulb went on above his head and he asked his mother 'tell me more about this thing called 'Christianity''!!!

What a brilliant idea! Not only was it a novel way of binding the empire together through religion, by its monotheistic nature it also seemed to perfectly compliment the ideology of absolute monarchic authority, thereby reinforcing the position of Emperor; God could rule heaven, while the emperor could be sanctioned by divine authority to rule the earth (strictly on behalf of God of course!).

The pattern was then set: the foundation of the Roman successor states of Europe was laid, which would come to fruition once the Empire collapsed in the West from 410CE onwards (The Eastern half of the empire on the other hand continued until 1453, later known as the Byzantine empire).

Christianity's role as authorising right to rule remains the cornerstone of most nation-states' legitimacy right up to present day; In the UK some people still say 'God bless the Queen', while in the US the President will say 'God bless the USA', while its constitution says 'all equal under god'. The idea is the same.

So even although I am proud not to be a Christian, I still say: God bless the IMPERIVM ROMANVM!!!

Douglas

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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2004, 23:12:16 »

whoaaaakay. Alright, i understand peoples viewpoint of christianity, and i myself agree that it, along with many other religions has gone a stray off course. However, i saw this movie.. . .i totally liked it,im not saying "oh, christ was beaten up, awesome!' uhhh. no. im sayin that even though, yes, it was very bloody ; IT SHOWED WHAT HAPPENED ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE and thats EXACTLY what mel gibson set out to do. About the romans, not every roman in the movie was shown as sadistic, only a select few, in fact during the part where jesus was being scourged, there was a group of men doing it, but after not too long most of them stopped and just stood in awe as two, and only two romans continued to beat him. Look a pontius, he allowed the rabbi's will to be done, not the romans.
"It starts with Yoshua (in the subtitles they call him "Jesus," but he's supposed to be Jewish, not Puerto Rican, so the dialogue
has him as "Yoshua") having a bad trip in the garden of his rich friend Gethsemane. Then-- and this is what makes the movie fun--Satan shows up."
   ~actually its not yoshua, its yeshua as in YAHWEH which is the hebrew spelling of Jesus' name. I don't believe you completely understood the film, or Jesus' sacrifices, either that or you're trying to incite trouble.
   This movie shows what few people understand. .and that was the whole point of why Jesus was here: to teach and save. He knew he was going to die and he couldve stopped it, but he didnt because he was suppose to die. I did cry after the movie when i got home, but it wasnt because of the movie. .it was because that after so many thousand years, humans still don't understand what Christ was here for. . .so many times in the bible jesus says we can be like him, oh! and just the other day i saw this quote saying sumn that ‘‘even after so long you still don’t listen’ or something around there. i wish i could remember the passage. oh well. what makes me so sad is that people have forgotten what christ was for. .and some of which was to show what humans can eventually become (healing, prophesy, telekinesis, etc basically metaphysics)
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The AlphaOmega
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2004, 04:07:23 »

"Passion of the Christ"... what did you think?
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