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Friday, September 17, 2004

THE PUNISHMENT OF CHRIST

I finally watched the Mel Gibson Jesus flick. I like Christ movies. It's a good story. The star of this film however is not an actor, but Latex. The only thing that Mel adds to this re-telling of the passion is the over the top gore. My girlfriend got up to do the dishes about that same time Jesus began the hike up Calvary. She couldn't take it. It was quite difficult to sit through for even this fan of Evil Dead movies. I can understand Gibsons choice, however. He tried to make it as realistic as possible, and show just how awful it was. He did achieve that goal. He also kept the story based on scripture, with a few ventures into fictionalization; re: Pontius and his wife. I liked Scorcese's take on the Pontius/Christ scene, but then again, it's David Bowie talking about the skulls on Golgotha. "You're more dangerous than the Zelots, You want to change the way people feel. There are something like three hundred skulls up on Golgotha. Maybe one of you might go up and look at them sometime. Maybe you'd learn something. Probably not." Much more compelling than the standard 'I want to help you, but you won't let me' discussion that we always see, and get again in Mel's movie. It seems that Mel doesn't have much imagination. The only essential difference between this movie, and any other Mel Gibson movie, is that it's not him who ends up beaten and bloody at the end.

Comments:
Good post Jackson. I also like Scorsese's version better as well. Politics are what made a guy like Jesus and his revolutionary message dangerous to many seeking power during this era. Scorsese, and Bowie for that matter, give me a more accurate account of what I beleive it must have been like. I also liked how Scorsese and Defoe depicted Jesus's struggle with his duality. I've always wondered how a human, or part human, would struggle with this internal biblical paradox and Scorsese wasn't afraid to address it. It must have been more than the whole "Father why have you foresaken me..." thing. It addresses the Jesus divinity thing in a very thoughful way without attempting to convert the audience.

Mel is proud of his faith and I can't fault him for that. I think Mel's film succeeds and two ways: it shows very graphically how far a peaceful man who did no harm to anyone and preached equality in God's kingdom would go to prove his faith. The guy gave his life to make a noble point. Two, Humans are capable of brutality of the worst kind, even against defenseless, a passive individuals. Those who think mankind has gotten beyond this have there head in the sand.

Having said that, it's an average film beyond the subject matter. I'll give him added props for staying with the language of the times, but to be honest, after having seen Martin Scorsese's movie, Mel's just sort of left me wanting wat more. Besides the only way you top Bowie's pilot is Harvey Kitel's Judus with a Bronx accent. Brilliant!
 
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