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The Passion of the Christ

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Received this email today.

I'll be happy to send her a variety of replies, if folks want to contribute. Just PM me with your thoughts. I'm scrambling to meet two deadlines, so I'm not going to be able to respond personally anytime soon.

HAS SOCIETY BECOME DESENSITISED or what?

I'm upset that so many believers endorse the movie, "The Passion." They tell you,


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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MattPage wrote:

: The other issue is whether we should watch films of Jesus, notably his death, at

: all. I'd never give an emphatic yes, particularly as many people find any

: representation of their friend being killed uncomfortable, and some people have

: very vivid imaginations and don't need to see it to be reminded of what it entailed.

I think this aspect of the film needs to be seen in the light of recent explicitly gory but serious-minded historical war movies like Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down and Mel Gibson's own We Were Soldiers. (But not Braveheart, because there, the gory violence is definitely meant to entertain; The Patriot falls somewhere between the two, though it tips mostly in the warfare-as-fun direction of Braveheart, I think.) Many people who fought in those wars, or who had friends who fought and died in those wars, have spoken highly of the way in which those films have made us all aware of the "sacrifice" that our soldiers have made.

I certainly don't think the violence in those films is above criticism either, but I do think those films have shown that some audiences DO feel a need to be "reminded".

: One point you made that I'd particularly like to pick up on is entertainment. I

: personally never watch a film about Jesus for entertainment.

Have I mentioned before how, the third time I saw The Passion, I actually had a bag of popcorn with me? The first two times I saw the film, it was at special advance screenings for church audiences or the media, so there were no, um, refreshments to be had at all anyway. But then a couple months went by, and I had to write that essay for that book, and so I went and paid to see the film again, just to refresh my memory and to take some notes that would be specific to the topic of my essay -- and it wasn't until I walked into the screening room that it suddenly hit me that the popcorn I had bought as a matter of course might not be all that appropriate for that particular film. But oh well, this was after Easter and the film wasn't attracting more than a handful of people per screening anyway, and I figured I wouldn't be in all that "devotional" a mindset anyway since I was planning on taking feverishly detailed notes, so I didn't let it bother me. But I HAD heard some of my fellow Christians complain about seeing the odd person bring popcorn into the theatre back when the film first came out and church groups were snapping up tickets in droves, so I was glad none of 'em were there.

Hmmm, can I pull a Homer here and say the popcorn was "sacrelicious"? smile.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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: popcorn in The Passion

Well I wouldn't say having popcorn marked the difference between it being entertainment or not. For a start I wouldn't want to see a sacred secular divide brought down on things, for a second, I'm not sure where devotion comes in, or rather shouldn't we always be open to hearing God and living a life that is worshipful (even if the "would Jesus be sat next to you watching that" logic isn't that helpful)

I think I'm meaning more that I'm not sure quite where devotional cinema diverts from educational / inspirational cinema. I can see how you can have entertainment / not entertainment, but I wouldn't want to subdivide "not entertainment" any further. And even if you did I'm not sure whether you can specifically pre-brand an experience of going to the cinema as devotional, or whether you just realise part way through that you're in a "Holy Moment " as the guy on Waking Life would say.

And I don't see why "not entertainment" should mean you can't eat during them, just like you can be studying and eating. Face it its rare that I don't eat something during a film. And to be honest I don't see anything wrong with eating through whatever devotional cinema is as well.

So eat away my friend

That said its all academic for me anyhow as any food I take into the cinema gets eaten before the film starts anyway.

Matt

PS I thought "pulling a homer" was "to suceed in spite of Idiocy". I would have thought that being quoted in that other book

Edited by MattPage

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Mel's 'Passion' Gets a Rare Nomination

The American Society of Cinematographers on Tuesday became the industry's first professional organization to include the gritty box office champ among its list of honorees. The film has been snubbed by Hollywood's actors, directors and producers . . . "Passion" cameraman Caleb Deschanel was among the feature film nominees for the ASC's 19th annual awards, which will take place Feb. 13 . . . Other nominees include first-time contenders Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron, for "Collateral"; Bruno Delbonnel, for "A Very Long Engagement"; Pawel Edelman, for "Ray"; and Robert Richardson, for "The Aviator." Deschanel is the only previous ASC winner. He won for 2000's "The Patriot" and was nominated for 1996's "Fly Away Home." He received Academy Award nominations for those two films, as well as for "The Natural" and "The Right Stuff" but has never won the Oscar.

Hollywood Reporter, January 12


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Personally, I think it's strongest virtue is Maia Morgenstern. The fact that no one's even mentioned her in the same sentence as Best Supporting Actress is very sad indeed.

But yeah, in a GREAT year for cinematography, it does deserve mention. (I might be able to think of five more outstanding choices, though.)

If it gets nominated for Best Soundtrack, I'm going back to the village to muster a mob armed with torches. And I'll invite Peter Gabriel to join me.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Newmarket makes new 'Passion' play

Less-violent version to unspool for squeamish

Mel Gibson has made a new cut of his film "The Passion of the Christ," trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes. The new version, "The Passion Recut," will go out on 500-750 screens by Newmarket Films beginning March 11.

Daily Variety, February 9

- - -

Hmmm, will it be less anti-Semitic, too? wink.gif


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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lol

Can't say that I can see how 5-6 minutes will make that much difference really. I suppose you can cut out an eye peck here and a dislocated shoulder here, but when you've got a 15 minute scourging scene 5-6 minutes. It's like Lucas re-releasing Phantom Menace and sayong he's going to cut it by 5-6 minutes to take out all the bad bits.

Matt

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And is it just me, or does "The Passion Recut" sound a little too much like "The Matrix Reloaded"?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Yeah, only hopefully there won't be an extra scene at the end where he ascends to heaven only for God to tell him he's the sixth Jesus, and that he has to bring in the apocalypse like the five Jesuses before him

re-cut seems a bit inappropriate anyway given he's trying to reduce the amount of blood.

Matt

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Oh, this is great, we should *so* do the marketing.

"This Easter, hes back... With a vengance... With a grudge... And with a Passion..."

Phil.


"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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Hey all, know I've been MIA for a while but things keep going well for my band. This past Tuesday we opened for My Chemical Romance when they played here in Hawaii - our biggest gig yet.

Anyway, after I heard about The Passion Recut, I HAD to find out what the deal was and headed straight here. "trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes..." is this the only thing that's different? What's the point? Are there only cuts in this version or does it include footage not included in the original?

I don't want to be too cynical but this has the odor of a sleazy marketing ploy. What's Gibson thinking?

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Anyway, after I heard about The Passion Recut, I HAD to find out what the deal was and headed straight here. "trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes..." is this the only thing that's different? What's the point? Are there only cuts in this version or does it include footage not included in the original?

I don't want to be too cynical but this has the odor of a sleazy marketing ploy. What's Gibson thinking?

"The Passion - Now Circumcised of Violence!"

There's a website now up.

While you are there, you can pick up a church resource DVD or (ick) The Passion of the Christ Tear Catcher bottle!! [/sarcasm]

The new poster has Jesus with a crown of thorns - and it's less bloody.

post-181-1109100436_thumb.jpg

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: While you are there, you can pick up a The Passion of the Christ Tear Catcher bottle!!

Too bad they didn't have one at the foot of the cross. If they'd caught that one they could have stopped that earthquake.

Matt

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I really can't give Mel much credit for doing this recut. I listened to his 'intro' video again and its a bit condescending. Basically he seems to be saying that if you can't take the full, 'uncut' version, you're a child or an old bitty. ("You wanted to take your Aunt Betty...or older kids"--what about spouse, sister, brother, etc.?)

He also said that, in the recut, he maintained the integrity of the film he wanted to make. Therefore, the extra violence *was* gratuitous by definition?

By definition, it certainly was gratuitous. So, I give even more credit to Mel for successfully releasing the movie first without catering to the masses and reducing the amount of brutality he felt necessary to convey the last hours of the earthly life of Christ. If he would have just used Anglo-Saxon featured, English accented actors and removed the Jewish historicity of the story he could have pleased everyone.


...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Forgive me if this has been brought up before


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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How will he tell the story without violence?

Oh, wait. Flash-forwards to the assassination attempt against the Pope. But bloodier. Whee.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Go here to hear NPR


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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: If he would have just used Anglo-Saxon featured, English accented

: actors and removed the Jewish historicity of the story he could have

: pleased everyone.

Well that wouldn't have pleased me for starters! But then actually this is what he did. OK his Jesus wasn't blond, but he was certainly European, and only had non-blue eyes because Gibson digitially altered them, but other than colouring he certainly had anglo-saxon features.

Matt

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