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Short, preliminary trailer for The Passion


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I found this link and came here to post it...I did see that it had made its way into the (somewhat contentious) discussion of the Passion in the thread below. However, it's buried on page three there, so, for those who have not seen it, I thought that I'd start a new thread.

I have been fascinated by and skeptical of this project since I heard of its existence. I have a fair amount of respect for Gibson (both as an actor and a director), but also have fundamental problems with any portrayal of Christ on film. (I've also been laboring--unsuccessfully--to interview Gibson on this subject for WORLD.)

I had a surprisingly visceral (even emotional) reaction to the trailer though. In context, these are difficult images to watch.

I'm curious about the reaction of others to the trailer...

http://www.themoviebox.net/trailers/movieb...ion_tr_page.htm

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amcoffin wrote:

: I found this link and came here to post it...I did see that it had made its

: way into the (somewhat contentious) discussion of the Passion in the

: thread below. However, it's buried on page three there, so, for those who

: have not seen it, I thought that I'd start a new thread.

Note from the unofficial thread cop to the newbie: Trailer threads belong in the "Looking Forward in Film" forum, where, in fact, a thread on this trailer already exists:

http://promontoryarts.com/viewtopic.php?p=1203#1203

"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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For whatever reason, my computer is too slow to play most QuickTime films except for a frame every several seconds, so it wasn't until I visited a friend's place last night that I was finally able to watch this trailer properly -- and, um, it's interesting. I wonder whose foot that is, crushing the serpent, and in what context that shot is supposed to take place.

And I see that the film's adherence to historical accuracy is even looser than I had anticipated -- not only is Jim Caviezel keeping his loincloth on, but the nails are apparently going through the PALMS of his hands, and not through the wrists as they ought to.

(Wrists have been the standard in Jesus films ever since Campus Crusade's Jesus film, back in 1979 -- I was a wee lad at the time and I remember there being a LOT of discussion about this shift in our iconography, as it were. I believe The Last Temptation of Christ went the wrists route in 1988, too. I can't remember, offhand, what more recent films like The Miracle Maker or the CBS mini-series Jesus did, but I would think that, if they put the nails in the palms and not the wrists, I would have noticed.)

In addition, as Andrew Sullivan points out, Pilate's pronunciation of "Ecce homo" is "more Catholic 14th Century than Roman First Century."

So it would seem Mel Gibson is not trying to make the most historically accurate or realistic portrayal of the crucifixion, as many people have been asserting all this time, but rather he is trying to take a classic element of Catholic tradition or iconography and bloody it up. Would it be legitimate to ask, To what end? I mean, given that he's apparently NOT interested in showing us "what really happened", per se.

Click here for the existing thread on this film.

"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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I wonder whose foot that is, crushing the serpent, and in what context that shot is supposed to take place.
Well I guess its a reference to Gen 3v15, but you knew that anyway. What's the problem?

And I see that the film's adherence to historical accuracy is even looser than I had anticipated -- not only is Jim Caviezel keeping his loincloth on, but the nails are apparently going through the PALMS of his hands, and not through the wrists as they ought to.
Yeh, and don't they reckon it was unlikely he was crucified in the classic cruciform position, something that only "Last Temptation" has gone against?

(Wrists have been the standard in Jesus films ever since Campus Crusade's Jesus film, back in 1979 -- I was a wee lad at the time and I remember there being a LOT of discussion about this shift in our iconography, as it were. I believe The Last Temptation of Christ went the wrists route in 1988, too. I can't remember, offhand, what more recent films like The Miracle Maker or the CBS mini-series Jesus did, but I would think that, if they put the nails in the palms and not the wrists, I would have noticed.)
Ooh not noticed that one, but I think CBS was hands as was Life of Brian (was that after or before?). Which others were you thinking of?

In addition, Pilate's pronunciation of "Ecce homo" is "more Catholic 14th Century than Roman First Century."
Yeah I did spot that one

So it would seem Mel Gibson is not trying to make the most historically accurate or realistic portrayal of the crucifixion, as many people have been asserting all this time, but rather he is trying to take a classic element of Catholic tradition or iconography and bloody it up. Would it be legitimate to ask, To what end? I mean, given that he's apparently NOT interested in showing us "what really happened", per se.
There are 3 rules of Jesus films coming out

1 - Producer/director claims it will be historically accurate

2 - Christians slam it before they even see it

3 - There are claims it will be Anti-semitic

I guess its disappointing that errors have been exposed here already, butI don't think we really thought it would be anyway did we. Especially as there is no one universally excepted view of the historical events that one can compare to as standard.

Matt

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MattPage wrote:

: : I wonder whose foot that is, crushing the serpent, and in what context

: : that shot is supposed to take place.

:

: Well I guess its a reference to Gen 3v15, but you knew that anyway.

: What's the problem?

Didn't say there was one -- I'm just wondering how they fit it into the film. It appears to be happening at night -- will we see Jesus crush the serpent's head during his prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane? (In which case, would Jesus appear to be more confident than some of the gospels make him out to be?) (For that matter, would there even be room in our understanding of Passion Week to allow for the possibility that the Devil visited Jesus personally in Gethsemane, given that Luke 22:43 tells us an angel "appeared to him and strengthened him" there?) Or does this serpent-crushing episode happen in a flashback? Or is there a night-time scene after the resurrection, perhaps? Etc.

: Yeh, and don't they reckon it was unlikely he was crucified in the classic

: cruciform position, something that only "Last Temptation" has gone against?

Hadn't heard about that.

: : Wrists have been the standard in Jesus films ever since Campus

: : Crusade's Jesus film, back in 1979 -- I was a wee lad at the time and I

: : remember there being a LOT of discussion about this shift in our

: : iconography, as it were. I believe The Last Temptation of Christ went

: : the wrists route in 1988, too. I can't remember, offhand, what more

: : recent films like The Miracle Maker or the CBS mini-series Jesus did,

: : but I would think that, if they put the nails in the palms and not the

: : wrists, I would have noticed.

:

: Ooh not noticed that one, but I think CBS was hands as was Life of Brian

: (was that after or before?). Which others were you thinking of?

You mean, what other films have come out since then? Well, there's Jesus of Montreal (1989), Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999), the Visual Bible (1994), The Revolutionary (1999?) and so on, but I must admit I wasn't paying close attention to where they put the nails -- it's possible they stuck them in the palms, but because there hadn't been so much hoopla over their historical accuracy, I might not have cared so much. (Actually, the one thing I DO remember is that, in The Revolutionary, when the good thief yells "This man is innocent!!", he shakes his arms and you can TELL that they aren't really nailed down.)

: : In addition, Pilate's pronunciation of "Ecce homo" is "more Catholic 14th

: : Century than Roman First Century."

:

: Yeah I did spot that one

What, do ALL you Brits know Latin!?

: There are 3 rules of Jesus films coming out

: 1 - Producer/director claims it will be historically accurate

: 2 - Christians slam it before they even see it

: 3 - There are claims it will be Anti-semitic

smile.gif

: I guess its disappointing that errors have been exposed here already,

: butI don't think we really thought it would be anyway did we. Especially

: as there is no one universally excepted view of the historical events that

: one can compare to as standard.

I guess what I find worthy of caution is the fact that Gibson, rather than make the most historically accurate Jesus film to date, apparently just wants to make the bloodiest Jesus film to date. And that takes us back to the question of whether Gibson has a "pornographic" interest in violence, etc. I can accept blood and gore when it is PART of a film's historical authenticity, but when the film is clearly just a traditional passion play, replete with historical inaccuracies, but with tons of blood thrown in -- well, something about that doesn't seem quite right to me.

"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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Last week, I saw 8 minutes of footage from The Gospel According to John, produced by Visual Bible. This production is "Coming to Theatres, Fall 2003".

In this production, directed by Philip Saville, the nails go through the wrists.

BTW, it looks quite good. The actor playing Jesus can act, but looks more Swedish than Jewish. Apart from that, the cast is largely Canadian and British stage actors, and it does sound like a play, though the visuals are quite strong.

The production is word-for-word from the Good News Bible (American Bible Society).

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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It appears to be happening at night
Could that be the hours of darkness [Matt 27v45]? (c.f. Crucifixion scene in Barabbas)

:: "Non classic crucifixion position

: "Hadn't heard about that."

Really? That is surprising. I thought it was well known, but then you're Mr Biblical Archaeology review, so perhaps I'm wrong?

: "You mean, what other films have come out since then? Well, there's Jesus of Montreal (1989),

Got that one, can't remember the details of the scene, but wasn't sure you'd count it, as its not a "historical" film about Jesus per se. Hey hang on that's one of the sources for the non-standard crucifixon pose thing I was on about aboe. He talks about it looks at pictures of it and then goes for the traditional position, which seems a bit strange on reflection.

: Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999),

Got it, man its lame. I've seen that bit twice, but again, can't remember the specifics

: the Visual Bible (1994),

Ditto

:The Revolutionary (1999?)

Ooh not heard of that one - D'oh, not available on video. You get loads more of these in N.Am than we do

: : In addition, Pilate's pronunciation of "Ecce homo" is "more Catholic 14th

: : Century than Roman First Century."

:

: Yeah I did spot that one

What, do ALL you Brits know Latin!?

Amo, amas, amat. amarmis, amartis, amant - and that's about all I remember from my year tudying it at school (the answer to your question is definitely no however) - sorry. I'm not sure where I got this from probably a mix of other Jesus films (Zefirellis for one), discussion over the Wallinger sculpure of the same name (anyone seen it, or know of it?), and a bit of other stuff.
I guess what I find worthy of caution is the fact that Gibson, rather than make the most historically accurate Jesus film to date, apparently just wants to make the bloodiest Jesus film to date. And that takes us back to the question of whether Gibson has a "pornographic" interest in violence, etc. I can accept blood and gore when it is PART of a film's historical authenticity, but when the film is clearly just a traditional passion play, replete with historical inaccuracies, but with tons of blood thrown in -- well, something about that doesn't seem quite right to me.
Yeah I see what you're driving at - time will tell I suppose - roll on Easter!

Matt

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MattPage wrote:

: : It appears to be happening at night

:

: Could that be the hours of darkness [Matt 27v45]?

If it is, then whose sandalled foot is crushing the snake?

: : : Non classic crucifixion position

: :

: : Hadn't heard about that.

:

: Really? That is surprising. I thought it was well known, but then you're Mr

: Biblical Archaeology review, so perhaps I'm wrong?

Oh, wait a minute, you mean Willem Dafoe was crucified in a position that is different from all the other filmed crucifixions, which bear a closer resemblance to classic iconography, yes? Okay, yeah, that I knew.

: : . . . The Revolutionary (1999?) . . .

:

: Ooh not heard of that one - D'oh, not available on video. You get loads

: more of these in N.Am than we do

This one was produced straight-to-video by TBN ... and in three versions. There was an initial film, and then a "sequel" which covered some of the same ground as the first film, and then an "epic" which combinde the two films and possibly had some even newer footage mixed in. I've only seen the two short versions so far.

: Yeah I see what you're driving at - time will tell I suppose - roll on Easter!

"Maranatha", perhaps? 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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I checked out all the Jesus films since 1979 to check the theory

Last temptation - wrists

Jesus of Montreal - D'oh - not the traditional crucifixion pose as I said above. Also this one is slightly weird. It look sthey hammer into the wrists but when he's on the cross either the nails aren't there or he's holding them, giving the effect of it looking like they're in his hands (but then I suppose the nails aren't meant t go into Daniel in this film)

Visual Bible - well yo don't get to see it in the film, BUT the still on the back cover shows them through his hands

Miracle Maker - wrists

Jesus Christ Superstar - stageshow version - hands

Jesus CBS - wrists

Lamb of God - hands

Interesting that those made by more religiously motivated people still go for the through the hands approach.

Matt

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MattPage wrote:

: I checked out all the Jesus films since 1979 to check the theory

All? Where's The Revolutionary? Mary the Mother of Jesus? Mary of Nazareth? smile.gif

: Lamb of God - hands

Never heard of this one.

"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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Ok...all that I have (except Mary te mother cos I couldn't be bothereds getting the video projector out).

I didn't know about Mary of Nazareth btw. I my have heard aboiut it and assumed it was the same as Mary the Mother of Jesus.

Lamb of God is a half hour Mormon film. Surprisingly completely faithful to the bible and quite well done. What's more it was free and I didn't get pestered afterwards.

Go here if you want one

http://www.mormon.org/freevideo/1,10163,14...5-1-791,00.html

Matt

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Lamb of God is a half hour Mormon film. Surprisingly completely faithful to the bible and quite well done. What's more it was free and I didn't get pestered afterwards.

Amazing! And it doesn't include a coda about Christ's visit to South America post-resurrection? Astonishing. Will consider putting it on my list.

Re: Gibson's Passion--the trailer did look extraordinarily bloody, and there may be something to the suggestion that MG is preoccupied with ultra-violence (I found the hatchet ambush of The Patriot, for example, unwatchable). Nevertheless, it also seems possible that we tend to want to clean up the Passion. Medieval visionary accounts are bloody, FWIW.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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MattPage wrote:

: I didn't know about Mary of Nazareth btw. I my have heard aboiut it and

: assumed it was the same as Mary the Mother of Jesus.

I have it on VHS, and it appears to be a foreign production that was dubbed into English -- I suspect it was originally French, but it has been some time since I saw it, so I couldn't say.

: Lamb of God is a half hour Mormon film.

Oh, right, this is beginning to ring a vague bell now.

: Go here if you want one

: http://www.mormon.org/freevideo/1,10163,14...5-1-791,00.html

Hmmm, only comes in VHS format? No DVD? Ah well, I might order it anyway. smile.gif

BethR wrote:

: Nevertheless, it also seems possible that we tend to want to clean up the

: Passion.

True, but I would venture to say that Mel Gibson is engaged in cleaning up the passion himself so long as he keeps that loincloth on Jesus. And the nakedness of Jesus on the cross is not just some modern, historical speculation -- it is actually part of Christian tradition and liturgy. Early Christians were baptized in the nude partly because this was seen as one way of imitating Christ and sharing his death; though the Romans crucified people in the nude to humiliate them, early Christians saw Christ's nudity in a more positive light. To quote one of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem's catechetical lectures:

As soon, then, as ye entered, ye put off your tunic; and this was an image of putting off the old man with his deeds. Having stripped yourselves, ye were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the Cross, and by His nakedness put off from Himself the principalities and powers, and openly triumphed over them on the tree. For since the adverse powers made their lair in your members, ye may no longer wear that old garment; I do not at all mean this visible one, but the aid man, which waxeth corrupt in the lusts of deceit. May the soul which has once put him off, never again put him on, but say with the Spouse of Christ in the Song of Songs, I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on? O wondrous thing! ye were naked in the sight of all, and were not ashamed; for truly ye bore the likeness of the first-formed Adam, who was naked in the garden, and was not ashamed.

Methinks the references to Adam and the Spouse of Christ rule out the possibility that these baptismal candidates were allowed to keep their underwear on.

"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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MattPage wrote:

: Interesting how no-one practieces that these days!!

I know Orthodox churches still baptize infants in the nude, but I believe the adults get to be a little more modest.

"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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There's something I'm not understanding here: Why is Satan played by a woman?
Well firstly we don't know for definite that that woman is Satan, secondly there might be more than one representation of satan, and thirdly why not? He's usually played by a man, but this is the 21st century now you know wink.gif There's no reason why that should raise comment per se.

Matt

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My understanding is that Satan is anthropomorphized as a woman in part to provide a parallel / point of contrast in relation to another significant observer of the crucifixion, Jesus' mother.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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SDG wrote:

: My understanding is that Satan is anthropomorphized as a woman in part

: to provide a parallel / point of contrast in relation to another significant

: observer of the crucifixion, Jesus' mother.

Interesting. Got a source for that?

FWIW, the only other Jesus movies I can think of that have shown the devil in female form, i.e. The Last Temptation of Christ and the CBS mini-series Jesus, have also shown the devil in male form as well. I know Michelangelo depicts the serpent in the Garden of Eden with breasts (and the trailer for The Passion does make use of serpent imagery), but beyond that, I don't know what other precedent there is for depicting the devil as a woman.

"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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Peter T Chattaway wrote:

Interesting. Got a source for that?

Just the Barbara Nicolosi piece I think we've all seen, in which she writes, "The film is lovingly Marian. Mary is perfectly portrayed here. She is contrasted repeatedly with the really super-creepy Satan character, who is also a woman."

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Ah, right.

Just wondering something -- we all know that Jim Caviezel was hired for the role of Jesus partly because he is a devout Catholic with strong morals, etc., but what about the casting of Monica Bellucci as the Virgin Mary? Will those of us who have seen her in Malena, The Matrix Reloaded or -- shudder -- Irreversible be able to accept her as a stand-in for purity, etc.? I know, I know, good actors can play ANY role they choose, but a star's persona goes beyond his or her acting ability, and Bellucci is pretty widely known as a sex bomb on her native continent. Is there any precedent for casting someone like her in this role? The closest I can think of is when Zeffirelli cast Olivia Hussey in Jesus of Nazareth, nearly a decade after he exposed her teenaged breasts in Romeo and Juliet.

"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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well Jacqueline Bisset was in Sex & Mrs X which screened before Jesus CBS in the states, although it was made afterwards (although I've not seen it I remember someone saying it was a bit weird her being in both)

Matt

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Oh, and while I thikn on it I have a friend who found it hard to take CBS seriously cos it had GW Bailey in, and they just kept thinking of Police academy.

Fortunately I've never had the "pleasure"

reminds me of a couple of Homer quotes:

"When I first heard that Marge was joining the police academy, I thought it would be fun and zany, like that movie Spaceballs. But instead it was dark and disturbing. Like that movie -- Police Academy."

"We live in a society of laws, why do you think I took you to see all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well I didn't hear anybody laughing! Did you?"

Matt

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