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Old 03-16-2005, 01:36 PM   #61
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
This should tell you something.
That it's rather violent and gruesome?
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:26 PM   #62
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it seems to me that reactions to this movie are hugely split upon religious identification. Christians seem to view it as akin to a Schindler's List for Christianity -- a document of how horrible it was, and why it's so important. for non-Christians, it appears to be more of a rather cruel film who's violence is not justified.

but is it a good movie? or is that not the point? is this a movie that can be viewed objectively, or is it by nature impossible to do so?
Well, both me and my friend saw it and while both of us were raised Christian (I as a Lutheran, he as an Episcopalian), neither of us are "actively faithful." We're both movie junkies and went more out of curiosity, and out of a previous appreciation of Gibson's work than any religious conviction.

We both liked the film as a film rather than a religious testament. I thought it was extremely powerful, visually stunning, historically accurate, well-acted and with great special effects/make-up. I considered it one of the better movies of last year.

Naturally, the film forced me to look at it religiously too. We Lutherans never concentrated on the Crucifixion the way the Catholics do, so for me it was actually an interesting new focus, a sort of "Wow, I never thought about it that way." It did make me remember that, whatever feelings or misgivings I currently had with Christianity, this *was* a real person and I shouldn't be so dismissive. But perhaps ironically, it had the opposite effect of driving me further from the church, since I still feel that what most institutions practice is far from what the man himself taught.

On the other hand, I know very religious people *and* athiests who absolutely loathed the film, just as I know devout people who absolutely loved it. It's certainly not a film I would watch over and over again, just as I wouldn't watch "Schindler's List" they're just too much for me to handle.
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:40 PM   #63
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i haven't seen the film, so i'm trying to be open minded, but i've seen other Gibson films, and they are all preoccupied with suffering, pain, and torture. film is a director's medium -- could it be that the blood and gore are Gibson's artistic decisions as opposed to historically accurate renderings?
Why do people focus so much on the violence of Gibson's films?He's only directed three, two of which were violent. Whether "Braveheart" and "The Passion" were excessively violent is individual opinion.

Regardless of how one feels it was used in "The Passion," the fact remains that Gibson's violence is generally appropriate and authentic to the films he makes. I remember "Braveheart" being quite shocking when I first saw it, but it's appropriate for 14th century warfare. William Wallace really died that way. If Ridley Scott had directed it, no one would care, but because it's Mel Gibson, suddenly it's a sign of a twisted mind? I think he might even get more flack than Tarantino these days.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:38 PM   #64
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On the other hand, I know very religious people *and* athiests who absolutely loathed the film, just as I know devout people who absolutely loved it.
Most certainly. I know a pastor who refused to watch it, I'm not exactly sure why.

I too, agree that Mel is getting all the attention for film violence these days. Seems we have forgotten about Quentin Tarantino and Steve Beck.

As if we've never had a gore fest in film.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:58 PM   #65
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Seems we have forgotten about Quentin Tarantino and Steve Beck.

As if we've never had a gore fest in film.
Yes but this is exactly the irony. Churches always renounced these other films for being a gore fest, but now as soon as you put Jesus on the recieving end of the gore fest then it's worthy of showing in a church. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:29 PM   #66
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yes but this is exactly the irony. Churches always renounced these other films for being a gore fest, but now as soon as you put Jesus on the recieving end of the gore fest then it's worthy of showing in a church. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.
Likewise, there is the irony/hypocrisy of those who praised Tarantino's work as "art" yet dismiss Gibson's "The Passion" as excessive violence. I personally don't have a problem with violent films, as I enjoy many cheesy horror films from the 80s, but I would suggest that some of the otherwise culturally prudish types who will accept the violence in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST and even BRAVEHEART (while renouncing others) is because these films are potrayed in a historic context. I admit that I don't keep up with Tarantino and his films, but are any of his "gratuitously violent" works based on historical events?

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Old 03-16-2005, 07:48 PM   #67
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Likewise, there is the irony/hypocrisy of those who praised Tarantino's work as "art" yet dismiss Gibson's "The Passion" as excessive violence.
I agree to a certain point.
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:46 PM   #68
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yes but this is exactly the irony. Churches always renounced these other films for being a gore fest, but now as soon as you put Jesus on the recieving end of the gore fest then it's worthy of showing in a church. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.
That I will agree with. It's ridiculous to label other films as "unsuitable" and then rush out and embrace something just as violent.

I know my Baptist relatives who thought "The Passion" was God's gift won't sit through anything by Tarantino. In fact, I have a hard time getting them to watch anything for fear it might be "weird" or have sex or violence. They were offended by "City of Angels." But they lined right up for "The Passion."

That is hypocrisy. I agree with U2Bama too, it was hypocritical that the film industry displayed such horror. I think there are plenty of films that are worse, or equal. It was the context that was upsetting, just as the violence in "Saving Private Ryan" or "Schindler's List" is. And rightfully so.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:02 PM   #69
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Originally posted by U2Bama


Likewise, there is the irony/hypocrisy of those who praised Tarantino's work as "art" yet dismiss Gibson's "The Passion" as excessive violence. I personally don't have a problem with violent films, as I enjoy many cheesy horror films from the 80s, but I would suggest that some of the otherwise culturally prudish types who will accept the violence in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST and even BRAVEHEART (while renouncing others) is because these films are potrayed in a historic context. I admit that I don't keep up with Tarantino and his films, but are any of his "gratuitously violent" works based on historical events?

~U2Alabama



well, but this is the point of Tarantino. he takes violence and gore and makes you laugh at it, which is in itself an artistic move. it's waaaay to long for me to get into here, but i would say that Tarantino is excessively violent, but i dont have a problem with it because it has no pretentions about it -- it's sometimes a joke, sometimes commentary, and sometimes devoid of meaning. all these are totally appropriate within a postmodern film context, an amoral univese within which Trantino operates. it's all so ironic that the violence isn't even violence, really -- there's not much pain, not much suffering ... i think of Kill Bill, and by the end i was in hysterics as the blood spurted all over the place, gushing as if it were from a firehose, and it was all so unrealistic (and all so breathtakingly virtuosic from a filmmaking perspective) that it was impossible to take seriously. it was a cartoon, more than anything else.

i do think, then, that there are comparisons to be made not with Tarantino, but with "the passion" and "private ryan" or "black hawk down."

first, it's not just Gibson as a director, but Gibson as an actor who is obsessed with pain and suffering. think of the torture scene in the first Lethal Weapon. think of "when we were soldiers." many of Gibson's characters inhabit brutal, violent worlds where violence is often a justified response to other bad things. and as a director, and especially with braveheart -- let's not forget, the final scene is of a disembowelment and beheadding -- and to another level with "the passion," Gibson is about violence and suffering and appears highly intereted in these subjects.

which is fine. he's a director, and i do think he's rather skilled, as both a director and as an actor -- example, he was a very fine Hamlet waaay back in 1990 in the Ziferelli verison.

so this begs the question -- why make a movie on Jesus, and focus to a pornographic extent (and by pornography i mean the reduction of the human to merely flesh) on the violence of Jesus' last hours on earth, especialy when the historical justification for such extreme suffering is tendentious at best (as has been pointed out here.

again, i haven't seen the film, so i'm just trying to provoke dialogue. as someone who aspires to make films, and really grapples with issues of violence in films since i don't like violence at all though i think it can be justiifed -- for example, while i thought SPR was fine, i thought "black hawk down" was more violent than it had to be ... the suffering of the characters was equated with their masculinity, whereas in SPR the violence was characterized much more accuately, in my view, by the ferocity of the randomness and the randomness of the ferocity (the only false notes being those crappy cemetary scenes and Hanks' too noble death at the end) -- a movie like this is very interesting to me.

for the sake of argument, i'll post a reaction to the film that i found very thought provoking:

"The only cinematic achievement of The Passion of the Christ is that it breaks new ground in the verisimilitude of filmed violence. The notion that there is something spiritually exalting about the viewing of it is quite horrifying. The viewing of The Passion of the Christ is a profoundly brutalizing experience. Children must be protected from it. (If I were a Christian, I would not raise a Christian child on this.) Torture has been depicted in film many times before, but almost always in a spirit of protest. This film makes no quarrel with the pain that it excitedly inflicts. It is a repulsive masochistic fantasy, a sacred snuff film, and it leaves you with the feeling that the man who made it hates life."

also, "there is something deeply disturbed about this film. Its extreme and un-Biblical fascination with human torture reflects, to my mind, not devotion to the message of the Cross but a kind of psycho-sexual obsession with extreme violence that Gibson has indulged in many of his other movies and is now trying to insinuate into Christianity itself. The film could have shown suffering and cruelty much differently. It could have led us into the profound psychological pain that Jesus and his mother and disciples must have endured by giving us some human context to empathize with them; it could have prompted the viewer to use his or her own imagination to fill in the gaps of terror, as all great art does; it could have done much more by showing us much less. But the extremity is Gibson's obvious point. I can understand why traditionalist Catholics might be grateful that there is some Hollywood representation of their faith. But they shouldn't let their gratitude blind them to the psychotic vision of this disturbed director - and the deeper, creepier, heterodox theology that he is trying to espouse."
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:16 PM   #70
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I totally agree with reaction. This person said it much better than I.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:21 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Yes but this is exactly the irony. Churches always renounced these other films for being a gore fest, but now as soon as you put Jesus on the recieving end of the gore fest then it's worthy of showing in a church. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.
There are different ways to portray violence.

The kind of violence I don't enjoy is extreme fictional violence. A matter of taste? Perhaps, but also a matter of meaninglessness.

I personally think that if The Passion was fictional, I'd be grossed out by the imagination of the director. But seeing that Romans were in fact inhumane historically with their crucifixion methods, it's historically inspired. I don't understand that when Speilberg makes a film about millions of Jews being exterminated, we see it as violent but we don't protest it by the flock. Yet when it's Jesus, bam! It's PETA, it's The New York Post, The New York Times, it's rabbis, all these anti-defamation groups.

I'm willing to stomach historical violence because you experience something that really happened, and you feel for the victims, because you know it's based on fact. I don't feel like a hypocrite for going into a movie to experience the suffering rather than to be entertained. It's not supposed to be entertainment, it's supposed to strike a nerve, it's supposed to get your attention and take the sacrifice seriously.

I am willing to respectfully disagree with you, but this film is what motivated me to look further into the New Testament, and really dig deep into the sacrifice that was made for us, should we choose to believe in it.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:27 PM   #72
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe

I personally think that if The Passion was fictional, I'd be grossed out by the imagination of the director. But seeing that Romans were in fact inhumane historically with their crucifixion methods, it's historically inspired. I don't understand that when Speilberg makes a film about millions of Jews being exterminated, we see it as violent but we don't protest it by the flock. Yet when it's Jesus, bam! It's PETA, it's The New York Post, The New York Times, it's rabbis, all these anti-defamation groups.

i think one difference is that the original contraversy over The Passion was whether or not it was anti-Semetic. i have heard different reactions to whether or not it was, so i'm going to plead ignorace. but that was the intial issue with the film, and then they spun it into perhaps the most brilliant marketing plan in the history of motion pictures: "come see the movie the Jews don't want you to see."

as for Gibson violence vs. Spielberg violence ... again, hard for me to comment, but i do think a difference is that the violence in Schindler's List is very point-blank, to-the-point, and doesn't dwell on excessive suffering. it's random, it's brutal, it's also over in the amount of time it takes for a bullet from a Lugar to pierce a human skull. it depicts a reality, but it doesn't exploit suffering and pain in the way it appears as if the scouring in The Passion does.

again, just thoughts. i don't feel totally comfortable arguing this, but i just find it very interesting.

i do think that SL is a brillaint, brilliant film and an example of how to use violence in an appropriate manner.

i also think Gibson has every right to make this film. i also think that movies must be rated, and that ratings must be enforced.

i do worry, however, about parents who bring their children to this movie. i would hate to think that this is the most important part of Jesus' life, the part that's most worthy of a 2 hour film starring a really beautiful man.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:45 PM   #73
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I don't understand that when Speilberg makes a film about millions of Jews being exterminated, we see it as violent but we don't protest it by the flock. Yet when it's Jesus, bam!

The violence in the holacaust is historically proven by film and survivors, the violence of the Passion is still somewhat the directors perception. But it still comes down to one movie focused on it and the other didn't.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:50 PM   #74
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i think one difference is that the original contraversy over The Passion was whether or not it was anti-Semetic. i have heard different reactions to whether or not it was, so i'm going to plead ignorace. but that was the intial issue with the film, and then they spun it into perhaps the most brilliant marketing plan in the history of motion pictures: "come see the movie the Jews don't want you to see."
This is a good point, I think that Jews are quite fearful of something that comes out on them that in their view may stir anti-Semitism. I think that Gibson was trying to stick to the story as he believed to be true as priority number one. I don't believe he is anti-Semitic, but he has caused controversy in the past with Braveheart for example. What I found ridiculous was how people were pointing the finger at his father in order to attack Mel. I think his father's denial of the Holocaust was painfully naive, but it had nothing to do with the movie itself. If they made the religious leaders into Romans rather than Jews, it would not fit the story.

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Originally posted by Irvine511
as for Gibson violence vs. Spielberg violence ... again, hard for me to comment, but i do think a difference is that the violence in Schindler's List is very point-blank, to-the-point, and doesn't dwell on excessive suffering. it's random, it's brutal, it's also over in the amount of time it takes for a bullet from a Lugar to pierce a human skull. it depicts a reality, but it doesn't exploit suffering and pain in the way it appears as if the scouring in The Passion does.
I'll be honest, I haven't seen Schindler's List - but plan to eventually. Yes, the suffering is prolonged in a way, but it suits the title of the film quite well. From Medieval Latin passi referred to the sufferings of Jesus or a martyr. From Late Latin, physical suffering, martyrdom, or sinful desire. From Latin, an undergoing, from passus, past participle of pat, to suffer. Was it exploited? You decide.

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i do worry, however, about parents who bring their children to this movie. i would hate to think that this is the most important part of Jesus' life, the part that's most worthy of a 2 hour film starring a really beautiful man.
I actually agree to this. I don't think it's a kiddie flick at all. If the children can handle it under strict supervision and understand the message, I suppose it's within reason. But anything less than that has me puzzled as well.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:57 PM   #75
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
The violence in the holacaust is historically proven by film and survivors, the violence of the Passion is still somewhat the directors perception. But it still comes down to one movie focused on it and the other didn't.
This is a pretty good link, just to add to the discussion:

http://www.facingthechallenge.org/pa...historical.htm

There were some "artistic liberties" taken, as they call them, and they should be distinguished from the history of the event.
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