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Old 02-24-2004, 06:54 PM   #91
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3.Lurid or sensational material:


por·nog·ra·phy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pôr-ngr-f)
n.
1. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
2.The presentation or production of this material.

3.Lurid or sensational material: “Recent novels about the Holocaust have kept Hitler well offstage [so as] to avoid the... pornography of the era” (Morris Dickstein).









"This is no ordinary movie flogging. This is an unspeakably savage, unrelenting real-time beating, first with a cane, then with an especially barbarous instrument the press material identifies as "a flagrum, or 'the cat o' nine tails,' a whip designed with multiple straps and embedded with barbed metal tips to catch and shred the skin and cause considerable blood loss." All of which is shown in a kind of horrific detail that would be unthinkable in a film that could not claim the kind of religious connection this one does.

When this torture, gruesome enough to disgust even the hardened Romans, is done, the Jews, to Pilate's evident disbelief, are still not satisfied, even insisting that the subhuman murderer Barabbas be released and Jesus, soon to be fitted with a graphically embedded crown of thorns, crucified. Which is what happens, but not all at once."


"For "The Passion of the Christ" spends a considerable amount of time on meticulously detailing the agonies of the road to Calvary as well as the tortures of the actual Roman crucifixion, including unblinkingly graphic close-ups of the actual nailing and a shot of a bird pecking out the eye of one of the thieves crucified alongside Jesus. These sequences, shot during an Italian winter, were so intense they nearly did Caviezel in, causing a lung infection and severe hypothermia, all on top of the blistering, shoulder dislocation and actual wounding he experienced during the whipping sequence.

For one thing, close readers of the film have said that some of the tortures are added on: There is no scriptural source for the cross falling over so that Jesus falls on his face. If ever there was a film that wasn't crying out for more violence, this is it.

The problem with "The Passion's" violence is not merely how difficult it is to take, it's that its sadistic intensity obliterates everything else about the film. Worse than that, it fosters a one-dimensional view of Jesus, reducing his entire life and world-transforming teachings to his sufferings, to the notion that he was exclusively someone who was willing to absorb unspeakable punishment for our sins.

Despite brief flashbacks that nod to Jesus' other words and thoughts, no hypothetical viewer coming to this film absent any knowledge of Christianity would believe that this is the story that gave birth to one of the great transformative religions as well as countless works of timeless beauty.

And without belief, this film does not add up. Without training in or exposure to Christianity, you are likely to feel as flummoxed by what you're seeing as Western missionaries did when they observed pagan rituals to which they lacked any emotional connection."
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:59 PM   #92
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Guessing at the intentions of the movie, the graphic scenes will add to the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross. A few years back, a PhD I know explained in detail what happened to the body as it was crucified. The verbal description alone is very moving.

It brings a reality to what otherwise might be tucked away as a nice little story.
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:17 PM   #93
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Do you think it being so "graphic and gory" is going to add to or detract from the intention of the movie though?
I really don't know. The whole thing is supposed to be about almost unbelievable suffering, so it's supposed to overwhelm. I suppose that's the purpose of the movie. I'm not sure I *have* to experience this to have a grasp of what Christ's Passion was about. It's a little intimidating. In that sense it might distract a bit. I don't know, it's hard to say.
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:35 PM   #94
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Originally posted by deep
"This is no ordinary movie flogging. This is an unspeakably savage, unrelenting real-time beating, first with a cane, then with an especially barbarous instrument the press material identifies as "a flagrum, or 'the cat o' nine tails,' a whip designed with multiple straps and embedded with barbed metal tips to catch and shred the skin and cause considerable blood loss." All of which is shown in a kind of horrific detail that would be unthinkable in a film that could not claim the kind of religious connection this one does.

When this torture, gruesome enough to disgust even the hardened Romans, is done, the Jews, to Pilate's evident disbelief, are still not satisfied, even insisting that the subhuman murderer Barabbas be released and Jesus, soon to be fitted with a graphically embedded crown of thorns, crucified. Which is what happens, but not all at once."


"For "The Passion of the Christ" spends a considerable amount of time on meticulously detailing the agonies of the road to Calvary as well as the tortures of the actual Roman crucifixion, including unblinkingly graphic close-ups of the actual nailing and a shot of a bird pecking out the eye of one of the thieves crucified alongside Jesus. These sequences, shot during an Italian winter, were so intense they nearly did Caviezel in, causing a lung infection and severe hypothermia, all on top of the blistering, shoulder dislocation and actual wounding he experienced during the whipping sequence.

For one thing, close readers of the film have said that some of the tortures are added on: There is no scriptural source for the cross falling over so that Jesus falls on his face. If ever there was a film that wasn't crying out for more violence, this is it.

The problem with "The Passion's" violence is not merely how difficult it is to take, it's that its sadistic intensity obliterates everything else about the film. Worse than that, it fosters a one-dimensional view of Jesus, reducing his entire life and world-transforming teachings to his sufferings, to the notion that he was exclusively someone who was willing to absorb unspeakable punishment for our sins.

Despite brief flashbacks that nod to Jesus' other words and thoughts, no hypothetical viewer coming to this film absent any knowledge of Christianity would believe that this is the story that gave birth to one of the great transformative religions as well as countless works of timeless beauty.

And without belief, this film does not add up. Without training in or exposure to Christianity, you are likely to feel as flummoxed by what you're seeing as Western missionaries did when they observed pagan rituals to which they lacked any emotional connection."
For those interested:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-e...lines-business

HEre is the entire article Deep quoted.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:20 PM   #95
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There might be some exaggeration in the Passions scenes, but I'll have to see it. But the fact remains that crucifixion remains one of the vilest most sadistic actions devised by humans. I've read the accounts of what happens during a crucifixion. It's horrific. And left to itself a crucifxion can normally go on for over day sometimes two. Breaking the legs of someone being crucified is a act of incredible mercy because death follows swiftly.

And flogging is a horrible thing. As a punnishment no longer handed out in western society we don't remember how bad it was. The cat 'o nine tails and the rum ration kept ships full of borderline criminals and disgruntled peasants, in horrific conditions loyal to their captains. A solid flogging could cripple a man for life, even a moderate one would leve you in agony for well over a week. It's also very easy to kill someone during a flogging. Such are the realities.

The Passion and Ressurection are the central elements of Christian faith. Though Christs death and rising and only these are we reconciled to God, only through Christs death are we made alive. Unless you believe that then Jesus is simply another moral teacher (an a nutty one at that). There's a reason why Christ left us the Lord's Supper, so that we would never forget, so that we could never divorce ourselves from the heart of our faith.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:40 PM   #96
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:43 PM   #97
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********SPOILERS********

Well, folks, you might not believe it, but I've just come back from seeing the movie. That's right: I found my way inside an advance screening here in Boston, so let me comment on the film:

1) The film is very violent. Very. The film is two hours of graphic violence. It is the "Saving Private Ryan" of religious films, and there's no doubt about that.

2) I can see why some groups may perceive the film as anti-Semitic, but I respectfully disagree. The blame is certainly laid square on the Pharisees, namely Caiphas and his fellow high priests (I *think* that's what they were called ), and it looked more like a directed mob crowd by Caiphas than anything.

3) The film is lacking in any plot and takes some major liberties. Sad to say, the only people who will be able to make sense of this film are those who are already familiar with Christianity. The apostles are loosely and barely mentioned; only Judas, Peter, and John are shown, and, even then, Peter is the only one mentioned by name at all.

4) The "Satan" character is probably the most uncalled for. His nearly constant presence in the film--where he has an uncanny resemblence to Ingmar Bergman's "Death" character in "The Seventh Seal"--has the least Biblical basis of it all, but maybe not, if I include the dead camel with maggots, the demon children, and the incredible lengths that the film goes to to make Judas and Pontius Pilate sympathetic characters (and, of course, amplifying the evil of Caiphas and the rest of the Pharisees).

5) There were way too many Caucasians in the film. Too many. They even bleached Simon of Cyrene (again, not mentioned by name, but any good Catholic knows exactly who it is) to the point that it was laughable--tradition holds that he was probably black, but he looked more like a black person taking bleaching pills a la Michael Jackson. Jesus, of course, is as white as can be, even though, if the film wants to be accurate, he should probably look more Mediterranean.

6) The film glosses over important aspects of the Passion, in favor of violence. Jesus' Resurrection is reduced to the last minute of the film and the Garden of Gethsemane is where the film begins--but fast-forwarded to the part where He is arrested and betrayed by Judas.

With that, I neither believe the film to be as bad as its detractors say, nor as good as its supporters believe. I would say it is the polar opposite to Martin Scorcese's "The Last Temptation of Christ," but, if you remember my belief on polar opposites, they are similarly (in)accurate.

The one thing I would have to say was probably the most accurate was the violence. It certainly showed how vicious the Roman Empire was capable of being, but, in some ways, the film's emphasis on the violence is perhaps more of a reflection on our own failings. A film on the love of Christ is distrusted as "inaccurate," while a film on blood and gore is hailed. As I've mentioned before, people only understand fear and violence, and that's probably the reason why, today, Jesus' true message eludes many, just as it eluded people 2000 years ago.

And that's really all I have to say. Go see it, if you'd like, and try to see it with an open mind, but, if you have an aversion to graphic violence--and I promise you it is--don't see it.

Melon
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:47 PM   #98
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And, BTW, in spite of the fact that I got a when I mentioned that these screenings were probably orchestrated by conservative Christians, I was correct. The screening was organized by an evangelical Protestant group. I made sure to leave before the concluding propaganda by the minister.

I'm probably the most disappointed in the surrounding ideology outside the film. There is much that is left open for interpretation--probably thanks to the film's complete lack of plot--and if it weren't so paraded by conservative Christian groups, I think that there could be wider audiences for it. However, I'm sure I'll be in the minority when I say that a liberal could enjoy the film.

It was an interesting experience, regardless...

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Old 02-24-2004, 10:49 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
For those interested:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-e...lines-business

Here is the entire article Deep quoted.
I have to agree with the review, for the most part. It is a very one-sided film that will leave non-Christians completely clueless. It does a terrible job of telling any story at all.

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Old 02-24-2004, 10:57 PM   #100
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********SPOILERS********

Well, folks, you might not believe it, but I've just come back from seeing the movie. That's right: I found my way inside an advance screening here in Boston, so let me comment on the film:
Where was my invite Melon

Still waiting for the cup of coffee!!!
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:02 PM   #101
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Where was my invite Melon

Still waiting for the cup of coffee!!!
It was sudden. I was not expecting to see the film. I walked out of class, and, apparently, one of the church members (it looked to be a church full of college students) chose to go to the bar next door instead...lol. So, on a whim, I went.

And, yes...the coffee...thanks for reminding me. Give me a week or two, and I think I have some free time.

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Old 02-24-2004, 11:15 PM   #102
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It was sudden. I was not expecting to see the film. I walked out of class, and, apparently, one of the church members (it looked to be a church full of college students) chose to go to the bar next door instead...lol. So, on a whim, I went.

And, yes...the coffee...thanks for reminding me. Give me a week or two, and I think I have some free time.

Melon
We could have argued over the coffee after seeing it!!!!!

LOL...Thanks for the heads up.

WE recently started attending an Epicopal Church. They are having some discussion groups over the movie in the weeks to come.
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Old 02-25-2004, 01:39 AM   #103
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Originally posted by melon
As I've mentioned before, people only understand fear and violence, and that's probably the reason why, today, Jesus' true message eludes many, just as it eluded people 2000 years ago.
Just a quick query. Though I'm sure you must have said it before what would you say Jesus' true message was?

Back to the Passion.

Must say I was wondering who that Death looking individual was in the previews.

Accuracy was one thingI was worried about from what I heard about this movie. I'll still see it but my suspicions seem to have been confirmed. Why can't directors just let the story tell itself? The Gospels (well the Synoptics anyway) are fairly straightforward save for context issues (most notably in the imagery Jesus uses).

Ciaphas and his fellow priests would be Sadducees not Pharissees. The religious aristocracy while not exclusively compsed of Sadducees was composed ofthem in a solid majority. All aristocrats may not have been Sadducees but all Sadducees were aristocrats. Pharisism was a lay movement (Paul while a Pharisee was a tent maker by trade) that was on a whole fairly neutral to Christianity (some were for it like Paul who as far as can be told regarded himself as a Pharisee to the end, others like Gamaliel I - who's grandson also called Gamaliel would found Rabinic Judiasim I think - Paul's teacher advocated leaving the Way as ti was called at the time alone). Matthew is quite negative towards them as Matthew was writing as a member of a Jesus believing Jewish community who were like the Pharisees competing to form the definitive version of Judaism after the fall of the Temple. The Sadducees are really the natural opponents of Jesus message as they didn't belive inteh resurrection and were the Authority he was challenging. The term "the Jews" also refers to the Temple aristocracy. Josephus (the main Jewish historian of the 1st Century) uses this term to describe the authorities he opposed. A better term than the ambiguous "the Jews" would be Judeans, but since there is no obvious distinction in the Greek between the two senses of the word for Jew, we get "the Jews" in our Bibles.
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Old 02-25-2004, 05:49 PM   #104
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Thanks for that review Melon. I thought I had read that the "Satan" character (the one who walks around eerily in a hood, if that is the Satan character) was a female. Now that would be a whole other discussion

The descriptions of the violence I've read (one even said the violence was pornographic) make me afraid to even attempt to see it.

Of course after all is said and done, this movie is just one man's vision, and hopefully most people will keep that in mind.
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Old 02-25-2004, 06:02 PM   #105
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Of course after all is said and done, this movie is just one man's vision, and hopefully most people will keep that in mind.
Not exactly. I think that will be hard to sell people. This is a film that many churches, organizations, and individuals have adopted and marketed on their own time with their own money using it as a tool to "bring in followers." I think it's beyond one man's vision now.
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