There should be an award for best movie picture hype, since hype is what the movie industry is all about. There have been some awful movies which have made money only because the pre-publicity was far better than the movie it promoted.
In the case of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion Of The Christ”; the trailers of the production which have thus far evoked such extraordinary debate have made this movie a runaway sensation.
Nothing could have been better for Mel Gibson than to have this movie described as anti-Semitic and hateful towards Jews. To have Rabbis and members of Jewish organizations come out so strongly to condemn his movie guaranteed its box-office success.
If Gibson deserves any tribute for cinematic excellence, it has to be the way this movie of his grew feet and sprinted to the pinnacle of self-promotion.
I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t intend to.
I make it a policy to stay away from movies that are replete with gratuitous violence, and from the little I’ve seen of television previews and critiques from people who have seen the movie, it’s all about violence.
I don’t have to see people graphically struck in the head by rocks, or nails tearing through the flesh, as if I was there up close and personal to feel as if I’ve received my money’s worth during a movie evening out.
When I go to a movie (which is often), it is to be entertained. To me, there is nothing entertaining about murder and torture. I can watch that, all I want to on the evening news.
I also don’t like historical revisionism passed off as fact.
Bowling for Columbine was a lie that portrayed an actual event. Nonetheless, it won an Academy Award. Mel Gibson’s last “epic”, The Patriot was also a lie based upon an actual event. It didn’t win an award. But it did teach people a lesson in history that never happened the way it was produced.
Because Mel Gibson put words in Christ’s mouth, and detailed the minutia of his torture as accurate fact, where’s the difference between his movie The Patriot and his movie about the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ?
There is not one known record of anything ever said or written by Jesus Christ. So, for Gibson to have created a dialogue for Christ, is more than just a little creative license. It is a lie, and under Church doctrine, I imagine it should be considered a blasphemy.
What is sad about the movie is not just the violence, inaccuracies and conjecture, it is the fact that people who see it will believe that this is the way it was. Whether it was or not.
Hollywood and the movie industry in general, has a horrible tradition of rewriting history.
People who want to be convinced of their religious values, or have their faith reinforced will look at this movie as if it is in itself part of the Gospel, never thinking that it is nothing more and nothing less than just a movie made by a person with an agenda.
This movie, as best I understand it does not tell a story nearly as much as it tears at the viewers guts.
I am a secular individual who was raised as a practising Jew. But being secular, I view all of religion with suspicion. More than that however; I view all of history with suspicion.
Therefore; I devour books on the past in the hope of finding some truth and better understanding. I don’t succumb to the creative juices of a movie director and producer for historical fact.
I recently completed the reading of a fascinating book on the life and influence of Christ, called the Da Vinci Code. The writer made it very clear that his foundation is built on solid evidence widely accepted by religious scholars, but his plot was totally fictional.
I received a greater understanding of the history and ways of Christianity from this book, than anyone will ever receive from Gibson’s personal vision of Christ’s torment.
I have been involved with political and social events that happened in the morning, and by noon news of the same day, the facts were already misreported by the media.
I have been reported by respected news media of saying things I never said, of having been at places I was never at, and of holding a philosophy counter to what I actually believe.
This misreporting happened during the transition between the 20th and 21st centuries, where the media is equipped with the most modern of communication tools, including recording devices capable of capturing the truth and essence of any event.
Yet; distortions, inaccuracies and fabrications are in abundance.
How am I to believe the truth and accuracy of events that transpired thousands of years ago, written by men steeped in superstition, ignorance, fear and a passion, who were without the reporting tools we have at our disposal today, when we can’t get it right with everything we currently have on-hand?
Gibson’s movie might be great gory entertainment. It will inflame the passions of some Christian believers. And it will make other Christian believers uncomfortable.
It has already stirred the embers of debate amongst Christians who are at a cross-road. I believe his contrived depiction of the last 12 hours will for some Christians be enough to smother their already faintly flickering embers.
In all, Gibson’s movie will not rock or change the world.
The only certainty about this movie is that it will make Mel Gibson an awful lot of money, and be a source of debate for less time than most people think.
Janet Jackson’s naked Super Bowl Breast will have a longer shelf-life in the eye of the media.