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amner
22nd Mar 2004, 13:21
Talking of which, when's Mel's pic out here, is it Friday?

I caught his interview on Jay Leno the other night and I have to say I found the man almost unbearably smug.

Sorry, that's another thread, huh?

Colyngbourne
22nd Mar 2004, 13:23
It is Friday, God help us.
I'm unhappy.
He's going to do the Maccabees next - holy war: great :roll:

Another Palimpsestin' Fool

amner
22nd Mar 2004, 13:28
Well done on the 500th post, C.

The Maccabees ... erm, the Jewish Hammer, yes?

Is this MG trying to undo the alleged anti-semitism of The Passion?

NottyImp
22nd Mar 2004, 13:30
The irony of Gibson's movie (not that he would get it anyway), is that there's much scholarly debate about whether Jesus even existed. Apart from some almost certainly later-interpolated segments in Josephus, there are no extant comtemporary historical sources that record him. That's just how important he was to the Romans...

But as Amner might say, "that's another message-board".

Colyngbourne
22nd Mar 2004, 14:00
I'll repeat the bit about him being mentioned in Pliny's letters, which obviously aren't contemporaneous.

However, you could hardly expect there to be contemporary accounts of his life/death/reported resurrection - he was a Jewish carpenter in a backwater of one of the more unattractive outposts of the Empire. The earliest accounts are about 40 AD/CE from the early epistles Corinthians and Galatians; the earliest gospel about 50-60 AD/CE.

amner
22nd Mar 2004, 14:55
It is Friday, God help us.
I'm unhappy.

I'm keen to know why. I've said before that I'm not religious but I've followed with great interest the debate that this movie seems to have stirred up and. like most great film debates, it's one that in order to involve myself in I'll have to actually go along and see. So I'm eager to hear the reasons for your trepidation

Colyngbourne
22nd Mar 2004, 15:16
I think it’s the way that Gibson has focused so exclusively and unnaturally on the extreme cruelty and physical toil/suffering of Jesus. The story begins in Gethsemane with Jesus’s doubts/struggles, which is of course the moment that the ‘passion’ begins, and Jesus becomes passive in one sense, and I don’t know what it makes of a resurrection scene (though I’d almost prefer not to know). The focus on the wounds and torture is excessive and akin to a worship of such things (the Five Wounds) rather than helpfully pointing to why Jesus is so revered by Christians etc. In that sense maybe it is idolatrous in its depiction of what were undoubtedly real Roman practices. There is basically no spiritual depth and no conveying of what would seem to be the heart of the Christian gospel – ie. That Jesus died, living out an utterly completely faithful-to-God God-filled (ie. love-filled) life, even dying because of it, and forgiving and trusting in God as he did so. From the reviews there is no indication that we see this side of the human-but-wholly-God-filled Jesus. That is crucial, and also the idea of the resurrection (in whatever form you believe it happened) – that is the thing that began it all, not the crucifixion itself as a commonplace death for an upstart carpenter challenging the religious status quo.

I think Gibson has to be more honest at what he is attempting to present in this movie. I have no difficulties with any other movie on this subject.

NottyImp
22nd Mar 2004, 16:08
"I think it’s the way that Gibson has focused so exclusively and unnaturally on the extreme cruelty and physical toil/suffering of Jesus."

I guess you could argue he's taking the "he died for our sins" angle here, and what a thoroughly horrible death it was. There can little doubting that, as crucifixtion after whatever tortures Jesus suffered is undoubtedly a pretty grim way to go.

It is, of course, a particularly visceral message to convey, but if he's after eliciting sympathy for Jesus and guilt at his demise, perhaps he may succeed.

NottyImp
22nd Mar 2004, 16:11
However, you could hardly expect there to be contemporary accounts of his life/death/reported resurrection - he was a Jewish carpenter in a backwater of one of the more unattractive outposts of the Empire. The earliest accounts are about 40 AD/CE from the early epistles Corinthians and Galatians; the earliest gospel about 50-60 AD/CE.

Agreed, and I'm no Bible scholar, but if one is interested in the historicity of Jesus (as opposed to a Christian interpretation of his life) , you don't get much (any) help from contemporary sources.

Colyngbourne
22nd Mar 2004, 16:54
I guess you could argue he's taking the "he died for our sins" angle here, and what a thoroughly horrible death it was. There can little doubting that, as crucifixtion after whatever tortures Jesus suffered is undoubtedly a pretty grim way to go.

It is, of course, a particularly visceral message to convey, but if he's after eliciting sympathy for Jesus and guilt at his demise, perhaps he may succeed.

Yes, but I'm not sure how much of our sympathies can be sought when even the hardiest critics turned away at the second bout of scourging. (It's similar to trying to invite the finesse of lit.crit whilst reading something like the Chuck Palahniuk Guts that was in the Grauniad the other Saturday.)

Personally I don't go with the 'he died for our sins' bit. Though many Christians do, it's a rather difficult one to explain and leads on to the idea that J was 'meant' to die for us (God's plan etc), to which idea I don't adhere either.

Stopping the theologising now :wink:

NottyImp
22nd Mar 2004, 17:19
Personally I don't go with the 'he died for our sins' bit. Though many Christians do, it's a rather difficult one to explain and leads on to the idea that J was 'meant' to die for us (God's plan etc), to which idea I don't adhere either.


It is very difficult to explain from a rational stand-point (God sends himself incarnate as his son so that he can sacrifice himself to himself for our sins - how weird is that?), but it is also a very powerful and emotional image that undoubtedly forms a key-stone of main-stream Christian theology.

Given that, Gibson may be playing on that particular image to an extreme degree. He may be trying to say "This is what Christ suffered for you".

I'm not a Christian, so it won't strike a thoelogical chord with me beyond the human suffering involved (which undoubtedly will), but from comments I've seen so far, it will with many, perhaps particularly an American audience.

rick green
22nd Mar 2004, 17:51
Personally I don't go with the 'he died for our sins' bit. Though many Christians do, it's a rather difficult one to explain and leads on to the idea that J was 'meant' to die for us (God's plan etc), to which idea I don't adhere either.


It is very difficult to explain from a rational stand-point (God sends himself incarnate as his son so that he can sacrifice himself to himself for our sins - how weird is that?), but it is also a very powerful and emotional image that undoubtedly forms a key-stone of main-stream Christian theology.


While I have no interest in seeing this movie (I agree with amner that MG is well nigh unbearable) I am finding this thread very interesting. I think the idea of a person suffering for the sins of others can be explained fairly well (although, perhaps by someone more eloquent than I). It just depends on where you begin. Working from the premise that God, the universe and everyone in it are in fact a unity is the way to go. That way, the whole thing reads as a shift of cause & effect (karma, sin & punishment--however you like) within a single body. It's just that this unity is a supposition without scientific basis, so I guess lots of people think it's an irrational one. Anyway, that's kinda how I see it.

bakunin_the_cat
22nd Mar 2004, 20:56
It might just be my take on it but people seem to get the whole karma-punishment stuff a bit wrong. Rather than seeing it as revenge/justice for what you did in previous lives, my wicker friend would say that it was something the soul had to learn on its journey to Nirvana, or Rickmansworth or wherever. What exactly a soul learns from being whipped, stabbed and nailed to a tree to endure an impossibly painful death, is beyond me but there you go. I'm not God.

Personally, even if I was a Christian, and I'm not, I don't think I could stomach MG being JC. Hollywood just can't do religious stories well. They're always just way over the top and swimming in holiness and false piety. I haven't seen this latest offering, but in previous efforts, if you'd given me a hammer, I would have driven the nails in myself. Anything to end my suffering at having to watch the thing.

Colyngbourne
22nd Mar 2004, 21:33
My take on the crucifixion isn't of karma/punishment. It's where being true to what God wants - loving the other despite everything that's brought against you - is made visible. It is (to be cringingly poetical) where love hangs on a tree because we won't love each other enough. It's not 'all part of a plan' but a somewhat inevitable conclusion to being wholly-God-in-man in the circumstances.

What does a person learn from being crucified? At the moment before death - it depends on which gospel you read: I'd probably choose the 'forsaken' line from Mark's reportage gospel, rather than the theologically loaded 'last words' from the others. Throwing oneself into the dark, trusting that God will catch and not let go. Afterwards, that death can be conquered, I suppose (I'm doing this on the hoof here - are there no other liberal theologians amongst you lot?) - that love wins. :oops: There you go - I've probably managed to thoroughly embarrass myself arguing this one.

I'm not sure on the whole universe/God unity - I think God transcends pure physical matter, in whatever way you take God to be.

rick green
22nd Mar 2004, 22:46
Rather than seeing it as revenge/justice for what you did in previous lives, my wicker friend would say that it was something the soul had to learn on its journey

My take on the crucifixion isn't of karma/punishment. It's where being true to what God wants - loving the other despite everything that's brought against you - is made visible.

Yeah, I agree with you both. So say, for example, I cause someone to suffer. Eventually, in the balancing of accounts, that person will have to choose whether to avenge or forgive my misdeed. That's the lesson. And the cruxifiction of Jesus was an amplification of the principle, whereby Christ took on the past due karmic notes for the disciples. So another element enters into the theological/metaphysical situation: the grace of God. The disciples of Christ wanted out of their karmic bonds, their souls were saying, "we've learned our lesson, but please release us from our debts--we can't pay them by ourselves." So God says, "Well someone's got to pay up or the souls that you owe are gonna be real mad." So, God sends in the ringer, JC, to try and satisfy all parties. That's grace, where, because of your sincerity, God cuts you some slack. Anyway, that's how I see it. Just so you know, I've never been to church (of my own free will) but I believe in the Christ, as well as all the other vehicles of God's grace throughout history. You know, the Buddhists, the Hindus, Sikhs, Sufis, etc. It's refreshing to talk about this sort of thing, I think. Thank goodness we have the freedom to do so without fear. That's progress at least. :) Then again, I am a little afraid that this sort of cut-rate metaphysics might not be quite at home here at Pally. Oh well, nobody forced you to read it, right? :P

Colyngbourne
23rd Mar 2004, 8:28
So, God sends in the ringer, JC, to try and satisfy all parties.

That's the difficulty here. Jesus isn't a 'tool'; I don't think God 'sends' him - what kind of a brutal God would 'do' that to anyone, let alone the one who perfectly represents him? (The character of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar takes this theme of 'being used' by God in some plan).

amner
23rd Mar 2004, 12:41
I saw the trailer for the first time last night (in the advert break for Coronation Street, natch).

I may have no Faith of my own, but if my degree taught me anything at all (and one would hope that it did 8) ) it's that one must respect another person's reverence, irrespective of creed, yes? So, why did I think I was watching a trailer for a thriller/war/slasher/blockbuster/disaster movie?
Mel's name at the forefront was a nice humble touch, too.
.

rick green
23rd Mar 2004, 18:30
Jesus isn't a 'tool'; I don't think God 'sends' him - what kind of a brutal God would 'do' that to anyone, let alone the one who perfectly represents him?

Okay, maybe it's a little irreverent to think of Jesus as a tool. But there still remains the question of who is ultimately responsible for the cruxifiction of Jesus (and for suffering in general). If God is all-encompassing, then God is ultimately responsible. But if God is less than all-encompassing, if evil & suffering are somehow outside of God, then is God really, well, God? :?

m.
23rd Mar 2004, 18:51
It's pantheism that says that God is all-encompassing, not Christianity.

Or correct me if I'm wrong.

Colyngbourne
23rd Mar 2004, 19:10
A world with freewill in it is responsible for suffering - a world that allows for certain combinations of molecules to create penicillin but also deadly toxins and viruses. In that sense God is still God, he is omnipotent, but chooses not to act omnipotently. Ultimately he chooses to be with us, incarnate in a world that is capable of going wrong.

John Self
23rd Mar 2004, 19:21
Could it be that the reason for all these uncertainties and unsolved questions is because the whole 'vast moth-eaten musical brocade / Created to pretend we never die' was made up on the hoof?

John Self
23rd Mar 2004, 19:30
Oh and I was amused to see in the advert for The Passion of the Christ in today's paper, the legend at the bottom of the credits 'Read the book available from all good bookstores." Shouldn't that be 'the Book'?

rick green
23rd Mar 2004, 20:19
Or is that, "Good Book" stores.

Yeah, there's the whole atheism angle too. It seems to me that the whole thing comes down to everyone's experience. Atheists & agnostics would say there's no scientific proof for the existence of God. People of faith, however, aren't too worried about scientific proof because they experience God in their lives. Sure the moth eaten brocade (religions & dogmas) are "made up," but people everywhere still have experiences that lead beyond the materialistic view of the world.

I guess it's because the whole thing is an unresolved (and probably unresolveable) question that so much thought has been (& continues to be) given it. Everybody loves a challenge.

I dunno about pantheism, but I thought it was some kind of Gnostic heresy to say that God is anything less than omnipotent, omniscient, omni-everything.

John Self
23rd Mar 2004, 20:39
Or is that, "Good Book" stores.

I wish I'd said that. :x

rick green
24th Mar 2004, 5:34
I thought you might like that :D

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 8:19
An interesting continuance of this theme can be found here http://www.starcourse.org/jcp/testing_god_1.htm (and the following two links), in the transcripts of the Testing God series that Channel 4 put out last year, where some of the thinkers of our time on such things (Polkinghorne, Jurgen Moltmann, Dawkins etc) explore the possibilities of God and the science/disproof theories.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 11:46
You have to be a little careful with your definitions here. An agnostic belives that it is not possible to know whether god exists (usually because he/she/it is in the supernatural realm); an atheist lacks belief in any god. It's a subtle distinction, but an important one to be aware of in theological debates.

If you're really interested in these debates, I'd suggest going here:

www.infidels.org

and regestering in the "Existence of God" forum. There are other forums on related topics as well. I hang-out there quite a bit, and you'll know me from my name...

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 11:48
Sure the moth eaten brocade (religions & dogmas) are "made up," but people everywhere still have experiences that lead beyond the materialistic view of the world.


I'm not sure that they do - although I am sure many people interpret them that way. One person's exhilirating vista from atop a mountain is another's communion with god...

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 12:16
I've found the debate here very interesting but (albeit at a brief glance through) the infidels link would seem to be rather self-selecting as a forum for balanced discussion. There's a lot of rather good rigorous debate going on there, but is it a place where any pro-Cupitt/Rowan Williams/Polkinghorne (for eg.) advocates will naturally congregate to put forward thoughts/opinions? I don't mean this in a snarky way :D I'm interested to know :wink:

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 12:29
Oh, it's certainly not an unbiased forum. It is primarily intended as a secular web-site (where many agnostics and atheists hang out), and sees itself as a counter-balance to the many, many theistic discussion forums out there.

Having said that, there are a lot of registered users who are theists of one kind or another, and many of them are robust debaters of their own position. Equally, theists are as welcome as any other user, and there are very strict levels of moderation that prevent debates from becoming over-the-top in any way.

If you're interested in getting feed-back on your thoughts on pretty much any philosophical topic from people who come from a broadly non-theistic perspective, then it's a good place to go. If you're not, then don't bother.

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 12:31
For anyone who hasn't clicked through, the infidels link is a site entitled The Secular Web, so Col probably has a point. As for balanced discussion, I don't think it's possible anywhere, perhaps because religious belief is not like political allegiance or favourite band, in that is very unlikely to change (so it's more like your football team...), so no-one is really expecting to change anyone's mind - or to have their mind changed. Sometimes I think faith is something you either have or you don't - I went to Sunday school/Bible class every week (religiously, ahem) until I was the ripe old age of 16 and it never once made me believe in God.

But my theory can't be right, otherwise cultural faiths like Islam would not have the hold they do, nor indeed would Christianity set such store by spreading the good news: if religious belief was inherent then we wouldn't need to be told about it. But I cannot conceive of the day when I will have faith, though I can conceive of a day when I would like to, facing the void at the end of my days in a godless universe...

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 12:33
This thread is being very peculiar - I posted a message which came up as the top of "page 3 of 2" and now I can't see it... Until I post this one which might clear the bowels of the forum. Divine intervention?

EDIT: Ah there it is.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 12:37
But I cannot conceive of the day when I will have faith, though I can conceive of a day when I would like to, facing the void at the end of my days in a godless universe...

Yes, sadly we're built that way: any self-replicating organism that wasn't worried about dying wouldn't get very far, would it? Still, cheer up John, you're a veritable spring-chicken yet.

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 12:39
This happened to me too, John, earlier in this thread when I vanished into a quantum-sized alternate-Palimpsest universe where I was on page 2 of 1. Divine intervention? As the good man Cave says - 'I don't believe in an interventionist god'... 8)

amner
24th Mar 2004, 12:41
This thread is being very peculiar - I posted a message which came up as the top of "page 3 of 2" and now I can't see it... Until I post this one

That happened with Col's at the top of page 2.

Hmmm. Where's that fat waistrel Wavid when you need him?

Never mind, top discussion, even if there is mischief afoot in the land of the sprites.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 12:43
God? I fear not, it's the Devil's work! :twisted:

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 12:45
well, we definitely don't believe in him :twisted:

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 12:46
if religious belief was inherent then we wouldn't need to be told about it.

There are some tentative speculations that I've seen asserting that a "religious sense" may indeed be inherent, and have distinct survival advanatges in early societies, and therefore be selected for.

Either way, we're told about it for different reasons than it being not inherent, I suspect.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 12:47
By the way, has anyone here actually read the bible all the way through? Lots of sex and violence, so I'm told...

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 12:58
Indeed.
No, I haven't - the bulk of the NT, yes. Isaiah, Joshua/1/2 Samuel/Kings, Psalms, Genesis/Exodus, Ecclesiastes/SongofS/Proverbs, Hosea, Ruth, bits of most of the rest apart from the Minor Prophets (apart from Jonah).

Of course you don't recall most of it but I havea rough working knowledge of what happens and when etc. And as you'll know, it's a collection of books written by a variety of people for a variety of purposes - story-telling, history, lawbook, poetry, wisdom literature etc.

amner
24th Mar 2004, 13:02
For once I'm pleased we've left the thread's original subject behind. This is much more interesting.

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 13:24
Right so! Back to Mel's magnum opus... How about this news story (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3559753.stm)? Or this one (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3563405.stm)?

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 13:52
But Catholic church leaders in Brazil have praised The Passion of the Christ as an accurate narrative of Biblical events.


Ah, but which Gospel?

amner
24th Mar 2004, 13:55
indeed, back to Melly ... here (http://www.cinemovies.fr/fiche_multimedia.php?IDfilm=1298)'s a teaser trailer (take the first downloadable one, 'moyenne res 4.08Mb', you'll only need Quicktime to view it) which seems a bit more shocking than I think I've heard of elsewhere.

That's actually a very good site. I've been checking out clips from lots of movies this morning...

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 14:32
From the snippet of 'eloi eloi', we have ref's in Matthew and Mark. But what was with Pilate faux-Italian-style pronouncing 'ecce' as 'etchay'? Classical Latin pronunciation (rather than ecclesiastical Latin) is more correctly - 'eccay'.

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 14:53
Hm, I was certainly told to pronounce Ecce with a 'ck' sound rather than a 'ch' sound - and it came up quite a lot in Ecce Romani books 1, 2, 3, 4... (I have still never forgotten the opening lines of the first thing we had to read: "In pictura ist puella, nomine Cornelia...") But I am sure I was also told that Latin pronunciations were all supposition as - obviously - no-one knows how they spoke. They could have had thick Scots accents for all we know. Although I admit that's unlikely.

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 14:54
It's done it again! Page 4 of 3! Damn you Mel Gibson!!!

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 15:02
But you have the self-determination to re-establish yourself as Page 4 of 4, John 8)

I was subjected to the Cambridge Latin Course as a brutal intro to 10 years of Latin - 'Caecilius est pater, Metella est mater' etc, and Clemens ('est servus') being manumitted at the eruption of Vesuvius and escaping with Quintus ('est filius') to Britain and King Cogidubnus' court at Fishbourne. No way does 'cc' (or even 'c' alone) amount to 'ch'.

RC
24th Mar 2004, 15:20
Hello, I'm new here. My initials should not be taken as an indication of religious affiliation, though arsiness as a creed wouldn't sit too badly with me.
The flick under discussion here is an atrocity. I suspect that some portion of the droves of people going to see it have an unconscious expectation of being cleansed by having their guts ripped out by the experience (and just in time for Easter). Some others, whether they know it or not, go for the thrill, which is a primitive and ugly reason. Many who count themselves believers evidently think something useful is taught. That shows, if we need any further proof, that some people will believe anything. Nothing useful is taught, only people are profoundly affected by dread and revulsion and horror. If those people had a little imagination, they could have had the same effect (as I did) from the spectacle of the latest bombing of Iraq.
I don't believe in a final reckoning beyond our own regrets, but I've often wished for it. Then Mel Gibson, that rank-spirited fraud, would be paying for this a very long time.[/i]

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 15:26
I get it - arsey - R.C.

Welcome, and god bless the Pope!

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 15:28
If those people had a little imagination, they could have had the same effect (as I did) from the spectacle of the latest bombing of Iraq.


But that might then require them to question their unquestioning acceptance of American foreign policy. God, indeed, forbids that...

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 15:31
Hi _R.C._ and welcome to the thread and Palimpsest too.

One of the better films I've seen on the subject - long ago, like a dozen years or more - was Jesus of Montreal (which public broadcasting being the thing it is nowadays I've never seen since). Similarly the Pasolini film, which I've only watched once (for the same reasons).

On a slightly different note, I was discussing this with my relevant other yesterday and wondering what films Mel G had made that a) I actually liked/knew of and b) would watch again willingly. Off the cuff we could think of none at all - the very opposite of Costner films as I mentioned on the Reviews thread from which this one sprang. Anyone care to elucidate the great filmography of Mel that might lead to rating him as an actor/film-maker of any note?

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 15:47
Okay, The Year of Living Dangerously, and Gallipoli were good (only yonks ago). I rate Chicken Run and Pocahontas but not as Mel G films. Signs - yep, that was okay, even with the hokey aliens in rubber suits but the fight at the end was rubbish and they missed a great moment for revelation - completely ignored - when the son has an asthma attack and the father is holding him, telling him to breathe.

amner
24th Mar 2004, 15:55
The first Mad Max I always liked (which might mean I can be discreditted from here on in).

Gallipoli is OK, too, but no more than that. His voice over in Chicken Run has a certain ironic caché I guess but that's about it. John might be interested to know (http://palimpsest.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=414) that Mel is in the movie version of The Singing Detective in the - AAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhh! - Bill Paterson role.

RC
24th Mar 2004, 15:56
Funny you should mention Costner, Coly. I too was thinking about him in connection with this because I've just rented 'Open Range'. (Because I like westerns, and I had heard there was spectacular footage of the western landscape. It's awful - next to it Waterworld's an effing masterpiece - unless it gets better after the first forty minutes, I wouldn't know). Anyway, I was thinking of Costner because in Open Range there is quite an explicit theme that wrong has to be redressed by giving as bad or worse to your enemies. The idea that humanity's sins are compensated by the murder of Jesus, however you dress it up in mumbo-jumbo or flip it around, is, I think, based in the same kind of thinking.
I'm going to look for what you wrote about Costner. The man's an enigma to me.

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 16:04
I think the theological position would be that humanity's sins are atoned for by the sacrifice of Jesus, the willing offering of himself. (Personally I find this difficult to handle as a concept - like most metaphors, the sacrificial lamb thing is useful so far and no further in explaining the crucifixion.)

Costner - from the reviews so far (including ono no komachi's over here (http://palimpsest.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=417)), it seems Open Range is a slow burn film, rather than El Mariachi style gunslinging. Waterworld - yes, masterpiece in non-too serious myth-making and all-round entertainment value. :D

rick green
24th Mar 2004, 16:04
Mad Max & Road Warrior--there's your blood and guts thrill ride. Oh, then there's Braveheart, perhaps the turning point in Melvis's career. I think it was around there that he aquired his pretensions as an artiste.

RC
24th Mar 2004, 16:37
I wish I could remember the name of the film in which Mel waxes his legs - that was sort of, well.......cute?

But he has an awful face. Like a lounge singer at closing time. The charm of his wrinkly-twinkly grin is very thin over something calculating and/or ruthless. And the set of his mouth sometimes reminds me of my granny without her plates in.

Couldn't find where the Costner bits are, I'd appreciate directions.

m.
24th Mar 2004, 16:49
Wasn't it What Women Want? I didn't like that one at all. Forever Young was nice, I think...

At the risk of sounding like coming out - hey, I'm RC. I don't know what to think about Gibson's The Passion because I haven't seen it and feel tired even at the thought...

amner
24th Mar 2004, 16:51
Hi _R.C._ and here - have an additional welcome.

OK, Kev is also discussed here (http://palimpsest.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=417), in the Reviews forum. There's a link within that thread to an even older one.
,

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 17:05
Yes, Gibson does have an awful face - that he was ever (is still??) considered 'sexy' by real women is either laughable or scary. And doesn't he, like Tom Cruise, suffer from Small Man Syndrome? So that his below-average stature is offset by his repellent overweening ambition for things quite beyond - or above - him.

As an aside, has anyone noticed that the posters for all Tom Cruise's films - all - consist solely of a huge close-up of his face? Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, Jerry Maguire, Missions Impossible, Last Samurai. He must have one hell of an agent.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 17:06
At the risk of sounding like coming out - hey, I'm RC.

You're arsey as well? Excellent, I don't feel quite so alone amongst all these polite types now.

By the way, __R.C.__, aren't you Canucks supposed to be laid-back, easy-life types? Whither the attitude, friend?

Back on topic: I don't mind the "Mad Max" films at all, and when I'm in the mood to entirely suppress my intellect with alcohol, his "cop buddy" Lethal Weapon movies are a bit of a laugh.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 17:09
Yes, Gibson does have an awful face - that he was ever (is still??) considered 'sexy' by real women is either laughable or scary.

Let's ask the ladies...

And how did Bruce "smug baldy" Willis ever get to be a sex-symbol?

ono no komachi
24th Mar 2004, 17:12
Hi R.C. - if you can't get Colyngbourne's 'here' link to work, go to the Forum Index->Reviews. The review of Open Range (sorry, lapsed into a habit from a different messageboard, of entitling the review according to a line from the film) is called 'Good is good, melted or not'. I think someone also inserted a link there to a previous Costner discussion.

I was slightly troubled by the 'vengeance' aspect of the Open Range plot - if you persevere with the film you'll discover that there is a conflict between Costner's character's desire for vengeance and Duvall's character's perception of what constitutes justice. I don't particularly agree with the points made in the film, but I can still enjoy it as a piece of storytelling and an expression of a viewpoint, in the same way as I can listen with interest to a discussion on capital punishment on 'Question Time'. And I can see that there is a valid question on what should be done in situations where a wrong has been done and there is no legal redress.

I will be going to see The Passion, if only in order to make up my own mind about it. But Mr. Gibson should remember that a movie is very rarely going to be anything much more than a piece of entertainment, (though some of the best manage to be thought-provoking and affecting) and if he supposes for a minute that all the controversy surrounding this one has any greater significance than causing idiots like me to be sufficiently curious to fill his coffers further with our little fivers, he is kidding himself.

If I can make a somewhat bathetic comparison, the value of this film seems not to be within it, but, in the same way as Harry Potter seems to have got children excited about reading, in the fact that it has sparked a certain level of theological discussion.

Please excuse over-long and rambling sentences. I'm sorry, I have a cold.

Colyngbourne
24th Mar 2004, 17:24
:roll: Moi, a lady?

You're right anyhow, Notty, Mel's one of the uglier mode of Hollywood faces that are thrust at us. There's nothing to look at in Bruce Willis either. I can put up with pretty-pretty actors like Orlando, the two Christians (Bale and Slater) :wink: but prefer Ralph Fiennes, Ken Branagh, Alan Rickman, even Patrick Stewart (a far more attractive baldy than Bruce).

I'm afraid all the Costner-related threads are due to me in one way or another.

ono no komachi
24th Mar 2004, 17:31
Let's ask the ladies...



Never been a particular fan of Mel's looks myself, though I can say that finding a male actor attractive has very little to do with how pretty or otherwise they are (there's always the odd exception, as with Jude Law and lovely Keanu, of course.)

By far the best poster for The Last Samurai was the close-up of Ken Watanabe - yum!

And I suspect the Bruce Willis thing originated with 'Moonlighting'. [Nostalgic sigh].

I have to say, I love the fact that Palimpsest discussions can move from the debate on the existence of God to the relative attractiveness of movie stars.

amner
24th Mar 2004, 17:35
It was the leg-waxing query that did it (it was going to make the final cut of The Passion but they needed the R rating).
.

m.
24th Mar 2004, 17:45
You're arsey as well? Excellent, I don't feel quite so alone amongst all these polite types now.

I don't know, you'll judge. Perhaps I am, I've abandoned one message board cause, among other things, it felt a bit smarmy to me. :) But I meant Roman Catholic in the original post, if it wasn't clear.

rick green
24th Mar 2004, 18:36
One of my favorite things about the Singing Detective remake is just how funny looking Mel Gibson is. He's got one of those bald-head makeup jobs with just a few wisps combed over the top. (This is the do the Coen brothers called "the alpine rope toss" in a DVD outake from The Man Who Wasn't There. To digress, I thought this was the funniest part of that movie too, pity they cut it.)

In general, I like it when funny looking people make it big in the movies. Steve Buscemi (spelling?) might be my favorite, but there are others. I guess the spectrum of visual appeal is a little broader for actors than actresses. Can anyone think of a really wild looking actress that's pretty well known? I guess Angelica Huston is a good example for starters.

RC
24th Mar 2004, 18:47
Thank you all for the welcomes, and thanks to those who pointed me down the Costner trail.

NottyImp - regarding our laid-back easy reputation: have to admit I'm rather proud of that even if I do personally undermine it a little from time to time. Actually (and although I wouldn't want to get into a fruitless discussion about national stereotypes), how I fondly like to think of us is that we're easy-going until it's time to take a stand, as our recently-retired prime minister did on invading Iraq. Unfortunately there's no-one to succeed him with the balls to do something like that, and that brief moment of glory is unlikely to be repeated in the foreseeable future.

NottyImp
24th Mar 2004, 20:58
I don't know, you'll judge. Perhaps I am, I've abandoned one message board cause, among other things, it felt a bit smarmy to me. But I meant Roman Catholic in the original post, if it wasn't clear.


Smarmy? Yuck! Is there a word that describes another word that produces a physical sensation similar to that of its meaning. As another example, I give you the word "unctuous", which produces in me a sensation just as unappealing as its meaning.

I got that you meant Roman Catholic - I deliberately misunderstood for (albeit extremely limited) comic effect. :D

John Self
24th Mar 2004, 21:26
For even more limited comic effect, after m's comment, I was going to say "I'm RC! And so's my wife!"

But I didn't.

m.
24th Mar 2004, 22:31
Limiting effect of Lent, John?

Well glad to provide you with opportunity to sharpen your wits. :P

amner
25th Mar 2004, 10:20
Smarmy? Yuck! Is there a word that describes another word that produces a physical sensation similar to that of its meaning. As another example, I give you the word "unctuous", which produces in me a sensation just as unappealing as its meaning.

For me, 'obsequious'. Never liked that word.

Are we now far enough away from Mr Gibson's fillum to expect a new thread, I wonder?
.

ono no komachi
20th Apr 2004, 12:45
Please excuse the dredging of this thread back to the top, but I finally went to see The Passion at the weekend, and thought it'd be a bit idiotic to post it under Reviews at this late stage.

I'm ambivalent in my attitude toward the Christian story, and I didn't see much more in the film than a sickening depiction of the persecution of and violence towards one man. There seemed to be very little focus on spirituality. The portrayal of Jesus' fate, whilst it should have been infinitely moving, was such an assault on the senses as to render at least this audience member pretty numb, and the point of death, the ultimate sacrifice, actually seemed a relief after all the violence. The only part of the film where my emotions were at all stirred was in one of the rare, and brief, flashbacks of Jesus' teachings to his disciples, (the 'greater love hath no man' part) but this was in an instant replaced by more relentless bludgeoning of my sensibilities.

I'm not particularly squeamish; I don't shrink from harsh and unpleasant presentation of harsh and unpleasant events; but I think it was a mistake for the film to focus so much on the flagellation and cruelty endured by Christ, to the point of sickening the audience, when the Christian story contains so much more that could inspire.

I'm not at all surprised that some people have deemed Gibson's motives in making this film to be questionable. I'm not confident enough to make specific assertions about his hidden agenda, but I dislike his use of his hollywood clout to serve his own evangelical zeal.

John Self
31st Jul 2006, 16:20
So hands up who was surprised that Mel Gibson, arrested at the weekend for drink driving with three-quarters of a bottle of tequila in a brown paper bag rolling around in his car (Alan Partridge's wheels of choice, the Lexus: "the Japanese Mercedes"), apparently (http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1833963,00.html)said some pretty anti-Semitic stuff while resisting arrest, like "fucking Jews," the less pithy but of broadly similar sentiment "the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and of course the now legendary, "Are you a Jew?" In vino veritas, eh?

Gibson apparently also threatened the arresting officer that he would regret pulling him in, because he "owned Malibu." Mel love: you've got it all mixed up again. It wasn't Malibu (http://www.malibu-rum.com/malibu/site/). It was tequila.

John Self
1st Aug 2006, 17:49
Here's Mel, tired and emotional in his police mugshot.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41952000/jpg/_41952184_gibsonmug1_bodyap.jpg

The fun continues. ABC TV network have cancelled (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5234142.stm)the proposed series on the Holocaust which Gibson's production company was supposed to be making. "Given that it has been nearly two years and we have yet to see the first draft of a script, we have decided to no longer pursue this project." Hey, relax, guys! Mel was just in the long process of vetting the staff for the production. Those Aryan approved eye colour charts are so hard to get hold of these days. It's thirsty work. Oh, and an agent is urging Hollywood to boycott Mel's projects. You mean they aren't already?

At least there's some good coming out of it. Presenter Barbara Walters says (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5234698.stm), "I don't think I want to see any more Mel Gibson movies." Jeez, but some people take a long time to catch up with the rest of us.

youjustmightlikeit
2nd Aug 2006, 7:42
Awesome, Mel!

wshaw
3rd Aug 2006, 1:13
What a twat.

Hollywood actors. Just when Americans are looking for 2D anti-Semites, Mel steps, somewhat unsteadily, back into the limelight.

Noumenon
22nd Oct 2006, 13:28
My evangelically devout housemate has The Passion Of The Gibson on DVD - I have no desire to watch it, but since there is only a single (and negative) review in here - does anyone who has seen it actually have anything good to say about it?

m.
22nd Oct 2006, 13:35
I wasn't very eager to see it but when it was on TV last Easter I was quite glad that finally I'd have the opportunity to make my mind about it. But family and friends decided we'd watch Kill Bill instead, so sorry, I don't have the opinion.