What Mel Gibson has 'started'.

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27 February 2004, 01:55 PM
James Robert Smith
What Mel Gibson has 'started'.
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and FIGHT CLUB are both great films. CLOCKWORK, especially, is a truly significant and eloquent piece of cinematic work. CLUB, less so, but still entertaining and thought provoking. In fact, I liked FIGHT CLUB so much that I ended up reading a number of Chuck Pulahniuk's novels.
27 February 2004, 04:46 PM
First, on the Passion. I loved it! I felt like I was really there. I thought the violence was necessary to really get you involved in the pain experienced, and to make the viewers aware of the pain that we afflict on people in every day life. People we don't even know, often. I thought the portrayal of evil and temptation was very frightening and real, and the symbolism throughout the movie was strong and well placed. What I liked most was the inclusion and focus on the characters who are usually cut out of movies of Jesus's life. Particularly Simon of Cyrene, but also Claudia (Pontius Pilate's wife) and Veronica. They're barely mentioned in the bible, but in this movie, they were fleshed out in such a way that their stories brought new meaning to the characters, and how they relate to us. And how about the scene where Peter denies knowing Jesus? Wow! I could go on, but go see it for yourselves. Everyone has their own take on this film, so find your own opinions.

As for A Clockwork Orange, the film is an artistic masterpiece, of course, but the one thing it lacks is the whole point of the story that Anthony Burgess wrote in the book. The whole central theme of the story is not there: If a person chose to become incapable of wrongdoing, would he really be doing right, since he can't even do wrong if he wanted to? Kubrick took the story and turned it into his own story. He cut out the themes of free will and choosing to do right or wrong, and replaced it with his own bitter outlook. Is it a good film? Yes. Is it a good adaptation? I'd have to say no.

[This message has been edited by groon (edited 02-27-2004).]
27 February 2004, 05:04 PM
Didn't see Fight Club, don't wanna see it, so I won't address it.

Clockwork Orange a great movie? Maybe so. Bitter and mean? Certainly. I left feeling dirty. Was that its intent? Possibly. But I don't want to be moved by art in that way. Hence, I cannot recommend it. I liked the book much better, however.

I wonder what Ray would think. (Gratituious Ray Bradbury reference to qualify this post. : ) )
27 February 2004, 07:32 PM
Ought Not
I again agree with my buddy Pete. Orange quite frankly made me sick as did Fight Club to a lesser degree. And as to discussing them, I'm rather stubborn so it wouldn't be worth the trouble. I'm not kidding. Always when I get into a heated debate it always turns into objects being thrown at me or I at them and it doesn't stop until we're both aiming at each other's head.
27 February 2004, 09:22 PM
Ought Not,

Don't worry about things starting to fly at your head; I've got your back.

Your pal,

27 February 2004, 09:41 PM
Nard Kordell
...and I'm flying outta here...
tomorrow morning... to catch the last performance of Ray's play, "Drunk and in Charge of a Bicycle". Review follows shortly afterwards...

By the way...
'The Passion of the Christ' opened to the third highest movie gross for a Wednesday. 'Star Wars', 'Lord of the Rings', and ...'The Passion'...
27 February 2004, 11:20 PM
Mr. Dark
My daughter also loved "Fight Club" (partly, I suspect, for Brad Pitt and Ed Norton). She has gone on to read all of Palahniuk's published novels. I liked it, also; but did find a lot of the violence to be gratuitous (in my view). Clockwork Orange, I thought was a great book, good movie.

I saw the Passion today. Two major criticisms of the movie have been (1) Anti-semitic, (2) Violence outside the context of why Christ was subject to such brutality.

From my viewing of it, I saw no anti-semitism in it. There were good Jews and bad Jews. There were good Romans and bad Romans. Geez. Some good, some bad . . . just like all of humanity. There were many flashbacks to his teachings on love and suffering. As a result, I did not see the violence as being out of context.

The crucifixion and scourging were horribly brutal, but I have to imagine that is the way it was. We see the Crown of Thorns today, (in our antiseptic version of it), on Christ's head, and we put a little trickle of blood. I think Gibson's vision of how Christ looked and suffered as being probably the closest depiction I'll ever see.

I loved the way they did Pilate and his wife. I thought that relationship was very good. The depiction of Pilate as a fairly decent person who is caught up in a dilemma between the Jews and Roman society was good. While I've read -- historically -- that Pilate was a pretty brutal guy (although I'm hard-pressed to imagine a Roman leader in that situation who was not), I thought Gibson's portrayal of him was fair to the gospel accounts of him.

I also liked the depiction of Simon, who helped Christ carry the cross to Golgotha. That was a very moving part of the film for me.

I thought the depiction of Satan, as an androgynous lurker was very cool; and I liked his scream of anguish at Christ's ultimate victory over him, death and sin.

In the interest of even-handedness, I didn't get the depiction of children as turning into demons. The movie could have done without that. Christ used children in his teaching as a positive thing. The idea of turning them into demonic beings was unsettling to me, and, in my mind, a divergence from the gospel accounts.

Overall, though, I liked* it. I was going to take my 15-year old daughter to see it, but may wait and have her watch it with me on DVD. The immensity of the experience in a theatre on a full-sized screen is pretty intense. I haven't decided, yet.

* "liked" is a hard word to use in the depiction of something as brutal as the scourgings and crucifixion.

[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 02-28-2004).]
28 February 2004, 06:16 PM
James Robert Smith
It has begun:

Today at work (I work for USPS), the guy next to me said, "People are being SAVED after watching THE PASSION. It's wonderful!"

He paused for a moment. I was quiet.

"Everyone loves this movie except for THE JEWS," he said. "The Jews say they didn't kill Jesus, but everyone knows they did. THE JEWS killed Jesus."

"My mom is half-Jewish you sonofabitch," I said.

He was then quiet.

This movie is doing exactly what Gibson intended it to do: stir up the intolerance, ignorance, and hatred so typical of his religion. And, no, this phlegmwad didn't get the message wrong. He got exactly the message this film was created to deliver.
28 February 2004, 07:27 PM
Get over yourself.
28 February 2004, 07:56 PM
Mr Smith,
you must live in some real hick-ass place for that to happen...here in Canada the movie made barely a ripple. Nobody is "saved" because of it. Too many of them Jews and Muslims around for any blatant intolernace like that (including me, as well as my girlfriend (I'm Jewish, she's Muslim; it all works out)).
Shabat Shalom,

Lem Reader
28 February 2004, 08:53 PM
Mr. Dark
"Everyone loves this movie except for THE JEWS," he said. "The Jews say they didn't kill Jesus, but everyone knows they did. THE JEWS killed Jesus."

The guy who said this was a bigot before he saw the movie. It is unfortunate and sad that people make these kinds of classifications about others. This does not mean Gibson intended the film to be racist or anti-semitic. Before we trash a person's character or motives, shouldn't we listen to what HE has to say, rather than to specious speculation and tenuous connections to history or his father? Do you really want to slam a person's reputation based on assumptions of motive?

I don't.
28 February 2004, 09:58 PM
James Robert Smith
"hick-ass place". Yes. USA.
29 February 2004, 12:49 AM
Mr. Dark
Nice response. Quite a contribution to adult dialogue.
29 February 2004, 07:14 AM
Mr. Smith comes through again.

All right, we've got it. Doesn't sound like you're a believer. Doesn't sound like you'll go see the movie. Anecdotal evidence of someone's anti-Semitism doesn't prove the movie is anti-Semitic. (Since, obviously, you provide no proof of this person's views before the movie or even proof of how exactly this movie changed your person's point-of-view.)

Now, is there anything new you'd like to say about this matter? Because, so far, other than ridiculing the faith of others, you haven't contributed much to this topic.

A different point of view? Great. Let's talk about it. But let's talk about it in a civilized way.

(And, as Mr. Dark has repeatedly implored, let's see if we can tie it to the overall subject at hand: Ray Bradbury. For example, what do you think Ray would think of the intolerance of a Christian work of art?)
29 February 2004, 10:47 AM
Mr. Dark
I think, for me, there has gotten to be a kind of bad "spirit" in this thread. Considering that it is not tied in any meaningful way to Ray's work, I'll be dropping out of this particular argument. This has been a great board for reasons cited elsewhere. I won't contribute to the degradation of this board by supporting a thread that bashes someone without cause or proof, or that makes aspersions about whole groups of people in a bigoted voice. Bradbury, though not an orthodox Christian believer, is a man whose sense of the sublime is unmistakable. I can't imagine he would like where this thread has gone. In respect to a man who has touched my own sense of the sublime, I am leaving this thread alone.

[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 02-29-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 02-29-2004).]