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Passions in Poetry

Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ

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LoveBug
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75 posted 03-01-2004 01:00 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

I understand, Ron. Thank you for looking after this thread. I welcome anyone who wants to have a respectful debate.. thats what I was looking for in the first place..

If I came off to anyone in the wrong way, I'm sorry. I feel strongly about things so I may come off as disrespectful. If I've offended you, I'm sorry...

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Opeth
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76 posted 03-01-2004 01:03 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

LB,

What is it about the movie that you want to debate?
LoveBug
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77 posted 03-01-2004 05:48 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Well, I started the thread just to discuss it really.. but I guess the main question I had in mind is : is it anti Semetic?

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Denise
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78 posted 03-01-2004 08:48 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad, yes, there is no denying the role that movies, TV programs, the media in general play in affecting people. We see it all the time in all types of films and programs, religious and secular. They can have a great influence on our values, how we think, feel, spend our money, etc., sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not-so-good ways. In any event, we are being influenced, and it's always good to be mindful of how easily influenced we can be. Geesh, Wall Street advertisers are so good at it that we don't even realize we are being manipulated most of the time! We are fond of a particular jingle on a commercial, for instance, and subconsciously we buy that product when there probably isn't a hill of beans difference between it and the competitor's (except maybe the competitor's is a little bit cheaper!)

In any event, if this particular movie has any impact on folks beyond an initial emotionalism, which I think it very well may have, on a few at least, then I think it was worth producing. And aside from that, it did impress me as a masterfully done film that could be appreciated even by the non-religious who appreciate a well put-together film. It is extremely violent though, and I wouldn't recommend it for children or the squeemish. A friend in work told me that she had difficulty watching "Gangs of New York". I told her she shouldn't see this one then.    
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79 posted 03-01-2004 10:52 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

That the film is violent isn't really a problem for me. One of my favorite films is a Japanese movie Battle Royale (sort of a Survivor meets Lord of the Flies kind of thing).

What does bother me (and actually I'm of two minds here, simply ignore it it'll go away, or attempt to explain my position and fight a losing battle.   ) is the unrecognized fact that violence is an extremely powerful tool regardless of its context. That's why we have movies with gratuitous violence in the first place.

Why are people so moved by this film? If you are moved by a film, must it mean that it is a good film or must it be something more than film? Why did people, no doubt sincerely, claim to be possessed after The Exorcist? Where is the line between actual spritual inspiration and an aesthetic tool?

These are hard questions to answer. I have a few but they strike me as just a little too pat (pop-psych stuff).

But isn't it important that we all keep in mind one thing:

Violence works.

Much of the justification for said violence in this movie has been that it is true. But some articles on belief.net (interesting place by the way) pointed out that the gospels don't describe the crucifixion in detail. We can all be sure, however, that Jesus didn't fall in slow motion.  



      
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80 posted 03-01-2004 11:26 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Quite franlky, I don't see the big deal about it.

What is it? A Mel(odramatic, hit me over the head with the hammer of his point) Gibson movie.

And it was everything I expected from Mel.

The flashback scenes, IMO, were there to remind us why Jesus chose to undergo the agony, rather than deliver himself from it, as Mary so eloquently wondered about during the film. But it relies upon the viewer already knowing, and caring about that.

As an agnostic, the only part I was actually moved by were the scenes with Jesus and Mary interacting... her loss of a son. The actress who played her did a wonderful job, I thought.

I honestly think that for this movie to have the riveting impact so many in here reported, you actually have to already love Christ. Seeing the (huge) extent of his suffering wasn't enough to make me love him... at least cinematically. My compassion and care for him went no deeper than the wincing at the gruesome violence.

But honestly, the teardrop from heaven? Him rising from the dead? Thanks, Mel, I didn't know that happened.

It seemed like a whole lot of overkill to me.

And once again, I don't see what the big deal is, although Mel's pocketbook isn't going to shed too many tears over the controversy.
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81 posted 03-02-2004 12:00 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I don't know where the line is Brad. I guess that's an individual kind of thing, maybe? Some people are highly influenced by things that don't phase others in the least.

I was moved by this film because it vividly portrayed what the scourging and crucifiction must have been like and the depth of love that it had to take to endure something as horrible as that. Reading about it doesn't have quite the same impact, on me at least, as "seeing" what it must have been like. I don't have quite the imagination that Ali has. It made it more 'real' to me in that sense. I guess it's one thing to read of spikes being driven through flesh and actually seeing a recreation of what that must be like.

No, I don't think being moved by a film is necessarily what makes it a good film, but I think some movies can be both moving and be technical masterpieces. I think this is one of those rare films that is both.

I think the only justification for the  violence in this film is that it actually happened. I don't think the violence, per se, is what makes this a gripping movie, what makes it work, but the love that endured that level of violence for the sake of mankind that makes it so. I think that is the clear message in the film and I think that is what makes it work.

And that slow motion fall, that did have a very powerful effect on me, and I've been trying to figure out why. Maybe because it allowed me, in my mind, to fall along with him? It gave my mind those few extra seconds to imagine what that must have really felt like?  But I've had a few falls in my life (and the broken bones to prove it!) and it does feel like you are going in slow motion as you are going down, so maybe that is what it was meant to show, how it felt to Christ as he was falling? I don't know. I just know that I plan on seeing it again to catch the things I may have missed seeing in it the first time around.  Yes, I really think it's that good!  
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82 posted 03-02-2004 07:34 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

There are a lot of violent movies... but it's different when the One on the screen being beaten is

1. God Incarnate
2. doing it for you

I think those facts are what has made the impact, not just the violence itself... which was probably much worse in life than what is on the screen.

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Opeth
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83 posted 03-02-2004 10:02 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth


"There are a lot of violent movies... but it's different when the One on the screen being beaten is

1. God Incarnate
2. doing it for you"


~ But not everyone believes that to be true, so if this particular movie depicts violence, to me, it is no different than the violence depicted in a movie such as Pulp Fiction.

LoveBug
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84 posted 03-02-2004 11:37 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Well, even though they may not believe that those things are true, they know that many people do, and even people who are not Christian can get a powerful message out of the movie, or at least understand how it affects people as opposed to Pulp Fiction.

Even if they aren't Christian, they can know that Christians saw this suffering as having a great purpose. I think that makes the difference

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Opeth
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85 posted 03-02-2004 11:49 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"... and even people who are not Christian can get a powerful message out of the movie, or at least understand how it affects people as opposed to Pulp Fiction."

~ For certain, people who are not christian may get a powerful message out of the movie, but I disagree with your opinion about Pulp Fiction, people may get a powerful message out of Pulp Fiction too. I know I did.

"Even if they aren't Christian, they can know that Christians saw this suffering as having a great purpose. I think that makes the difference"


~ But the same can be said for other movies too. And should not the Christian know that the non-christian sees a great purpose in those movies and that there is also a differnce?

"If this grand panorama before me is what you call God...then God is not dead."

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86 posted 03-02-2004 04:11 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Sure, other movies have violence with a sort of purpose.

Example: Saving Private Ryan. Some will say that that violence was justified because 'the free world was saved'.

But, at the same time, other people had to die. Americans died, Germans died, esc... was it worth it? That's not a question to most of us but some people may ask that. Mrs Ryan for example, who lost all but one of her sons...

Lets again take The Passion. Look at the storyline. One Man dying to save humanity. Giving entirely of Himself to save an ungrateful world. Even if you don't believe Christ was the Messiah, if you just look at it in that context, that's still a pretty powerful story. He suffered because He loved sinners. Again, just taking this as a storyline... one could even look at it mathmatically. The greater the pain endured, the greater the love. And is there the question "Was it worth it?". (again, look at it as a storyline) If it is giving all of humanity a chance to be saved, than it doesn't leave much room for argument. One gave His life for all, and He is the only one who needed to suffer. Everyone else was set free. And although His loved ones suffered seeing Him die, they rejoice in seeing Him live. For everyone but Jesus, it's a win/win situation for anyone who will accept it. (Again, looking at it only as a storyline)

So, if you can look at it as a storyline,which all movies are,  you can see that this violence does serve a greater purpose than the violence in other movies. The violence is what makes His love so much more strong and pure and evident.

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

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87 posted 03-02-2004 04:22 PM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

"So, if you can look at it as a storyline,which all movies are,  you can see that this violence does serve a greater purpose than the violence in other movies. The violence is what makes His love so much more strong and pure and evident. "

I'd respectfully disagree with the logic here, as it is based on your perception and belief that he died to save mankind and that he loved sinners. The story line of one individual performing such an act has also been repeated in other movies, without the religious context.

I repsect your belief that the bible is true and that god is real, I however read your arguments as being faith based rather than logical. I can not argue against your faith, and would not, but do believe Opeth's points valid and would stand as unrefuted by your last exapmles.

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88 posted 03-02-2004 08:05 PM       View Profile for berengar   Email berengar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for berengar

I've wondered how accurate the form of violence as portrayed in the movie is - and this is a very minor quibble.  For instance, driving nails through one's palms wasn't practiced by the Romans (for practical reasons).
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89 posted 03-02-2004 08:56 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Where's another movie where a flawless person gives their life for an ungrateful world, for all people in the present and future?

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Local Rebel
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90 posted 03-02-2004 11:44 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

A panel discussion of Notre Dame professors held tonight at Notre Dame
http://www.wndu.com/news/032004/news_24352.php

quote:

Theology Professor Jerome Nehrey began the discussion with his prepared reaction to the film. "I have spent 32 years as a New Testament scholar of the passion narrative,” he said, “and I do not recognize the materials in Mel Gibson's ‘Passion.’ I do not argue that Jesus was scourged and crucified, but I will argue that Gibson has sucked all the meaning out of it. It's hard to convey meaning when the emphasis is shock, and the medium is naked realism. I saw the crucifixion, but I did not see the Pascal mystery. Great on the shock and the sorrow, but Gibson gave me no clue as to the meaning of it."

Peter Holland, the Chair of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre was also on hand and gave his opinion as well. He commented, "One of the effects of a film that's in a language that we don't understand, is that the concentration is on the visuals. And the film's intensity is visual, and as a result, it denies what I take to be a central feature of the Christian faith, which is the gospel is word."


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91 posted 03-03-2004 02:33 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

denise-

'I don't think the violence, per se, is what makes this a gripping movie, what makes it work, but the love that endured that level of violence for the sake of mankind that makes it so.'

But that wasn't what the movie was about. The movie was about the violence.

You might argue that any movie about Christ is about his love and redemption for humanity. I'd say that Christ. in a Biblical sense, is about that.

But this movie was about the last 12 hours of his life. It was about Christs' death.

Which brings me back to my original point... I think you had to love Christ, and respect his sacrifice before going into this movie, because I don't think Mel does any kind of a good job portraying the 'passion.' I think it's kind of stuck in as a tacky afterthought to all the violence and brutality.

Don't get me wrong... I see the importance of portraying the true violence of his death... of showing the alternate picture of the clean, pasty jesus nailed up there with about 2 drops of blood falling. But to see it as anything mroe than that, in my opinion, is to interject one's own faith onto the picture... you already care, and in that sense, you've unintentionally done Mel's job as a director for him.
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92 posted 03-03-2004 07:10 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

"But that wasn't what the movie was about. The movie was about the violence"

Actually, the movie was about His love. You say that those last hours of His life were only about violence and not the love He preached, but you are wrong. That violence is the cumination of His love for us. It's how He shows it, how He proves it.

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

LoveBug
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93 posted 03-03-2004 07:13 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

"And the film's intensity is visual, and as a result, it denies what I take to be a central feature of the Christian faith, which is the gospel is word"

"And the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us"-John 1:14

Christianity very much centers around the body of Christ...

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Opeth
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94 posted 03-03-2004 07:24 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Lets again take The Passion. Look at the storyline. One Man dying to save humanity. Giving entirely of Himself to save an ungrateful world."

But you see, LoveBug... it is through yours and other christians' belief that allows you all to view the film the way you all do.

I don't, nor will I ever understand how christians can believe that the world was ungrateful. To be ungrateful, the world would have to know that something was done for it. However, Christ didn't come in the manner that the Jewish people expected him too. In fact, what they are waiting for still hasn't occured. What would God expect them to think? Not only that, the Jewish authority and the Roman government had to crucify Christ because if they didn't, God's plan could not be carried out. So, they did what God wanted them to do!

Why did Jesus speak in parables? He said it himself, "It is not for them to understand." How can they be ungrateful if they do not understand what is given to them?

  
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95 posted 03-03-2004 10:32 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

LoveBug...

in the sense that he underwent all that pain in order to save humanity, it is about his love. But the movie truly doesn't make that the focus.

I remember (vaguely) watching Ben Hur, and wasn't Jesus doing nice things like giving prisoners water and curing lepers throughout that movie? That, to me, shows his love.

In the Passion, you basically just hear him talk about his love in flashbacks (although they do shjow him saving Mary Magdelene, which is an act of love)- and the flashbacks seem, to me, almost an afterthought. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think taking them out would disrupt the flow of the movie... making them kind of tangetial to the main point... which was Christ's death.
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96 posted 03-03-2004 05:16 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

"Not only that, the Jewish authority and the Roman government had to crucify Christ because if they didn't, God's plan could not be carried out. So, they did what God wanted them to do!"

Exactly, thank you for making my point against Anti Semetism. Jesus GAVE His life.. (Jesus is God anyway, but we won't argue that point right now)

As for an ungrateful world, Jesus told us plainly who He was, He said He was God (I and my Father are One) and told us that He became flesh to die for our sins.

Well, do we all love each other like Jesus told us to? Do we obey Him? Do most people even believe in Him?

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

LoveBug
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97 posted 03-03-2004 05:20 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

And hush? I believe the movie very much makes that the focus. Thats what the movie is about.

What do we think of when we see the word Passion? We think of a strong, intense emotion, ususally love. Think about that...

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

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98 posted 03-03-2004 05:47 PM       View Profile for Greeneyes   Email Greeneyes   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Greeneyes

Well, do we 1. all love each other like Jesus told us to? 2. Do we obey Him? 3. Do most people even believe in Him? """"


~~

I have yet to see this movie, and I will, so right now I can not commment honestly on the aspects of that part....but the above LB really had me thinking''''

1. NO
2. NO sadly
3. NO even sadder! (that would be the do most believe in him)



~~**~~
There are moments when speech
is but a mouth pressed lightly and
humbly against the angel's hands.
Local Rebel
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99 posted 03-03-2004 06:08 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The word passion is thought of in those terms, in this language, and in this time.

The root word is 'Pathos' though -- which is -- to suffer.

This is why the Easter Pageant has always been called the 'Passion Play' and why Gibson's movie is aptly titled.

If you want to try to convince the faculty of Notre Dame that they don't understand Orthodox Christianity I can get you their e-mails.
 
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