Friday, March 05, 2004

The Passion
Alright, I finally went to see the Passion. I was beginning to feel like the last person in Christendom who hadn't. I think this blog sums up my feelings nicely, but I'm going to put it into my own words what I thought. Just what we need, right? One more person's opinions on the subject...

1.I didn't cry. I wasn't even that shocked. Is that horrible? I've seen my fair share of crucifixion films, and this one was pretty much like I'd always pictured it. We had a sunday school teacher at my church who would come in for our yearly pre-Easter shock the kids with the true story of what being crucified was really like. The first year it was shocking. The third or fourth year into it, it was old news. I was expecting the whips with bits of glass and metal, the roughness of the cross against a mutilated back. The fresh opening of the wounds after the blood had stuck to his robes, the hematadrosis, the thirst, the irregular heartbeat as result of dramatic blood loss...etc, etc. It didn't make it any less horrific, but I wasn't "shocked into instant understanding of what Christ suffered."
2. That being said, did you guys notice the heartbeat sound effects right before the "it is accomplished" line?
3. The teardrop from heaven was powerful.
4.I really liked Jesus seeing the dove as God's way of reassuring Jesus that his suffering was not in vain.
5. The flashback scene with Jesus and his mother was probably the thing I took away from the film. We forget sometimes that he was only a preacher for a short time. It was nice to see him as a real person. And the reference to tall tables was great if you knew that people then mostly reclined at a low table to eat.
6.The scene with Claudia(Claudius?) giving Mary the shroud.
7. Why were they mopping up blood after his beating? Was it grief? Is there a Catholic tradition I'm not aware of? I know there were lots of stations of the cross moments of which I caught only a handful.
8. Did anyone else think Jesus fell a few too many times. I know it probably happened. . And why did they make him carry the whole cross when the other two only had the crosspiece. Did anyone else find it incredulous (rightly or wrongly) that Christ was able to carry the cross that it then took a roman soldier and Simon to hoist? He was in terrible shape. Adrenaline can do amazing things, and he was in shock. I'm not saying it's inaccurate or wrong, I just had the thought cross my mind of, "there is NO way." All those stairs. My GOD all those stairs. How did he ever make it up them?
9.I'm glad they showed the whole beating. And the beatings before and after. I caught myself trying to cover my ears, and then thought "The least you can do is have the decency to watch it all." Jesus Christ Superstar, by the way, also did them all.
10. The transitions from Latin to Aramaic didn't bother me. In a country that small its entirely likely that the Romans (though I doubt they'd stoop to it often) knew it, and also that the natives could speak some Latin. Pilate had been there for some time, and the country had been occupied for...mumblemumble...years.
11.The pieta pose at the bottom of the Cross I liked.
12. The demonology was interesting. I think it would have struck me more had the violence towards Judas been more mental than physical, but that's just me. That would have creeped me out more than nasty little exorcist children screaming and biting.
13. The one thing I wish they were able to show was the mental, or spiritual agony. The moment when God separated himself from Jesus, and his wrath dumped on him. How would they do that? I have no idea. Then it would have been more than about some poor, hapless man who got caught in the political cogs. To me that is. I would have liked to get a sense of it. I guess I'm a Christian, I can fill in the gaps. It was an amazing film. I wish there was some way to show that...

So, um, I've run out of things to say. Actually I haven't. Anyone who knows me knows that I often get very verbose, especially after the rare drink....poor Ben who got an entire lecture on the merits of C.S. Lewis and how amazing his Space Trilogy is...I still think its a darn site too bad that we will never see Perelandra on stage or screen. Though, I think it ought to be done as a "secular" work ... Christian genre movies leave a lot to be desired. Why is it that the quality goes down as soon as you try to make a "religious" film. Not referring to the "Passion" of course. But did anyone actually see the Left Behind series? I'll admit I'm biased. I hated the books. I read the first couple, then couldn't stand it anymore. My mother is so end times I think I got my fill of it. You can read The Third Millinium and get all the main plot points of the left behind series in 300 pages. Better written, and less of a marketing sell out. Wait, I got off topic here.

The reason, of course, that Perelandra will never be made as a Christian production is the nudity. Since the characters are in 'eden,' only one character wears clothes. And there is a violent fight...and on stage at least it would be hard to represent the water...You could do it with wires I guess.

Hypothetical question:
Which is the lesser of two evils? Getting up at 4am to let the cats out, or getting up at 4am to chase the raccoons out of the apartment because you left the door open...