Rightwing Film Geek

Passion updates

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A bunch of news on THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST these past few days (while I struggle over my Top 10 post), not including the latest words from Abraham Foxman and Marvin Heir, on whom I will waste no more bandwidth as their latest words (especially the former’s) are inexplicable except as an unadulterated blood libel from anti-Christian bigots.

ITEM! I’m surprised I haven’t seen more about this at St. Blogs. A Texas theater chain is refusing to run a pre-film ad, timed to coincide with THE PASSION, from the state Baptist Convention. According to the church spokesman, AMC Theaters has said the 30-second ad is, among other things, “too Christian.” Um, yeah. The Pepsi ads are too capitalist too, I guess.

This is a common demand made of Christians — that our speech (in this case commercial speech) and access to public forums is conditional, second-class or somehow suspect. As a college student, I once distributed fliers at some University of Texas academic departments and student/professor boxes for a speech being given at a Christian off-campus ministry. I had to assure several of the department secretaries, whose permission I needed, that the speech would not be religious, as though that mattered.

ITEM! While the response by Heir to this interview was contemptible, I don’t think Gibson does himself any favors by engaging in the relative martyrdom game, defensible though it may be in itself.

The filial devotion aside, he has enough to do to defend THE PASSION from the (apparently absurd) anti-Semitism charges and really shouldn’t be a soldier on these historians’ wars. It raises eyebrows and is really hardly better than having to listen to the Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore, Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Ed Asner, Alan Alda, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Glover, Rosie O’Donnell … (NOTICE FROM BLOGGER: List too long and an abuse of free bandwidth. Cease forthwith.) Yes, people can debate the uniqueness of the Holocaust, and I suspect Gibson and I would have a lot to agree on about the shameful relative whitewashing of Communist genocides (not the plural).

But Mel … choose your fights.

morgenstern1.jpgITEM! Maia Morgenstern, a Romanian Jew whose father died in the Holocaust, defended Gibson and THE PASSION, in which she plays Mary. Interview is here.

ITEM! The New York Times reports that Gibson decided to delete a scene that tested poorly — the “his blood be upon us and our children” line, from Matthew 27:25. This is probably the Gospel verse that Jews consider the most anti-Semitic, and defenses of Gibson from Christians who had seen earlier cuts of the film had specified that this notorious verse was not in the movie. So he was tinkering. Again, bad move in adding, Mel. Though maybe this was the old bargaining technique of putting in something you don’t care about in order to get praise for relenting on it later. A tactic not unfamiliar here inside the Beltway.

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February 4, 2004 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another sign of the Apocalypse …

spikelee2.jpg… when Spike Lee starts sounding like Dr. Laura or Pat Robertson or … me … we hear the echoes of the thundering hoofbeats of a certain equine quartet. Here are the money quotes.

Film director Spike Lee criticized Janet Jackson’s surprise breast-baring during the Super Bowl halftime show last weekend as a “new low” of attention-getting antics by entertainers. …
Lee, speaking at Kent State University’s regional campus in Stark County, Ohio, on Tuesday night, said there has been a decline in artistry.
He said it’s not enough to be a good singer, and that entertainers “have to do something extra” — such as the openmouthed kiss Madonna gave Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during the MTV Video Music Awards in August.
“What’s gonna be next? It’s getting crazy, and it’s all down to money. Money and fame,” said Lee, the director of “Malcolm X” and “Do the Right Thing.” “Somehow the whole value system has been upended.”

OK, I’m now free to insult Mr. Lee for another year.

February 4, 2004 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment