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Monday, December 08, 2003
PASSION WATCH: THE ROCKS CRYING OUT?

One of my students sent me the following. I print it here focussed mainly on the effort to keep from succumbing to potentially fatal waves of smugness...

Mel Gibson screened The Passion for a couple hundred (influential) movie geeks at the annual Ain't It Cool News movie marathon. They went ballistic. Peter Jackson and a bunch of other filmmakers were there as well. Harry Knowles says it's one of the three best films he's seen this year. Here's a quote:

"THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST -- Never listen to a National Media coverage of alleged screenings. This film played to an audience 230 exhausted cinema loving movie worshipers from all around the world, every political and religious group... and the film received a 5 minute standing ovation and a 90 minute Q&A that included numerous questions grasping to understand what the "critics" of this film are talking about.

"Mel Gibson -- It was stunning to do a 90 minute Q&A with Mel Gibson at the 28 hours of continual conciousness... and it seemed to go incredibly well. When he first came out he was seemingly quite nervous and visibly uncomfortable. I could see that he really had no idea what to expect from this audience in terms of "confrontations" and "feelings". Beginning with the tearful blessings and thank yous from one Houston Lady, to the applause for the sheer bravery to make non-traditional works of passion instead of just chipping away at another sequel. Well... It was gratifying. When one of Mel's associates was answering questions, watching Mel on his hands and knees autographing a couple of front row-ers' programs was... maybe the single best image I have from BNAT this year."

You can read more here,

here,

and here.

I especially love this piece from the site's reviewer, Nordling:

Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is a monumental statement of faith and it's possibly the most important religious film ever made. And unfortunately it's going to be completely misunderstood by people and groups with agendas. The fact is, this is a powerful film and this needs to be seen by the widest audience possible. This is an Important Film. Possible the first real Important Film of the 21st Century.

Don't get me wrong. I love THE LORD OF THE RINGS films. Of course I do. But with THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST Mel Gibson has created Art. It has all the beauty of the works of the Middle Ages depicting the death of Jesus Christ. Inspired by the paitings of Caraveggio, various written works as well as the Gospels, Gibson has created an unparalleled work of art that will stand the test of time as one of the greatest religious films ever made.