Friday, September 19, 2003

Peter Chattaway on Gospel of John and The Passion

Nice article by Peter Chattaway (author of a good article linked on the NTGateway Celluloid Jesus pages called Jesus at the Movies):

Passion 'softened,' John comes to screen

He suggests that there are signs that Mel Gibson is "softening" The Passion's alleged anti-semitism in reaction to criticism. Chattaway is the first to pick up on something that has concerned me, though, and rather makes me dread seeing the film, the violence and gore:

What does concern me, though, is the thing that Gibson keeps pitching as the film's main selling point: its graphic violence.

As evangelical broadcaster Michael Coren noted in the National Post (see editorial, page 12), the medieval Roman Catholic church was "obsessed with gore," and even had "a virtual blood cult within it" -- and elements of that persist today.

The depiction of violence for its own sake has become all too common in modern cinema, even in films that purport to take it more seriously, and I would say this is especially evident throughout Gibson's career. I hope he will be able to take his audience beyond the physical torment to some deeper spiritual place. But we'll just have to wait and see.

Nice suggestion on The Gospel of John: "Oh, and a note to the producers: If you're really serious about filming the entire Bible, perhaps you could include John's epistles on the DVD as bonus features. They're a little too short to be released on their own."

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