Sometimes I think Catholicism focuses way too much on death, pain and suffering. And Mel Gibson’s blood-drenched treatise confirms my views – it ends right as Christ re-awakens. This truly is spiritual pornography – bloody money shot after bloody money shot. It reminded me of Kill Bill Vol 1 in how every moment, movement and image is overplayed, overdone and explored with excruciating detail. Maybe I would have been more moved if I truly believed Jesus walked the earth and said everything that is contained in the (censored, mis-translated) Gospels. I see The Bible as a set of stories to live your life by and understand that it is filtered and shoe-horned into centuries of political, economic and ethnic conflict.
It was like the pre-Easter mass where you do the Stations of the Cross and you’re an altar server (me and my sis – she trailblazed the way for altar girls everywhere!) and you have to hold candles and incense and it just takes forever. Or the Saturday night Easter Vigil mass where they have like 14 readings and you think your patellas are going to explode from kneeling for so long.
I admire the vision, though. I think there’s a reason The Passion and Fahrenheit 9/11 were the two big movies of the past year. They reflected a singular, passionate, zealous vision that was truly trying to change the world. And that is something rarely found in a conventional studio release. I think every artist should have a hack at the central stories of their culture – we should all write over own version of the Gospels or analogous text.
And hey – I thought Jesus only fell three times. It was like every five minutes he fell down – in over-blown slo-mo.
As our satyr play afterwards we also rented South Park‘s The Passion of the Jew which was just as over the top with Cartman leading a gang of brainwashed townspeople chanting anti-Semitic threats in German. And the sub-plot was about stuffing food up your ass and crapping out your mouth. The toilet humor in that show is always a diversion as the main thesis slips under the radar. The DVD also includes Christian Rock Hard, which skewers pussilanimous religious rock music and Red Hot Catholic Love which eviscerates the Catholic Church’s complicity in child molestation.
I would like to ask every parent who flipped out over Janet Jackson’s nipple if they allowed their kids to watch The Passion‘s 45 minute flesh-ripping scourging.