“Talk About the Passions”

Discovered at David Hudson’s IFC blog:

Joshua Land at Moving Image Source writes about The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ:

Considering the tremendous importance of Jesus to many millions, it’s understandable that supporters and opponents of [Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ (1988) and Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ (2004)] were often more interested in what they wanted to see in these works than in what their makers actually accomplished. Still, it’s unfortunate that the controversy has made it impossible for many viewers to really see either film, because ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and ‘The Last Temptation of Christ,’ despite their flaws, are both deeply personal, conscientious, and – each in its own peculiar way – reverent films that deserve to exist as more than floating cultural signifiers and to be taken seriously by believers and nonbelievers alike.

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  • While seeing The Last Temptation for the first time recently, it struck me how it is really based on a thought experiment that we now see in truckloads of superhero movies: suppose this super-Man were truly a man of flesh and blood, what would his desires and motivations, his choices and actions be? We see it in the latest James Bond and Batman, and here the question is: what would happen if Jesus came down from the cross for his own benefit? I didn’t find this idea disrespectful at all, as it deepened my appreciation of the fact that he DIDN’t come down from the cross – for our benefit.

  • Some good thoughts there.