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Title: The Passion and Mel Gibson

Description: The Passion of the Christ from 2004 is one of the most influential movies on Christianity of all time. Critics claim the movie was too graphic in its violence, it has anti-Semitic themes and that it went too far from the Gospel accounts. Steve and Garry Stevens of the History in the Bible Podcast will look at what this movie got right and talk about why Mel Gibson made some of the decisions he did when taking this larger than life story to the big screen.


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Garry Stevens of the History in the Bible Podcast

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“Crossing the Chasm” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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Begin Transcript:

, [00:00:00] this is Beyond the Big Screen Podcast with your host, Steve Guerra. Thank you for listening to beyond the big screen podcast, we are a member of the Parthenon podcast network. A huge thanks goes out to Garry Stevens yet again, of the history and the Bible podcast links to learn more about Garry and his podcasts can be found historyinthebible.com or in the show notes.
A great way to support beyond the big screen is to leave a rating and review on apple podcasts. These reviews really help me know what you think of the show and help other people learn about beyond the big screen, more about the Parthenon podcast network can be found. Parthenon podcast.com. You can learn more about beyond the big screen, great movies and stories.
So great. They should be movies on Facebook and [00:01:00] Twitter by searching for a to Z history. You can contact me there or just send an email to my email address, steve@atozhistorypage.com links to all of the, some more can be found beyondthebigscreen.com. I thank you for joining me again behind the big screen.
welcome back to another collaboration between the history of the papacy podcast, the history and the Bible podcast. And I’ll put on my beyond the big screen. Podcast had too. So I’m wearing two hats. If you were watching on YouTube, which we’re not doing YouTube anymore, but if we were on YouTube, I’d be wearing two hats.
I suppose you can imagine that. But today we’re tackling the big one, the, the movie of all movies, [00:02:00] history of Christianity related history of Bible, Judaism, you name it. And that is 2000 fours. The passion of the Christ written and directed by Mel Gibson. So, Garry, how are you doing today? I’m doing fine. And you know, I have difficulty believing that movie came out 17 years ago.
Yeah. It’s pretty unbelievable. It feels like it just came out last month or something. And I believe that they’re coming out with the sequel to it in not too long from one more recording. That’s yeah, that’ll be interesting. The, um, Jesus pot too. And maybe it’s, it’s titled the passion resurrection. So I think that probably gives a little clue.
So maybe we could talk about that. Um, at some time what we might predict would be in that film, that would definitely be a lot less gory than this one. That’s true. Although Mel Gibson’s involved, so you never [00:03:00] know what might happen. The passion of the Christ from 2004 is Mel Gibson’s approach to the passion and in his historical filmmaking phase, where he had Braveheart to the Patriot, which were very much stretching, historic, calling them historical, really stretching that to its breaking point.
And then the movie Apocalypto and the passion where mal used native languages and, uh, had a very different storytelling style. Um, I think a good thing for us to maybe talk about upfront is our own views about this movie and just to put it out there on the rotten tomatoes, the movie gets a 49%. Uh, grade from the critics and then an 80% from the audience.
So it’s always interesting to see a big disparity between the critics and the audiences in rotten [00:04:00] tomatoes. Now I thought, Garry, maybe you could go first because you have some strong opinions about your countrymen, Mel Gibson, and some connections with them. Yeah. Melanie and I were born three days apart, so we are almost exactly contemporaries.
Mel was born in America and came to Australia for his. And he went to drama school in Sydney. And I saw him in a production of the death of a salesman who he seemed perfectly competent. So I have seen the man closeup for awhile. I haven’t shaken his great hand, but still now I just don’t like the men don’t really ask me why.
I just don’t like him. I don’t like James Spader either. Although I’ve only ever seen three minutes of him on the screen, I tend to find mil is, is belligerent. And you must’ve been he’s belligerent in his private life. Isn’t it. And then we get into the discussion of how much do you separate the men from the work?
If we go way back to say the painter Caravaggio love Caravaggio’s paintings, but the guy was a murder out murderer. [00:05:00] Woody Allen would be the classic modern case. I still liked Woody Allen, although he seems to be quite a creep, but Mel, well, see, I’m happy to find fault with mil for even his head. And he does about, on the other hand, he does say to me, well, crafted high production value films.
There’s no doubt about that. And this film is the same. It’s well-produced, uh, well-acted with, it seems around the extreme. Now, would you agree with the extreme. Oh, yeah. It’s I mean, extreme as probably a, the lightest word you can use. I mean, and I don’t remember it affecting me so much because I, I did watch it in the theater.
And I think maybe not really, at that point, I wasn’t, as quite as familiar, I was familiar with the passion narrative and its broadest strokes. But, um, I don’t know, maybe because I didn’t know it as quite a detail as I do now, after doing a podcast on all these things and reading the, the documents and all that.
I don’t know. I connected to [00:06:00] it quite differently this last time. And it was very hard to watch you. You said something which never occurred to me about the difference between say the Catholic and the Protestant approaches to the passion. Yeah. So the, um, well Mel comes to this from a very. Um, distinct perspective of a traditionalist Catholic capital T capital C the, and they have a very, uh, brutal and they’ve definition of the passion and perspective on the passion.
And they, uh, look at it through a, um, they really focus in on the pain and the, all of those, the more horrific aspects of the passion then maybe, uh, other Catholics do or Orthodox, or, uh, even certain Protestants do it’s really, they put a lot into the, the physicality of the passion, then others do well. [00:07:00] I mean, I look at a Catholic cross.
It often has Jesus on the cross. Doesn’t it, but you’ll rarely find that in a Protestant church. I mean, it’s just a plain cross in a Protestant. And you’ll see in a Catholic where, um, Jesus is bleeding with the crown of thorns on and there’s blood or there’s blood coming from the various wounds where you won’t generally see that.
And Orthodox iconography, I believe too, in Catholic, uh, and you’ll and Catholic iconography. And you’ll see this in the film where they, um, almost break Jesus’s feet to nail them through that. Won’t be depicted in say, I don’t believe that even an early iconography, but in Eastern iconography, you won’t see that.
As well. And so I think that it’s, it’s interesting that why you don’t like Mel. And I think I have there’s actors like [00:08:00] Nicholas cage. I can’t watch anything Nicholas cages. And because there’s just something about him and then probably mine that’s on the same level as yours with now. Probably everybody’s going to tune out now as Tom Hanks, you kind of stare at him now.
And I am really, can’t put my finger on why precisely, and I’ve enjoyed some of his movies and it’s nothing really in particular with his personal life or his acting. I just, you know, for me, for him, and this is maybe getting up too much of a tangent he’s Tom Hanks and every role you wouldn’t call him a character actor, would you know?
Yeah. He’s he is himself just as a final. Let me get one funnel actor. And that’s Tom cruise, like Hanks cruise is always exactly the same person. And he’s also one of these people who always has to be portrayed looking good. I read, I once read a interesting thing about, um, Bruce Willis, you know, the film tour monkeys.
Yeah. Uh, well, in that film, he spends most of it [00:09:00] drooling and gibbering and looking really bad. So Willis is an actor who’s quite happy to, to be pictured looking. But Cruz in his arrogance always has to look like a pretty boy. So anyway, enough of that, we, we could, we could write rave about actors. We can’t stand for years.
Yeah. If you’re really, if there’s somebody who, uh, you want to rant about out there, you can send us an email and we can definitely sympathize with you. I think that, um, one of the things that I appreciated about the movie is that it fairly much stuck to the gospel account. And t

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