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Saturday, February 28, 2004
So I saw me The Passion last night and it just sort of confused me. My companions were pretty disgusted by the violence and gore, and while I wasn't--takes a lot for me to be grossed out with sights, although smells and descriptions not so much--I told my squeamish parents that they defeinitely wouldn't get through it very far, which is true. I also made some comments afterwards that belied my general lack of affect toward it, but I'm smart enough not to repeat them in a public forum, since they even greatly disturbed my companions, and that's saying something.

Apparently it has a much different effect on believers, which I can certainly understand--certainly, for instance, seeing Tara killed on Buffy had a lot more impact on me than on someone who hadn't lived with the show for awhile. But I'm sort of unconvinced that under the current critical rubrick it's really valid to call it a great movie, which some people seem to be doing.

However, I WOULD be quite interested in discussing it in comparison to a) historical passion plays, and b) grindhouse gore movies, to both of which I believe it owed a lot.

The audience was pretty subdued. No crying or anything, but it was a midnight Friday showing in Chelsea, so it's pretty goddamn far from representative, fair to say.

I'd probably reccomend "The Rapture"[1] or "The Apostle" over this one[2].

Oh yeah, and what the fuck was with Satan? It was like watching a Marilyn Manson video or something, especially the shot at the end where apparently his wig blows off. (!) This is to say nothing about the undeniably symbolic but also undeniably Whitesnake-video-like dove-hovering-in-midair slo-mo shot. Or Pilate looking like Zero Mostel, and thus the whole Pilate scene seeming like a creepy outtake from A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Or the whole part where Judas is partially eaten by Jewish (?) demon children, especially the shot that seemed to be a reference to "Life of Brian." If you haven't seen the movie yet, I know this sounds weird, but I swear, this whole paragraph is true.

[1] After seeing which I actually had to go home and take a shower. Blarrrgh.
[2] Or maybe "Breaking the Waves," but that's pushing it, I know.