Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Film That Needs Culture To Be Understood

I got home from seeing the Passion of the Christ about ten minutes ago. I am at a loss for words. More correctly, words keep coming but they do not correctly express the effect of the movie. But two comments before bed...[Spoilers ahead]

1. It is a movie that a good ear assists. I took two years of Latin in high school and another semester in college. After that, my Latin studies were confined to choral music. A close listen to the dialogue allows you to pick up on subtle nuances in the action. Specifically, the exchange between Pilate and Christ in the praetorium and the use of the word "satis."

2. It is a movie that needs culture to be translated. The careful construction of each scene, each move, each element kept and each element discarded means that not only was there a vision at work -- there is a worldview as well. The name Caravaggio has been thrown around and with some cause. I was most moved by what certain scenes suggested, not what they "came right out and said." Think about the encounter in the alley.

A piece of trivia: The movie gave the name of the soldier who drove the lance into Christ's side as Cassius. Anyone know the traditional name given to this soldier?

More on the movie after Fr. H and I talk about it...process it as it were...

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