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Token comment on Jeanette Winterson's The Passion

About the holy week, no movie marathons for me. Finished '93 Booker winner Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, though, by Roddy Doyle. Am now reading Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. Loved the film.

So Jessica was asking about The Passion of the Christ. Didn't mean to see the film at all cos am not religious and I go out of my way to avoid gore. But my relatives really liked the film, and so did my mom. My cousin said the violence quotient in Passion is pretty similar to Gladiator. So I watched it on Easter Sunday with some family members at Eastwood (their cinema seats rock... literally) and I think it's good. Brutal violence, but the acting wasn't overly senti. Always loved Jim Caviezel (Count of Monte Cristo, Thin Red Line, Frequency), who plays a hot Jesus. Didn't know Monica Bellucci played Mary Magdalene.

To put it simply, the movie (and my discussions about it with some of my family) had me wondering about my faith. Am a non-practising Protestant (my mom's Catholic, my dad's... I dunno), I used to go to Sunday school a lot; used to get high scores in Bible quizzes and CFP (Christian Formation Program) in high school at St. Joseph's. But it all fell flat when I learned in early high school that the Bible was written by a small bunch of ancient era guys whose lives were far-removed from mine. Naturally, it didn't fall out of the sky.

I felt stupid (partly cos why hadn't I known this earlier? Prior to that I was just accepting everything as fact). Then most of the Bible stories just got wiped off my mind after that. I still believed in God, but it was a more personal relationship. I talked to him in my prayers every day but the whole structure of Christianity suddenly became something I had yet to consider really believing. So cos I was kinda pressured to watch the film, here I am again wondering about my faith. It was embarrassing how I forgot the difference between John the Baptist and John the Beloved (who stayed with Jesus' mom and Mary Magdalene all throughout Christ's crucifixion). Duh! I mean Liz Phair's Dance of the Seven Veils (Johnny my love/ We got us a witness/ Now all we gotta do is/ Get a preacher... And I am gonna get/ Your heavy head) is about John the Baptist's beheading. I really forgot my Bible stories.

And I dunno, I don't really believe in the devil. For me it's like man's scapegoat for their mistakes and sins. They always blame their shortcomings on the devil. I think we have free will. It's all coming from us. There was a creepy devil in the film, see. A bald androgynous person with a male voice and no eyebrows. Anyway that's all I have to say about it. ;)

BTW, am still gonna watch Hellboy... am sure it'll be good. I think that Ben Stiller-Jen Aniston film is Along Came Polly, Indi. Lemme see, that Gil Portes film is the one where Alessandra de Rossi plays a teacher, right, ala Not One Less?

Addendum: Saw this Ebert review of The Passion of the Christ. At times he's a generous film critic, other times a tad conservative, but here he really makes sense.

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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