From the Vault...


"The Passion Of
The Christ"

© Sony Music Records

Year of Release: 2004

track listing
  • The Olive Garden
  • Bearing The Cross
  • Jesus Arrested
  • Peter Denies Jesus
  • The Stoning
  • Song Of Complaint
  • Simon Is Dismissed
  • Flagellation/
    Dark Choir/Disciples
  • Mary Goes To Jesus
  • Peaceful But Primimtive/
  • Crucifixion
  • Raising The Cross
  • It Is Done
  • Jesus Is Carried Down
  • Resurrection

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    "The Passion Of The Christ""

    This week, we go to the movies with the soundtrack of The Passion Of Christ, directed by actor Mel Gibson. The film was released in 2004. The album soundtrack was #1 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart, for a total of seven weeks. The film primarily covers the final 12 hours before Jesus Christ's death, including the crucifixion and death of Jesus, and ends with a brief depiction of his resurrection. Flashbacks in the film are covered, biblically based, such as The Last Supper and The Sermon on the Mount, and others. The film has been controversial and received largely polarized reviews, with some critics calling the film a religious and holy experience, while others found the extreme violence to be devastating and excessive. Reviews were mixed: Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a rating of 49% - Director Mel Gibson's zeal is unmistakable, but The Passion of the Christ will leave many viewers emotionally drained rather than spiritually uplifted. Metacritic rated the film has at 47%, stating the movie had mixed or average reviews. CinemaScore gave the film a rare "A+" grade. Negatively, Slate magazine's David Edelstein called it a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie, and Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News felt it was the most virulently anti-Semitic movie made since the German propaganda films of World War II.

    On the positive side, Time critic Richard Corliss called the movie a serious, handsome, excruciating film that radiates total commitment. New York Press film critic Armond White praised Gibson's director role, on how he transformed art into spirituality, and also stated that it was an intelectural challenge for Gibson, and for his audiences. Film Critic Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times gave the movie four out of four stars, calling it The most violent film I have ever seen; What Gibson has provided for me, for the first time in my life, is a visceral idea of what the Passion consisted of. That his film is superficial in terms of the surrounding message—that we get only a few passing references to the teachings of Jesus—is, I suppose, not the point. This is not a sermon or a homily, but a visualization of the central event in the Christian religion. Take it or leave it. The June 2006 issue of Entertainment Weekly named The Passion of the Christ the most controversial film of all time, followed by Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). In 2010, Time listed it as one of the most ridiculously violent films of all time.

    The soundtrack's original score was composed by John Debney. His credits include comedy, horror, thriller, and action-adventure films. He is a long-time collaborator of The Walt Disney Company, having written music for Disney films and other Disney-related projects. The Passion Of The Christ album was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score. Mel Gibson, the director for The Passion of the Christ, is believed to have sung in part of the soundtrack.

    Opening the soundtrack, is the eerie "The Olive Garden." It has the Gregorian-type atmosphere, but more moody and eerie. Which leads into the next track, "Bearing The Cross." This song also has the eerie atmosphere, and with good riddance, due to the movie's theme - As Jesus is about to be crucified. The exisiting moods continue onward, with "Jesus Arrested, "Peter Denies Jesus" and "The Stoning."

    "Song Of Complaint" is more soothing, as it has an Indian-chant-like atmosphere. It's a short piece, but could have been more. "Simon Is Dismissed" is powerful, as it fits for a "challenging scene." "Flagellation/Dark Choir/Disciples" is more of a beautiful Classical piece, and it's a track that Rick Wakeman could have easily recorded. "Mary Goes To Jesus" is like "Song Of Complaint" - a soothing track, with light sounding Indian-chant. Then, it goes into another beautifully sounding Classical piece; powerful towards the end. "Peaceful But Primitive/Procession" is also another Indian-sounding track. As it's title indicates, very peaceful.

    "Crucifixion" returns as eerie and moody, and it fits it's title. And, it all leads into the remaining tracks - After the Crucifixion, "Raising The Cross," to "It Is Done" (the process of the Crucifixion), then "Jesus Is Carried Down." The "Resurrection" is the ending, and what follows aftewrards, is where Christians believe that the resurrection proves that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) and the Son of God. Everything he said and did was true. They also believe that the resurrection means Jesus is still with us and is guiding us every day.

    The Passion Of The Christ soundtrack is powerful. It's beautiful crafted tracks are in Classical music form. It is very moving, just as the movie's theme/comtent.

    As for the movie: In watching from the DVD, the language was not in English. The script was written in English by Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald, then translated by William Fulco, S.J., a professor at Loyola Marymount University, into Latin and reconstructed Aramaic. Gibson chose to use Latin instead of Koine Greek, which was the lingua franca of that particular part of the Roman Empire at the time, since there is no source for the Koine Greek spoken in that region. Gibson felt the need to avoid vernacular languages in order to surprise audiences. So, in watching the DVD movie, you would have to watch the subtitles, to understand in English. (Subtitles/Closed Captioning was never a problem for me; I have been using these in watching regular cable television for years, due to my hearing problem.)

    It is true about how violent the movie is - From the beginning of the movie, in how they capture Jesus and torture Him, and throughout the entire film, including the Crufixion. An incredible movie, and how Jesus' last hours were. As in Roger Ebert's review: The movie is 126 minutes long, and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen.
    If ever there was a film with the correct title, that film is Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." Although the word passion has become mixed up with romance, its Latin origins refer to suffering and pain; later Christian theology broadened that to include Christ's love for mankind, which made him willing to suffer and die for us.
    ie: Jesus died for our sins

    For some, turning to Jesus can be deserving for those who are in need for salvation, survival, and how to continue living. This is the case for those who have lost - A loved one, in times of depression, recovering from addictions, lonesomeness, etc. It certainly helps when you feel that God will lead you into your next endeavor. For everthing that happens, it happens for a reason. Whether it is good or sad, God leads us for the next chapters in our lives. Going to church helps also. Learning the scriptures, listening to the sermons, gives us peace. With Peace there is Hope. With Hope there is God. As we have seen the torturing throughout The Passion Of The Christ, Jesus died on the cross to provide the way for us to receive forgiveness from our sins. The Bible provides many details regarding this sacrifice of Jesus. As we study the Bible, we understand more and more of salvation and forgiveness.

    I say "For some, ..." It should be for all. Where there is Hope, there is God. Let's study Him, and follow Him.

    “May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up His countenance toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26, NAS)

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