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Title: Kinky Passions of the Leather Christians!!! Credit: Craig Young Comment Saturday 29th July 2006 - 12:00pm1154131200 Article: 1359 Rights
 
What else incriminating can possibly be said about Passion of the Christ? Why not have a look at the special effects involved in the prolonged flagellation and crucifixion scenes and have some fun at the fundies expense? Remember 2004? The world's fundamentalist population salivated copiously at all the whips, chains and bloodletting, letting the rest of us hear their opinions that violence was either acceptable or appropriate in this context, which is curiously lacking every other time they pontificate about media censorship. "Realistic" violence was okay, then? Ah, but the whips and chains weren't real, or there would've been a lawsuit for occupational health and safety from Jim C who played Jaisus. Of course, there's a word for substitution of objects for the 'real' thang, not that I believe that there was actually a coherent historical entity called 'Jesus of Nazareth,' given the paucity of independent evidence about his alleged historical existence. It's called fetishism. Would I allege that the fundies are up to perverse kinkiness? Well, yes. Apparently, for long-distance shots of flagellation and crucifixion, they used a lifelike robot animatronic Jesii. Uh huh, so now we have a glorified blow-up doll as the subject of strange desires and passions?! Mischievous thoughts about hacking and reprogramming it occur to one, but I'll let it pass. I'm sorry, but it gets worse. Did you really want to know that Mel Gibson was historically accurate in reproducing the flagrum, a nasty little Roman whip that consisted of small barbed iron balls and chickenbones on the end of leather strips that could take one's flesh off? And apparently, Mel was into explicit gore and violence, but not the full monty of historical authenticity, otherwise we would've seen the Divine Buttocks getting reddened for righteousness, as Romans whipped their captives nekkid. As well, there might have been a glimpse of the Holy Naughty Bits, but while gruesome violence is okay, apparently unintentional titillation isn't. While the above was realistic, it wasn't real, as it involves matte paintings and prosthetic 'wounds.' In other words, there's still more resort to artifice and fetishism going on! Anyway, I found it fascinating that one fundamentalist viewer realised that "we" did "that" to Jesus. Now, I could raise a sarcastic comment about contemporary New Zealand fundamentalist spank-lust, but that would be gratuitous. And the SPCS wanted young teenagers to watch all that?!! All of which makes me grateful that we have a restrained and moderate Chief Censor who doesn't want to 'go all the way' with the Christian Right. And they have the nerve to pontificate about our safe, sane and consensual leather communities?!! Recommended Background: John Bailey and Stephen Pizello: "A Saviour's Pain" American Cinematographer: 85: 3 (March 2004): 48-61. William Edwards, Wesley Gobel and Floyd Hosmer: "On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ" Journal of the American Medical Association 255:11: (1986): 1455-1463 Stephen Prince: "Beholding Blood Sacrifice in the Passion of the Christ" Film Quarterly: 59: 4 (Summer 2006): 11-22. Craig Young - 29th July 2006    
 
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