Benedict Fitzgerald

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Wise Blood Review


Excellent
John Huston's Wise Blood isn't bold-faced Americana. Rather, it is an alien planet of such thick perversity and everyday grotesqueries that one has to take pause and consider how close Mr. Huston's dystopia is to the American South. It is adapted from the fine first novel by Flannery O'Conner of the same name and it is the only time an American director has successfully translated the late O'Conner's haunting prose. Completed in 1979, it is also perhaps the most ballistic of Huston's late-period films.

Hazel Motes, played by Brad Dourif in a brilliant, physical performance, is a character John Huston would have had to create if O'Conner hadn't already written him. Aggressive and hissing like an angry cobra, Motes slithers his way into town from a stint in the army and begins yelling about a "Church Without Christ" that he will begin. He finds a believer in the young, brainless Enoch Emory (Dan Shor) who tells Hazel about the "wise blood" in his veins that tells him things no one else can hear.

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The Passion Of The Christ Review


Extraordinary
Detractors have spent months condemning Mel Gibson's labor of faith, The Passion of the Christ. Many protest its abundant gore and relentless violence. The loudest arguments rally against the film's reported anti-Semitic stance. Gibson tried to answer his critics, but his defensive statements only sprinkled more gasoline on the already raging flames of controversy.

Now that the film is out, it finally can speak for itself. And as it turns out, some of the arguments are valid. Passion, which arduously depicts the final hours of Jesus Christ, contains brutal scenes of torture that linger for an eternity. And Gibson does limit his narrative to Jesus' conviction and crucifixion, with occasional fleeting reminders of significant events such as the last supper or the Sermon on the Mount.

Continue reading: The Passion Of The Christ Review

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