Ouch. Check out the less than flattering review of the Passion of the Christ DVD by Rollingstone’s Rob Sheffield. (Warning: This review is not suitable for Christians with an extremely thin skin.) Sheffield’s comments about “The Passion [being] slow and pompous with too much blood,” do raise an interesting question: Do Christians like this movie because it is good art, or do they like it simply because it is about Jesus?
As is usually the case, I am not the first to ask this question. For an interesting discussion of this issue, check out the article “Overcome with Passion,” in the March 2004 issue of Catapult Magazine, written by my old college friend, Kate Bowman. I recently came across it, and though the article is about five months old, I think the issues are still very relevant, especially within the context of the film being released on DVD later this month.
Kate raises some excellent points about Christian views of art, film and culture in general – issues that are near and dear to my heart and my academic pursuits. Plus, whenever anyone mentions the film Magnolia in a positive light, I perk my ears up and listen.