Back in 2011 I reported that Mel Gibson was working on a screenplay about the Maccabean revolt. Go here to read the post. I hoped that this movie would help Gibson work out the personal demons that afflict him. Alas, such is not the case. The project has been shelved, and the screenwriter of the play Joe Eszterhas has unloaded on Gibson in a nine page letter that may be read here. (Caution as to strong language.) Mel Gibson is the most prominent Catholic of his generation in Hollywood. His Passion of the Christ is a masterful film that inspired, and inspires, huge numbers of people around the globe. To see him destroy his life and reputation since then has been painful. Gibson needs our prayers and a swift kick in the hind end.
Update I: Hattip to commenter Chris P. Go here to read Gibson’s response to the Eszterhas letter.
Update II: Go here to read Eszterhas’ response to Gibson.
Something for the weekend. The overture from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus. Judas Maccabeus is a musical tribute to the revolt of the Maccabees, 167-160, against the attempts by Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes to forcibly convert the Jews to paganism. The revolt was not simply against the Selucids, but also against a sizable chunk of the population of Judea who were only too happy to embrace the ways of the Greeks. Led by Mattathias, the father of Judas and his brothers, collectively known as the Maccabees, the revolt started in 167 BC when Mattathias, in the village of Modein outside of Jerusalem, cut down an official of the Selucid empire who was attempting to cajole Mattathias, a priest of Yahweh, to offer sacrifice to Zeus. Mattathias and his sons then literally took to the hills, with Mattathias uttering a cry that has rung down the centuries: “Let him who is zealous for the Law, follow me!”
Mattathias, an old man at the start of the revolt, soon died, and leadership descended to his son Judas. Fighting a crafty guerilla campaign, Judas and his brothers, against all the odds, established an independent Jewish state. After the heroic days of the Maccabees, the new Jewish state eventually descended into a fairly squalid series of civil wars, which ultimately led to the Romans under Pompey the Great seizing Jerusalem in 63 BC. The Romans thereafter ruled Judea through puppet rulers. Our Catholic Bibles have First and Second Maccabees which retell the heroic saga of the Maccabean Revolt. This of course brings us to Mel Gibson, who has brought two heroic revolts to the screen and is apparently working on a third. Continue reading
From the only reliable source of news on the net, The Onion. It is only a rumor that the 5 year old screen writer was brought in to do last minute patch ups on the screenplay for Mel Gibson’s beaver opus, The Beaver.
From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion. Wait, no, that’s not right! The above video certainly seems like a creation from the warped minds at the Onion, but even they would have a hard time dreaming this one up: Actor with alcohol, anger and fidelity “issues”, portrays deranged husband and father who gets back in touch with his family by using a beaver hand puppet. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh endlessly at the sheer lunacy of it all. I wouldn’t be surprised if the film makes a huge amount of money, at least from audiences who enjoy truly dark comedy and perhaps from the select few who love the irony of it all.
Mel said that he took an axe to his marriage, so perhaps this is all some bizarre attempt at redemption in the eyes of the public at least, if not in the eyes of his ex-wife and kids. What this film does establish beyond question is that Mel Gibson truly is one strange character. I say this as someone who enjoyed most of his films dating back to his road warrior days, and who defended him on blogs for years, especially against the shameful charge that his masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ, was, in any way, anti-Semitic. Alas, someone can be a fine artist, and still be a man with massive flaws and that is the case with Mel. Through alcohol abuse, adultery, and out of control rants, the actor many Catholics pointed to with pride, revealed himself to have very common Hollywood failings. Continue reading
Last night I was exercising and flipping through the channels and saw Mel Gibson on the Jay Leno Show- very disturbing stuff. He joked about having a lot of off-color jokes, he offered up some profanity to quote some girls he ran into while filming in Boston. To top it off he promised Leno that if and when he decides to get married again he would announce it first on Leno’s show.