Skip to comments.Gibson taking Oscar high road for 'The Passion'
Posted on 11/21/2004 6:16:48 AM PST by NYer
LOS ANGELES, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Mel Gibson has sworn off using paid advertisements to seek Oscars for his blockbuster, "The Passion of the Christ," and instead is putting his faith in the merits of the work as it vies for the film industry's top honors.
Breaking with a growing Hollywood practice of heavy-handed pre-Oscar marketing, Gibson and his Icon Productions partner Bruce Davey have vowed not to spend a cent on television, radio or print ads hawking "Passion" for Academy Award consideration, a spokesman said on Friday.
However, Icon is presenting promotional screenings of "The Passion" and plans to send out thousands of DVD copies to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (news - web sites) and other industry groups that present year-end film awards.
"This film should be judged on its artistic merit, not on who spends more money for advertising. That's really what the academy was meant to be and to celebrate," Davey said in a statement issued through Icon's publicist, Alan Nierob.
Gibson, who wrote, directed and produced the blood-drenched film about the last hours in the life of Jesus, likewise spent relatively little on commercial advertising to promote "The Passion" before its theatrical release.
Instead, Icon relied on a marketing campaign centered on special screenings for Christian churches. The R-rated film also benefited from media scrutiny after some Jewish leaders expressed concern that the movie could incite anti-Semitism.
"The Passion" went on to gross well over $600 million in worldwide ticket sales.
NO CLEAR FAVORITES
Nominations for the 2004 Academy Awards (news - web sites) are two months away, and with no clear favorites having yet emerged the Oscar contest is expected to be especially heated this year.
"The studios that have films in the race are going to be out there doing everything they can to get attention for their films," said Gregg Kilday, film editor for The Hollywood Reporter.
Oscar marketing has grown into a multimillion-dollar exercise for major studios and production companies, which spend lavishly on advertising, parties and publicity campaigns to raise the profile of their movies during the run-up to the Academy Awards and other year-end film prizes.
In recent years, promotional blitzes have taken on a nasty edge, with rival movie executives accusing each other of trying to buy academy votes or fomenting whisper campaigns.
Academy officials thought the situation had gotten so out of hand that last year they formed a committee to tighten guidelines governing the promotion of Oscar-eligible films.
Academy President Frank Pierson praised Gibson for working to restore the Oscars as a "celebration and appreciation of excellence" and resisting the "crass commercialism that was threatening the integrity of the award."
The stakes are high. An Oscar nomination or award carries tremendous prestige for a film's producers and talent while often translating into a commercial windfall for those movies that are still in theaters or in DVD release.
"The Passion" has little to gain commercially from Oscar recognition at this point, having already completed its global theatrical run and DVD release.
Gibson has given the world a timeless classic; a film that will endure forever, despite the ballyhooing Hollyweirdos.
Catholic Ping - please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
I don't think Gibson ought to submit this movie for the Oscars at all.
Knida of like winning the Nobel Peace Prize now.
Don't forget, he already won Best Picture (and best director?) for Braveheart. I was completely astonished when that happened.
I can't wait to see the hatred on all the faces of those angry liberal hollyweird idots. I wonder how many hate speeches we will hear.
Considering that Mikey Mooreon's piece of garbage is likely to be nominated for Best Picture, I think we all know where Hollyweird stands on a good movie ever winning an award for anything.
Hey Ronnie, how are ya buddy?
Same here. Especially after the queer got tossed out of the window.
I find it all about as meaningful as our political campaigns anymore ... where that same Talent is trotted out either to Opinionate as necessary to cause a firestorm or, even worse, glorify or desecrate as required the very real lives and issues allegedly the purview of politics such as Cider House Rules ... or WORST OF ALL, used to play a "conservative" used to capture the governorship of Hollywood's own home state.
It's rather sad to live in the Age of the Fueilleton and just one more reason I truly admire Gibson's erring on the side of privacy where his personal opinions of politics and such are concerned.
since the end of the Middle Ages, intellectual life in Europe seems to have evolved alone two major lines. The first of these was the liberation of thought and belief from the sway of all authority. In practice this meant the struggle of Reason, which at last felt it had come of age and won its independence, against the domination of the Roman Church.
The second trend, on the other hand, was the covert but passionate search for a means to confer legitimacy on this freedom, for a new and sufficient authority arising out of Reason itself. We can probably generalize and say that Mind has by and large won this often strangely contradictory battle for two aims basically at odds with each other.
Has the gain been worth the countless victims? Has our present structure of the life of the mind been sufficiently developed, and is it likely to endure long enough, to justify as worthwhile sacrifices all the sufferings, convulsions, and abnormalities: the trials of heretics, the burnings at stake, the many "geniuses" who ended in madness or suicide? For us, it is not permissible to ask these questions. History is as it has happened. Whether it was good, whether it would have been better not to have happened, whether we will or will not acknowledge that it has had "meaning"--all this is irrelevant.
Thus those struggles for the "freedom" of the human intellect likewise "happened," and subsequently, in the course of the aforementioned Age of the Feuilleton, men came to enjoy an incredible degree of intellectual freedom, more than they could stand.
For while they had overthrown the tutelage of the Church completely, and that of the State partially, they had not succeeded in formulating an authentic law they could respect, a genuinely new authority and legitimacy. Ziegenhalss recounts some truly astonishing examples of the intellect's debasement, venality, and self-betrayal during that period.
We must confess that we cannot provide an unequivocal definition of those products from which the age takes its name, the feuilletons. They seem to have formed an uncommonly popular section of the daily newspapers, were produced by the millions, and were a major source of mental pabulum for the reader in want of culture.
They reported on, or rather "chatted' about, a thousand-and-one items of knowledge. It would seem, moreover, that the cleverer among the writers of them poked fun at their own work. Ziegenhalss, at any rate, contends that many such pieces are so incomprehensible that they can only be viewed as self-persiflage on the part of the authors. Quite possibly these manufactured articles do indeed contain a quantity of irony and self-mockery which cannot be understood until the key is found again.
The producers of these trivia were in some cases attached to the staffs of the newspapers; in other cases they were free-lance scriveners. Frequently they enjoyed the high-sounding title of "writer," but a great many of them seem to have belonged to the scholar class. Quite a few were celebrated university professors.
Among the favorite subjects of such essays were anecdotes taken from the lives or correspondence of famous men and women. They bore such titles as "Friedrich Nietzsche and Women's Fashions of 1870," or "The Composer Rossini's Favorite Dishes," or "The Role of the Lapdog in the Lives of Great Courtesans," and so on. Another popular type of article was the historical background piece on what was currently being talked about among the well-to-do, such as "The Dream of Creating Gold Through the Centuries," or "Physico-chemical Experiments in Influencing the Weather," and hundreds of similar subjects.
When we look at the titles that Ziegenhalss cites, we feel surprise that there should have been people who devoured such chitchat for their daily reading; but what astonishes us far more is that authors of repute and of decent education should have helped to "service" this gigantic consumption of empty whimsies.
Significantly, "service" was the expression used; it was also the word denoting the relationship of man to the machine at that time.
In some periods interviews with well-known personalities on current problems were particularly popular. Ziegenhalss devotes a separate chapter to these. Noted chemists or piano virtuosos would be queried about politics, for example, or popular actors, dancers, gymnasts, aviators, or even poets would be drawn out on the benefits and drawbacks of being a bachelor, or on the presumptive causes of financial crises, and so on. All that mattered in these pieces was to link a well-known name with a subject of current topical interest. The reader may consult Ziegenhalss for some truly startling examples; he gives hundreds.
As we have said, no doubt a goodly dash of irony was mixed in with all this busy productivity; it may even have been a demonic irony, the irony of desperation--it is very hard indeed for us to put ourselves in the place of those people so that we can truly understand them. But the great majority, who seem to have been strikingly fond of reading, must have accepted all these grotesque things with credulous earnestness.
If a famous painting changed owners, if a precious manuscript was sold at auction, if an old palace burned down, if the bearer of an aristocratic name was involved in a scandal, the readers of many thousands of feature articles at once learned the facts. What is more, on that same day or by the next day at the latest they received an additional dose of anecdotal, historical, psychological, erotic, and other stuff on the catchword of the moment. A torrent of zealous scribbling poured out over every ephemeral incident, and in quality, assortment, and phraseology all this material bore the mark of mass goods rapidly and irresponsibly turned out.
Herman Hesse (from introduction to "The Glass Bead Game")
as posted within Will Hollywood Actors Become Extinct in our Life time?
A torrent of zealous scribbling poured out over every ephemeral incident, and in quality, assortment, and phraseology all this material bore the mark of mass goods rapidly and irresponsibly turned out.
Just another reason Gibson's film doesn't belong among the Rove-ish propaganda or casually immoral and often wholly gratuitously "bloodsoaked" images and stories used to shock, amuse and sex the masses.
Micheal Moore director of the year, best screenplay, and best documentary, but will lose best picture.
The movie has stood on its own merit without the support or backing from Hollywood.
Why would the Oscars be any different?
"The Passion" has little to gain commercially from Oscar recognition "
In fact I would be tickled if Passion did not win and Monster Moore's F911 wins something. The left has been playing the wrong cards for 4 years now and I say "Why change things?".
The Soviets' system was moronic for years and it finally broke-with a little help from Ronaldus Maximus mind you. Nevertheless, it's own weight was a large part of it's own demise. There is a great parralell with Liberalism. Let them show the Center what an amoral pile of sickos the left is filled with. Let them do our work for us.
The "Passion" is one of the greatest pieces of cinematic art ever made. With the greatest story to tell. It will be around for years, if not centuries.
especially after that UGLY scene when Michael Moore accepted for winning Bowling for Columbine a couple of years ago.
Oh but it's only ugly if you are a ultra-extremist-radical-fundamentalist living in Jesusland. In Hollweird it was no big deal.
F-9-11 cannot be nominated for best picture. It is supposedly a documentary. Can't win.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Best Pictures winners tend to be conservative. Look at a list of them. 'American Beauty' was an exception.
Seeing the actual "Pieta" in Italy was equally an astounding experience.
Mel Gibson accurately captured the soul-searing sadness and transcendent beauty of Mary and the Christ as he was taken down from the Cross.
The Passion of The Christ DVD is available in some stores for $15.00.
I'm getting it for everybody I know, for Christmas.
Somehow I missed reports of all those pogroms and the violence that this movie was supposed to engender. Actually, the only anti-religious hatred and intolerance I've been hearing lately are shrill anti-Christian screeds from liberals after the recent election.
I really need to compile a reading list from your FR posts over the years. Great stuff.
I think it might be good as a classic Holy Week devotional act to look at the movie -- a visual recreation of the Via Dolorosa to remind us of what Our Lord went through.
It's been salted pretty heavily by those I encounter here, ELS.
Which reminds me ... I lost my Notepad doc in which I was listing books. Cornelis, do you remember what your last recommendation to me was?
It's in my self-search somewhere but probably a month or so ago.
If you remember ... I'd like to have it again.
Sorry ... it was Cornelis whose book rec I lost.
Whether Gibson gets the Oscar or not, he won!
What a beautiful gift! You may want to also consider adding the accompanying book:
It's available through Amazon.com for only 16.49 and well worth every penny!
Gibson and his Icon Productions partner Bruce Davey have vowed not to spend a cent on television, radio or print ads hawking "Passion" for Academy Award consideration
$16.49 for the book on Amazon?
I paid full price at B&N for my copy of the book.
That's exactly right, and by taking this approach, Mel is putting the academy in a tough place. Since he isn't spending money on advertising to promote his film, he's compelling them to judge the Passion on its artistic merit as he pointed out. If the Passion doesn't win, it will only reaffirm that winning awards are politically motivated or are those whose investors spend lots of money on pre-Oscar publicity.
<< Read as, "no clear favorites as yet having emerged "
.... which pile of Hollyweird swill should win [But] the best film made (The Passion) will be completely ignored. >>
And the worst in decades, Mountain-Mikey 'Humungous' Moore's Farenhate 911, will win.
Indeed. The powers of redemption at work.
Actually, you can purchase a used copy (oftentimes still in its shrinkwrap), for as little as $3.30 on Amazon.com. And .... if you spend $25, shipping is free :-).
The PASSION's collapsing White Shroud...
JOHN DEBNEY's triumphant drums banging away...
The Christ's punctured hands...
as He rises up and up...
...really did it for me.
Victoria, as usual you're right on target!
Thank you for asking about how I'm doing, Freeper SirLurkedalot
Freeper ALOHA RONNIE is doing real fine this day, especially after a "PASSION" TV Commercial just aired in the middle of OLLIE NORTH's 'War Stories' TV Program on the FoX News Channel with...
'PASSION' Music Composer JOHN DEBNEY's triumphant CHRIST Resurrection Scene drums powerfully thumping away and choir voices rising higher and higher.
This during the middle of NORTH's Story about the opening of the Korean War.
What simply AMAZING timing..?
I am so sick of this portrayal. There is more blood on 2 hours of HBO Sunday night than there was during this film.
I've had the chance to watch the Passion with others twice now, and the discussion that followed was most revealing. In one case, I was told that the film did not represent the true story of redemption because it focussed on the physical suffering of the Christ instead of his mental anguish. I immediately thought of the suffering of our troops under fire and after being wounded in battle. I think popular sentiment says that no one needs to suffer for the sake of the Republic, that pain and agony aren't inevitable in the process of maintaining our liberties. Critical comments about The Passion seem related. Even as one who doesn't see the film in terms of personal faith, I felt that many religious people have misunderstood its message. The veteran does, especially the Vietnam veteran who suffered physically and psychologically upon return to an ungrateful nation. This I have learned from you, Ronnie.
I too play NICK GLENNIE SMITH's "WE WERE SOLDIERS" Music Score CD and JOHN DEBNEY's "The PASSION of the Christ" interchangeably in my daily travels.
Oscar-Winning Screenwriter RANDALL WALLACE, who helped bring us "BRAVEHEART" and...
"WE WERE SOLDIERS".. which in turn helped bring us MEL's...
"The PASSION of the Christ"..
...is now giving us a new heroic example to follow in a new Time of War thru his new Book and Movie:
'LOVE and HONOR' = RANDALL WALLACE's new LIBERTY Novel
Thanks for the link, Ronnie. Good to see you.
That might be too much to expect from a lifelong habitué of Hollywood like Gibson, but I hope his hesitancy to follow the "Oscar ads" strategy indicates he may be leaning in that direction.
I was wrecked by the time Christ stomped the snakes head in the Gardec of Gethsemane.It just kept getting heavier from there.