Friday, September 16, 2011


if the mustache fits, wear it
I'll say loud and proud, "I HATE MEL GIBSON."  This guy is clearly a god awful anti-semite of the old variety.  He is also so hung up on himself that he has the gall, the damn gall, to think it would be swell for him to make a movie out of an ancient Jewish hero, hey, maybe even play the guy.  I spit on you, Mel, you stupid Jew hating, misogynist, pig schmuck.

Have I made my feelings clear?

For a little more intellectual discussion I direct you to this BuzzFlash post from old bud, Billy Berkowitz.

Mel Gibson’s Passion for Judah Maccabee Isn’t Playing in the Jewish Community

"Casting [Gibson] as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting [Bernie] Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr.," says Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of Los Angeles's Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance.
Earlier this year, Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster appeared hand in hand on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. They were attending the premiere of The Beaver, a film directed by Foster, starring both her and Gibson. In the movie Gibson plays a depressed toy manufacturer who, after failing to commit suicide, winds up communicating through a hand puppet. This was supposed to be his return to Hollywood stardom after having spent a few years fending off questions about his sexist, anti-gay, racist and anti-Semitic rants. The Beaver was a box office dud; it cost $21 million to make and it reeled in far less than that, both domestically and internationally.
To get his sinking Mojo back, Gibson is going to have to do better.
But first, he must clear up a few of the messes he's created for himself; most immediately with his ex-girlfriend, and most notably, with the Jewish community.
Apparently, money has allowed Gibson to buy his way out of his ex-girlfriend mess. In late August, Gibson agreed to pay Oksana Grigorieva, $750,000. In addition, according to the Associated Press, he will, "continue to provide housing and financial support for their young daughter to resolve a bitter legal fight that followed sexist, racist rants attributed to the actor."
Gibson's Jewish problem, however, is going to take a lot more than money to fix.
Gibson's production of The Passion of the Christ marks the beginning of his poor relationship with the Jewish community. The film delivers an ultra-violent portrayal of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ, with Gibson depicting Jews as evil collaborators in Jesus' death. This negative portrayal picked up steam when it was discovered that Gibson's father, Hutton Peter Gibson (a man Gibson reveres), questioned the holocaust in a 2003 New York Times interview, when he asked how it was that the Nazis could have possibly disposed of six million bodies. This all culminated in Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic rant during his highly-publicized 2006 DUI arrest. Gibson accused the Jews of being "responsible for all the wars in the world."
So what's a Gibson to do?
If you answered, "Make another biopic featuring a Jew," consider yourself brilliant!
The recent announcement that Gibson is collaborating with Warner Bros. to produce a movie about Judah Maccabee, a Jewish hero, has not jump-started the healing process. In fact, the announcement immediately resulted in strongly worded comments from several Jewish leaders.
Before Gibson's The Passion of the Christ became an international blockbuster (it's one of the highest grossing films of all time with over $600 million in combined domestic and international box office), and before his drunken anti-Semitic tirade threatened his career, he apparently had it in his minds eye to make a movie about Judah Maccabee. Several years ago, he told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity that the story had all the elements of an old-fashioned western.
While it is likely that he will direct the movie, it is unclear whether he will act in it. He could perhaps play Judah Maccabee's father, Mattathias. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, Showgirls, Flashdance), has been brought on board to tell the story.
According to Celeb Dirty Laundry's Dr. Jody Overland, Eszterhas' work also includes two films -- directed by Costa-Gavras and produced by Irwin Winkler -- that focused on Jewish themes: 1987's Betrayed, which starred Debra Winger, and 1989's Music Box, featuring Jessica Lange.
The story of Judah Maccabee is the story of Hanukkah. The reason Jews light candles during Hanukkah - The Festival of Lights - is to commemorate the restoration of Jewish worship at the temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC, after a victorious Judah Maccabee removed the pagan statuary placed there by the Seleucid conquerors.
Reaction from some Jewish leaders was quick and critical.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of Los Angeles's Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, told The Hollywood Reporter:
"Mel Gibson has shown nothing but antagonism and disrespect to Jews. First of all there were the anti-Semitic remarks he made, his portrayal of Jews in The Passion of Christ. I'm talking about those Jews who did not accept Christ, they were all portrayed as idiots, buffoons or people who were tyrants, with a very unfair portrayal. He's had a long history of antagonism with Jews. Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting [Bernie] Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It's simply an insult to Jews."
Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement:
"We would have hoped Warner Brothers could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps even star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee. As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better. It would be a travesty to have the story of the Maccabees told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people's religious views."
One of the keys to the success of The Passion of the Christ was the savvy way its producers handled its pre-release promotion. That roll out not only played to evangelical Christian pastors hungry for a movie to send its parishioners too, but it also combatted the controversy surrounding the film.
During the run-up, Bill Donohue's Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights devoted 22 of its 43 press releases to the Gibson film. In addition, a special section of the League's "2003 Report on Anti-Catholicism" was devoted to the film.
It would not be surprising to see some of those pre-release methods used again.
The Atlantic magazine's Jeffrey Goldberg, who is working on a biography of Judah Maccabee, was not surprised by the Gibson-Warner Bros. announcement:
"A few years ago, I was having dinner with Christopher Hitchens, who had recently launched an excoriating attack on Judah Maccabee in his book, "God is Not Great" (Hitchens blames Judah Maccabee for, essentially, his success -- the Maccabean revolt helped preserve, against the force and power of Greek culture, what Hitchens might call jealous-God Judaism, and thus paved the way for the birth of Christianity, which Hitch, as I'm sure you know, regrets). I happened to mention to Hitchens news that Gibson had expressed interest in the Judah story, which prompted Hitchens to look at me gravely and issue an order: ‘You must go to Los Angeles and stop him.'"
Goldberg recounts a subsequent conversation where Gibson mentioned that he had read the Book of the Maccabees when he was a teenager and found it amazing:
"'It's almost like' -- here, he grabbed my digital recorder, held it to his mouth, and spoke in a portentous movie-announcer voice - 'They profaned his Temple. They killed his father. They... all kinds of stuff. In the face of great odds for something he believed in' -- here he switched out of movie-announcer voice - ‘Oh, my God, the odds they faced. The armies they faced had elephants! How cinematic is this! Even Judah's dad -- what's his name? Mattathias? -- you kind of get this guy who more or less is trying to avoid the whole thing, but he just gets to a place where had enough, and he just snapped!'"
"Just snapped!." Sounds like the perfect title of a Gibson biopic.

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