It's Easter week and Dovetailing with our recent conversation about Monty Python's Life of Brian we talk this week about Martin Scorsese’s 1988 adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel The Last Temptation of Christ.
This is a highly controversial film to say the least, and still one that doesn't come up positively in conversation's about Jesus films in conservative circles. A Christianity Today article on the top 10 Jesus films even lists Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew - a film in which Jesus is a brooding, angry revolutionary made by a Marxist, atheist – while only making a passive negative comment about the “heresy” that is The Last Temptation.
Coming from a religious background that was one of the voices shouting against this film (though thankfully not as violently as the French) I've got a lot to say on the film. Pat does his best to humor me. I knock my fist on my desk a lot. This week's episode is certainly heavier on the philosophical, theological, and intellectual end of the sliding scale of ways Pat and Adam interact.
We talk a bit about the sort of people who get mad about films like this because Pat (as we discussed in the Life of Brian episode) has issues understanding people's lack of understanding. Interestingly, the Archbishop of San Francisco at the time the film came out essentially said the film would be confusing to anyone who didn't know the Gospels well enough. Lack of understanding is always an issue. Be open to other perspectives. Weigh them against what you know to be true, certainly, but still bring them to the scales.
Or don't. Whatever.