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2016 Movie "Hail Caesar!", based on the movie "The Robe"
02-06-2017, 03:09 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 06:08 PM by Rako.)
Post: #1
2016 Movie "Hail Caesar!", based on the movie "The Robe"




Quote:“Hail, Caesar!” is also a mixed bag, despite a crystal clear gospel presentation that would make “God’s Not Dead” proud.
...

it’s hard to know whether this movie is genuine in its many depictions of faith, or if Christianity is the butt of a joke.

On one hand, the protagonist is seen in moments of genuine prayer, and it’s the words of his priest, “God wants us to do what’s right,” that help him make a major decision in his life. There’s also a scene where another Catholic priest plainly spells out the divinity of Christ and the meaning of His atoning death. During a scene of filming at Calvary, a Roman soldier testifies to the love of Christ, the truth in His words and the meaning of His death for our sin.

But on the other hand, the priest’s presentation of the gospel is in a scene where clergy of different faiths have been brought on as consultants for filming the biblical epic, and his profession quickly dissolves into a theological debate and bickering that trivializes and seems to mock the whole message.

And again, when the Roman soldier proclaims the love of Christ upon the cross, he accidentally forgets a line, and the whole scene turns into a joke – in part because it’s obvious the actor playing the soldier doesn’t really believe what he’s saying.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/hollywood-all...HekwxjW.99
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02-06-2017, 03:25 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 03:27 PM by Rako.)
Post: #2
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"





Quote:There are four set pieces in Hail, Caesar!, the Coen brothers’ most recent release, each revolving around one of the four stars at the film’s heart. The first — which opens the film — offers the grand Bible-epic spectacle that typified the ‘50s version of the blockbuster: a cast of thousands, dazzling Technicolor, widescreen expansiveness, with a handsome star (George Clooney as Baird Whitlock, doing an amalgam of Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, and Tony Curtis) at its center.

[Image: Hail-Caesar-Movie-free-download.jpg]

...the Coens have taken the generic conventions of the backstage musical and mashed them against the very things that it is most ill-equipped to process: patriarchy and male control over female bodies, the false bottom of celebrity, homosexuality, and Hollywood’s central role in the endurance of capitalism and generalized class exploitation.

Those are big, heady, embarrassing issues — the sort of thing the Coens would only joke about as themes of the film in one of their deceptive, self-effacing interviews, in which they regularly assert unbelievable claims like “We’re not big into research.”

Whether the Coens want to own it or not, it’s no coincidence that the spectacles created in their film introduce problems for their characters rather than serve as a balm for them. The first glimpses of Clooney, Ehrenreich, Johannson, and Tatum are all in the midst of their respective spectacles: Clooney marching as a Roman soldier, ....Utopia is aesthetically proffered, only to be narratively unravelled: ... Clooney is alienated from the Christian awakening at the Hail, Caesar! film-within-the-film, increasingly compelled by a competing, secular, class-based explanation for why the world is the way it is.

As a fixer, it’s Mannix’s job to right stars — and narratives — that veer off the path. So he pays the ransom for Clooney, .... Yet those quick fixes are easily unravelled: Clooney is a philanderer and a drunk whose sexual flexibility (“He got his first major role by engaging in sodomy!”) will always threaten his career ... Each narrative resolves itself in some way, because that’s how a musical works, but those resolutions are hilariously flimsy. Even the meta-narrative of Mannix’s own insecurity and anxiety about his job — not over the moral ambiguity, but the fact that he “missed dinner at home” too much — are neatly solved because a voice inside, which a priest tells him must be the voice of God, tells him it’s the right thing to do.

The problems inherent to ‘50s Hollywood — including the studio’s enormous exploitation of its stars, the laundering of those same stars’ images, the legislation of female and queer sexuality, and the production of righteous, morally legible values amid an increasingly illegible political climate, the breathless red mongering, and the generalized intolerance of belief systems that can’t be assimilated into white Christian heterosexual America — overflow the ideological capacity of the genre.

It’s not that the film sours, though, or even fails so much as its generic framework flails. Even the characters are confused by their resolution: “Huh,” says one of the Communist men in the boat when Tatum disappears into the sea. “Huh,” echoes the audience. And when the framework flails, so too does its capacity to generate meaning — which is echoed in Clooney’s final scene, intended as the clinching moment of the Hail, Caesar! film-within-a-film narrative, in which he gives a performance so spirited that it enthralls even the jaded crew: “A new truth,” he soliloquies, “A truth told not in words but in light, a truth that we would see if we had but, but, but…” But then Clooney forgets the line, effectively shattering the promised utopian deliverance. “Faith!” he yells at himself in frustration. “Aw, SON OF A BITCH!”

It’s a classic Coen brothers moment, and it punctures the artifice not only of the Hail, Caesar! in which Whitlock stars, but the meta-narrative of the Hail, Caesar! in which Clooney stars, along with its glossy, lovingly drawn navel-gazing portrait of Hollywood. In truth, Mannix was a massive, arguably murderous dick, it was incredibly dangerous to be gay, women had no control over their bodies, and the studios ruined the lives of thousands, over the course of decades, in order to create the moments of fleeting utopia for millions. “Stories end and stories begin,” the narrator explains at the film’s conclusion, “but the story of Eddie Mannix will never end.” That’s a sentiment that extends to the whole of the Hollywood system, with its inclination to flatten the thornier and more unsettling parts not only of life, but of films that artists like the Coens persist, despite continuing restrictions and financial difficulties, in making.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpeters....odmmRjy76
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02-06-2017, 03:56 PM
Post: #3
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"




Quote:[Image: 0219.HailCaesar.movie_-300x204.jpg]

‘Hail, Caesar!’ a valentine to Hollywood, if not the Legion of Decency

By John Mulderig

Catholic News Service

Eddie is shown to be an absurdly scrupulous Catholic who measures the time since his last confession in hours rather than weeks or months. When abducted, moreover, Baird is playing the part of a Roman officer in the biblical epic of the title, a feature strongly resembling the 1959 version of “Ben-Hur.”

The sensitive subject matter of the fictional “Hail, Caesar!” requires that Eddie get clearance from the head of the National Legion of Decency, long-ago precursor of Catholic News Service’s Media Review Office. This leads to a meeting with an array of clergymen, the Legion’s priestly chief among them.

Besides squabbling between the lone rabbi and the representatives of Christianity over the divine status of “the Nazarene,” this powwow also sees the believers in Christ getting drawn into the logical quicksand that surrounds the mystical dogma of the Trinity, with muddled and supposedly humorous results.

In assessing such material, mature viewers will need to discern whether, in their judgment, faith itself is being ridiculed or merely the cheapening of sacred beliefs at the hands of crude moviemakers and misguided devotees.
http://thedialog.org/tag/limited-adult-audience/page/2/

I am not sure which 1950's movie this is supposed to refer to.
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02-06-2017, 04:05 PM
Post: #4
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"
I look forward to seeing George Clooney on the receiving end of many 'Roman Salutes'.

[Image: NWXRgnc.jpg]
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02-06-2017, 04:56 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 05:47 PM by Rako.)
Post: #5
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"




What is the Christian sub-story supposed to be an allegory for?

Quote:The studio's major production is Hail, Caesar! A Tale of the Christ, an epic set in ancient Roman times and starring Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). During a shot, Whitlock drinks from a goblet of wine that was drugged by an extra (Wayne Knight); he passes out while rehearsing lines by himself behind the soundstage and is abducted. A ransom note soon arrives, written by a group calling itself "The Future," demanding $100,000. Mannix arranges to get the money from the studio's Accounting Department, as "petty cash."

Whitlock awakens in a beach house and finds his way into a meeting of The Future, a Communist cell. The members, who introduce themselves as mostly writers in the motion picture industry, explain their doctrine to him and begin to win him over to their cause.
...
Whitlock tries to explain his new-found Communist leanings to Mannix, who cuts him off sharply, slapping his face numerous times, and orders him to finish his role in Hail, Caesar!; the actor is chastened, but encouraged by a final directive from Mannix to be a movie star.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hail,_Caesar!

Question 1. What is the 1950's movie they are filming about the soldier and Jesus, and why is it called "Hail Caesar"?
Some reviewers are saying that it's referring to Ben-Hur, but then, Ben Hur was not a soldier at Jesus' crucifixion.

The Title "Tale of the Christ" seems instead to be referring to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ". Is Clooney's Whitlock being compared to Mel Gibson, with both of them being handsome, good-natured and simple minded characters?

The analogy doesn't fully work with Passion of the Christ, because the film's protagonist is not Jesus, but a Roman soldier. One Hollywood movie in the "Golden Age" of Cinema was called "The Robe" and dealt with the theme of a Roman soldier coming to faith in Jesus. This movie The Robe could be what Hail Caesar is referring to:
Quote:[Image: 180px-The_Robe_%281953_movie_poster%29.jpg]
Marcellus reports to Pilate, who informs him that the emperor has sent for him. Before he departs, he is ordered to take charge of the detail of Roman soldiers assigned to crucify Jesus. Marcellus wins the Robe worn by Jesus in a dice game and is told it will be a reminder of his first crucifixion.

Returning from the crucifixion with Demetrius, Marcellus tries to shield himself from a rain squall with the Robe, but feels a sudden crushing guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus and tears the Robe off. Demetrius has had enough: he curses Marcellus and the Roman Empire and runs away, taking the Robe with him. Marcellus now behaves like a madman haunted by nightmares of the crucifixion. He reports to the Emperor Tiberius at Capri, who gives him an imperial commission to find and destroy the Robe while gathering a list of names of Jesus' followers. At Diana's request, Tiberius leaves her free to marry Marcellus even though Tiberius believes him to be mad.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Robe_(film)

Hail Caesar came out about the same time as another movie that was a sequel to "Passion of the Christ," called "Risen", and like "Hail Caesar", it focuses on a Roman soldier who comes to faith in the resurrection in the aftermath of the Crucifixion.

[Image: m-risen.jpg]

There have been a number of Caesar-themed movies over the past decades, like:
[Image: 220px-Caesar_the_Conqueror.jpg]

There was also a movie not about Rome, but set in modern times, called "Hail Caesar" in 1994.
[Image: 220px-Hail_Caesar_1994.jpg]
The 1994 movie got very poor reviews and is about a wanna-be rock star.
See here for a summary:
http://greatthingsaboutbadmovies.blogspo...-1994.html

Perhaps the 2016 movie was implicitly referring to the 1994 one?



Question 2: In the movie clip in the OP, what was the Catholic priest's complaint?

It seemed to be that Jesus was not simplistically considered to just be "God", as we all have God in us, but that the priest was objecting that He was in particular the "Son of God". Why would he make that complaint about the movie?

In the gospels, the Roman soldier at the Crucifixion said Jesus was "Son of God".
In the 2016 hollywood movie, this is the part that Whitlock messes up - he says "Son of a Bitch" after messing up his line. Is the screenwriter implying that this "mess up" is actually intended?

Also why doesn't the rabbi, who says he is opposed to considering Jesus divine, say he has no opinion on the movie? If the script had the Roman soldier calling him "Son of God", wouldn't that have caused the rabbi to object?

Question 3: Is the movie actually implying a comment about the gospel?

In Hail Caesar, the hero goes to sleep due to potion in a goblet. Perhaps that is a reference to Jesus' literal death or (nonfatal) "sleeping" on the cross after drinking something bitter in the gospel? Also in the movie, the hero wakes up in an underground idealistic communist cell, the Future. Is the writer implying a resemblance between the idealistic communists and the first c. undergound Christians, who were also communists and idealists?

In Hail Caesar, the hero next gets convinced of Communist ideas and then Mannix slaps him. Perhaps it's a reference to Christ being slapped in the gospel story?
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02-06-2017, 05:19 PM
Post: #6
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"



What do you think about this scene?


Another review says:
Quote: As he walks the Damascus road, Saul is met by the Almighty himself. Where an image of God is to be inserted into the movie, a temporary title cuts across the film stock reading: “Divine presence to be shot.”
https://christandpopculture.com/the-coen...il-caesar/
I think that the reviewer does not notice the dual meaning in the phrase above.

Quote:In their films, Ethan and Joel Coen often focus on individual symbols to visualize oblique metaphysical themes and ideas... In Hail, Caesar! there are two icons; the first symbol being Mannix’s wristwatch. As an individual attuned to every grain of the day, Mannix lives by the ticking hands of his timepiece. Essentially, his job is to keep what is happening behind the scenes behind the scenes, corralling a host of characters only the Golden Age of Hollywood could yield.

The second prominent image—which relates directly to the first, though rather unusually—is Jesus. Hail, Caesar! opens in a Catholic church, the camera focused squarely on a crucifix. The film, after all, follows the production of a movie similarly dubbed (though with an added subtitle), Hail, Caesar! – A Tale of the Christ. Both the real and fictional Hail, Caesar! films are concerned with the same questions. Namely, what constitutes a religious experience and who ushers this experience to others?
..
When the film does offer audiences a glimpse at divine presence, it’s during a scene at the above mentioned “Golgotha.” In it, one character (I won’t say who) makes a speech that overflows with faith and emotion; his character finally realizes who Jesus is. Hearing the dialogue, the crew, as well as the audience, feels a swell of supernatural vision in their bones—until it’s bookended by the Lord’s name taken in vain.
...
While the Coen brothers don’t land in a fixed theological position, they understand that our scrapings at the divine, our many artistic renderings, reflect something true. Often, like the television antenna in A Serious Man, our reception of God’s presence finds itself swallowed by static. We search for a vision, and often can’t see it. Even our Christ figures—and Hail, Caesar! has its Christ figures—are just mirrors of the true Father and Son.

Like the Coen Brothers’ filmography, Hail, Caesar! longs for this Divine presence, just if and when it believes it will be shot is another question altogether.
https://christandpopculture.com/the-coen...il-caesar/
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02-06-2017, 05:29 PM
Post: #7
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"



Maybe Barton Fink is the "prequel", since it's set 10 years earlier, focuses on the theme of a production company, and the company has the same name (Capitol)?

Quote:Near the end of the film, the leading man Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), having been kidnapped by communists for a day, starts ranting about the evils of capitalism and the studio’s complicity in deceiving the working man. Mannix slaps him and tells him to get back to work: “The picture has worth, and you have worth if you serve the picture, and you’re never gonna forget that again.” It’s an ironic note of optimism from the Coens, but optimism nonetheless—a wry celebration of the movie system they’ve become a part of, and one that stands in fascinating contrast to their earlier, surreal Hollywood satire, Barton Fink.

...
As with all their films, the Coens insist Fink isn’t remotely autobiographical. But even so, it paints a nightmarish picture of 1940s Hollywood as a town where the producers and studio heads are ranting egomaniacs, the writers are drunken, broken-down fools, and the L.A. hotel the action is set in literally resembles hell. The only similarity to Hail, Caesar!? They’re both about the same fictional company: Capitol Pictures.

In Barton Fink, the title character (John Turturro) is a playwright looking to bring his work to the masses: a Clifford Odets-type ready to be exploited when he’s put under contract by a major studio. Seeking to connect with the common man as he writes a wrestling movie for Capitol, he stays at a dumpy hotel where the wallpaper is peeling and there’s only one other visible resident, a garrulous man named Charlie Meadows (John Goodman). Meadows eventually turns out to be some sort of personification of the devil himself, a shotgun-wielding lunatic who makes the hallways spontaneously combust with his rage.

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainmen...nk/461922/
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02-06-2017, 05:46 PM
Post: #8
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"



Clooney explains that Kapital by Marx shows how the studio just tries to get money instead of making real art. Kapital is the word for financial "investment" in capitalism. The studio is called "Capitol".


The opening of this Guardian article below explains that Eddie Mannix was a seedy fellow in real life who covered up Hollywood scandals, and that "Hail Caesar" would be his own "spin" and retelling of Hollywood history:
Quote:Hail, Caesar! reinvents Mannix (Josh Brolin) as a good guy: a tough but lovable family man with such excessive Catholic guilt that even his priest advises him to ease off the confessions. The Hollywood around him is a brightly coloured screwball comedy, where no one gets seriously hurt by anyone else’s bad behaviour and all the scandal is a bit of a giggle. This is the kind of total whitewash that normally falls foul of Reel History. Yet this kind of total whitewash was Eddie Mannix’s whole shtick. Hail, Caesar! can, therefore, be read as an esoteric but apposite portrait of Mannix as an unreliable narrator, and even as a dig at Hollywood for its tendency to sentimentalise and mythologise its own past. This is the story of Eddie Mannix as the lying, manipulative Mannix himself would have told it: a version in which he gets to be the hero.

...
Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), a leading man with a touch of Kirk Douglas and the booze problem of Richard Burton or Clark Gable, stars in Hail Caesar: A Tale of the Christ, a film reminiscent of Ben-Hur, right down to the subtitle.
...

The Coen brothers have done an Eddie Mannix on Eddie Mannix, covering up all the darkest, dirtiest parts of his story to create a sparkling comedy. Everything you see on screen is completely historically inaccurate – but that’s the point. Hail, Caesar! can wear its fail grade with pride.
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/ma...ge-clooney

In other words, the movie is like a "Mannix Tale". There was no Soviet sub waiting to pick up some Hollywood actor in real life, rather that's the way Mannix would have told the story.

Ben Hur's subtitle is "A Tale of the Christ", so I can see now that Hail Caesar is referencing that movie.
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02-06-2017, 06:03 PM
Post: #9
RE: New movie: "Hail Caesar!"





Quote:Jesus’ presence gains resonance. In the beginning, Jesus is an occasion for flippant profanity — “Jesus Christ on a scooter!” is one early line. Later, during a test screening, we mostly sense His absence, as when a title card reads, “Divine presence to be shot.” By the movie’s finale, Jesus eventually becomes an actual figure to be reckoned with.
...
But then, just as Baird is about to nail the scene, he stumbles over the final word.

I won’t tell you what that word is, except to note that it’s also the word for what is missing from even the most New Testament of the Coen brothers’ films. Undercutting Baird’s speech is the only way the Coens can preach. Just when things are about to get real, an ironic curtain drops down. In the context of Hail, Caesar!, this allows the fawning over the magic of cinema to be lightly deflated.
https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/...n-brothers
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02-06-2017, 06:19 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 06:20 PM by Rako.)
Post: #10
RE: 2016 Movie "Hail Caesar!", based on the movie "The Robe"



Is the sub and the boat clip a combination of The Ascension and the Twelve Apostles?

[Image: clip_image0056.jpg]

Quote:[Image: 30201-hailc315.jpg]

While the Coen brothers don’t land in a fixed theological position, they understand that our scrapings at the divine, our many artistic renderings, reflect something true. Often, like the television antenna in A Serious Man, our reception of God’s presence finds itself swallowed by static. We search for a vision, and often can’t see it. Even our Christ figures—and Hail, Caesar!has its Christ figures—are just mirrors of the true Father and Son.”
http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/christian...sar-i.html
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02-06-2017, 06:43 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 06:44 PM by Rako.)
Post: #11
RE: 2016 Movie "Hail Caesar!", based on the movie "The Robe"



Here is a trailer for The Robe.
Clooney's character would be playing Demetrius.

One reviewer notes:
Quote:The irony of going to the Coen Brothers’ movie Hail, Caesar! was that it was preceded by a trailer for a “religious” film coming out by Easter, Risen. The religiously-motivate Risen is about a Roman soldier, at the time of Christ, coming to terms with who Jesus is.
...
The film-within-a-film is also called Hail, Caesar!, subtitled “A Tale of the Christ”. The film-within-a-film (now you see the irony) is about a Roman soldier, at the time of Christ, coming to terms with who Jesus is.
http://liturgy.co.nz/hail-caesar

The reviewer might not realize that the connection was deliberate.

Quote:In examining pieces of the movie[within a movie] shot so far, headings are given of what is intended to be put into this gap. “DIVINE PRESENCE TO BE SHOT” is one of those. Following this, Jesus’ face is never seen. At the end of the credits to the Coen Brothers’ movie is the disclaimer: “This motion picture contains no visual depiction of the godhead.”

In the filming, of the film-within-a-film, the actor for Jesus on the cross is approached for a breakfast order. “Principals” and “extras” receive different breakfasts. The actor playing Jesus is asked if he is a “principal” or an “extra”.
...
If you know anything (or check up on anything) about Eddie Mannix – this film does an Eddie Mannix to Eddie Mannix (he was well known for being able to alter the way historical events were perceived). The film begins with a shot of a crucifix. Eddie Mannix is a devout Roman Catholic with deep scruples. He is the Man of Sorrows, the saviour of the (movie) world.
http://liturgy.co.nz/hail-caesar
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02-17-2017, 09:23 AM
Post: #12
RE: 2016 Movie "Hail Caesar!", based on the movie "The Robe"
It looks like their movie The Big Lebowski is Christian:
Quote:Imagine a male figure with long hair and a beard, wearing a robe and sandals. One may immediately think of Jesus Christ, but even though one would be wrong, one would be closer than conventionally thought. Now imagine that male figure in a bath robe and gel sandals – holding a carton of milk in Ralph’s. The image of “the man for his time” – bathed in Christological aesthetic – is how the Cohen brothers introduce the audience to The Dude in their seminal work, The Big Lebowski.
...
The Dude’s closest friend, Walter Sobchak, is a practicing Jew who, when The Dude discovers the answer to the case of the missing money and missing Bunnie that has weighed on his mind throughout the movie, needs reminding that some principles override the law. It is the old distinction between morality and legality that served the Christian activists within the black American civil rights movements so well.

The Dude calls Walter on a Saturday, and exhorts him to pick up the phone, because it is “an emergency.” He then explains to Walter that he needs a ride to the Big Lebowski’s. Walter claims that it is an impossible favor for The Dude to request, because it is “Shomer Shabbos” – the Jewish Holy Day of Rest – and he cannot drive on Shomer Shabbos. He’s not even supposed to pick up the phone, unless it is an emergency. The Dude will have none it, and demands that Walter give him a ride. After arguing, Walter agrees.

Jesus Christ was accused of blasphemy and criminality for performing miracles on the Sabbath. He healed the sick, and fed masses of people on the Holy Day of Rest, and after hearing several accusations of sacrilegious behavior, he faced his accusers by saying, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
...
When Jesus faced the authorities of his time and place, whether they were religious rulers, political leaders, or civil officials, he refused, even when it cost him, to show deference. Earthly hierarchies held no value in the philosophical system or moral practice of Jesus. The Dude, at no point, humbles himself at the feet of millionaires, law enforcement, or known pornographers.
...
The Dude was one of the authors of the original Port Huron statement, and Jesus remains one of the most influential philosophers in the history of humanity. Certainly, either one could have argued with Lebowski or Pilate. Certainly, either one could have summoned his intellect and imagination to thoroughly defend himself against the words of an accuser, but they chose not to do it, because to engage that conversation is to grant legitimacy to illegitimate authority. Jesus and The Dude would do no such thing. Lebowski, The Sheriff, the Jewish Pharisees, and Pilate were not worth their respective time or energy.
...
Even those who do not accept the theological tenets and doctrinal demands of Christianity can respect and regard Jesus Christ as a beautiful hero of love, mercy, and compassion. The atheistic philosopher Slavoj Zizek, for example, has written a book (The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?) on the importance and inspirational power of Jesus. Jesus, in the theological and/or sociopolitical sense, is a mighty projection of sanity and peace in a psychotic and violent culture. The Dude’s value, for all the laughs, is similar. As The Stranger puts it at the conclusion of The Big Lebowski, “I take comfort in that, knowing that The Dude is out there: Takin’ it easy for all us sinners.”
http://www.popmatters.com/column/165034-...us-christ/
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02-18-2017, 07:16 AM
Post: #13
RE: 2016 Movie "Hail Caesar!", based on the movie "The Robe"
I thought it was boring and a complete waste of time.

I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.
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