Jump to content


Musical Mondays-Week 6-Jesus Christ Superstar

HDTGM Musicals Fun & Games

205 replies to this topic

#21 kateacola

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 319 posts
  • LocationAZ

Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:25 PM

View PostCameron H., on 27 February 2017 - 11:47 AM, said:


Oh, and I THINK using the bus as a framing device is a way of showing how Jesus' story still resonates in the present, but I'm open to other interpretations.


I took it that way too.. Plus with them doing this play/musical in the middle of the desert for no audience also is a way of showing this... That people "now" did not witness Jesus / this story but it is still important & needs to be told?

#22 JammerLea

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 298 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio, Texas

Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:50 PM

I've gotta run out shortly, but just to mention a few things that I really liked about JCS...

The location was absolutely amazing! I loved the setting and how they used it when setting up the scenes, especially their use of foreground and background in the same shots. It was really beautiful. And bless them all for working so hard to use the location despite the fact it was obviously hot and uncomfortable. (I swear every time Herod appeared he looked more sunburnt than the last).

My favorite scene tbh is when Jesus comes across the market in the temple and starts flipping tables, because it has been 100% my mental image of that story and idk, this loving, patient man losing his cool really speaks loudly of the situation.

Overall I'm glad I watched it, and I really meant to pull out my Bible and go over some of the parts covered to do better comparisons, but I haven't taken the time yet.

I'll get more into some other points and criticisms later.

#23 tomspanks

    jaded meowndarin

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 933 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

View Postkateacola, on 27 February 2017 - 12:07 PM, said:

Same... I felt like Jesus was kind of whiny. And felt like I def wanted more Judas and less Jesus in this.

But In the very beginning I intially wondered if it was problematic that they had Judas played by Carl Anderson-- a black guy. Since I was expecting it to be like the traditional story, I was thinking: "so the role of jesus is given to a guy that looks exactly like the "accepted" appearance of Jesus. White guy, long blonde hair.. But Judas the "villan" is black??".. So initially I kind of thought it was messed up. And I was afraid this was going to be another example of an older movie being blatantly racist.

But as I watched more and saw that this Judas wasn't really the villan. I found him to be more sympathetic and understood why he was critical of Jesus.. Cause he was whiny and did come across like he was buying into his "superstar" status and did need to tone it down..

Plus I felt like no other actor/singer, regardless of race, would have nailed the Judas part like Anderson did. So ultimately I put my initial thought away--that it was maybe subtly (or overtly) racist.


+1 Jesus was a whiny brat. He says "you'll be sorry when I'm gone" and I couldn't hep but LOL because it's what a kid says when he threatens to run away from home. And this:
Posted Image

appears in a serious song for JC, but I couldn't help LOLing again when I saw it, because it reminded me of a kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of a grocery store aisle.

JC also gets overwhelmed when lepers ask him to heal them. JC says they're crowding him too much and he tells them to go heal themselves. WTF? Is that what really happens in the bible? I thought JC healed the sick. I didn't know that complaining was a big part of it.

Regarding JC's hair, I scribbled in my notes that he had a Friends-era Jennifer Aniston bob. Very pretty.

Also agree about Judas. I thought he had a good point. He says:

Quote

Hey woman, your fine ointment, brand-new and expensive, should have been saved for the poor. Why has it been wasted? We could've raised maybe 300 silver pieces or more. People who are hungry, people who are starving, they matter more than your feet and hair.


300 silver pieces for JC's ointment budget? Are you kidding me?! Let's buy him the generic, gently used ointment for 50 silver pieces and use the rest to feed the poor. Or like, buy one new tub and JC can turn it into 100 tubs.

#24 tomspanks

    jaded meowndarin

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 933 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:56 PM

What's a jaded mandarin?

#25 JammerLea

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 298 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio, Texas

Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:58 PM

tomspanks ilu

#26 tomspanks

    jaded meowndarin

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 933 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:10 PM

View PostJammerLea, on 27 February 2017 - 12:58 PM, said:

tomspanks ilu


Posted Image

#27 kateacola

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 319 posts
  • LocationAZ

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:38 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 27 February 2017 - 12:52 PM, said:



Regarding JC's hair, I scribbled in my notes that he had a Friends-era Jennifer Aniston bob. Very pretty.

Also agree about Judas. I thought he had a good point. He says:



300 silver pieces for JC's ointment budget? Are you kidding me?! Let's buy him the generic, gently used ointment for 50 silver pieces and use the rest to feed the poor. Or like, buy one new tub and JC can turn it into 100 tubs.


Hahaha love it.

But maybe he cant maintain his pretty Jennifer Aniston hair with generic ointment?

But I agree, JC should be using generic and 300 pieces of silver is pretty steep in comparison to the 30 Judas was paid to betray Jesus.... That has to be some be some high end hair/foot ointment



#28 Cameron H.

    Ted Neeley Handsome

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,333 posts
  • LocationMy Mighty Lab

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:54 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 27 February 2017 - 12:52 PM, said:


JC also gets overwhelmed when lepers ask him to heal them. JC says they're crowding him too much and he tells them to go heal themselves. WTF? Is that what really happens in the bible? I thought JC healed the sick. I didn't know that complaining was a big part of it.



Jesus has a couple of moments of pique in the Bible. You just have to consider that Jesus is not portrayed as a divine figure in the Musical. He never performs a single miracle. This is about Jesus the Human Being. That being the case, I'm sure--as any person would be--he's pretty upset about being swarmed by a group of lepers expecting him to heal them with a touch.

As for the "jaded Mandarin" line, I'm not sure if it's an old saying or not, but taking it at face value, the definition of "Mandarin," besides the obvious, is a "person of influence." So in this case, I would suspect a "jaded Mandarin" is one only paying lip service to the thing he's preaching. In the mythology of the Musical, I think it's implied that 3 years ago, Jesus and Judas were bros: hot headed youths on a mission to help their people. But as they gained in notoriety, Jesus began to soften some of his stances. So basically, the whole movie is Judas saying, "What happened to you, bro?"
Celeste: But I'd make a lousy Earth person...I made way too much breakfast and the dog hates me.

My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)

Warren T. Rat: Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

An American Tail (1986)

#29 tomspanks

    jaded meowndarin

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 933 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:58 PM

View PostJammerLea, on 27 February 2017 - 12:50 PM, said:

I've gotta run out shortly, but just to mention a few things that I really liked about JCS...

The location was absolutely amazing! I loved the setting and how they used it when setting up the scenes, especially their use of foreground and background in the same shots. It was really beautiful. And bless them all for working so hard to use the location despite the fact it was obviously hot and uncomfortable. (I swear every time Herod appeared he looked more sunburnt than the last).


Agree about the location. It was almost distracting!
It was definitely too hot - did anyone notice how sweaty the dancers were in Simon Zealotes?

#30 Quasar Sniffer

    Elitist Prick

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,013 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:10 PM

The setting was actual Israel, which continues to amaze me, especially since most movie productions go to locations in North Africa to substitute for the Holy Land (see Last Temptation of Christ, Kingdom of Heaven, etc). These weird singing hippies went to Israel to do dance numbers about Jesus to the most conflict-prone area of the past three millennia.

I guess they just had great security....
Posted Image
"If you want my secrets, you'll eat my sandwich!" - Stephen Mills, My Stepmother Is an Alien

"I love that the demographic for this podcast is, like, college professors." - Rob Huebel

#31 tomspanks

    jaded meowndarin

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 933 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:24 PM

View PostCameron H., on 27 February 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

Jesus has a couple of moments of pique in the Bible. You just have to consider that Jesus is not portrayed as a divine figure in the Musical. He never performs a single miracle. This is about Jesus the Human Being. That being the case, I'm sure--as any person would be--he's pretty upset about being swarmed by a group of lepers expecting him to heal them with a touch.


Thanks for being patient with my questions. I'm just like, "who is bible?" So, if they didn't know that JC was a regular person with no powers, why did they think that he could?

View PostCameron H., on 27 February 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

As for the "jaded Mandarin" line, I'm not sure if it's an old saying or not, but taking it at face value, the definition of "Mandarin," besides the obvious, is a "person of influence." So in this case, I would suspect a "jaded Mandarin" is one only paying lip service to the thing he's preaching. In the mythology of the Musical, I think it's implied that 3 years ago, Jesus and Judas were bros. Hot headed youths on a mission to help their people. But as they gained in notoriety, Jesus began to soften some of his stances. So basically, the whole movie is Judas saying, "What happened to you, bro?"


Ah, that makes more sense. I thought Judas was referring to the literal mandarin fruit lol.

#32 kateacola

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 319 posts
  • LocationAZ

Posted 27 February 2017 - 02:39 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 27 February 2017 - 11:09 AM, said:

I thought the odd meters were interesting and some of the melodies are very catchy (get out of my head, Everything's Alright!).
+1 ... "Everything's Alright" is catchy AF. Multiple occasions this week, Ive found myself humming and singing it

#33 Quasar Sniffer

    Elitist Prick

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,013 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:00 PM

Ok, so this fucking movie. As I mentioned in the announcement thread, this was the first musical I ever saw live (organized through a school trip when I was 10) and my family subsequently rented the film on VHS. I greatly enjoyed both experiences, even though I had no affinity for musicals beforehand.

This movie is important to me because I was raised prrrrrretty damn Catholic, so Catholic that my grandfather (and my great uncle) was a Catholic priest. "How's that?" I hear you saying. "How can someone have grandchildren AND be a priest? That sounds... odd."

Well, FUNNY STORY, his wife, my father's mother, died of an aneurysm shortly after giving birth to twins when my dad was six. My grandfather subsequently became a deacon in the Catholic Church and, when all his children turned 18, meaning he was no longer legally bound by any earthly attachments, he was ordained into the priesthood. So the anniversary of my grandfather (who passed away several years ago) becoming a priest was also very close to the anniversary of his wife's death. This is a Category Five Catholic Guilt Tornado we got going here.

ANYWAY, I set this up because, obviously, religion and the Church had a profound influence on my Dad's Italian Catholic family. It helped provide a support structure for the emotional shared responsibility his family would have to take on in order to prosper after such a tragedy, one that really defined my family for a couple generations. As a kid, the concepts of Catholicism were really difficult to grasp for me... being a child. I mean, the Holy Trinity? What in the fuck is that? God is both the Father and the Son and then there is the Holy Spirit? Whatever the fuck that is. What do they mean when they say Jesus "died for our sins"? How does that work? How does his brutal execution help me now? Is that why I have to go to fucking catechism classes AND church. This shit is boring.

But it was not boring to my dad, nor the rest of his family. They love the Church, and while I believed in God in the way any 10 year old kid might when forced to go to church every week, it was really hard for me to comprehend what it was all about, especially on an emotional or spiritual level. This movie, as silly as it might sound, really helped codify Jesus the Man for me as a kid, what it must have been like for him to have lepers and the poorest of the poor, the most destitute and ill-treated souls, falling over him, begging for leadership and miracles.

Other things it helped me understand emotionally....

-Why the Israelites responded so negatively to Jesus' message of love, turning the other cheek, etc. They expected a military leader or a Moses-like figure of charisma and grand action for a messiah. They wanted to see to Romans crushed, not forgiven and embraced.

-Mary Magdalene's unique relationship to Jesus and how they loved each other intensely, but how there was a definite distance between them. The biblical basis for this relationship is... negligible, but how it's been interpreted over the centuries continues to fascinate me and I think this film captures that simultaneous intimacy and remoteness quite beautifully.

-Why Caiaphas, the Pharisees, and the other Sanhedrin were so dead-set against Jesus. He represented an upheaval in Judaism in a nation in which religion and statecraft were inextricably interwoven. If Jesus declared himself, or was declared by others, a king amongst them... it would represent a profound shakeup in the social hierarchy, one the Romans would not take kindly to. This was especially true when the Romans themselves had Caesar, who considered himself partially divine. You can't have these backwater cultists declaring THEMSELVES the One True God, and therefore above Caesar. The Sanhedrin only operates with the approval, and at the whim, of Rome, and were vulnerable to being crushed if Rome became too upset.

-The story of Judas and how he could have possibly betrayed Jesus, then felt so guilty about it (or terrified of reprisal) that he hanged himself shortly thereafter.

So whatever I believe now or believed then, Catholicism was and is paramount to my family. This movie helped me understand religion better, on a human and emotional level, and thus helped me understand my family's relationship to God. When I see people use Christianity as an excuse to persecute transgender teens in school, to kill Muslims with drones, or to ban Syrian children from refuge in America (AAHHHHH THIS ENRAGES ME SO MUCH), I do occasionally still think of this Singing Jesus and wonder what THAT GUY would think about such utter, unconscionable bullshit. Plus, those songs are pretty great.
"If you want my secrets, you'll eat my sandwich!" - Stephen Mills, My Stepmother Is an Alien

"I love that the demographic for this podcast is, like, college professors." - Rob Huebel

#34 Cameron H.

    Ted Neeley Handsome

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,333 posts
  • LocationMy Mighty Lab

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:07 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 27 February 2017 - 02:24 PM, said:


Thanks for being patient with my questions. I'm just like, "who is bible?" So, if they didn't know that JC was a regular person with no powers, why did they think that he could?



No, it's cool. I don't want to come off like a know-it-all either. My mother has worked in a church since I was eleven, so I was basically forced to participate until I was old enough to leave home. When I got into my teens, and developed into what psychologists describe as "a sarcastic little bitch," I became the scourge of Sunday School teachers. I would ask all these deliberately hard questions that I knew they had no chance of answering. Not out of any real desire to hear their answer, mind you. Just a sadistic need to watch them squirm.

I will say, though, it wasn't all bad. I had one teacher, a principal in his day job, who really liked me and the challenge I presented (at least I wasn't just sitting there quiet and dead eyed for an hour), but for the most part, I was universally despised.

Anyway, one day I had an epiphany. The reason they couldn't answer a lot of my questions is because they had never really read the Bible. They were just parroting back whatever they happened to pick up during weekly sermons and whatnot. I was affronted by this hypocrisy. How dare they try to teach me something that they have no real knowledge of?!? (Mind you, these were all volunteers and not, like, Biblical Scholars or anything, but, you know...that's what being a shitty teenager is all about.) However, I also recognized that in order to absolve myself of this very same hypocrisy (and realizing that it wasn't really fair for me to be mock these people and make their lives difficult if I didn't really know what I was talking about), I took it upon myself to learn what I could and interpret it for myself. Consequently, I'm pretty good (although, by no means, perfect) at both defending and attacking the thing ;)
Celeste: But I'd make a lousy Earth person...I made way too much breakfast and the dog hates me.

My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)

Warren T. Rat: Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

An American Tail (1986)

#35 Cameron H.

    Ted Neeley Handsome

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,333 posts
  • LocationMy Mighty Lab

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:11 PM

View PostQuasar Sniffer, on 27 February 2017 - 03:00 PM, said:

Ok, so this fucking movie. As I mentioned in the announcement thread, this was the first musical I ever saw live (organized through a school trip when I was 10) and my family subsequently rented the film on VHS. I greatly enjoyed both experiences, even though I had no affinity for musicals beforehand. This movie is important to me because I was raised prrrrrretty damn Catholic, so Catholic that my grandfather (and my great uncle) was a Catholic priest. "How's that?" I hear you saying. "How can someone have grandchildren AND be a priest? That sounds... odd." Well, FUNNY STORY, his wife, my father's mother, died of an aneurysm shortly after giving birth to twins when my dad was six. My grandfather subsequently became a deacon in the Catholic Church and, when all his children turned 18, meaning he was no longer legally bound by any earthly attachments, he was ordained into the priesthood. So the anniversary of my grandfather (who passed away several years ago) becoming a priest was also very close to the anniversary of his wife's death. This is a Category Five Catholic Guilt Tornado we got going here. ANYWAY, I set this up because, obviously, religion and the Church had a profound influence on my Dad's Italian Catholic family. It helped provide a support structure for the emotional shared responsibility his family would have to take on in order to prosper after such a tragedy, one that really defined my family for a couple generations. As a kid, the concepts of Catholicism were really difficult to grasp for me... being a child. I mean, the Holy Trinity? What in the fuck is that? God is both the Father and the Son and then there is the Holy Spirit? Whatever the fuck that is. What do they mean when they say Jesus "died for our sins"? How does that work? How does his brutal execution help me now? Is that why I have to go to fucking catechism classes AND church. This shit is boring. But it was not boring to my dad, nor the rest of his family. They love the Church, and while I believed in God in the way any 10 year old kid might when forced to go to church every week, it was really hard for me to comprehend what it was all about, especially on an emotional or spiritual level. This movie, as silly as it might sound, really helped codify Jesus the Man for me as a kid, what it must have been like for him to have lepers and the poorest of the poor, the most destitute and ill-treated souls, falling over him, begging for leadership and miracles. Other things it helped me understand emotionally.... -Why the Israelites responded so negatively to Jesus' message of love, turning the other cheek, etc. They expected a military leader or a Moses-like figure of charisma and grand action for a messiah. They wanted to see to Romans crushed, not forgiven and embraced. -Mary Magdalene's unique relationship to Jesus and how they loved each other intensely, but how there was a definite distance between them. The biblical basis for this relationship is... negligible, but how it's been interpreted over the centuries continues to fascinate me and I think this film captures that simultaneous intimacy and remoteness quite beautifully. -Why Caiaphas, the Pharisees, and the other Sanhedrin were so dead-set against Jesus. He represented an upheaval in Judaism in a nation in which religion and statecraft were inextricably interwoven. If Jesus declared himself, or was declared by others, a king amongst them... it would represent a profound shakeup in the social hierarchy, one the Romans would not take kindly to. This was especially true when the Romans themselves had Caesar, who considered himself partially divine. You can't have these backwater cultists declaring THEMSELVES the One True God, and therefore above Caesar. The Sanhedrin only operates with the approval, and at the whim, of Rome, and were vulnerable to being crushed if Rome became too upset. -The story of Judas and how he could have possibly betrayed Jesus, then felt so guilty about it (or terrified of reprisal) that he hanged himself shortly thereafter. So whatever I believe now or believed then, Catholicism was and is paramount to my family. This movie helped me understand religion better, on a human and emotional level, and thus helped me understand my family's relationship to God. When I see people use Christianity as an excuse to persecute transgender teens in school, to kill Muslims with drones, or to ban Syrian children from refuge in America (AAHHHHH THIS ENRAGES ME SO MUCH), I do occasionally still think of this Singing Jesus and wonder what THAT GUY would think about such utter, unconscionable bullshit. Plus, those songs are pretty great.


This is all amazing! Thank you for sharing!
Celeste: But I'd make a lousy Earth person...I made way too much breakfast and the dog hates me.

My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)

Warren T. Rat: Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

An American Tail (1986)

#36 Cameron H.

    Ted Neeley Handsome

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,333 posts
  • LocationMy Mighty Lab

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:18 PM

View PostQuasar Sniffer, on 27 February 2017 - 02:10 PM, said:

The setting was actual Israel, which continues to amaze me, especially since most movie productions go to locations in North Africa to substitute for the Holy Land (see Last Temptation of Christ, Kingdom of Heaven, etc). These weird singing hippies went to Israel to do dance numbers about Jesus to the most conflict-prone area of the past three millennia.

I guess they just had great security....
Posted Image


It blew my mind when I realized that Herod was City Slicker's Barry Shalowitz.

Posted Image
Celeste: But I'd make a lousy Earth person...I made way too much breakfast and the dog hates me.

My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)

Warren T. Rat: Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

An American Tail (1986)

#37 Quasar Sniffer

    Elitist Prick

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,013 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:32 PM

View PostCameron H., on 27 February 2017 - 03:11 PM, said:


This is all amazing! Thank you for sharing!


Thank you!
Posted Image
And thanks for having the patience to read my profanity-filled babblings! I sure do take the Lord's name in vain quite a bit when talkin' 'bout Jesus.
"If you want my secrets, you'll eat my sandwich!" - Stephen Mills, My Stepmother Is an Alien

"I love that the demographic for this podcast is, like, college professors." - Rob Huebel

#38 tomspanks

    jaded meowndarin

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 933 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:08 PM

View PostQuasar Sniffer, on 27 February 2017 - 03:32 PM, said:

And thanks for having the patience to read my profanity-filled babblings! I sure do take the Lord's name in vain quite a bit when talkin' 'bout Jesus.


Your post was more entertaining than some parts of the movie itself, lol. And it was educational!

#39 Fister Roboto

    #likesanimals

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,923 posts
  • LocationAustin, TX

Posted 27 February 2017 - 07:31 PM

Okay. Here's the thing: if I can't get into the music, I can't get into the musical.

And this movie's music is awful. And Jesus' singing is even worse.

I had hoped that the Mr Show sketch (Jeepers Creepers Semistar) was overly exaggerated. It is not. At all. It's just generic 70s bullshit rock that REALLY wants to have that experimental sound but just comes off sounding like it's what's causing the cast members to have what are clearly seizures that the producers are trying to pass off as dancing.

There is ONE song that had potential, which was King Herod's song. But for some reason, they decided to let Zero Mostel's son sing-talk through it. And that's to say nothing of his shitty, half-assed dancing.

Posted Image
I also couldn't really stand Jesus. I did like how sympathetic they made Judas, because after about five minutes, I was like, "I'd sell this uninteresting, dead-eyed piece of shit out to the Romans, too."

And, for real, where did the other two crosses come from?
"Fuck this fucking movie!" -Cameron H

#40 JammerLea

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 298 posts
  • LocationSan Antonio, Texas

Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:36 PM

View PostFister Roboto, on 27 February 2017 - 07:31 PM, said:

Okay. Here's the thing: if I can't get into the music, I can't get into the musical.


This is kind of the same for me. For a feature that is presented all with song, a lot of the songs seemed to not really follow an identifiable tune for me. There were some that were a little catchy, but not much that really resonated or stuck with me.

That said, a lot of the vocal talent was really good. I rather enjoyed Mary Magdalene's voice.


Can I say it also seemed odd that the musical made no mention of the resurrection? I mean, I know the story didn't go that far, but it was something I kept expecting that just never happened lol