Jump to content
Cameron H.

Musical Mondays-Week 6-Jesus Christ Superstar

Recommended Posts

I'm sure everyone saw this:

 

tBVZ9Ex.jpg?1

 

But you know what? They could've used more mandarins (ok, oranges).

 

I thought you were crazy with this whole mandarin orange thing, but then I saw these:

 

article-0-1AC2B33C000005DC-438_634x604.jpg

 

a_brown_jesus_100112.blocks_desktop_large.jpg

 

I'm just saying, keep pulling on that thread, Tom. I foresee an exciting globetrotting adventure in your future. Take this to its logical solution.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I thought you were crazy with this whole mandarin orange thing, but then I saw these:

 

article-0-1AC2B33C000005DC-438_634x604.jpg

 

a_brown_jesus_100112.blocks_desktop_large.jpg

 

I'm just saying, keep pulling on that thread, Tom. I foresee an exciting globetrotting adventure in your future. Take this to its logical solution.

Everything. Slots. Into. Place.

 

hero_EB20060518REVIEWS60419009AR.jpg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

You can't spell Mary Magdalene without manda...rene. Just saying.

ETA: damn it cakebug

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

You can't spell Mary Magdalene without manda...rene. Just saying.

ETA: damn it cakebug

My true identity is revealed!

 

3224.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Cameron's going to be thrilled that we've pivoted on to his favourite art-based mystery film series!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

You can't spell Mary Magdalene without manda...rene. Just saying.

ETA: damn it cakebug

 

Okay. Time to get your passports together. We've got to get to The Vatican--tonight!

 

I've got our disguises.

 

christ.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

 

 

That actually leads me to another question...

 

Should this movie even be called Jesus Christ Superstar? I guess the title is more or less to convey the similarities between how people responded to Jesus at the time and how people have responded to rock musicians or whatever, but honestly, in the film, there's nothing terribly "Superstar" about Jesus. He's kind of boring. He's short and unimpressive. He doesn't perform miracles. His voice feels kind of cliche, kind of like an old school Music Theater guy.*

 

What would have been a better title for this?

 

 

Yeah-- I don't really get why JC in this would have a big following in the first place? He's not performing miracles, not really helping the sick & poor..."heal yourselves!" Seems to only be preaching to people on the kind of people they should be and being kind of self-righteous about it. No wonder Judas is annoyed with him.

 

And in JCS, Jesus doesn't seem to know his purpose.. Or know /have the goal to die for everyone's sins..."why should I die?" "if I die what is my reward?"

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah-- I don't really get why JC in this would have a big following in the first place? He's not performing miracles, not really helping the sick & poor..."heal yourselves!" Seems to only be preaching to people on the kind of people they should be and being kind of self-righteous about it. No wonder Judas is annoyed with him.

 

And in JCS, Jesus doesn't seem to know his purpose.. Or know /have the goal to die for everyone's sins..."why should I die?" "if I die what is my reward?"

Yeah but in this world his miracles and his rise pre-date the story that's told in JCS: the loaves/fishes, water/wine etc all happened earlier in JC's career. We know that in this environment those exist because Herod teases him about how he'll let him go if he does parlor tricks for him: "prove to me that you're divine, change my water into wine", etc.

 

The Jesus Christ that the crowds adore is kind of like early career Justin Bieber.

 

This movie chronicles destructive, jaded (mandarin) Justin Bieber who got too big for his own good.

 

Note: I am not now suggesting that Justin Bieber should be executed.

 

But Usher is totally Judas.

 

"Good old Usher, well done Usher..."

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Yeah, that's one of those "sticking too close to Scriptures" things that I think actually hurts the movie. At it's core, I think this the movie is really about Judas' relationship to Jesus. That's the most interesting thing going on. It's why the movie suffers whenever Judy isn't around. Everything else is kind of boring. But you could just tell that the filmmakers felt certain scenes "needed" to be there ("Oh, well we have to include Peter's denial of Christ! The kids will be waiting for it!).

 

Here's what I would have done. I would have just told the whole movie from Judas' perspective and I would have had it end with his suicide. You could do a little bit of wrapping up if you wanted. You could still have the big "Superstar" fever dream/musical number. But basically, it ends there. Not only do I feel like this would have been a more interesting approach, but then you could have had this really neat sunset shot of Judas hanging in the foreground with Christs' cross on the hill in the background--sort of highlighting the parallels between the two.

 

That actually leads me to another question...

 

Should this movie even be called Jesus Christ Superstar? I guess the title is more or less to convey the similarities between how people responded to Jesus at the time and how people have responded to rock musicians or whatever, but honestly, in the film, there's nothing terribly "Superstar" about Jesus. He's kind of boring. He's short and unimpressive. He doesn't perform miracles. His voice feels kind of cliche, kind of like an old school Music Theater guy.*

 

What would have been a better title for this?

 

It should obviously be called Mary Mandarene Magdalene and the Superstar. I liked the bits and pieces of her story and wish there was more. She's JC's personal head/foot ointment applier and what else? They implied they were in love, but later, Mary sings that if JC told her that he loved her, she'd be frightened. "What's it all about?" So he hasn't even told her that yet? Jesus.

(She should've been at the Last Supper too.)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah but in this world his miracles and his rise pre-date the story that's told in JCS: the loaves/fishes, water/wine etc all happened earlier in JC's career. We know that in this environment those exist because Herod teases him about how he'll let him go if he does parlor tricks for him: "prove to me that you're divine, change my water into wine", etc.

 

This isn't entirely accurate. We actually don't have any evidence of miracles. The movie takes pains to not show any--including the resurrection. I believe this is purposeful. It forces the audience to ask the question, "What do you believe?" The expressions on the crew's faces as they get back on the bus at the end of the movie are representative of these questions and conflicted emotions. Do I feel closer with my fellow man? Does this story make me feel happy? Sad? Do I feel nothing?

 

If anything, the movie tells us right out the gate that there weren't any miracles. In "Heaven in Their Minds" (possibly my favorite song in the movie), Judas sings, "You've started to believe the things they say of you" and "But every word you say today, gets twisted 'round some other way, and they'll hurt you if they think you've lied." What I take from this is Jesus is a good man, but he's becoming more myth than man. People are making things up about him, but because--at first--these stories suit his purposes, he doesn't deny them. If Jesus were performing miracles, Judas, as his right hand man, is a person close enough to him who could tell us unequivocally if they were happening or not. Instead, he insists, "I remember when this whole thing began. No talk of God then, we called you a man." In other words, nothing implies previous miracle working. So when Herod sings those lines, he could just be bringing up all these crazy stories he's heard--calling back to Judas' astute prediction that they will think he's "lied."

 

However, I do think it is the intention of JCS to make you question these things. What do you believe? Was he the Son of God? Just a good person? A crackpot?

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

 

It should obviously be called Mary Mandarene Magdalene and the Superstar. I liked the bits and pieces of her story and wish there was more. She's JC's personal head/foot ointment applier and what else? They implied they were in love, but later, Mary sings that if JC told her that he loved her, she'd be frightened. "What's it all about?" So he hasn't even told her that yet? Jesus.

(She should've been at the Last Supper too.)

 

12.gif

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

^

This is your payback for my steering the conversation towards Da Vinci Code, isn't it?

 

No, you're right, although the resurrection is implied in the final shot of the film where Jesus wanders across the screen in the distance. My point stands that of the final three years of Jesus's life (his most productive period one might suggest), we only get his last weeks, so there are things he's done over the previous years to gain such a following. Whether or not the crowds believe in the miracles or just dig on sermons, or are looking for hope under the Roman thumb, isn't suggested. I do like that this version of the story doesn't lean on the Magician Zombie approach to Jesus, but I also don't believe those are debunked entirely. I just think Jesus's reluctance to give Pilate ("that's what you say") and Herod ("walk across my swimming pool") is part of his refusal to be a performing monkey. It's pretty astute storytelling.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
This isn't entirely accurate. We actually don't have any evidence of miracles. The movie takes pains to not show any--including the resurrection. I believe this is purposeful. It forces the audience to ask the question, "What do you believe?" The expressions on the crews face as they get back on the bus at the end of the movie are representative of these questions and conflicted emotions. Do I feel closer with my fellow man? Does this story make me feel happy? Sad? Do I feel nothing?

 

But wasn't JC able to predict the future? He said he would be denied and betrayed. Does this not count as a miracle?

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

 

But wasn't JC able to predict the future? He said he would be denied and betrayed. Does this not count as a miracle?

1xN07.gif

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

^

This is your payback for my steering the conversation towards Da Vinci Code, isn't it?

 

No, you're right, although the resurrection is implied in the final shot of the film where Jesus wanders across the screen in the distance.

 

From IMDb:

 

According to Ted Neeley and Norman Jewison on the DVD commentary, the shepherd walking across the frame in the final shot of the film was never intended to be there, and just happened across the shot as they were filming. Because of the significance of a shepherd in the teachings of Christ, Jewison and the crew were struck profoundly by the timing of this shepherd crossing the field, and kept the shot. They got a perfect sunset, as well as a subtle depiction of the resurrection.

 

Although it worked in this case, apparently that wasn't their intention. However, an empty cross (their original intention), rather than a crucifix, does represent the same thing. So your point still stands.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

 

But wasn't JC able to predict the future? He said he would be denied and betrayed. Does this not count as a miracle?

 

A good judge of character and understands how people might react?

 

I'm not saying that Jesus isn't divine in the movie. I'm just saying, in this movie, it's kept pretty vague. It also allows other productions to interpret as they wish.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

That actually leads me to another question...

 

Should this movie even be called Jesus Christ Superstar? I guess the title is more or less to convey the similarities between how people responded to Jesus at the time and how people have responded to rock musicians or whatever, but honestly, in the film, there's nothing terribly "Superstar" about Jesus. He's kind of boring. He's short and unimpressive. He doesn't perform miracles. His voice feels kind of cliche, kind of like an old school Music Theater guy.*

 

What would have been a better title for this?

 

I don't have a title suggestion for this, but I will say the title made me expect more than what it actually presented. I suppose with the goofy sounding "superstar" bit, I expected something a lot more upbeat and out there. The only other religious musical I've seen is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, also by Rice and Webber, so I think I was expecting something a bit more colorful.

 

But yeah, this Jesus is a little bland, miracles or not lol. He had the most tired, saddest puppy dog eyes though! I think my roommate and I inappropriately laughed at that a couple times.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

 

Although it worked in this case, apparently that wasn't their intention. Although, and empty cross, rather than a crucifix, is supposed to represent the same thing. So your point still stands.

 

Huh, wow. I've known this movie for 20 years and I always thought that was the intention. Consider me edumacated!

 

image.gif

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

A good judge of character and understands how people might react?

 

I'm not saying that Jesus isn't divine in the movie. I'm just saying, in this movie, it's kept pretty vague. It also allows other productions to interpret as they wish.

It's true though, "Peter will deny me, in just a few hours/ Three times will deny me, and that's not all I see/One of you here dining, will leave to betray me"...

 

I always liked the moment that suggests that Judas might not fully betray him unless Jesus told him to go do it, and that Jesus condemns himself by pointing out that Judas should probably go leave and see his pharisee buddies. The 'three times will deny me' thing, where Peter has his 'I don't know him OH SHIT THAT WAS THREE TIMES LIKE HE SAID' feels like a rare nod to Jesus and his foresight. How did he know Peter would deny him three times? Was there a prophecy/vision?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

It's true though, "Peter will deny me, in just a few hours/ Three times will deny me, and that's not all I see/One of you here dining, will leave to betray me"...

 

I always liked the moment that suggests that Judas might not fully betray him unless Jesus told him to go do it, and that Jesus condemns himself by pointing out that Judas should probably go leave and see his pharisee buddies. The 'three times will deny me' thing, where Peter has his 'I don't know him OH SHIT THAT WAS THREE TIMES LIKE HE SAID' feels like a rare nod to Jesus and his foresight. How did he know Peter would deny him three times? Was there a prophecy/vision?

 

I agree. His predictions were so specific. Maybe it's not a miracle, but we should add it to the list of his superpowers.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

 

I agree. His predictions were so specific. Maybe it's not a miracle, but we should add it to the list of his superpowers.

He had more specific predictions in the Bible, so I would think it's closer to possible miracle, but it's not a visual miracle, so it allows people to still be a little skeptical.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

 

I don't have a title suggestion for this, but I will say the title made me expect more than what it actually presented. I suppose with the goofy sounding "superstar" bit, I expected something a lot more upbeat and out there. The only other religious musical I've seen is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, also by Rice and Webber, so I think I was expecting something a bit more colorful.

 

But yeah, this Jesus is a little bland, miracles or not lol. He had the most tired, saddest puppy dog eyes though! I think my roommate and I inappropriately laughed at that a couple times.

 

I think, 100%, the 'Superstar' side of this is directed way more towards the stage play. The casting of Ted Neely in this (sad wonky eyes) and the on-location shooting in Israel take away the 'Superstar'-ish elements of the stage production, but every time I've seen this, it's been all about lights, and Jesus as a rock star. We all agree that Judas is the biggest rock star in this musical, but without any doubt it's supposed to suggest that Jesus is Mick Jagger and Judas is Brian Jones - who was the central focus of the Stones in their inception before Mick showed he was a far bigger star, leaving Brian to sulk and wallow and eventually drown.

 

NOTE: I am not suggesting that the Rolling Stones are an apt parallel or that ALW was writing about them, it was more just the fact that the biggest 'star' is not always the most talented.

 

Anyway. The confines of a stage space, and the audience/performer divide, mean that moments like 'Hosanna' and 'Superstar' are kickass audience-mover pieces. The big BLEE-BLEE-BLEE, BLEE-BLEE-BLEE at the top of Superstar always raises the hairs on the back of my neck but only in relation to remembering seeing that resurrection moment after the crucifixion, where Jesus comes off the cross and Judas comes back and we get that awesome closing number. In the stage production, you are left with zero doubt that Jesus is a fuckin' superstar. The movie? Not so much.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

 

A good judge of character and understands how people might react?

 

I'm not saying that Jesus isn't divine in the movie. I'm just saying, in this movie, it's kept pretty vague. It also allows other productions to interpret as they wish.

 

God! I feel like all I've been doing lately is editing my repeated phrases! Look, guys, if I go full-blown Gertrude Stein, please go ahead an tell Picasso I'll meet him in the parlour at nine.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

How did he know Peter would deny him three times?

 

Little known fact: Peter had a stutter.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×