From an e-mailer:
I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this yet or not, but Harry Knowles over at the Ain’t It Cool News website had his 5th annual Butt-Numb-a-Thon film festival over the weekend. It’s a fest that goes 24+ hours straight (over 28 hours this time, I believe).
Anyway, I’m no huge fan of Harry’s, but he seems to have scored a coup for this one. They had Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens there at the festival to show “Return of the King” (and for Q&A), but despite the extremely high “geek quotient” of the festival’s attendees, that apparently wasn’t the highlight of the night.
Mel Gibson screened “The Passion of the Christ” and had a 90 minute Q&A session afterwards, and so far the reactions have been VERY positive. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that particular movie has been screened for movie geeks. It is very interesting indeed to read comments about the movie from people who are almost self-consciously irreligious. The reactions so far seem to be universal in their high regard for the movie as a work of art. It’s also interesting to read a couple of the “nuts and bolts” types of decisions that Mel Gibson is still wrestling with, such as whether or not to use CGI effects to make Jesus’ eyes brown instead of the actor’s natural blue.
Here are a couple of relevant links:
NB: The Talkback message boards below each of the reviews are never for the faint of heart or the easily offended. In fact, the second review linked above is itself quite profane, though respectful of the material nonetheless.