Monday, August 11, 2008

What's the buzz...

So we have the fancy cable which affords us the privilege of access to Comcast's On Demand menu. Recently in the free movies section they've had "Jesus Christ Superstar" and I finally had time to sit down and rewatch it.

That's right, I said REwatch.

I love this movie* although maybe not for the obvious reasons. Ok, actually it's probably pretty obvious given that most people who know me would probably not choose "religious" as an accurate adjective while describing me to strangers. I've been trying to explain my fascination with the film to my roommate but I just get blank stares.**

Despite its title and protagonist I think the movie JCS is really more about how my parent's generation saw themselves and the world they were living in. Briefly, peaceful martyrs isolated in a metaphorical wasteland that was controlled by multiple factions (some incompetent others too constrained by tradition and fear to effect any real change) and surrounded by peers obsessed with consumerism. Additional anti-military sentiment is fairly obvious as well.

The interesting thing, I think, is how the movie seems to comment on the futility of the peace and love generation's efforts. Like Titanic, everyone knows how this story ends. Jesus dies. And despite what you may personally believe, in the film that's it. Run credits. Additionally, there's a ton of angst over "selling out," if you will, and while it doesn't end well in either case at the time it seems right and almost justified. (Judas thinking he can change things from inside the belly of the beast, Thomas avoiding possible arrest so he can continue to the fight later).

Equally important, no real alternative in either case is proposed. The message seems to be that either you die young or you eventually grow up, betray what was important to you relatively easily and then with only moderate nostalgia, you move on (at the end, reboarding the bus, only a few characters turn to look back at the cross and nobody stays behind).

So despite the poppy, over the top dance routines, the movie is actually pretty bleak.

I also love the anachronisms for their own sake (machine guns, tanks, tank tops). IDK, that stuff always makes me smile. But the icing on the cake has to be the wardrobe (seriously, those pants!) and facial hair. Oh my goodness scruffy hippies. I just want to move into a tepee in the back yard with you. If I had a back yard. Because you seem fun and artistically grimy (still smelly but maybe not like death or urine).

It was hard to find pictures for the unenlightened so I'm including a couple of Youtube videos. Try to enjoy.

I also went to Ikea over the weekend. More about that and robots in my next post.

*To clarify, I'm talking specifically about the movie version of Jesus Christ Superstar made in 1973 based upon the Broadway play. I have no interest in the theater version or any subsequent movie remake that may be happening in the future.

**Despite looking vaguely like a smash-up of the Two Gallants, in JCS Jesus is pretty freaking emo. In the fifteen year old sort of way. So minus half a star for that.

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