Friday, June 30, 2006


Holy Super Icon, Part II

Regardless of what frequent "Movies on My Mind" commentator "Silberg" may think, there is no doubt, not one single shred of doubt, that the writers of Superman Returns intended to retell the story of Jesus Christ. I just came back from seeing the film with my children, and the parallels are unmistakable. Anyone familiar with the story of Jesus will not miss them. Another frequent "Movies on My Mind" contributor, "Ohio Girl" kindly provided a link to an article from The New York Times which alludes to the similarities ( And, in the current film market, why not solidify the comparisons to Christ? As I have said before, in a post-Passion film world -- where overtly Christian stories such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe reap big bucks -- let's face it....Jesus sells! Sony, who owns more movie studio brands than any other corporation worldwide (Columbia Pictures, MGM, United Artists, Sony Picture Classics, Screen Gems, etc) has even set up an entire division to market to the Christian crowd. For the record, here's a list of 10 comparisons between Jesus of Nazareth and the current incarnation of Superman in Superman Returns:
1) Superman comes to earth from the Heavens, sent by his father to live among humans, and in his father's words, "to be a light to the world." In the Gospel of John, Jesus comes to earth from Heaven, sent by his father to live among humans and says, "while I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
2) In Superman Returns, Superman goes about helping humans with "powers far beyond those of mortal man," and at one point literally carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jesus goes about helping human "with powers far beyond those of mortal man," and takes on his shoulders "the sins of the world."
3) Superman takes Lois Lane into the sky and asks what she hears. She says,"Nothing." He says, "I hear everybody." He tells Lois that she's wrong about the world not needing a savior and that he in fact is that savior.
4) The voice of Superman's father tells him that the world will come to know him, through the works of his son. Jesus says in the gospels, "The world does not know the Father because they have not recognized the Son."
5) Superman is beaten and mocked by his enemies and ultimately pierced in the side (by Lex Luthor) with a sharp shard of Kryptonite. Jesus is beaten and mocked by his enemies and pierced in the side with a spear (by a Roman soldier).
6) Superman literally gives his life to save the world from the evil of Lex Luthor and falls to his death, arms spread apart. Jesus, the Catholic church believes, gave his life to save the world from sin and the Lucifer, by spreading his arms on the cross.
7) When a female nurse visits the room where they have laid the body of Superman, she is shocked to find it empty and the police guarding the room immediately come to search it. When the women visit the tomb where they have laid the body of Jesus, they are shocked to find it empty, and Roman soldiers, guarding the tomb, immediately come to search it.
8) When Superman returns to life, the first person he visits is the woman he loves, Lois Lane. When Jesus returns to life, the first person he visits is the woman he loves, Mary Magdalene.
9) Lois asks the resurrected Superman, "Will we see you again?" And Superman says, "I will always be around." The apostles ask the resurrected Jesus to stay with them, and he says, "Don't be afraid, I am with you everyday, until the end of the world."
10) At the end of the film Superman ascends back into the heavens. At the end of the gospels, Jesus ascends back to Heaven.

I can't wait for silberg's comments...
Sorry to disappoint but I do buy into some of those observations as examples of bona fide Christ imagery. Not all, but certainly some. Those two Jews who created Superman knew how to market to goyum. My arguments with MOMM in part one of this topic was really pointed at the side claims in the post about Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse V. If a movie or story has a guy who looks like he's on a cross or has stigmata, then, sure, I buy that it's referencing the Christ myths. Where I think people have Jesuses painted on the ends of their glasses is when they see Jesus in any mention of any diety or any mention of anybody who wants to do good or gets rejected trying or any mention of a son or a father or someone being persocuted. Those story templates were used long long long before the Apostles wrote the Jesus story. The Jesus myth is only one of many other similar myths that came before. If someone makes a story about a kid getting to inhabit a grown-up body for awhile are they referencing Big? Or Freaky Friday? Or any number of other films with the same basic story? The answer could easily be all, one, or none of the above. Same for the Jesus myth. You have something that points to the specific elements of that myth--cross, etc.--then you probably have a good point. You say Billy Pilgrim sort of/kind of achieves imortality because he comes unstuck in time (and, hey, the Jesus myth says Jesus is imortal too!) then I think you're stretching. Jesus had a J in his name but that doesn't mean that my parents named me Jonathan in homage to Jesus.
I didn't see Superman but I buy that some of it is intended exactly as MOMM said originally. I just think he took the idea off the cliff in his previous post and that's what I was commenting about.
Now can we go back to important topics like what it might mean before the movie starts that there is a very vaginal curtain in front of the theater that parts before an excited audience beckoning all to enter and penetrate the world of the movie...
Food for thought...Jason is the Greek derivative of the name Joshua. Joshua is the Hebrew forerunner of Jesus. Hmmmmm.....
Update: It looks like pirates kicks prophet's ass!
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