Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christ In Film

This is probably not the kind of post you think it would be from the title. If you mention Jesus and Film together in the same sentence, usually "The Passion Of The Christ" or "The Gospel Of John", come to mind, but seeing as this is my first movie post on my brand new blog, I thought I would go for something a little more thematic in tone. So, I have tattoos, if you know me then you already know that, but in the off chance you are reading this and have never met me, I had to get the obvious out there so you will understand my thought process a little. You see, I have a philosophy about my ink, and that is, for the most part, they are mainly about two things, 1. Jesus and 2. who I am. So that brings me to Jesus or Christ in film. You see, I have a Batman symbol tattooed on the inside of my arm, and when people ask about my ink and I give them my little spiel, the first thing they point out is my Batman symbol, and say, "how is that about Jesus?" to which I always reply, "are you kidding, Batman is Jesus." So, that said, this is where I am going with this, so without further rambling on my part, here are my top 5 Christ figures in film.

5. Wall*e - I know it may sound silly, that I consider a little animated robot to be a great representation of Jesus, but hear me out. Besides being incredibly cute, Wall*e is also loving, patient, kind, willing to go to amazing lengths to help those in need and in the end, self sacrificing. Put that together and you have Jesus in small robot form, there is also a whole restoration theme you can throw in there too if you are super ambitious, but all in all Wall*e is Christ.

4. Batman - So from my mentioning him earlier, it is pretty clear that I feel Batman belongs on this list. Now as far as superheroes go, there are two main Christ figures that top the list, Superman being one, and almost an easier one in many peoples eyes. You know, with being the all powerful mama loving boy scout helping the old lady across the street do gooder that he is. Yet I think that is exactly the reason I would pick the other choice, Batman, over Superman. Everybody loves Superman, heck he is Superman. On the other hand you have Batman, who is totally human, no powers whatsoever, but has pushed himself to be the best at everything he does, all for the love of his parents and the safety, or "salvation" of everybody else. He does everything possible to save people, even willing to die and in a couple of cases doing so in the comic medium. Yet Batman is often an outcast for what he does, being hated by many in the establishment that he hopes to help, sound familiar. Yep, Batman is a Christ figure. Truth be told, Batman and Superman together are Christ, both fully man and fully god. Superman holds the world on his shoulders (literally)and stands, or floats in this case, before the sun in a crucifix pose (Superman Returns), and Batman places himself between mad men and the innocent to save a whole city, many of which scorn him, all the while facing possible death for his efforts (Batman Begins). So yeah, Batman is Christ.

3. Aragon - Ok, this is kinda a given, seeing as Tolkien was a Christian and all, but for many people, who don't know this, they totally miss how much Christ their is in Aragon, so lets look at some of similarities. Aragon was a king unrecognized by his kingdom, so was Jesus. Aragon didn't have a place to lay his head and call his home, neither did Jesus. Aragon led a small band of men on a mission to save the world, hey, so did Jesus. Aragon slaughtered orcs by the thousands in a sword slashing display of awesomeness, Jesus threw out the money lenders from the temple...ok, I am kind of stretching it on that one, but you get the idea. Then you add in all the great imagery that Tolkien used, such as the symbol for Aragons kingdom was a tree, and that tree was dead until the King returned, at which point it bloomed with life, ahhh ahhh (imaginary elbow nudge) , see Jesus yet. I could say more, but I think it is safe to say the Aragon is Christ.

2. Aslan - Now I know what you are thinking, shouldn't Aslan be number one on this list, he is Jesus in Lion form after all, and it is for that very reason that he is not number one. Let me explain... no there is too much, let me sum up. You see, there is no doubt, Aslan is Jesus, C.S.Lewis admitted it, so when we are talking about Christ in film, he has to be on the list, that is a given, but he is way too over the top obvious to be number one, even people who don't get Jesus understand that Aslan and Jesus are the same, for the most part anyway (I know there is someone out there who disagrees with me and will ask people they know if they understand the Aslan is Jesus thing, and when they find those people who don't get it, they will feel smart and self-righteous, and think I am an idiot for saying other wise. And you know what, your right, sure, some people won't get it at all, but that just means your friends aren't all that smart, and maybe that is why you picked them as friends in the first place, cause that makes you the smart one in the group. God bless you, and your superior little heart) So that is why I can't have the mighty wild lion at the top spot, cause he is a little too "IN YOUR FACE, I AM SOOOO TOTALLY THE CHRIST" that it leaves little room for revelation later on to take place. You know what I mean, when you see a movie and then connect the dots on your own and say to yourself, "Wow self, that character was totally Jesus, those sneaky film people, slipping Christ into a popular movie, I am so smart for realizing that, BOOYA!!!!!". Or, at least that is how it usually goes in my head. So that brings us to the top spot of Jesus in the movies, Christ on film, and that award goes too.


Just Kidding

1. Neo - Neo is Christ, end of post. Ok, I will say more. As far as I can see, through all my movie viewing, I have not found a better Christ figure. Now, I will say this, Neo is not Jesus note for note, he does many things that Jesus would never do, maybe if he had a little bracelet that had a catchy saying on it he would of stayed more pure in his Christ likeness, who knows. Anyway, once upon a time there was an awesome movie called THE MATRIX, which came out and blew my mind, and most peoples minds who saw it too. It had everything awesome you could want in a movie. Action, romance, mystery, action, trippy scifi, cool people in leather, action, a spaceship looking thingy, guns, implants (I am talking about the mind jacks, just to be clear here) and in the end, good kicked evils butt so hard it was exploded into tiny screaming pieces. This was all before many of us knew that it was part one of a trilogy, yet even then, people were seeing Jesus and Neo seem to be one and the same, just with kung fu added. Now, at the time, the makers of The Matrix completely denied that Neo was Christ, although they admitted similarities. Then it was announced that this was a trilogy, and the next two movies came out very close to each other, and Bam, Neo was looking more like Christ then ever, and it was then that the Matrix makers (huh, say that 50 times fast) finally came clean and said, "Ok, Neo is Christ, you got us darn it." (I am of course paraphrasing here) So, saying all of this, now lets look at why Neo is so Jesus like. Lets start in his name choice. Neo also spells One if you play with the letters, which is cool and all, but where he secretly yells "I am Jesus!" is in his Matrix name, Mr. Anderson. Most people would not even think about this, but Anderson means "Son of Man" in greek, and what did Jesus call himself often, you guessed it, Son of Man. Then there are all the other things that are way more blatant, such as Neo is a chosen messiah, being the only one capable of fulfilling prophecy, who will save all humankind, and in the very end, the only way he can complete his task is by giving up his own life. If you can't see Jesus by now you probably have never read any part of your bible, in particular the new testament. I could go on, heck, if you want to go really deep there are a bunch of books on the subject of the matrix being our world and Zion being heaven, (that also reminds me, calling the human refuge Zion, nice touch, it didn't help your case in the whole denial thing, but at least you got it right, minus the huge naked cave dancing scene anyway) and how Neo is Christ, so I will leave it here, Neo is the best representation of Christ on film that you can probably show a teenager in any way, so that they will get it. Is it perfect, no, but the "Spirit" of who Christ is shouts out loud and clear, so Neo is Christ, who also knows kung fu, how cool is that.

*Honorable mention goes to Optimus Prime, Luke Skywalker and the kid from Home Alone, just kidding about that last one. Let me know if I missed someone who you think does Jesus proud in movies, and thanks for being able to stay awake long enough to finish this, even if it did take you a couple of tries.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Post Peter, really good evidence on the comparisons of fictional characters to Jesus. My favourites comparisons were to that of Batman/Superman and Aragon. :)