Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Celebrity leftovers: the agony of Mel Gibson

Our film and media correspondent called my attention recently to Max Lindenman's piece, "Welcome Back, Mel, You Creep. I Missed You" (The Anchoress, May 7, 2011), and commented:
Interesting little piece on Mel Gibson. I confess when I saw the trailer for "The Beaver," I cringed. I am somewhat of the opinion that faith and celebrity are entirely incompatible, although I know this can't really be the case. But celebrities trying to walk the straight-and-narrow seem to implode by default. Also, the core of Hollywood culture is vanity, so how does anyone square that?

I looked back on this older piece on him, which I thought helpful, and the comments that ensued pretty good as well.

But you really realize what was potentially there and at least somewhat lost when you read this old New Yorker piece, which had some stunning stuff in it.
One can appreciate the ambivalence of Lindenmann toward Mel Gibson: "Really, I can’t put my finger on why I’m feeling so sentimental about Mel Gibson — not after his anti-Semitic tantrum, his racist tantrum, his domestic- partner abuse, his ... you name it." But then there is also this little, sometimes inconvenient, fact about his also being a Catholic, having unquestionable talent, and that he has clawed his way out of previous pits of self-indulgent sin and desperation to make films like Braveheart, The Patriot and The Passion of the Christ. None of us may be so notorious a sinner as Gibson, but we also know, as he surely does, that the Church and Her Sacraments are, in the end, a matter of one beggar telling another where to find bread.

[Hat tip to J.M.]


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