The passion of Mel Gibson

In early 2004 I noted in “The passion of Billy Jack” that I have been a huge fan of Mel Gibson. I nevertheless had serious qualms about his “Passion of the Christ.” I tried (unsuccesfully, in the eyes of many readers) to lay out my response to the film in as inoffensive a manner as possible in “A spaghetti Eastern.”

If one is inclined, as I am, to the view that the personal beliefs of artists may be relevant to an interpretation of their works — a view that the New Critics discounted as “the intentional fallacy” — Mel Gibson’s alleged drunken tirade provides some evidence to support my qualms regarding the film. Gibson’s statement on his arrest seems to lend credence to the report of his drunken tirade.

UPDATE: Thanks to Philadelphia Inquirer book review editor Frank Wilson for helping me get my fallacies straight, so to speak. Wilson blogs at Books, Inq. and writes the “Editor’s Choice” column each Sunday in the Books section of the Inquirer.

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