1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The Passion of the Superman

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Football_Bat, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Movie doesn't open till tonight, but I've already read a number of reviews remarking on Superman as Christ-figure (like Simon in Lord of the Flies.)

    To wit:

    • He returns from a death-like existence to save the world.

    • Being stabbed in the side by Lex Luthor like Jesus on the cross.

    • During his severe beating, the one face that is sympathetic to him belongs to a "fallen woman."

    • Like Moses in the basket, he is placed in a tiny rocket ship by his father and sent to Earth.

    Considering the creators of Superman and the new movie's director are/were Jewish, is this another vast right-wing Christian plot?
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The Christ-imagery was the stuff I hated most about the 1978 film:

    Jowly, jiggly, Vito Corleone-El placing Baby Kal in swaddling clothes, and a suspiciously-manger-like spaceship, and then sending him off into the void, rasping on about how he so loved the world, he sent his only begotten son.

    They could have dumped that stuff, from the beginning.

    The movie looks like it's going to be very good, and I'm going tonight -- but I'll be gritting my teeth through the Brando bullshit.

    The real Jor-El. Accept no substitutes.
  3. Perry White

    Perry White Active Member


    Superman as Christ-Figure: The American
    Pop Culture Movie Messiah
  4. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Is any of it worse than Spider-Man being passed back through the train with his arms spread out wide and his mask off in Spider-Man 2? Loved that movie. Hated that scene.

    More on topic, none of this is that out of line with the character, who has mostly been portrayed as an incorruptible man of virtue.

    Bottom line is I trust Bryan Singer's directing skills and Kevin Spacey's acting to make this all work.
  5. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I've seen the Christopher Reeve Superman movies NUMEROUS times and never once did I have a sense of Christ imagery. Maybe, just maybe, we're looking a little too closely at these movies.

    That being said, it annoyed me they would send their son to Earth but couldn't do anything to save their own planet (or escape. What were the Kryptonites going to do to them for leaving?)
  6. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    If we want to be irked by anything regarding Superman it ought to be the big fight scene in Superman 2 when Lois, Jimmy and Perry watch from the comfort of the Daily Planet a battle that rages across half of Manhatten. C'mon, there's skyscrapers everywhere. You're not going to be able to see a flying bus 15 blocks away.
  7. Actually Alley,
    There seems to be Christ imagery intentionally ingrained in Superman dating to back to his incpetion in the 1920s - Though it was especially true in the films.
    Newsweek and CNN.com, in separate reviews and articles both pointed out the Christ-like comparison writers made between Superman and Jesus.
    One of the CNN pieces also included Quentin Tarantino's take on Superman from David? Carradine's Kill Bill diatribe. Tarantino's take was (though bullshit) was really fascinating.
  8. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    There is certainly some Christ imagery in the movie, but it's not like they're saying Superman is Christ or anything like that. I don't want to ruin the movie for anyone so I won't mention one of my arguments.

    Anyway, it seems to me that the Christ imagery is meant more as a visual cue of what Superman represents: virtue, integrity and, in many ways, he's a savior in the film. Since seeing Christ on the cross immediately brings those characteristics to mind, it's natural to use that pose to quickly evoke a certain feeling in the audience.

    They're not saying Superman is Christ. They're using Christ imagery as a visual representation of some of the things Superman stands for.
  9. Where'd the Romans find enough kryptonite to make the nails?
  10. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    There may indeed be Christ imagery in these films, and it may have been put there intentionally. There have also been stories about the strong Germanic/Nazi imagery George Lucas used in his Star Wars films.

    I guess what I'm saying is I don't like dissecting a film that much, and instead choose to appreciate it for its entertainment value. Like a teacher who ruins a good poem by asking "What do you think the writer was thinking?", I think looking for deeper imagery ruins a bit of the fun.

    And let's admit it, we get enough reality in life and work without having to inject more of it in our movies, don't we?
  11. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Oh, and for accuracy's sake, he doesn't return from a "death-like existence to save the world." He returns from the remnants of Krypton, which were discovered by astronomers. He had to see what was left of the planet for himself and it took him about five years to return.

    The stabbing by Lex doesn't look anything like Christ getting stabbed on the cross, in fact he gets stabbed in back, more than the front, kind of the kidney area (I wouldn't have mentioned the stabbing at all but F_B already let that cat out of the bag).

    And in this one, we do not see him sent to Earth, a la Moses, so while that's a good comparison in the first film, it doesn't really hold true to this one.

    There is, however, one shot that is blatant Christ imagery, though again, I don't want to ruin anything for anyone.
  12. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Don't worry about spoiling the stabbing....hell, it's in the commercials and the trailers.

    The Nazi references are a bit more blatant in the Star Wars movies. They even called the Empire's soldiers Stormtroopers.

    I remember more controversy over Star Wars Episode 1, with the Trade Federation supposedly representing Asian stereotypes and the Gungans representing African Americans.

    As if Jar Jar Binks wasn't bad enough
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page