It’s a sign…

by Maria on October 24, 2003

Well, strike me dead. BBC news online reports that Jim Caviezel, who’s playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s controversial film, has been struck by lightning. And an assistant director too, him for the second time. Apparently it actually is true that people struck by lightning have smoke come out of their ears (how? how? where does it come from?).

Strange though, that with all the controversy about the film so far, I hadn’t actually picked up that Jim Caviezel was the main man. It won’t be his first role as a spiritual martyr; Caviezel played a Jesus-like figure in Terence Malick’s stunning Thin Red Line. Though this may not be the only reason Caviezel was cast.

My collection of useless knowledge reminds me that Jim Caviezel is also that rare beast; a Hollywood movie star who’s a (pretty hardcore) practicing Catholic. Not of the Tridentine variety, certainly, but I’m sure he and Mel still have plenty to chat about. I like Jim Caviezel the way the girls at my boarding school fancied the hapless young priests in the seminary across the road; hopelessly/safely, and half in love with the messianic gleam in their eyes.



jdsm 10.24.03 at 11:38 am

God’s clearly not a fan of the arts.

In what way was Jim Caviezel a messianic figure in “The Thin Red Line”?


Maria 10.24.03 at 2:20 pm

You’ve got me there – he was more Christ-like than messianic I suppose. The tip-off for me, aside from his character’s rather gnomic conversations with Sean Penn’s character, were his decision to die in the place of several others, and in doing so to stretch out his arms, crucifix-style. (or is my memory betraying me?)


brayden 10.24.03 at 4:10 pm

You’re not alone Maria. I thought the same thing when I watched Mallick’s movie.

By the way, does anyone know if it’s true that Terence Mallick was trained in philosophy at Berkeley?


jdsm 10.24.03 at 5:29 pm

Okay, I don’t remember the film well enough to be sure, I just remember not thinking that – but apparently I miss God and his progeny in all sorts of places.

I do recall Willem Dafoe doing the crucifix arms thing in Platoon though. Was Oliver Stone thinking the same?

Terence Mallick was trained at Berkeley and was a professor of Philosophy at MIT if I recall.


Anthony 10.24.03 at 5:30 pm

In 1969 Malick translated Heidegger’s The Essence of Reasons and according to this interesting piece on The Thin Red line he studied philosophy at Harvard University between 1961 and 1965. The Thin Red line is one of those films that divides opinion straight down the middle, you either love it or hate it.


Gregg 10.24.03 at 7:31 pm

“God’s clearly not a fan of the arts.”

Oh, I think this shows he most definitely is.


Michael Wolfe 10.24.03 at 11:24 pm

I loved Thin Red Line. Caviezal’s Witt dies raising his rifle, not in a Jesus Christ pose. Though calling him a Christ-figure is otherwise apt; witness the aforementioned conversations with Penn’s character, and the time he spends early in the movie as a stretcher bearer/healer.


mitch 10.26.03 at 3:46 am

I’m very suspicious of the circumstances surrounding this story. It’s just too perfect as P.R. They were standing on top of a hill, in a storm, with an umbrella. Now that’s show business!


Jorge 10.27.03 at 12:10 am

Willem Defoe played Jesus in The last Temptation of Christ as well.


Tyler 12.03.03 at 3:13 pm

Hi, im from England, yesterday night I was watching a program on the BBC called “Hand Of God” which is a series. In this episode it dealt with people who have a faith in God, and are religious in the Entertainment industry. Well they had James Caviezel on, and he came across almost as if he was The Second Coming! saying things about how he is 33 and Christ was 33 when he was crucified, about how miracles kept happening on the set, it all left me feeling rather confused…I dont know if any of the other posters saw it just thought id say…bye

Comments on this entry are closed.