"They played it up more than Narnia did."
That was Sara's reaction. Superman was more of a Christ-figure in Superman Returns than Aslan was in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
This journal article from my neighbors on the eastern side of Nebraska cites several parallels between the superhero and the messiah, and those comparisons are from the '78 Christopher Reeve film.
The new film makes many of the same allusions. Superman is of divine birth, and lives a dual life of human and supernatural at the same time. Then there's Lex Luthor and his cronies playing the role of the Roman guards flogging the messiah. And when it looks like the end for Superman -- the stone is rolled away, as we find he's gone!
Then there's the less than subtle arms-wide-open-on-the-cross-are-you-idiots-he's-Jesus pose as Christ, er, Superman makes his triumphant return.
Does he die? Go see the movie. I'm not going to spoil that one way or another. True to the genre's form, it does look like he's had it, but of course, every superhero movie, well, every good superhero movie makes you think the end is at hand before the hero saves the day.
But no matter to the plot specifics, it's not subtle. Superman is clearly a Christ-figure. An imperfect representation, to be sure. Does it paint an accurate portrayal of Christ? Not a chance. But it does point to the need for a messiah, very pointedly with dialogue like this line from Clark Kent to Lois Lane, "You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one."
Did the first Narnia film make that point? I'm not sure. CS Lewis' Aslan is more like the Christ I know. Did the film of his classic clearly enunciate that? I would hope so, but now I'm not so sure. Sadly, the film that probably should have may not have.
So we're left with Superman, a film that clearly points to the need for a savior, but then presents us with a flawed messiah.
I liked Narnia, but I wanted to like it more. I wanted to be indifferent about Superman, and enjoy it as a popcorn movie, but now I'm torn. I love that it's playing the role of John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Lord, but I'm bugged that its hero ran away, not to mention the sexual tension with Lois. But that's Hollywood. As Sara points out, Superman played it up, Naria downplayed it. The films like Narnia coming from a rich Christian heritage are watered down and the pop culture icons are portrayed as Jesus.
But that's probably overstating it. He stars in both, flawed though they may be, and that's a Hollywood I can live with.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The evolution of Cornerstone fashion since I've been attending: (now with links aplenty!)
1998 - Grunge comes towards the end. Say goodbye to flannel shirts, but hang on to those baggy pants for a while yet. Ringer t's are the latest in hipster chic. We can revive a style from the past but still look cool, because it's all about deconstructing the past not reliving it, or so we tell ourselves while thinking we're cool after hearing our first seminar on postmodernism.
1999 - Grunge is ending. Big sideburns and a nice goatee are hanging with us though. Old Navy Performance Fleece keeps us warm as we sleep after midnight encore shows and cargo pants give us plenty of pockets to hold our CD purchases.
2000 (C2K) - It's cool to be a skater. Grab your DC Shoes and Alien Workshop tees. The whole hardcore scene is still a bit underground, but the punk and ska things are really taking off in grunge's wake. Then again, not much fashion to be seen, as rain creates mud people.
2001 - Let's go to the punk rawk show. Spike your hair, and make sure it's dyed, and not subtly. Red, blue, green, and purple are good choices. On the plus side when you go home on college break, mom won't complain about your grades, just your hair. Or just dye it at Cornerstone and wash it when you get home.
2002 - Punk and ska peak, so bring your skinny ties and throw on a pair of Chucks while skanking to the sounds of Five Iron Frenzy. Cornerstone starts with Day 0 (Tooth & Nail Day) where we hear all those punk bands. Also, for some reason (cough, cough Ashton) mesh-back trucker hats enter the scene. John Deere combine owners celebrate when old hats sell for more than a bushel of Bushnell corn.
2003 - Ironic t-shirts are all the rage. If you wear your State Basketball 2003 shirt, you're such a loser. But that vintage baby blue YMCA Summer League '83 shirt is so hip! Thrift store pants, especially old man pants Grandpa Jack would've worn are the coolest!
2004 - The year of the western cut shirts with the snaps, aka the shirts grandpa buys because his arthritis is too bad to button a shirt anymore. That, and ironic t-shirts hang on. Also, a resurgence in black t-shirts. And polo shirts with vertical stripes. Kind of a mishmash of styles going on this year. You can tell we're in a transition. Sixpence is done, nu metal is fading. Switchfoot is taking off, and they're more preppy.
2005 - Vote for Pedro.
2006 - Like rain on your wedding day, ironic t-shirts are washed up. They're out there, but so 2003. It's all about girl pants and black t-shirts. And if you're a guy, it's no problem to match the dude next to you.? Headbands and those '70s style athletic shorts are back too. The Steve Prefontaine look is back and it's too much rock for one hand!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Cornerstone: Tooth & Nail Day
Even the youth group kids have realized there are a lot of crappy hardcore bands here. I haven't listened to much music yet. Did catch the first band of the day, Pilot for Kite. They're a Nebraska band, formerly known as After the Order. They're so excited, because this is their first Cornerstone and one of their first shows as a new band. They've been writing new songs and everything, and were thrilled and maybe a little intimidated to be at Cornerstone. But they're band one on day one, so things didn't go as planned from a technical standpoint, and the guys were disappointed. They did well, considering the circumstances. Technical stuff is a challenge at festival.
Cornerstone: Day 0
After a long day in the van (10 hours with 15 people) we arrived around 9:00 at Cornerstone. By 10 we had our tents up, and it's a good thing we got them up good, because it rained, and rained hard. Around 4 am the heavens opened and thunder and lightning came down.
We're a little soggy, but not too wet. We'll survive. My youth kids from Nebraska are excited because they get to see a local band playing on Tooth & Nail day! Oh boy! I'm not as excited as they are, but it's cool I guess.
More to come later! And to see the official Cornerstone blog, bookmark this address: http://www.cornerstonefestival.com/blog