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Sympathy For Mel?

Evelyn Waugh, a bit of a rascal, was asked how he could be a Catholic with his wicked ways.  He replied something to the effect - imagine what I'd like be like if I wasn't one?  The same applies, tenfold, to Mr. Gibson.  An apparent wife-threatener, hater of minorities, and police officers, he seems to be battling demons, the bottle, a lot of rage, and lord knows what else.  I feel for him, but also for those who must have to cope with his tantrums.

So - the question is - what does the film world do with this man?  He is rich enough to bankroll his own films - and his last one was a work of near-genius.  But as an actor, he may be toast.  That would be a shame.  Plenty of actors and actresses have been troubled and trouble - to say the least.  Brando, for one.  Gibson is not a Val Kilmer, to be discarded.  He needs good commercial roles.  In Edge of Darkness he was startlingly compelling as a doomed angry and violent cop - he was channelling what he is, into his art form.  If he was a poet, or painter, we might call him a tragic genius, like Pound or Pollock.  Instead, we revile him.  I say, condemn the sin, and try to get the sinner to get back to work.  But if he is found guilty of beating anyone, he should have the full weight of the law down on him like a ton of bricks.  His soul can wait for a later judgement.


The Editors said…
That's one of the most problematic things about Gibson. If he were a terrible actor and a mediocre director, then his descent into violent, anti-Semitic outsiderdom wouldn't be such a tragedy. But friends who've seen Apocalypto concur with your statement about it being a work of genius, and I'll defy anyone to claim that Mad Max 2 is anything other than one of the greatest films ever made - J. G. Ballard called it 'the Cistine Chapel of punk' - and a big portion of the credit should go to Gibson's performance.

Simon, G&P
Nicholas Liu said…
I feel for him, but also for those who must have to cope with his tantrums.

Odd syntax. Surely you don't intend to suggest that you feel for the perpetrator before the victims.

Also, "tantrums"? Racist, misogynist verbal abuse = "tantrums"? And the abuser is "troubled". Huh.

If he was a poet, or painter, we might call him a tragic genius, like Pound or Pollock.

Oh, is that what you call Pound?

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