Friday, November 4, 2016

Mel Gibson's a Different Person Now

My son said that "Hacksaw Ridge" was his "favorite" from all the war movies he's seen, which is probably a half dozen, since I almost always drag him along when I go to the movies.

And I think that's because "Hacksaw Ridge" is an epic tale of valor and perseverance in belief, which combines with the harrowing battle scenes to be something of a statement on the meaning of life, faith, and freedom. (I like it a lot myself, although "Saving Private Ryan" remains my favorite movie of all time, combat film or otherwise.)

I was going to write another post about seeing this one, perhaps with the title, "My Oldest Son Said 'Hacksaw Ridge' Was His Best War Movie He'd Ever Seen," although that'd be redundant at this point.

In any case, I've always admired Mel Gibson, especially after "Passion of the Christ." I wasn't too involved with the controversy surrounding the anti-Semitic outburst during his DUI arrest 10 years ago, although it's inexcusable. Justin Chang's movie review suggests that Gibson's reemergence as a top-tier director is in part an effort to get back in good graces with Hollywood, where many in power there probably still hold him in contempt. Be that as it may, I'm going with the personal redemption angle. Certainly, a public statement of apology would be nice, but given his gifts as a director, one of the few working today making eminently memorable classic motion pictures (patriotic movies, in other words), I'm cutting him a little slack.

So, here's a piece at USA Today, "Mel Gibson talks about his troubled past: 'I fed the bullet to the gun'":
Mel Gibson is unveiling a new film with Hacksaw Ridge this week, the first film he's directed in 10 years.

But the Oscar-winning director is aware that people remember his tabloid meltdown era, which started with his infamous 2006 drunken driving arrest in Malibu, Calif. Gibson peppered the arresting officers with anti-Semitic taunts.

Speaking to USA TODAY, Gibson, 60, says he's apologized and moved on from that troubling time, and believes the public has as well.

"A lot of time goes by. People are tired of petty grudges about nothing. About somebody having a nervous breakdown (after) double tequilas in the back of a police car,” says Gibson, now sober. “Regrettable. I’ve made my apologies, I’ve done my bit. Moved along. Ten years later. Big deal."

“I’ve worked on myself a lot,” Gibson adds in a somber voice. “I’m a different person than I was back then. But the thing that remains the same is I think I could always tell a story.”

Gibson says any anti-Semitic label is unfair.

"It's not true. None of my actions bear that sort of reputation, before or since. So it’s a pity, after 30 or 40 years of doing something, you get judged on one night. And then you spend the next 10 years suffering the scourges of perception,” says Gibson. “But it’s my fault for having (allowed) that perception, I fed the bullet to the gun.”
Keep reading.

Also, "Review: Mel Gibson soldiers on with gripping 'Hacksaw Ridge'."

PREVIOUSLY: "Mel Gibson's 'Hacksaw Ridge': Sadism and Pacifism Go to War (VIDEO)."