Monday, December 17, 2007

Truth Is Stranger #68: Zeffirelli Offers Self As Pope's Image Consultant

File under "what the heck":

ROME (Reuters) - Italian film and opera director Franco Zeffirelli is offering his services to Pope Benedict as an image consultant, saying the German pontiff comes across as cold and needs to review his wardrobe.

Zeffirelli, acclaimed for movies such as "Romeo and Juliet" and "Jesus of Nazareth," said in an interview with la Stampa daily on Saturday the 80-year-old pope did not have "a happy image."

"Coming after a media-savvy pope like John Paul II is a difficult task ... Benedict XVI still communicates coldly, in a way that is not suited with what is happening around him," Zeffirelli said.

"It's an issue I have been discussing with people who have key roles in the Vatican," said Zeffirelli, who has directed some Vatican television events.

"The Pope does not smile much, but he is an intellectual. He has a very rigid Bavarian structure," he said.

Zeffirelli, 84, added that papal robes were "too sumptuous and flashy." "What is needed is the simplicity and sobriety seen in the other echelons of the Church," he said. ...

More here.

OK, I admire Zeffirelli as a filmmaker, and I think his intentions are good. And I think there is a grain of truth in this...just a grain...but I have to admit, Benedict's opinions-be-damned "authenticity" is one thing that appeals to me. You know who he is. Please, leave the image consultations for politicians.

HT: Ray at Stella Borealis.


Kevin said...

If Mr. Zeffirelli thinks that the Pope doesn't smile very much, he's looking at the wrong pictures. He needs to visit AmericanPapist. Besides, does the Pope really have to smile as much as Pope John Paul did?

Anonymous said...

I heard a podcast about this recently. B16 is deliberately taking ornate vestments out of mothballs. It is a continuation of his theme of putting the "sacred," and a sense of "awe" back in to the liturgy. No more Clown Masses!

For those who have gone to Eastern Orthodox services, you should see how the Metropolitans and Patriarchs dress ... for the same reason. When we worship God, he deserves our very best in EVERYTHING.

IMHO, it is an issue of people thinking that the Priest is their for the benefit of the Parishioners. Using that paradigm (which Mr. Z seems to be doing), they might be right. However, technically, the Priest is celebrating the Mass for HIM, and we, the laity, are assisting the Priest.

We have mendicant orders that, based on their orientation (toward the people they serve), do indeed dress in sack cloth. But that is not what's going on here. He is the Chair of Peter. He is acting In Persona Christie.

And again, IMHO, If I can offer Mr. Z some advice, the next time he is casting for the Messiah, could he not pick a pasty, effeminate, blue eyed European, and go for someone who might actually look like a 1st Century Jew from Palestine who earned his living in the construction trade? That always bugged me about his otherwise good film.

Diesel said...

Sounds like it's time for the Buddy Pope.