I heard that Mel Gibson is planning a movie about Judah Maccabee, the Che Guevara of Hanukah (click for an amusing interview with Mel by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic). I heard many Jews are outraged. I hesitate to write about this because you don’t want to encourage bad behavior by paying attention to it. But just as Mel can’t control himself when he gets loaded, sometimes I just can’t control my fingers at the laptop.
EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY/MALIBU—PERFECT SUNSET
MEL GIBSON HOLLERS at a WOMAN COP. We only hear fragments:
MEL: Listen sugar tits, the Jews caused all the wars!
We CRASH ZOOM into Mel’s florid eye and on into his wildly flashing brain, ricocheting from Lethal Weapon Cop leaping from a ledge, to disemboweled Braveheart, to The Passion of the Christ’s Aramaic agony.
Suddenly it all goes BLACK.
EXT. ANCIENT ISRAEL—PERFECT SUNSET
A hundred million dollar shot: The old temple, Jerusalem, casts of thousands all in perfect period garb.
Sweeping over the city, past Greeks, Hellenized Jews, Seleucids, warriors…
Swooping way out into the hills and toward an ancient cave…
ONE CONTINUOUS TRACKING SHOT INTO THE CAVE: A wild scene: lots of brawny shoulders, long hair and sandals. Harlots everywhere. It looks to be some sort of Scorsesse-inspired proto-casino.
The camera finally comes to rest on a CLOSE-UP of pre-Inception spinning top. It spins hypnotically and then slowly tumbles over—this is no dream.
We SMASH CUT even closer: The fallen top is a DREIDEL!
And… it’s showing GIMEL!!!
BIRD’S EYE SHOT as SHARON STONE, playing Jewess right down to her roots, throws handfuls of gold-foil chocolate coins skyward in a cascade of GELT, her lovely neck tossed back in defiant mirth against all forms of oppression and anti-Semitism.
Oil lamps flicker ominously. CROUPIERS and PIT BOSSES look nervous. How long can this party last? Surely not eight nights.
Close on Mel, watching Sharon. A RANDOM HARLOT offers Mel wine from a goatskin. He puts his hand over his drinking chalice to stop her.
Mel: I’m sticking with Perrier. It’s better for the Jews.
Sharon: (channeling Cary Grant’s inflection) Judah, Judah, Judah—Judah Maccabee. I hear Joe Eszterhas is writing this piece of crap story. Are we going to cut to my Vagina, Vagina, Vagina?
Mel: (exasperated) Oh, come on… don’t go giving away the dramatic climax in the first scene.
Sharon: Sorry Mel—Premature exclamation. But you wouldn’t know anything about that. (to camera) Cut. Let’s take it from the top.
Mel: No one says, “cut” on this picture but me. I’m directing here.
Sharon: (confused) I thought Marty was directing.
Mel: Oy vey… Somebody get me a latke.
Sharon sarcastically spins the Dreidel again, half-heartedly, and it lands on Nun: Busted.
Sharon: I’m out of here. This is a mess. You’re a mess.
Mel: One day at a time, Sharon. The Seleucids tried to sew my foreskin back on. Do you have any idea what that does to a man?
Sharon walks away. Mel crashes his head onto the gaming table then impulsively grabs a goatskin from a Harlot and starts to drink wine copiously as the camera spins sickeningly.
Mel: (whimpering) I should have stuck with the Christians, at least you get redemption.
Mel is handcuffed against a squad car.
Mel: It’s the last night of Hanukah for Christ’s sake!
Cop: (as she shoves him into the back of the black-and-white, echoing Chinatown) It’s Hollywood, Mel.
As the police car pulls away, gimlet-eyed RON BURGUNDY is there amongst the NEWS REPORTERS.
He looks solemnly into the camera, behind him the jeweled necklace of Malibu sparkles against the deep velvety Pacific.
Ron Burgundy: Stay classy, Malibu. Stay classy, Hollywood.
Hey, why can’t we all get along?
I think Mel should go for it, and I root for his healing and for everybody’s healing. I root for humor and for outrageousness because maybe when all the sacred cows are dead and nothing is sacred anymore then everything will be sacred once again—including all our collective children.