If Jesus Went to Film School
“Jee-zus,” the savior would politely correct him. “I’m from Nazareth, not the barrio. Though I do plenty of volunteer work over there.”
Two Overtly Competitive Third Years sitting cross-legged on the floor would roll their eyes at this slick bit of grandstanding. Jesus would forgive them their transgression at once, since he can’t see a future in Hollywood for either one of the no talent bitches. Matter of fact, one will eventually sleep with the other’s husband, marking the end of the fair weather film school friendship. The spurned wife will become a lesbian and start an all-girl Oregon playwriting festival for juvenile offenders, while the unapologetic adulteress will attend her first and only movie premiere as a cater waitress.
“I’m a little concerned about the modern relevance of your tale,” Professor Godbucks would delicately inform Jesus. “Maybe we should focus on something a little lighter that might appeal to say an Adam Sandler or a Jim Carrey.”
“They could do Herrod,” Jesus would say, getting a little annoyed at this point. “Haven’t you ever seen that Andrew Llloyd Weber musical?”
“Good God, talk about dated.” This from a Ballsy Directing Student known for both his experimental visual style and total lack of story sense. His Perpetually Offended Girlfriend, who once scrawled “If you want to direct, you’re in the wrong bathroom” on the stall of the women’s loo, might be concerned with theme. “I’m offended by the mother obsession. I’m offended by yet another tired take on the whole whore-Madonna angle.”
“What’s up with the ending?” one of the Third Years would chime in uninvited. “Downer.”
“I don’t get the love interest,” her partner the future Jezebel would add, passing some Tic Tacs among a select few cronies. “Are they doing it or aren’t they?”
“If this is supposed to be some kind of black comedy, it’s got to end with a wedding. Not a crucifixion.”
“And forget that lame resurrection. The kids won't even buy that kind of hat trick.”
“You really need to clarify the unique motivations of all these apostle characters. Haven’t you read Legri?”
“Catch up on your Campbell, dude.”
“Aristotle. 'Nuff said.”
Jesus would now be thinking he should have gone to law or medical school like so many other Israelites. Wasn’t this supposed to be a safe, nurturing environment where he could test his dramatic mettle before being thrown like the Lamb of God to the Hollywood wolves? The trouble with film school is everybody knows very well if you can’t reach the top of the heap here—if you’re not recognized with the big scholarships, the best classes, the highest public praise—your chances for any success afterward are very poor indeed.
During break, when the other students huddle within their closed cliques in front of the vending machines, nobody would even notice Jesus turning water into Snapple and multiplying the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish like cheesy little loaves. "Father forgive them," Jesus might even mutter, fading into the background along with the last remaining shreds of his dream. "For they know not what's up."
If only he were lucky enough to have the fates smiling down on him that day, the Loopy Little Theater Major practicing her jazz combination with total abandon in the courtyard might take the empty seat beside him. “Tell me a story,” she’d say, helping herself to some Goldfish. “All you big bad screenwriters have one.” She’d grab his notebook without bothering to ask, paging through it with a complete lack of guile.
“I’m Jesus, King of Jews,” he’d say. “Bet you thought that was Spielberg.”
“I’m Mary, as in Martin. Triple threat.”
“Mary was my mother’s name.”
“I know,” she’d say, looking up from his treatment with stars in her eyes. “Jesus, this looks like a good movie.”