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    Mel Gibson on his movie

    Monday, March 7, 2005 6:42 p.m. EST
    Mel Gibson Blasts Oscars, Plans Fatima Movie

    Mel Gibson says he cut scenes from his soon-to-be-re-released blockbuster film, "Passion of the Christ," to tone down the violence that earned it an R rating and kept some people from seeing it.

    Gibson said he received "truckloads of cards and lettersĒ when the original film was released.

    "What came up again and again was that a lot of people were turned away because of the brutality in the film and were afraid to watch," he told Raymond Arroyo on EWTNís "World Over Live" Friday night.

    "So I thought if I softened it up a bit, I could have a wider audience. Essentially itís the same film, but what Iíve done is to excise some of the aspects of it,Ē he explained. "The trick was to excise or imply some of the aspects of it that were pretty much in your face, without actually showing them."

    Gibson said he edited the film by reducing its length by about five or six minutes.

    Gibson said among the changes he made was the scene showing the crowning of Christ with the crown of thorns.

    "You see it, but itís farther away," he said, adding that viewers no longer see the nails being driven into Christís hands.

    Despite the changes, Gibson said, "it still works." Gibson spoke about his recent visit to meet Sister Lucia, the Fatima visionary, as first revealed by NewsMax.com in January. [See: Mel Gibson's Secret Meeting With Fatima Visionary]

    Calling her "incredibly childlike," Gibson described her convent as "pretty austere and spartan."

    Noting that he believes that the full contents of the famed Third Secret have not been revealed, he said, "I still donít think we got all it," but said he did not raise the subject with her.

    "You canít go in there and say, 'So, whatís the Third Secret?'" he explained. "But I still want to know."

    Sister Lucia passed away last month, renewing interest in the subject of her visions of the Virgin Mary. London's Daily Mail reported this weekend that Gibson is considering a movie about Fatima.

    Commenting on the recent Oscar awards ceremonies, where Hollywood turned its back on "The Passion," Gibson said that he made none of the usual Hollywood moves to promote his film.

    "The whole notion of these awards ceremonies is ludicrous. ... Itís really a marketing exercise."

    The awards ceremonies, he added, are "a celebration of mediocrity."

    "My film is not right wing or political, but they made it so," he said.

    He noted that he was delighted that his film won the Peopleís Choice award.

    As for the Oscar, Gibson said: "I didnít expect one. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I didnít try to market the film. People are spending 15 or 20 million dollars to market their films. Thatís a lot of money for a little gold statue." Gibson also revealed that he will be going back to acting in a couple of upcoming films.

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