Saturday, January 19, 2008

Must See Film

This evening I watched a nice film, note a film and not a movie, entitled Into Great Silence.
If you have about 3 hours to kill, I highly reccomend this film. Granted, the film could have easily just been 3 hours of the monks at the night office, but that would have been pretty dark with not much to see, but it is obvious that the night office is a centerpiece to their community.

"Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months—filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one—it has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light. One of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created, INTO GREAT SILENCE dissolves the border between screen and audience with a total immersion into the hush of monastic life. More meditation than documentary, it’s a rare, transformative theatrical experience for all."

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