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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Film as meditation

Paul Pearson, director of the Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., forwarded this announcement about a new film about the Carthusian order.
On November 15, in Pasteur Hall, Room 102 at 7:00 p.m., there will be a screening of "Le Grand Silence" (U.S. title: "Into Great Silence,") Paul Groninger's film documentary about a Carthusian monastery in the French Alps. It's an award-winning and moving documentary. The movie is free of charge.
Here's the synopsis from "Into Great Silence":
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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