April 10, 2007

"Into Great Silence"

I saw it this afternoon, the movie about life in the birthplace of the Carthusian order.

The auxiliary bishop of San Diego, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, was there with his mother. Rosalind Moss of Catholic Answers was there too.

Throughout the movie I kept wondering what others in the audience thought.

The slow, deliberate, repetitive and regular rhythm of Carthusian life was very clear.

Basically everyone on earth works out some sort of living, eats, sleeps, and then always eventually dies.

The Carthusians have "streamlined" the same journey (without shortening it), but have "voluminously" focused the journey on its inevitable end: every single soul shall stand face to face with God.

"Into Great Silence" . . . I might subtitle it "Into Stark Intimacy."

(All of the following remarks are from two previous times that I blogged about the movie.)

That is the title of a three-hour, mostly silent documentary about life in one of the monasteries of the Catholic Church's "strictest" monastic order, the "Carthusians".

Wherever it has played, audiences have packed the theaters.
... 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....
--ZeitgeistFilms.com
For the movie's website, click HERE.

For a list of where and when the movie will be opening in U.S. theaters, click HERE.

For the official website of the Carthusian order, click HERE.


Here's a trailer (four and a half minutes in length) for "Into Great Silence". Be patient. It's full of silence. What else would you expect?



(The following remarks are from the first time I blogged about this movie.)

The European Film Academy has picked “Into Great Silence” as the best European documentary of 2006. The E.F.A. jury chose the film over seven other nominees.

In January this year at the Sundance Film Festival, “Into Great Silence” won a special jury prize.

The 162-minute movie has been playing to packed audiences in Europe. It will be released in North America by Zeitgeist Films.

It focuses on the Carthusian monastery of hermits near Grenoble, France, showing their daily prayer, work and community life.


11 Comments:

Anonymous Jeron said...

I can't believe this isn't playing in St. Louis. I have to drive 4 hours to Kansas City to see it and I cannot wait!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement is taking orders for the DVD. He's only charging $30 plus shipping.

http://www.thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Into Great Silence" is scheduled to open at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, on April 13.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Jeron said...

I found out that *Into Great Silence* IS playing in St. Louis, so I can confirm anonymous' post. :D I CANNOT WAIT ... I've been waiting months for this. :) I'll be going w/my parents.

9:28 AM  
Blogger DilexitPrior said...

Tip to anyone interested. . . you can buy it online at amazon.com!!! A friend of mine just got it and we're going to get a group together and watch it soon.

Foreign Film. Languages: French, Latin :-D

12:21 PM  
Blogger DilexitPrior said...

Correction --> It's www.amazon.ca

Canada has something to offer the Church. ;-)

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Estefanía S. said...

Dear Fr. Stephanos:

A reference to this post has been made at my blog: http://sofiesverden.livejournal.com/37037.html

Thanks for bringing your international visitors more about this movie.

God bless,
Estefanía
Caracas, Venezuela

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Jeron said...

I sent in for my own dvd copy via Shawn Tribe at New Liturgical Movement (www.thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com)

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Jeron said...

Ok! I saw it this weekend and was NOT disappointed. Absolutely beautiful.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it playing in Denver?

8:12 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Look at the post again, and you will see I supplied a link showing where it's playing in the U.S.A.

Chez Artiste in Denver starting May 18.
Also at Crossroads Cinema in Boulder starting May 18.

9:09 PM  

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