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Thursday, 4 January 2007

Into Great Silence - the cinema experience

I was very glad to have gone to see Into Great Silence at the cinema, even though I have a copy of the DVD (Italian version) at home. It was quite remarkable that at the end of the film, after the credits had run and the lights had come up, the whole place was still silent. People left the theatre in silence.

The Barbican is a place where more "minority interest" films are shown. The theatre was fairly modest, holding about 250 people. Last night it was probably 80-90% full. I prayed hard that some of the people will have been converted by the experience of seeing the film.

Personally, I was much more critical after a second viewing (first thoughts here). For anyone who was finding it challenging, the long, lingering cinematic cliché of the raindrops could have been the last straw (after lingering shots of blue sky, lingering shots of snow, lingering shots of grass, etc. etc.) The film would have benefited from the skill of a sympathetic editor.

I also felt that the choice of scriptural texts was limited. Why "Lord you have seduced me..." three times? What about "it is good to wait in silence for the Lord to save", "the prayer of the humble pierces the clouds", "Lord, how I love your law, it is ever in my heart"?

However there are really just quibbles. This is a most powerful film and it has been stunning audiences into silence. Do watch it at the cinema if you can, or failing that, get the DVD. At the moment, I could find two possible sources:

German Amazon

IBS (Italian)
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