I have continued doing a great deal of reading over recent months and soon I will begin to share some of what I have been processing and discovering. In the meantime, let me tell you about a new movie that I stumbled on recently while doing my reading.
It is called Into Great Silence.
Here is the synopsis:
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.
No matter where I turn, I have yet to read a bad review about this movie. It seems such an unlikely subject (life in a Carthusian monastery) at such an unlikely duration (about three hours). Now, before you think, "what the??", jump out for a minute and read these reviews of the movie … then come back and read on …
Relevant Magazine’s review of Into Great Silence
Variety’s review of Into Great Silence
The movie recently had a short run screening at the Dendy Cinemas here in Sydney and in Brisbane. Sadly, I missed the movie on the big screen. However, I have just received the DVD from Amazon UK. Thankfully, being a region 2 disc, it plays on an Australian DVD player. Including shipping, it cost me about $40.00AUD. So far, I have only had the chance to view some of the "extras" on disc 2, but as soon as I’ve seen the full movie and had a chance to process it, I will post a personal review.
For more about the DVD and all the extras with it (which are remarkable), click here.
In the meantime, check out the trailer and see what you think. Click the screen below to play.