And the Lord passed by.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19, 11-13
For a sort of introduction/background on this movie see my previous post on this film, my friend Devon's review, or the official website for the film. Also, I know the stills are small. If I find larger promo shots, I'll replace them.
I had the distinct pleasure of viewing this film for a second time on a cinema screen at the Harvard Film Archive, and as I sit here enjoying the order's namesake libation, I feel the overwhelming desire to put fingers to keyboard that I may lay down here further viewing notes, or what I like to call a sort of review.
On this second viewing, I found myself even more captivated than the first. I began noticing many small details I had missed the first time around. The framing of the human body echoing the topography of the mountains around the monastery and the architecture of the monks' chapel. The film's tendency to place ears in a prominent position, seeming to suggest the silence observed by these men allow them to hear something we cannot. Subtle nuances of shadow gradients down long corridors changing ever so slightly over the duration of a shot. Becoming more aware of how much each of the monks says to us during his close-up without saying a word. The many textures of water presented that I had overlooked. I believe I would be hard pressed to find a writer to do justice to the imagery and the emotional content it conveyed. I am certainly not up to the task.
Seeing the monks again was like seeing old friends. Following tonight's viewing I found myself feeling a sort of peace. I also had a very strong desire to watch the movie again. Despite seeing most, if not all, of what I had seen before, and noticing volumes more than I had previously seen, there was so much that I am certain I missed.
For those of you who may be reading this sometime recent to when it's posted, and that are close to New York (this means you, Brandon), I highly recommend seeing this movie. Well, so long as it seems to be your sort of thing. If not, please, please, please do something else. Don't be like the annoying girl two rows in front of me with her mobile phone open, texting or whatever she was doing and bothering those close enough behind her to see the blue glow of the phone's lcd screen.
Anyway, those of you near New York for whom a three hour, nearly silent, meditative delving into the life of an ascetic clerical order sounds appealing are in luck. This movie is scheduled to be playing at Film Forum 209 W. Houston St. in NYC from February 23 through March 13. Show times are listed as 13:15, 17:30, and 20:30. If I summon the wherewithal, you might just see me at one of the screenings.