Corinne’s spirituality is perhaps best described as varied. She’s a former Roman Catholic who reads tarot and runs Jungian Shadow work courses. We sit down to talk about Michel Gondry’s fantastic 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind and talk about the importance of remembering and forgetting in forming relationships with films and with people, and ultimately recognizing the good and the bad and pressing on.
If Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana makes one salient point about individual charity (and it does!), it is in the observation that no matter what claims of humility are made, many people enact individual charity for selfish reasons. See the billionaire philanthropists are are spending just as much as they think will keep them out of the guillotine. Or just the fact that charity like that doesn’t work so well. Still I’ve met — or have been — young people who forgo established infrastructure in order to be a personal savior. People want to be known as the person who fixed a problem much more than they want to establish social policy that would eliminate the problem. Look at the Pro-Life movement: you get a lot of political currency from Pro-Lifers for saying you’re going to outlaw abortion — whoever does it will probably be US president for life — but no one involved seems to want to enact the social policy changes that would severely truncate the cause of abortion. “People are inconsistent” is hardly news, but maybe we could at least try to be better at working together to raise every person up?
We talk charity and social change on this week’s Lost in Criterion with Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana. Listen at LostInCriterion.com, on iTunes or Spotify, or wherever you like to find podcasts. and while you're at it, like us on Facebook or support us on Patreon.
Throughout six years of watching Criterion films with Pat I've often thought about starting a sister podcast in with a much more overtly religious/philosophical tinge. Religious movies fascinate me, not only from main stream directors -- the works of Dreyer, Scorsese's religious work, things like mother! or First Reformed -- but also the often much less artistic films from more overtly religious sources, like, say, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas or God's Not Dead. I didn't want to make a bad movie podcast, though, nor one that only talked about prestige film as much of that would just rehash Lost in Criterion conversations.
So I've settled on Cinema Credo, a podcast where I invite anyone willing to talk to me about the film with the deepest religious meaning to them, however it is that they interpret "religion" or "meaning"
For Episode 1 I’m talking to Christian monk Br. Thomas Stama about The Last Temptation of Christ, Long time Lost In Criterion listeners may recognize that I shared some of Tom’s incite in our own episode on that film in 2014. He’s an old friend, and I’m grateful to have him for this first episode.
Since I'm letting my guests define the tone of the conversation, this may be the most explicitly Christian episode we'll have. Already on the recording docket are conversations on Groundhog Day, Death to Smoochy, and the 2012 Will Ferrel/Zach Galifianakis political comedy The Campaign. It's going to be an interesting ride.
The main theme of The Virgin Spring is a conflict between Christianization and Swedish traditional religion. What Pat takes issue with in this week’s episode is that that is a pretty weird argument when Odin is literally a character in your movie and Jesus isn’t. The Virgin Spring is Bergman’s Rashomon, but not the story structure that that normally implies. Instead it’s a medieval tale of rape, murder, revenge, and more murder. And maybe some sort of redemption? Hard to say without Odin coming back at the end.
We talk comparative religion on this week’s Lost in Criterion with The Virgin Spring. Listen at LostInCriterion.com or on iTunes, where you could maybe drop a review of us? While you're at it, maybe like us on Facebook? Or consider supporting us through Patreon. We'd appreciate it.
Rene Clement’s Forbidden Games follows two young children attempting to find calm in a time of deep trauma, and the inability of the state of mid-century western religion, particularly spiritualism and organized Christianity, to help. Which is not to say that the particular parish priest in the film doesn’t try his best. The symbols, the ornaments, the gold adorning the altar, do little to relieve the very real pain of life. But they are also just a cursory understanding of religion anyway. Ceremony is useless without compassion. “A resounding gong” the Christi an Scriptures call it. The symbol of the Cross must be accompanied by the love of neighbor and enemy that the Cross symbolizes.
We talk religion on this week’s Lost in Criterion with Forbidden Games. Listen at LostInCriterion.com or on iTunes, where you could maybe drop a review of us? While you're at it, maybe like us on Facebook? Or consider supporting us through Patreon. We'd appreciate it.