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Author Topic: Favorite Movies with a Spiritual Theme  (Read 15178 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2009, 08:03:26 AM »

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« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2009, 08:32:58 AM »

Andrei Rublev (1966)
It has so many themes: redemption, reconciliation, and faith in the face of the unspeakable cruelty of man against man.
The movie is also as old as I am!
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« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2009, 08:53:05 AM »

All motion pictures directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, particularly, "The Childhood of Ivan," "Andrei Rublev," "Solaris" (probably the best for children), "The Mirror," "Stalker," "Nostalgia," and "The Sacrifice."
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« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2009, 10:12:23 AM »

My other favorites with spiritual theme (although perhaps not quite understandable for children) - Fellini ("La Strada," "Le Notti de Cabiria," "La Dolce Vita" - my all-time favorite, "Amarcord," "Prova d'Orchestra"); early Bergman ("Through a Glass Darkly," "Winter Light," "Seventh Seal," "Virgin Spring," "Wild Strawberries," "Persona," and others).
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« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2009, 11:59:49 AM »

Caddyshack.

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« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2009, 06:57:55 PM »

Andrei Rublev (1966)
It has so many themes: redemption, reconciliation, and faith in the face of the unspeakable cruelty of man against man.
The movie is also as old as I am!

Is this movie in English?

Selam
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« Reply #51 on: April 27, 2009, 07:00:00 PM »

All motion pictures directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, particularly, "The Childhood of Ivan," "Andrei Rublev," "Solaris" (probably the best for children), "The Mirror," "Stalker," "Nostalgia," and "The Sacrifice."

Are these in English?

It would be helpful to clarify if movies such as these are in English for the benefit of those of us who may be interested in watching them.

Thanks.

Selam
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« Reply #52 on: April 27, 2009, 07:33:42 PM »

My mother and I watched "Andrei Rublev" and of course, it's a Russian movie, but we used the english subtitles.
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« Reply #53 on: April 27, 2009, 07:40:12 PM »

I don't think that some of the Tarkovsky would be appropriate for children, particularly if they can't read subtitles quickly.   I've seen a version of Andrei Rublev (apparently there is more then one version with different things being cut.) and while some of it was fine and the photography is quite good, other parts were very confusing or odd.  I still don't know   what the flying machine/balloon had to do with the horse rolling around in the water meadow and why there was a crowd chasing it (I think).  If our daughter had been watching it with  us it would have been a constant set of questions "who's that?  What happened?  Why did he do that?   What did they do?  Are they dead?  etc etc etc"

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« Reply #54 on: April 27, 2009, 07:57:13 PM »

I personally found Andrei Rublev confusing and disturbing too. I supppose it didn't help that I was at the time not feeling well physically. For some reason, it traumatized me a bit.
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« Reply #55 on: April 27, 2009, 10:41:26 PM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.
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« Reply #56 on: April 27, 2009, 11:27:08 PM »

Ordet - Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1955

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_9wLA6tmLU

And

Pasolini's : The Gospel According to St Matthew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llNeABmC0Uo
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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2009, 01:22:47 AM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.

I will second this. Many people are caught up in the sci-fi theme of the movie, and fail to see the obvious Christian themes. I enjoyed both the American and Soviet Solaris, both for different reasons. I must admit however that the Soviet is superior.
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« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2009, 09:15:49 AM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.
I enjoyed both the American and Soviet Solaris, both for different reasons. I must admit however that the Soviet is superior.
Why?
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« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2009, 10:30:30 AM »

Solaris (2002) is an English-language version, starring George Clooney.

But that has nothing to do with Tarkovsky's "Solaris." I think there should exist versions of the original Tarkovsky's film with English subtitles.

As for "Andrei Rublev" and children - yes, I agree, it's too difficult for them.

It really is extremely confusing and disturbing, and there are no simple ways to explain the symbolism there. Even more so in "Stalker" (a really enigmatic film, but very powerful, like pretty much everything Tarkovsky made, IMHO.)

"The Mirror" is also extremely complicated (even if you read the story that sereved as the plot, called "A White Day" (Belyj Den'" in Russian), by Alexandr Misharin. I saw it very many times and I still cannot explain the logic, the connection between all scenes. Nonetheless, it causes such a powerful reaction in me, every time. I cry very rarely, but this film never fails to make me cry like a little baby at the end. Here's some Wiki information about this film, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mirror_(1975_film)
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« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2009, 11:13:37 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2009, 11:41:37 AM »

Sorry, the link to the "Mirror" should be:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mirror_(1975_film)

--with the last parentheses included (blue) - I don't know how to fix it, it shows in non-blue font on my screen and it cannot be opened.
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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2009, 11:43:10 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?
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« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2009, 11:47:58 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?

I didn't say anything about "more enjoyable".  Movies by different directors with different visions and methods using different actors in different languages can appeal to viewers differently.  Personal taste is involved as well as the skill of the persons involved.  And the book is different by it's nature as a book and not a movie. 

I wasn't intending to make a overall value statement on them.  I wrote poorly.  They're different works so viewers might not find them "equal"
 Smiley

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« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2009, 11:56:47 AM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?
They're different works so viewers might not find them "equal"
Yes, I understand this. I'm not at all familiar with a Russian Solaris; in fact, this thread is the first I've heard of it. I'm was not impressed at all by Clooney's Solaris, despite being a fan of science fiction, and I'm wanting to know what is different in the Russian version that makes several of you feel it is a better film.

Essentially, please convince me it's worth the time, effort, and money to track down this film. I'm interested, but I don't know anything about it.
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« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2009, 02:29:46 PM »

Both Solaris movies are based on the book by the Polish author Stanislaw Lem.  But that doesn't make them equal as movies, of course.  Smiley
Why not? What specifically is more enjoyable about one film than the other?
They're different works so viewers might not find them "equal"
Yes, I understand this. I'm not at all familiar with a Russian Solaris; in fact, this thread is the first I've heard of it. I'm was not impressed at all by Clooney's Solaris, despite being a fan of science fiction, and I'm wanting to know what is different in the Russian version that makes several of you feel it is a better film.

Essentially, please convince me it's worth the time, effort, and money to track down this film. I'm interested, but I don't know anything about it.

Mr. Y., it's been ages since I read the book (I guess I was ~14 when I read it), and I never saw the American "Solaris" with George Clooney, so I can't compare. The Tarkovsky movie is, however, very interesting in that he makes it more a story of repentance than a story about unusual forms of intellect. The ocean on the planet Solaris in the Tarkovsky movie is acting like the injured conscience of the visitors; it produces real people whom these visitors hurt, against whom they transgressed in the past. And the "grand finalle" of the film is completely different from, I would venture to say, anything one expects to see in sci-fi movies: it's actually a return of a human being to the Father, to the Home where every "tear" is wiped away, every transgression forgiven, etc.

Here's one nice video clip from the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFAlegTEBUU
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« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2009, 09:29:20 PM »

The Tarkovsky movie is, however, very interesting in that he makes it more a story of repentance than a story about unusual forms of intellect. The ocean on the planet Solaris in the Tarkovsky movie is acting like the injured conscience of the visitors; it produces real people whom these visitors hurt, against whom they transgressed in the past. And the "grand finalle" of the film is completely different from, I would venture to say, anything one expects to see in sci-fi movies: it's actually a return of a human being to the Father, to the Home where every "tear" is wiped away, every transgression forgiven, etc.
That is interesting, and quite different indeed. I tire of the "higher intelligence" theme prevalent in so much of science fiction, as though all our problems will be solved by meeting the right alien race; and also of the apocalyptic theme, as though we are doomed no matter what we do. Your description seems to indicate something refreshingly different in the genre, something in the story that apparently slipped past Clooney.

I thoroughly enjoyed that clip. Amazon wants $30 for the DVD, and it's not on Blu-Ray, but it may be worth it. Thank you.
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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2009, 09:37:52 PM »

Black Robe is very good, but a more spiritually significant alternative is The Mission. It is about Jesuits in 18th-century South America---it has a wonderful cast, including Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro, Aidan Quinn and Liam Neeson. It also has the best depiction of penance I have ever seen in a film (I'm not kidding---wait till you see it). No sex in this one, though there is some battle violence (nothing graphic; the movie's only PG!).

I was going to say The Mission.
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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2009, 10:33:37 PM »

Andrei Rublev (1966)
It has so many themes: redemption, reconciliation, and faith in the face of the unspeakable cruelty of man against man.
The movie is also as old as I am!

Is this movie in English?

Selam

No. Its in Russian (and I don't speak Russian) but it is available in subtitled format (which is what I have it in).
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« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2009, 11:07:46 PM »

"The Apostle" starring Robert Duvall. A great movie about sin and redemption and human nature.

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« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2009, 11:10:52 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

The Matrix
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« Reply #71 on: April 29, 2009, 12:17:32 AM »

I don't watch or go to see movies much, but I did go see Bella. Great movie.
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« Reply #72 on: April 29, 2009, 02:26:25 AM »

I don't watch or go to see movies much, but I did go see Bella. Great movie.


A good movie indeed!

Selam
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« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2009, 11:03:08 AM »

Ok, who recommended The Fountain??  I just watched it and I'm totally confuuuuused!
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« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2009, 11:49:26 AM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

The Matrix
BLEH!
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« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2009, 04:13:41 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

Meh, it's not for everyone.
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« Reply #76 on: May 12, 2009, 06:45:53 AM »

OK, here are two of my favorites:

Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Christopher Reeves. This movie is a great study in human nature and political deception. One of Hopkin's best roles. This movie is not for action fans, but if you enjoy character driven drama, this is one of the best.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107943/

Babette's Feast Here's a brief discription of the movie that I found on line:

Philippa (Hanne Stensgaard) and Martina (Vibeke Hastrup ) turn down a chance to leave their Danish town, instead staying to care for their pastor father and his small church. Thirty-five years later, a French woman (Stéphane Audran) seeks refuge, and Philippa and Martina (now Bodil Kjer and Birgitte Federspie) take her in. The feast the woman prepares in gratitude is eclipsed only by her secret in director Gabriel Axel's Oscar-winning drama.

Selam
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« Reply #77 on: May 12, 2009, 08:31:20 AM »

Although it isn't a part of any major religion, and may/may not have been intended to be spiritual... I'd say...

Star Wars

This is because it has so many spiritual essences to it, redemption, good v. evil, hope, faith etc...
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« Reply #78 on: May 12, 2009, 09:46:23 AM »

Although it isn't a part of any major religion, and may/may not have been intended to be spiritual... I'd say...

Star Wars

This is because it has so many spiritual essences to it, redemption, good v. evil, hope, faith etc...

Very true. Star Wars is definitely a "spiritual" movie, although I disagree with its New Age worldview. But I loved it as a kid when it first came out. I must have seen it 3 or 4 times in two weeks.

Selam
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« Reply #79 on: May 12, 2009, 10:06:22 AM »

OK, I am about to sound like a cinema snob here, but I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in the responses to this post. All of you have done well in mentioning movies that have a spiritual theme, but I haven't seen very many good movies (artistically, not morally, speaking) cited. With the exception of some of the foreign language movies that seem very appealing, (but I just don't have any way of finding them) I haven't been very impressed with the other references. I commend "Rosehip" though; he/she always has some good choices.

Anyway, everyone knows about Star Wars, The Matrix, and such. Let's dig a little deeper and recommend some good movies that most of us may not be familiar with. So, come on guys. Step it up!

Selam
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« Reply #80 on: May 12, 2009, 10:26:21 AM »

Just recalled one other motion picture with a very strong spiritual theme made in the former USSR. The film called "Atonement" (or "Repentance" - perhaps can be rendered either way), by a Georgian film director Tengiz Abuladze. It premiered in 1985 in its original Georgian with Russian subtitles. Maybe there is an English subtitered version, I don't know (but I hope so).

It's a very unusual film, deeply allegoric, at times bordering with surrealism. The main heroes are two Georgian families, one of a dictator (called "the city mayor" Varlam Aravidze in  the film, but having very obvious features of Stalin), and the other - of the dictator's victims, those who were arrested on trumped-up charges, tortured and martyred in forced labor camps. At the beginning of the film, the daugher of one of the martyred victims digs Varlam Aravidze's body from its grave and throws it on the city street. She is arrested, tried, found guilty, and ordered to stop doing this outrageous thing, but she never stops - she says all the time, "as long as I live, the body of Varlam Aravidze will not rest in this earth." The rest of the film is a stream of reminescences about Varlam coming to power, about people's complacency with his more and more tyrannic, bloody rule, about certain strange shifts in people's heads when they begin to convince their neighbors and themselves that "it's still good for our city (meaning "country")," etc. Yet, there is a certain "sobering up" closer to the end; the son of Varlam and his wife still remain in their self-denial, but their son, Varlam's young grandson, suddenly sees the horror of his granddad's tyrany, and kills himself in front of his parents. The final scene of the movie is totally awesome: a very old woman who seems to be almost or even completely blind, tries to find her way to something that she calls a "Temple," walking down a city street, and the residents tell her that the Temple is no longer there, because Varlam blew it up; and the old woman suddenly says: "if this street does not lead to the Temple - why then does this street even exist? Who needs this street?"

It may be difficult for someone who never lived in the USSR to grasp the sense of this film, but for people like me it's very real and true. I completely agree with the idea that unless, and until, the countries of the former USSR expose the whole horror of Stalinism (Leninism, Bolshevism, Soviet Communism, whatever you call it), there will be nothing good over there. The body of Varlam Aravidze must not remain in its grave. Lenin's mummy should not continue to lie in it's "Mausoleum" near the Kremlin wall...
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« Reply #81 on: May 12, 2009, 11:39:58 AM »

Just recalled one other motion picture with a very strong spiritual theme made in the former USSR. The film called "Atonement" (or "Repentance" - perhaps can be rendered either way), by a Georgian film director Tengiz Abuladze. It premiered in 1985 in its original Georgian with Russian subtitles. Maybe there is an English subtitered version, I don't know (but I hope so).

It's a very unusual film, deeply allegoric, at times bordering with surrealism. The main heroes are two Georgian families, one of a dictator (called "the city mayor" Varlam Aravidze in  the film, but having very obvious features of Stalin), and the other - of the dictator's victims, those who were arrested on trumped-up charges, tortured and martyred in forced labor camps. At the beginning of the film, the daugher of one of the martyred victims digs Varlam Aravidze's body from its grave and throws it on the city street. She is arrested, tried, found guilty, and ordered to stop doing this outrageous thing, but she never stops - she says all the time, "as long as I live, the body of Varlam Aravidze will not rest in this earth." The rest of the film is a stream of reminescences about Varlam coming to power, about people's complacency with his more and more tyrannic, bloody rule, about certain strange shifts in people's heads when they begin to convince their neighbors and themselves that "it's still good for our city (meaning "country")," etc. Yet, there is a certain "sobering up" closer to the end; the son of Varlam and his wife still remain in their self-denial, but their son, Varlam's young grandson, suddenly sees the horror of his granddad's tyrany, and kills himself in front of his parents. The final scene of the movie is totally awesome: a very old woman who seems to be almost or even completely blind, tries to find her way to something that she calls a "Temple," walking down a city street, and the residents tell her that the Temple is no longer there, because Varlam blew it up; and the old woman suddenly says: "if this street does not lead to the Temple - why then does this street even exist? Who needs this street?"

It may be difficult for someone who never lived in the USSR to grasp the sense of this film, but for people like me it's very real and true. I completely agree with the idea that unless, and until, the countries of the former USSR expose the whole horror of Stalinism (Leninism, Bolshevism, Soviet Communism, whatever you call it), there will be nothing good over there. The body of Varlam Aravidze must not remain in its grave. Lenin's mummy should not continue to lie in it's "Mausoleum" near the Kremlin wall...

THANK YOU! This is exactly the kind of response I was hoping to generate with this post. I have not heard of the movie, but your excellent summary inspires me to try to find it. A very relevant theme in this day and age. It seems apropos of what is happening in America today, ...

Selam


Political reference removed from post...  Please don't post politics in the public forum.  -PtA
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« Reply #82 on: May 12, 2009, 12:20:49 PM »

Chariots of Fire remains one of my all-time favorites.
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« Reply #83 on: May 12, 2009, 01:18:44 PM »

Chariots of Fire remains one of my all-time favorites.

An excellent movie with a powerful spiritual - and deeply Christian - message. It occurs to me that this is one of the last critically acclaimed movies to be made that portrayed a Christian in a positive and realistic light. Thanks for bringing it up!

Selam
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« Reply #84 on: May 12, 2009, 08:38:44 PM »

"The Widow of Saint-Pierre" -beautiful shot with a palate of wintry colors, grays, blues, and faded greens plays against the passions of anger, revenge, pride, love, compassion, and redemption;
It's the full package of beauty, virtue, sans the "happy" hollywood endings that cheapen the true "cost"  and the telos of Love...

Jeffrey Overstreet  gives a bit of a skimming over the top review -he writes some reviews for Christianity Today, but the reviews and articles on film on his blog are much more in depth  and are a great resource for films that may never see the light of day in the mainstream media.
http://lookingcloser.org/2007/09/widow-of-st-pierre-the-2000/


Another, more in depth review and trailer at IMDb http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2784755993/, and I am sure their are trailers/clips on the web to give you a taste of the beauty of this film....this is a film that is beautiful inside, outside, in sound and silence, and in watching and after the watching meditating...as it is one that is not quickly forgotten.

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« Reply #85 on: May 12, 2009, 08:53:55 PM »

Central Station is a bit of an enigma to me...the first time I watched I had all kinds of little epiphanies and flashes of so many spiritual themes that my mind could hardly keep up...aside from all the typology in color and events, the story stands on it's own as a film apart for the power of simple human virtue, love, and care, even grudgingly given can change lives.

When I had a chance to watch it with commentary either the directors/writers/actors didn't have a clue about the story they were filming, or I may have been reading to much into it.

Either way, it's a great movie.....and I would be interested if anyone else was almost knocked unconscious with all the spiritual references (visual, story elements, typology) or I may have been reading way to much into it.

trailer/reviews also available at IMDb http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=central+station&x=0&y=0
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« Reply #86 on: May 12, 2009, 09:26:15 PM »

Tender Mercies (1983) is a story of repentance, love, guilt, sorrow and much more with Christianity as a major part of the story.  It's about a washed up country-western singer played by  Robert Duvall who hits bottom, works for a young widow raising her young son on the condition that he stops drinking.  He connects with his daughter again and his ex-wife then the girl is killed in an accident and he ministers to her mother in their grief.

It got the best picture Oscar and Duvall got Best actor.

Ebor
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« Reply #87 on: May 12, 2009, 09:56:17 PM »

Tender Mercies (1983) is a story of repentance, love, guilt, sorrow and much more with Christianity as a major part of the story.  It's about a washed up country-western singer played by  Robert Duvall who hits bottom, works for a young widow raising her young son on the condition that he stops drinking.  He connects with his daughter again and his ex-wife then the girl is killed in an accident and he ministers to her mother in their grief.

It got the best picture Oscar and Duvall got Best actor.

Ebor

I first saw this movie in my early twenties and "whoosh", right over my head...I hadn't seen or experienced or gotten myself into enough spots where I appreciated the daily "little mercies", quiet and simply given that change lives.
I've seen and been in need of those tender mercies now, maybe a thousand times over now that I am in my 50's...and also pulled up short too many times being unmerciful, when Love bade me to do otherwise....the mark of a "True" story...it changes and grows with you...

Timeless; and IMHO, it is Duvall's best.

I won't give it to my young twentyish daughters for a few years yet, but it will be one of those "favorite" legacy movies I pass on to them, hopefully at just the right time.
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« Reply #88 on: May 12, 2009, 10:25:14 PM »

Great movie, "Tender Mercies"! I love Robert Duvall. Certainly this is one of his best, but I would also include "The Great Santini" and "The Apostle" in the mix.

I'm so glad that some good movies are being mentioned now. Thanks guys!

Selam
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« Reply #89 on: May 13, 2009, 02:23:56 AM »

Jean de Florette" and "Manon des Sources"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091288/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091480/


Looking at it simplistically, the main theme could be we are all responsible for one another, whether through our actions or our inaction and reap what we sow.
But was any character "free" to choose to do what the thing that would have averted all the tragedy?

That is the core enigma of both films....it would be so easy to blame fate or destiny....or a karma type economy in looking at the events superficially; but each character has one or more moments of choice that would have led to a turn around of the meteoric fall toward ruin and mutual destruction...if only....
The smallest dose of humility show of humility  resulting in even a gesture of act of returning good for evil, or  a  momentary laying down of a "tribal" pride would have been all that was needed to save all both sides from ruin.... yet each side, each character thinks the other should make the first move.

Unfortunately that move is never made, maybe it was an impossible choice (!?)....for there was no one to lead, to show by example...
...and this brings into stark relief the whole meaning of the incarnation:... though he bore no guilt for the sin that enslaved a whole race to the lies and deception of the evil one; and the blindness that kept us from finding  The Way back and wandering in darkness, in spite of our best efforts....the broken bonds, vertical and horizontal sealed our doom until one perfect sacrifice, of humility born out of Love that would bring Light to those who sat in Darkness....put the lost back in the "Way" that would lead to "Life".
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