Thursday, September 19, 2013
A Trip to the Cinema
My parishioners have been very kind to me lately, to cheer me up a bit I was taken to the cinema to see La Grande Bellezza, it has had rave reviews, it is beautifully filmed in Rome. I think they might have thought it was travelogue - it wasn't. I stayed for about 15 minutes and then left. It was decadent, hedonistic, self referential etc, etc. It wasn't really the type of film a priest should see, even one who is well acquainted with the more unpleasant side of life here Brighton and its casualties.
It was obviously a critique of the state that Italian and in particular Roman culture has been brought to by men like Berlusconi, in fact I suppose it could have been set in any major European city but it was so obviously an Italian film and about a particular echelon of artistic literary society. What was interesting was that it was obviously a critique not a celebration of that culture.
In a way it explains the Francis effect. In Italy the Berlusconi years are being seen as the vacuous, debauched time they were, maybe even by those who once attended his parties. Francis coming to the Roman Cathedra at the end of the Berlusconi era was opportune, there is hunger for a more serious attitude to life, for spiritual rather than material values. The problem is the Italians do like big, popular men - for a time.
The search for new values and maybe looking at least in part to the Church for those seemed to mark the French Manif Pour Tous movement. I can't yet see an equivalent in the UK
Posted by Fr Ray Blake