Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 14 February 2015

There's dragons, and then there's DRAGONS

But where is the "there" that the dragons be?
Himself had to go to the library yesterday in search of an older, longish PBS serial that is being re-broadcast at too slow a pace for those of us becoming accustomed to entertainment on demand, and while there we borrowed another movie.
It had the intriguing title of There Be Dragons.
Historical dramas appeal to Himself, and I was slightly curious about St Josemaria Escriva, of whom I had never heard until his canonization.
Several times recently I have come across a devotional reflection or a quote that spoke to me and absent-mindedly noted, Oh, St Josemaria Escriva, hmmm... now what's for lunch?
(Yeah, that's pretty much how my mind works.)
My only thoughts of Opus Dei had been, Oh, there was a spy or two, I think... is there any cheese in the refrigerator?  until that ludicrous Done Brown book and its even more foolish movie adaptation.
When a rite or a person or an organization is the target of irrational hatred and blatant lies, I am always inclined to think better of it, so I certainly didn't  have a bad opinion of either the man or his movement, but I hadn't thought enough about him or it to have a good one, either.

Anyway, found the movie engaging, even more so after watching the 'deleted scenes' --  after almost every dvd I watch, I'm finding myself shaking my head at the stupidity of the studio/editor/director, WHY was thus-and-such left out, it would have explained.... I wonder where those cashews are...and of course, sometimes a few extra seconds make, or would have made, the movie SHORTER.
I think as gorgeous and sweeping as it was, as compelling as most of the acting was, and as profound as the questions it asked were even if taken as fiction, it would have played better if it had been unapologetically epic.
Was it fiction? I didn't know, I don't know.
Got pretty bad reviews, but as Himself said, can a film about religious faith that treats its subject without irony possibly please the average citric?
Maybe, but I see his point.
But just doing a little surfing, background, etc., came across this, a thing in a Jesuit magazine that borders on a hit piece:
According to [other priests on campus], an Opus Dei priest...presented himself to the campus ministry group, which welcomed his offer to assist with chaplaincy duties. Soon after beginning his work, [the Opus Dei priest] presented to the other chaplains a list of the number of communions he had distributed and the number of confessions he had heard—as an objective way of measuring whether a priest was doing his job. Said one of the ex-chaplains, “He came to the rest of us and said, ‘I don’t think the chaplaincy program is doing this work. You should be doing what I’m doing’.”
Later, [he] began interviewing all entering Catholic freshmen, over the objections of some of the staff. It was at this time that the problems began. According to[the other priests, he] asked questions about students’ sexual practices, among other things, and about their parents’ religious activities. In addition: “Some of the students claimed he coerced them into having the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession, as he called it. He would say, ‘You really need to go to confession. The chapel’s right around the corner and I’m available now.’
 Oh no! Confession!!!!!!!!!! ("as he called it"... too funny coming from another priest!) Encouragement of reception of the Sacraments!!!!! Questions to initiate an examination of conscience!!!!!!!

As I said, I am often drawn to ideas or people that elicit criticism of a certain type...
I believe I have 999 things to read.
Don't say: 'That's the way I'm made... it's my character'. It's your lack of character: Be a man.
There Be Dragons (2011) Poster

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