Friday, September 16, 2005

MOST WANTED: Videos I Need For My Book

Updated Sep 17 2006: New or newly updated entries in purple

Here's a list (followed by some details) of movies I'm trying to track down for my book – to rent or borrow, or maybe even to buy for under twenty bucks Canadian. VHS, DVD, whatever. Anybody got any leads? Email me:

Angels Of The Streets (Bresson)
Bless You Prison
Blue In Green
Le Chambon
La Colline Aux Mille Enfants
The Confession (1920, USA, Bertram Bracken)
Diary Of A City Priest
The Displaced Person (1976, Glenn Jordan, TV)
Dog Nail Clipper
Elina: As If I Wasn’t Here (Finland, Klaus Haro)
Europa 51
The Eyes Of Asia (Portugal)
Faustina (Poland, 1995)
Forgiving Dr. Mengele
He Who Must Die / The Greek Passion (1957, Jules Dassin)
Heaven Over The Marshes
Hiding And Seeking
The Idiot (Kurosawa)
In Your Hands
Inside Out
Investigation Of A Flame
Jesus Christ Movie Star
The Jesus Trip
Lake Of Fire
Love In The Ruins
Man Dancin’
The Man Who Planted Trees
Mister Moses
The Navigator
Not Of This World
A Question Of Faith (Timothy J. Disney)
Resurrection (2001, Taviani)
The Seventh Room
Sister Helen
Son Of Man
Spiral Road
Tales From The Madhouse
The Trial of the Catonsville Nine


BLESS YOU PRISON (2002, Romania, Nicolae Mãrgineanu)
"Based on the memoir of Nicole Valéry-Grossu, this film is a convincing testimony of how she is overcome by faith in an extremely painful and hopeless situation."

LA COLLINE AUX MILLE ENFANTS (The Hill of the Thousand Children, AKA LE CHAMBON?, 1994, France, Jean-Louis Lorenzi)
"French TV dramatization of the story of Le Chambon—the French village that saved 5,000 Jewish children by hiding them from the Nazis. Le Chambon was inhabited by Huguenots, a people who knew about religious persecution from personal experience. Their pastor, Pastor Andre Trocine, led his people to do what was morally right. He wrote, “The duty of Christians is to resist the violence that will be brought to bear upon their conscience through the weapons of the spirit.” This drama focuses on the pastor and the choices made by the people of Le Chambon during this difficult time—a time which tested their courage and morality." (see also the documentary Weapons of the Spirit, which includes interviews with the citizens and survivors of Le Chambon.)

THE CONFESSION (1920, USA, Bertram Bracken)
A priest hears a killer's confession and must protect the oath of confidentiality, even as his own brother is being convicted of the murder.

Set in one of Philadelphia's toughest neighbourhoods, Father John MacNamee is faced with gangs, poverty, drugs, and an often pervasive feeling of hopelessness. "David Morse conveys Father Mac's weary yet resolute faith, creating a moving, inspiring portrait of a spiritual man who struggles with translating his faith into action every day." From the book. Sundance Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival.

THE DISPLACED PERSON (1976, Glenn Jordan, TV, 58 min)
Horton Foote screenplay, Flannery O'Connor short story about a conscientious but driven Polish refugee who disrupts the heirarchy of power on a Georgia farm in the 1940s. John Houseman plays "an otherworldly priest."

ELINA: AS IF I WASN'T HERE (Finland, Klaus Härö)
"The film's 9-year-old protagonist, Elina, lives with her mother and sister in the countryside, withdrawn into her own private world. She only shares her emotions with her dead father, whom she believes still lives in a misty marshland. At school, Elina rebels against a taciturn teacher who tries to force the children to speak Swedish. Härö makes no "adult” distinctions between the spiritual and the secular in this visually rich film. Children's film of the year: Berlin 2003 Crystal Bear, Young People's Jury; Montreal film festival. (ET)

"Rossellini's major statement on postwar materialism and the sort of Christianity that is so radically called to social justice and renewal that it becomes a threat to middle class notions of the status quo and even sanity. Another major work, starring Ingrid Bergman." (*DC)

THE EYES OF ASIA (Portugal, Joao Mario Grilo)
"17th century Japan. The story of Julian of Nakaura, a Japanese Jesuit priest who was tortured to death for refusing to renounce his faith. Grilo mixes the historical narrative with a modern "story" in which a European (Geraldine Chaplin) visits Nagasaki and learns the story of Julian's martyrdom from the priests who keep his memory alive." PTC

FAUSTINA (Poland, 1995)
"Gorgeously photographed, hauntingly scored, beautifully directed and acted, that offers a deeply spiritual portrait of Sr. Faustina.... On first viewing, my impression is that Faustina belongs on a very short list of deeply spiritual portraits of faith and religion, alongside such films as Alain Cavalier's Therese, Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest, and Cloche's Monsieur Vincent." SDG

HE WHO MUST DIE (1957, Jules Dassin)
From Nikos Kazantzakis' novel The Greek Passion.

"Several times in THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS Rémy thinks back and obsesses over an actress that he lusted after in one of his favorite films, Augusto Genina’s Heaven Over the Marshes.... a film in which the main character is a fourteen year-old girl who instead of enjoying "the pleasures of sin for a season" resists the sexual advances of a desirous farmhand. It's a film Bazin called "a rarity; a good Catholic film." Yet Rémy obsesses over and reflects on this spiritual film and seems to miss any of the noble themes in it, only concentrating on what he has focused on for the duration of his entire life -- hedonism." stef


INSIDE OUT (South Africa, 1998)
"South African comedian Gilda Blacher stars as Hazel Levin, a young Jewish actress from Johannesburg stranded in a small Karoo town when her car breaks down. Recognized from a TV commercial, Hazel finds herself invited to direct the town's nativity play. She must deal with some openly antagonistic townsfolk - not only because she's Jewish, but also because of her attempts to involve the black community in the production. Inside Out is a gentle, romantic tale of love, tolerance, tragedy and triumph that explores, often with hilarious results, the changing face of South Africa."
(Not the one that goes "Jimmy Morgan is a middle-aged man with expensive tastes, a fondness for call girls, an addiction to gambling... and agoraphobia." Also definitely not the porn series.)

Doc about Jesus movies.

Scott Derrickson short (35 min) from Walker Percy novel. Student film, undistributed.

Fairly recent Norman Stone feature about an ex-con who gets involved in a Passion Play

Robert Mitchum

A nun and a laundromat owner find this baby... (to buy)

A QUESTION OF FAITH (Timothy J. Disney)
"In the heart of California wine country lies a monastery where centuries-old traditions of ritual, discipline and solitude create a timeless serenity--until a member of the order experiences a miraculous encounter with implications that are both stunning and uplifting. As the community struggles with the ramifications, long-buried conflicts begin to surface and the Brothers are forced to grapple with the fundamental tension between faith and reason."

RESURRECTION (Italy/France/Germany, 2001, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani)
From Tolstoy's novel. "Made for the small screen, this three-hour version is just long enough to faithfully cover the book’s events and probe its moral and spiritual dimensions, which have been constant themes of the director-brothers’ work” (Deborah Young, Variety)

Edith Stein movie

Crazy-revolutionary Jesus. Script by Dennis Potter.

Missionaries, lepers, Rock Hudson.

Got myself a PAL copy. Now I just need to find a way to play the thing: or even better, to dub it onto dvd without spending $30 for the service. Anybody?...
Eight 15-minute monologues inside a crumbling Victorian sanatorium, characters who met and missed Jesus. One script by Murray Watts, one directed by Norman Stone, one starring Clair Bloom, one Jonaythan Pryce, etc.