Watched this on the flight. Am always interested in films about the intersection of England and India.
Watched this on the plane. Woody Allen at his most self-conscious.
Brilliantly executed exploration of the science-and-spirituality question — though the film’s storyline is definitely a servant to its discussion of an idea.
Specifically the idea is this: ‘the eye is the window to the soul’. So we have a protagonist who has been obsessed with eyes since he was a kid, who has spent his life taking high-definition pictures of them. He is now a biological research scientist attempting to explain every step in the evolution of the eye and thus destroy the claims of Intelligent Design advocates that the eye’s irreducible complexity points to a Creator. He then falls in love with a model with beautiful eyes at a party — but she leaves without telling him who she is. But the next day (which happens to be the 11th) he finds his shopping bill coming to $11 and 11 cents, and the receipt shows that the time is exactly 11:11 a.m. — and when he gets on the number 11 bus to head home, he is forced by a bothersome dog to get off at a random stop, where providentially he sees the eyes of his beloved on a billboard, thus enabling him to identify and find her. (Aside–I think the reason it is the number eleven, is because of the similarity between 1 and I. In the sense that “The ‘I’s are lining up for him”.) His beloved turns out to be of a mystical disposition, believing in reincarnation and suggesting that identical eyes could be a proof of the transmigration of the soul. When he and his lab partner make the breakthrough discovery of the gene that can activate sensitivity to light in otherwise-blind worms, she then draws out the analogy between a sight-less creature being unaware of the existence of light and a rationalistic unbeliever being unaware of the existence of the spiritual realm.
I won’t spell out the whole story of the film. Though having said that, the trailer already reveals eighty percent of the story-line, and as I said the point of the film is less its story than it giving some meat for you to chew on as you take some friends to a pub and discuss the compatibility of science and spirituality.
Final post-script: it’s interesting to see how India (where we will be in two days!) features as the contradiction to all self-assured scientific rationalism!
The Valley of the Lune at Kirkby is one of the loveliest scenes in England–therefore, in the world. Whatever moorland hill and sweet river, and English forest foliage can be at their best, is gathered there; and chiefly seen from the steep bank which falls to the stream side from the upper part of the town itself. There, a path leads from the churchyard out of which Turner made his drawing of the valley, along the brow of the wooded bank, to open downs beyon; a little bye footpath on the right descending steeply through the woods to a spring among the rocks of the shore. I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine, or a more priceless possession of true ‘Holy Land’.
(John Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, Letter 52)
We visited this on Monday. It’s worth commenting that Ruskin’s exaggeratedly optimistic opinion is offered primarily as context to a long rant about how the scene has been tarnished by his contemporaries.
Watched this fantastic, heart-rending, cinematic masterpiece with my family this evening. On our way to India on Tuesday.
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A. D How silently the purity the wondrous gift is given
A. D For love has made a way for us to come into your presence
A. You are the Bridegroom take us in your arms
D We refuse anything that hinders love…
F#m. E/G#. A It’s the joy of being love sick … The pleasures of loving you
Verse2: We plant our lives in the soil of your love And we watch them grow and bloom The aching longing to see you face to face To behold the stain of love our groom You said you would not share your glory With another one…..
Chorus2: We are not another… We are your beloved
Verse3: We are making ourselves ready – for the consummation Arrayed in fine linen clean and bright With the sound of intercession filling up the golden bowls We are bursting in your beauty and your might As the prayer room in heaven and on earth has come together And your reign of LOVE will rule the universe
Chorus: It’s the joy of being love sick … The pleasures of loving you Spread Your blanket of Love, come for the love sick ones, Let love flow now The Spirit and the Bride say come, come for the love sick ones, Let love flow now