Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Desperate Search: On the Shelf

                                                                                                               Part VIII
Argentinian film, The Secret in Their Eyes, winner of 2009's Academy Award for best foreign film, is a masterstroke of excellence.  It is, simply put, wonderful.

It is such a wonderful film that I don't want to talk about it.  Not a word concerning it's movements.  Not even an acknowledgment of its specific instances of genius and craft.  Not a word.

I watched this film on Saturday night.  It is now Tuesday night.  I am not currently watching the film.  It ended three nights ago.  It's only two hours long.  I say this to make it clear that it is now over.  I am no longer experiencing it directly.  For me now, the film survives, in this very moment, as only a memory.  

Let's say for the sake of argument that we all get together and agree that Juan Jose Campenella's The Secret in Their Eyes is a bonafide masterpiece.  Let's say we put it up on the shelf right between Citizen Kane and Lawrence of Arabia.  

What do we do with that?

...that is to say, what are we left with after we encounter such affecting art?  

I'm now laboring to launch a website with a group of contributors who will mine this question.  Together we will look at beauty... really look at it.  There, we will acknowledge that all beauty must, by necessity, be good and true.  And whatever is good and true surely has its inception from the very character of God.  So then, the website will amount to nothing less than the search for the mind of God.  

Perhaps this sounds philosophically indulgent or over-analytical.  It is not.  I watch many movies.  I experience much.  I cannot allow myself any longer to simply intake without an appropriate understanding of what I've just intaken (intook?).

Break it down:
1) You have your life.
1) You take time out of your life to watch a movie.
2) You categorize said movie as 'great'.
3) Your life continues onward.

Great cannot remain wholly in some obscure moment.  God is great.  We don't just leave it at that.  God is great and we worship Him.  Note: I am not advocating the worship of art itself.  Great things have a purpose and a usefulness.  Great things have power.  Therefore, in acknowledging the greatness of The Secret in Their Eyes, I must recognize its power.  What is that power exactly?  Well, that's the trick of it.  We don't readily have the tools available to know how to let great things affect us.

I am not great.  I am quite small.  And I am sinful.  Fortunately, I have a great advocate on my side in the blood of Jesus from Galilee.  He shows me greatness because he is greatness incarnate.  
He is perfection.

Because we have this awesome tutor, this Christ, we have a blueprint for understanding greatness, and what powers lie within it.  

With this understanding, we may become equipped to pinpoint beauty.  From the instant we pinpoint beauty, we may begin to describe it and further bind ourselves to its essence.  We may become intimate with this truth.  We do all this with a view to an administration of seeing God as He is.  Because 
God is Beauty.  

Get it?


  1. For thoughtful insight and provoking-bloggable quotes on art and beauty see aesthetic philosopher Calvin Seerveld. (My favorite of his books is "Rainbows for a Fallen World").

  2. It appears I have a movie to watch...