CINEMADVENT: RUSSIAN ARK

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And now, a little experiment in iconography.  I’m suggesting a film every couple of days of the Advent season in my tradition, and everyone’s welcome.  The point is invitation – not annunciation or validation – but invitation to consider something more than usual in this period in the year, the one where some bearers of the divine image choose to complain of persecution because other bearers of the same image have decided to respect human diversity, the one where people tear their family gatherings apart so they can run down to a large metal box to push past other people wrecking their family gatherings and buy smaller metal boxes, the one where we may devote more time to arguing about ‘the true meaning of Christmas’ than we do experiencing the meaning of anything…Yeah, that one.

It’s a little experiment, like I said, and a small act of resistance, and something I hope you’ll join me in.  I’ll tweet the films I’m watching each day, and be glad to be in conversation about them.

Today it’s RUSSIAN ARK – in which a floating camera takes us into the past, and questions are posed, and the great art on the walls, and the great art OF the walls, of the Hermitage are opened up like no curated space before.  The whole film is an invitation to think about the creation that every act of human decision is.  Advent, for me, is an invitation to reconsider the miraculous offering that each day is – RUSSIAN ARK takes 99 minutes to evoke a world entire – three centuries of Russia’s past that are like reverse-chronology echoes of the tragic future; when I’m watching, I’m reminded that every single day contains exactly enough time in each day to create, or to diminish the human.

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