Monday, July 9, 2007

I Finally Saw Babette's Feast ... Again

Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best.
This will gladden the hearts of all those who have been urging me to do so upon hearing that I saw it long ago, as a callow youth, and simply was bored.

The couple hosting Movie Night chose it which added to a nice theme that had been running through my books and movies lately, what with Ratatouille and Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant taking up a lot of my attention. Also, I was happy they chose it because I knew that left to my own devices I never would have done it. I simply didn't have the impetus.

The only problem that I saw was we watched it with the English dubbing on (not my choice but a very valid one, of course) and none of the songs were dubbed. That is understandable, however, none of the songs (and none of the French dialogue) were captioned ... what the heck were they thinking? This was frustrating because with all the obvious symbolism floating everywhere you just knew those omnipresent songs had to add emphasis and contrast. I found a spot linking to one with many of the lyrics and, natch, that is just what they were doing so I felt as if we were half blind for those sections of the movie. Be that as it may there was plenty to discuss without song lyrics.

The link above has many links to interesting essays about symbolism, recipes, and more about the movie so I will spare everyone that. I liked it but felt it never would be one of my favorite movies.

However, at Sunday Mass by myself (our family's schedule being what it was that day) I had a most unexpected reaction. It was nothing that my mind could even capture in sentences but throughout the entire Mass I had unexpected flashes of the big picture message about God's unexpected and overflowing generosity and Jesus' complete self-sacrifice. This hit me hard, especially with a few family things going on right now. It was most overwhelming, resulting in several extremely cryative moments (cryative - Rose's word which combines crying and sensitive). My own family is used to this sort of thing and I don't even try to fight it anymore. However, I had to laugh since one of Rose's good friends was a lector and sitting right where she had a really good view of me. I glanced up after one of the most affecting moments and thought I saw a look of alarm on her face. This was the good kind of crying through ...

As I say, I don't know if this will ever be a favorite movie but undoubtedly I will watch it again, especially during Lent when I could see it being a very good contemplative jumping off point.

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