Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months—filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one—it has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light. One of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created, INTO GREAT SILENCE dissolves the border between screen and audience with a total immersion into the hush of monastic life. More meditation than documentary, it’s a rare, transformative theatrical experience for all.Don't adjust your volume, folks. These peeps are real quiet:
Saturday, March 5, 2011
There are films that require a certain amount of patience from their audience. When a film sets out to "embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one," it's asking for a lot more than just patience. Into Great Silence, screening at the MIA this Sunday at 2pm, sees documentarian Philip Groning living with the monks of Grande Chartreuse for six months, giving us all a rare glimpse into an other isolated world. The movie received a special jury prize at Sundance, and Rotten Tomatoes honored the picture with a "certified fresh" rating. What more do you need? Perhaps a description and a trailer?