When not working on and writing articles for Opus, I spend a great deal of my time online frequenting the Arts and Faith forums. Probably my favorite online community, the forum — as it name suggests — uses dicussion to try and find the intersections between Christianity and art, be it music, literature, or, of course, cinema.
Out of these often passionate discussions emerges a list of the “Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films” as voted on by the forums’ members. The list for 2005 has just be released, and it’s quite a diverse work, embracing not only Tarkovsky, Kieslowski, and Bresson but also Lynch, Spielberg, Kubrick, and Gondry.
I haven’t seen all of the films on the list, but it certainly gives me some good ideas the next time I revisit my Netflix queue or hit up Blockbuster. And I definitely look forward to starting new discussions as I and my friends make our way through these works, either on our own or as part of Zion’s movie discussion group.
M. Leary makes some wonderful observations concerning the new list over at The Matthew’s House Project. And he begins the article with a powerful quote from Andrei Tarkovsky, which I’ll reprint here, since it jives quite nicely with a study that my church group has just begun:
“Art affirms all that is best in man — hope, faith, love, beauty, prayer… What he dreams of and what he hopes for… When someone who doesn’t know how to swim is thrown into water, instinct tells his body what movements will save him. The artist, too, is driven by a kind of instinct, and his work furthers man’s search for what is eternal, transcendent, divine — often in spite of the sinfulness of the poet himself.” — A. Tarkovsky (Sculpting in Culture)