To watch the body of Abel Ferrara’s films, as I’ve tried my best to do over the last month and a half, is to see a man wrestling obsessively — sadomasochistically, even — with the Irrational. The stylized violence, the scenery-chewing performances, the gratuitous and exploitative female nudity — all are window dressing. What’s at stake here is nothing less than the very possibility of grace.
Varda, as much an essayist as filmmaker, explores gleaning as a hypertext of ideas: gleaning is an alternate economy; at times it’s a moral choice, at others a lamentable necessity; it’s both transgressive and communal; and, finally, it’s a metaphor for the artistic process itself.
Mar 9, 2006
The fine folks at the Arts and Faith discussion forum have cast their votes, crunched the numbers, and released their second annual list of the Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films. In honor of their fine work, I offer my own obvious and predictable Top 5 list.