Friday, August 10, 2007


Monday's second movie: Luis Buñuel's parable of chaotic spiritual offence, Viridiana (1961).* The title character is a young woman poised to take her nunnery vows, but not before making a pilgrimage to the estate of the widower uncle responsible for subsidizing her catholic schooling. Her mother superior all but forces the reticent Viridiana out into the world this one last time, setting her along a path that will probe the fundament of her lifestyle. Whatever the uncle's initial reasons for petitioning the young woman's visit, he soon becomes irrevocably charmed by her resemblance to his late bride. He becomes unhinged: first begging Viridiana to wear the dead woman's wedding dress, then briefly proposing marriage before shame overtakes him and he recants. Finally, he goes so far as to drug the nun-to-be, stopping just short of rape as shame yet again corrects for his downward spiral. This does not stop him from telling Viridiana that he has, indeed, raped her; and when the convenient pattern of moral regret makes him almost immediately reveal the truth, that he has failed to do so, it is not altogether clear whether she believes him. When the cowardly nature of his prurience ultimately culminates in suicide, she is left with pity and grief and quite possibly the residue of his shame. She cannot imagine taking her vows now, so she decides to move into the dilapidated estate with an eye toward living a life of charity. To this end, she gathers up a motley band of the town's diseased homeless, and gives them shelter on the estate. Buñuel's movie moves toward chaos from here, as everything comes apart at the seams in a way that berates the uncritical application of virtue as well as indecency. Ultimately irreverently comic, harrowingly tragic, and quite moving. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

There is also interesting news today. Since I got to it late, there was no room left in today's post to squeeze it in. So here it is in the comments section: late this afternoon, a decorative section of concrete ceiling collapsed into the parking garage at Columbia Plaza, trapping several cars. Columbia Plaza is a State Department annex in Foggy Bottom, home to the offices where I got my recent physical as well as the Sizzex where I eat a salad once or twice a week. No one was hurt, but a sizable amount of concrete and steel beams did fall onto a row of parking spaces reserved for daycare access, and plenty of people were trapped behind the rubble until construction equipment arrived to dig them out. Here's the story online.

Friday, August 10, 2007 4:48:00 AM  
To which Blogger Ellie added:

Yikes. I am glad you are okay.
Bridges and parking decks collapsing, oh my!

Saturday, August 11, 2007 1:42:00 AM  

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