jueves, julio 16, 2009

On Purgatory and Spiritual Exercises as a film script

One of the most effective and base tactics for conquering people's souls is the Catholic notion of purgatory, that strange place located between heaven and hell, which fascinated Dante Alighieri, as evidenced by his Divine Comedy, and Sandro Botticelli, whose cycle of artworks graphically illustrate the Comedy. Purgatory is where the imaginary orgies of martyrdom take place, souls purged step by step of their sins through suffering and penance, or -if they are not steadfast enough and fail these trials- they are sent to eternal damnation. Purgatory is an experience of the utmost limits, as purifying as numbers that are the gateway either to order or chaos. a highly dramatic place located between Earth, heaven, and hell, it is the most important and controversial locality in the Catholic faith. It is also eminently suitable for mise en scène, and Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises contain an abundance of stage directions. They are a doctrine of emotions. Translated into media techniques, they read like shooting script of a film:

Fifth Exercise: It is a meditation on Hell. It contains, after the Preparatory Prayer and two Preludes, five Points and one Colloquy... The first Prelude is the composition, which is here to see with the sight of the imagination the length, breadth, and depth of Hell... The second, to ask for what I want: it will be here to ask for interior sense of the pain which the damned suffer... The first Point will be to see with the sight of the imagination the great fires, and the souls as in bodies of fire. Second Point. The second, to hear with the ears of wailings, howlings, cries.... The third, to smell with the smell smoke, sulphur, dregs and putrid things.

- Siegfried Zielinski. "Deep Time of Media" Pág. 123.

God praise the great powers of imagination.

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