Barbara Blackman Temenos Foundation lecture 2012
Film in service of the sacred
Barbara Blackman Temenos Foundation 16th annual lecture tour
John Swindells, Film in service of the sacred
John Swindells is a Launceston-based acclaimed writer, producer and director of documentary films and new media projects. Over a 20-year filmmaking career, he has documented the spiritual journey of an English Benedictine monk in India, the agriculture of Sioux Indians in South Dakota, New Age cult therapies in Africa and, in partnership with philosopher and ethicist, Peter Singer, the life and achievements of the animal rights activist Henry Spira.
Film is a sophisticated form of visual and oral storytelling. In the hands of masters of the craft, it can produce a highly immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. Swindells observes that although many filmmakers have tried to represent the sacred, few have truly succeeded. This lecture explores the potential of film to serve the sacred by focusing on examples such as Peter Weir’s Witness (1985) and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Gospel according to St Matthew (1964). Rather than simply enumerating films that tell spiritual stories, however, Swindells’ presentation will address how the spiritual can enter into stories of the everyday, infusing the film’s characters and spaces and inspiring the audience.
Image: Still from A Human Search: The Life of Father Bede Griffiths, dir: John Swindells, 1993
Sunday 25 November 2012, 11am
Duration 1 hour
Location: Domain Theatre