Posts Tagged ‘attention’

Beauty and Suffering

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

I learned today, via the UK’s Telegraph, that I share with newly-elected Pope Francis a favorite painting: Marc Chagall’s White Crucifixion. We also share an appreciation for the film, Babette’s Feast, his favorite, though I’d place Gabriel Axel’s masterpiece just behind Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line and Roland Joffe’s The Mission in my personal cinema trifecta. All of them stand at the intersection of beauty and suffering, and while Babette’s suffering – and that of her two patronesses – may be subtler than others, we nevertheless feel it through the medium of art.

Pope Francis and I may find meaning in these works for very different reasons, I don’t know. Perhaps one day, after the fuss, scrutiny, demands, and accusations now directed his way grow routine, if not necessarily manageable, he’ll share some thoughts on art and film. I, for one, am interested in the aesthetics of this highly educated son of an immigrant railway worker, a bishop from the global South who cast aside trappings of power for simplicity and solidarity with the poor. (more…)