Simon of the Desert – A 1964 classic by Luis Bunuel

Pentru a vizualiza subtitrarea in limba engleza bifati casuta ”CC”.

Simon of the Desert (Spanish: Simón del desierto) is a 1965 film directed by Luis Buñuel. It is loosely based on the story of the ascetic 5th-century Syrian saint Simeon Stylites, who lived for 39 years on top of a column.

Simón, the son of Simeon Stylites, has lived for 6 years, 6 weeks and 6 days atop an eight-meter pillar in the middle of the desert, praying for spiritual purification. A congregation of priests and peasants salute him and offer him a brand new pillar to stand on and carry on his mission. He comes down the pillar and is offered priesthood, but refuses because he considers himself unworthy, and forsakes his aging mother for the love of God before climbing up his new pillar. He heals an amputee missing both hands, whose first use of them is to slap his child. But the congregation quickly departs unimpressed, leaving Simón alone.

Time goes by and Simón meets a number of regular characters – a handsome priest whom he condemns on grounds of vanity, a dwarf herder and his mother, who comes to live close to him but remains neglected of attention. A woman (Silvia Pinal), Satan, visits him three times: first as an innocent girl chanting curses in Latin, second disguised as Jesus Christ. She constantly tries to make Simón give up his task and climb down the pillar, but he refuses every time. She even possesses one of the priests that visit him, who is consequently exorcised by the priests.

The third time, a coffin trails across the desert and finally stops next to the pillar. It opens up to reveal Satan, clad in a toga, who at last climbs up the pillar and vanishes with Simón for good. In an anachronistic turn, the couple find themselves sitting inside a crowded, jumping 1960s nightclub with a live instrumental rock band on stage. Satan tells Simón that the song the ’60s hipsters are dancing to is called „Radioactive Flesh.” Simón protests about wanting to go home, but Satan says he cannot.

Simeon Stalpnicul este adesea motiv de glume si ironii din partea celor care nu au habar de traditia si istoria Bisericii si de resorturile din spatele evolutiilor spirituale ale Bisericii in diferitele contexte si provocari ale timpurilor. Misticii crestinismului antic merita o reevaluare si reconsiderare a aportului adus accentuarii unui anumit raspuns la provocarile societatii … crestine. Stalpnicul poate fi vazut in acest context ca un veghetor si o voce ce sa ridica impotriva acomodarii Bisericii la spiritul si metodele lumii. ”Mijlocirea”  sa si cautarea sfinteniei, chiar si intr-un mod mai neobisnuit, par ecouri ale lui Hur si Aron sustinand mainile lui Moise pentru ca bataliile Domnului sa fie castigate ,sau, alt ecou , al oamenilor lui Dumnezeu obisnuiti cu pustia,oameni din tagma proorocului Ilie sau a replicii sale nou-testamentale, Botezatorul, pentru care partasia cu Dumnezeu eclipseaza orice placeri sau nevoi ”legitime”.

Filmul este unul filosofico-psihologic ,deci nu de vazut mancand seminte, iar finalul este genial: Simon este ”teleportat” de diavol din secolul lui in New York-ul anilor 1960 unde se danseaza rock cu miscari de posedati de diavol. La intrebarea lui Simon: cum se numeste dansul, diavolul raspunde: ”carne radioactiva. Este ultimul dans. Sfarsitul lui”… Genial, Simon raspunde : ”E vechi.” Diavolul se-nfurie si se rasteste: ”Ba e modern!” Exceptionala redarea artistica a ideii ca nu e nimic nou sub soare, nici macar in ispitele ”moderne” ale diavolului. ”Dansul” e vechi, oricat de modern ar vrea diavolul sa ne faca sa-l credem…

Filmul este din plin presarat cu perle de intelepciune. La intrebarea unui calugar: ”poate folosi ceva penitenta unui om?” Simon raspunde ferm: ”nu te inteleg; vorbim limbi diferite”. Magistrala replica! De asemeni este superb surprinsa scena minunii care este cat se poate de naturala si este perceputa de popor ca un eveniment deloc surprinzator,firesc, atata timp cat Dumnezeu se indura…

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