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20 August 2007

"Blessed are the pure at heart for they shall see God."

In the Living Room, Toronto, ON, 20-Aug-07

"So close your eyes and dream."

Things I saw this evening:

The lives of others.

Earlier today, I'd read a post that SBP had written about The Exorcist, and I'd commented on how frightening I find that film to this day. I didn't imagine that I'd see an equally chilling film a few hours later, with such a similar theme.

SBP replied to my comment by remarking that "evil knowing no limits is effectively depicted" in The Exorcist, and I would argue that The Magdalene Sisters effectively depicts the evils that can result when faith knows no limits. I cannot deny that faith is important and necessary for so many; be warned, however, that faith without reason is a terribly blinding, dangerous path.

TRACK LISTING: Me'Shell NdegéOcello, "Mary Magdalene"

[NOTE: The image above is a still taken from Sex in a Cold Climate, one of the inspirations for The Magdalene Sisters.]


Simon Thibault said...

i love that film.

and then you find out the last laundry closed in the 80's.

the fucking 80's!!!!

there was a magdalene laundry on vancouver island if i remember correctly.

oddly enough, i was talking about this film on sunday night with a couple of friends.

serendipity baby.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Couldn't let it slip by without calling out for Joni Mitchell's "The Magdalene Laundries"...
Love that song.

Miss Imperial said...

Simon -- You spoke of the film on Sunday and I watched it on Monday...serendipity for sure.

But...wow. I can't believe there was a Magdalene laundry on Vancouver Island. Maybe I just don't want to believe it. Really, there was so much in this film that shocked me, that I thought couldn't possibly have happened. But the DVD of the movie includes Sex in a Cold Climate, so I had to believe. It still makes me depressed that the institution lasted so long. (I heard some were still operating in the mid-Nineties, but I am more than happy to correct that information to an Eighties cut-off date.)

The whole story was like a punch in the gut. I will remember the movie every time I think my life is hard.

CC -- Thank you. That JM song is so sad, even without the history of the laundries as context. Which, I suppose, is why JM is a revered songwriter. In retrospect, I probably should have used that track as accompaniment to the post!

SBP said...

I have to see The Magdalene Sisters, I have never heard of it until now. The road to hell is surely paved with good intentions.

Miss Imperial said...

>The road to hell is surely paved with good intentions.


It's funny -- The Magdalene Sisters seems so exaggerated at first, because it's difficult to believe things like this happened. I see how it might turn people off, not because they're put off by the violence or degradation, but because they see the film as a one-sided smear job. But these things did happen, borne out of good intentions like you mentioned, and it definitely deserves a viewing even if you don't end up agreeing with its ethos.

I don't think anyone can enjoy this film, though -- certainly not in terms of pleasure.