Wednesday, April 07, 2010

All is not darkness . . .

(Image from Wikipedia)

A review by Steven D. Greydanus of The Secret of Kells in Christianity Today gives very high marks to this animated film about a twelve-year-old orphan named Brendan who lives in the ninth century in an Irish monastery where he is being educated by his uncle, Abbot Cellach, as a manuscript illuminator who wishes to complete the stunningly beautiful Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels -- and those high marks are awarded despite the film's perceived theological shortcomings, in Greydanus's view:
It must be admitted that The Secret of Kells somewhat short-changes Brendan's Christian world in relation to Ireland's lingering paganism. The Faerie world is matter-of-factly depicted as living, magical and powerful; Christianity is mundane and limited. In the Irish countryside Brendan encounters spirits both charming and terrifying (Aisling the fairy, the bloodthirsty dark god Crom Cruach) -- but he sees nothing to evoke the extravagant miracles of the saints that are equally a part of Irish lore. The film teases us with the alleged powers of the Book -- said to have the power to blind sinners who gaze upon it -- but when this is put to the ultimate test, it is the sinner, not the book, that has the upper hand.
Putting such Catholic scruples aside, Greydanus otherwise praises the film, noting that this "animated indie weds the design sensibilities of traditional Insular art with the stylized simplicity of such contemporary retro animation as 'Samurai Jack'," as can be readily seen for yourself by clicking on the "Trailer" at the film's website.

I suppose that I shouldn't say more since I haven't seen the film, but this looks like one for the whole family, so I'll be keeping an eye out for the DVD so that my wife and I can watch it at home with our two kids.

Perhaps it'll inspire En-Uk to produce more art . . .

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At 12:14 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...


In a past life I was a Keltic Christian monk.

Well, actually it was in this life.

Several years ago I was a volunteer here:

The Iona Community

I lived and worked here.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Interesting. So . . . that explains the English connection.

Back in the late seventies, I did volunteer work in Mexia, Texas with SCMR.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:42 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Well, in part. On earlier expeditions to Albion I was one with the mystical garden-folk of Findhorn, and then joined Tibetan Buddhists for intensive training in a gothic revival mansion in the Lake District (hours and hours and hours and hours of dreary chanting--my mind is too active for that stuff!) Later, however, I settled in with the Anglicans and got my head screwed on right, thank goodness. Haven't looked back sense. ;-)

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I had wondered if you were a Findhorn sort . . . but I suppose that you were simply traversing the Second Ether.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:42 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...


At 3:10 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

As for myself, I was first etherized upon a table . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:05 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...



At 3:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

So did I . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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