Monday, April 09, 2018

A Quiet Place?

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I listened to an enjoyable CBC Radio Q interview the other day with John Krasinski. It turns out that John is regularly called Jim by those who can't get past his role on the dearly departed sitcom The Office. He was a Q guest to talk up his new film, a horror/family flick (huh?) called A Quiet Place. It has the poster subheading "if they hear you, they hunt you" Gulp! There are blind creatures out there in the post-apocalyptic world which hunt by sound. This family has survived through a stealth existence, making virtually no sounds, communicating with sign language and even playing padded board games. Emily Blunt plays the mom (Krasinki's real-life wife) and the deaf girl is actually deaf.
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I am the world's biggest movie wuss  and when I saw the trailer for this film a couple of months ago I immediately figured I wouldn't be seeing it --the rumour that I covered my eyes is false and defamatory. It is an intriguing concept though.

In the interview Krasinski admitted that he can't watch horror movies but the notion of being in a film with virtually no dialogue hooked him. He doesn't much like the noise of action films either, so the challenge of this story was a good fit. It's fascinating that reviewers note that when they've seen the film the theatres are so quiet that they could hear a popcorn kernel drop. Silence, and creepy monsters, beget silence.

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                                    Ghost Ranch New Mexico Casa del Sol

I've had experiences of silence, as many of you know. A week in the Silence House at Taize, the Christian community in France. Silent retreats with Anglican nuns and Cistercian monks. Relative solitude in the desert of New Mexico. Days of intentional silence at cottages. For the most part I reveled in the quiet, although there were moments when it was overwhelming.

I also know about enforced silence. While working as a chaplain intern years ago at Kingston Pen I was assigned to visit inmates in solitary confinement. This form of punishment drove some men mad, and there is an increasing call to ban solitary as a violation of human rights.

Oh yes, we've also spent limited time in sensory deprivation rooms at Nordic spas in Quebec, but again, that was our choice.

I wonder what deeper message we can explore in A Quiet Place. What do we learn in silence and solitude and how can a gift become a prison sentence? What are the omnipresent monsters of our noisy culture? Do we have a spiritual hearing impairment because the voice of God is being drowned out?

Maybe I should suck it up and see the film.

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Silence House Taize France

1 comment:

roger said...

Big fan of John Krasinski(and am definitely an Office junkie!), so for that reason alone, I'll probably see the movie. It sounds intriguing for sure.

My wife and I are looking forward to visiting Prince Edward County in the next few weeks, more specifically our land that we will be building on in a year. We go up every couple of weeks in the summer, and even though it is full of wild parsnip, poison ivy and other nasty growth, we absolutely love the peace and quiet. We'll stand and listen to the wind, the birds, the water - things we just never do at home. Then we decide to forgo the silence and visit the nearest winery, but that's another story!