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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "God did not make me in vain"
"I was created to carry out a plan for which no-one else was created.
I occupy a place in the eyes of God - in God's world - that no-one else occupies.
It doesn't matter if I am rich, poor, admired or scorned by other men. God knows me & calls me by my name.
He has entrusted me with a task given to no-one else. I have a mission & in some way, I am necessary...
Published on 13 April 2010 by Sam Woodward

versus
14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire, malicious, and tedious
Somehow this tedious film manages to miss the entire point of the testing novitiate (nothing every said about what religious order it is supposed to be, but think Jesuits), in that the sweetness of heart-felt religious committment is absent. Instead you get a truly claustrophobic and ever so slightly creepy movie centred around one long corridor, peopled by unlikeable...
Published on 3 Dec 2010 by N. Black


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "God did not make me in vain", 13 April 2010
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
"I was created to carry out a plan for which no-one else was created.
I occupy a place in the eyes of God - in God's world - that no-one else occupies.
It doesn't matter if I am rich, poor, admired or scorned by other men. God knows me & calls me by my name.
He has entrusted me with a task given to no-one else. I have a mission & in some way, I am necessary in His plan.
God did not make me in vain."

An alienated, intelligent, intense young man tires of the sheer superficial pointlessness of modern society & enters a monastery to train as a priest. But in contemplating the silence, he is soon questioning his superiors, being viewed with suspicion by his fellow novitiates & confronting his own doubts about God & his own identity.

To convey all this with sparse dialogue is an awesome task, one which director Saverio Costanzo rises to with an aplomb fashioned of depth & maturity. He has created a subtle piece with striking visuals & simple yet atmospheric music, often consisting of single notes of a piano. Like the routine of the monastic setting, it meanders at a contemplative pace yet never misses a step. Many would no doubt find this tedious but for those like myself who don't mind leisurely, atmospheric cinema, it has a charismatic charm comparable to the one worked by the monastic documentary Into Great Silence.

This is a touching & subtle work with much to contemplate, regardless of your religious beliefs; insofar as it is relevant, I am not a Christian but was nevertheless touched by this film & the depth of this religion. Despite - or rather, perhaps because of - its sparsity of dialogue & action, this is a touching, visually striking film with a powerful message which cuts to the heart of what it is to be human.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silence speaks volumes, 18 May 2010
By 
V. Bushnell "Blackwater" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
I initially came accross this film when it was shown as part of BBC4's international film series on Sunday evenings. I was gripped by the skill in which so much emotion and feelings were conveyed with little or no dialogue. I am looking forward to seeing the film again as I am sure each viewing will deliver more insight.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Homily on the big screen: A movie to reflect on the human condition, 17 Dec 2010
By 
Mr T Niwa (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
My wife and I watched this movie last night and after some post-watching discussion I have come to realise that I actually like the movie for its reflective potential. As noted by other reviewers there is very little dialogue in this movie and I must say that there is very little interaction between characters as well. The movie is not a 'movie' in the traditional sense and if you expect something with an 'orderly' plot with a nice beginning, middle and end...then this movie is definitely not for you. If however you want to watch something that helps you to reflect on your religious convictions or your place in the world, then I think this movie might be for you. The strength of this movie, I believe, is in its indirect 'story-telling' and the aloofness of the characters. Bereft of a 'proper' plot I think the movie-makers aim to urge watchers to become active, independent thinkers when reflecting on their place in the world rather than passive movie-watchers, who would rather watch a nice movie without being personally challenged. In essence, I see this movie as a religious homily turned into a movie aimed to get its watchers reflecting on their own humanity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave enough to doubt., 5 Nov 2011
By 
Ms. C. C. Dobson "Claire in Lndn" (England Britian) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
"In Memory Of Me" is a powerful film, not least because it is not carried by constant action or dialogue; it's a film regardless of people's religious and spiritual inclinations, that takes the viewer through the main character's sense of interioral struggles and conquests. Many people wonder about and question the meaning of life and their own direction and goals today, and struggle with a myriad of questions, it's part of the 'thinking persons journey'.

Though this film is following a young man who enters a monastry to train as a priest; the same observations and conflicts occur in ordinary life at times, people react to others and their circumstances, and many of us, though not entering religious life, will recognise that inter-relationships and reactions that can be really unsettling. Often when dealing with others we grapple with what is reflected back to us by their reaction to us or our attitudes, often not realising our attitude is felt by others as much as our actions.
At one point quietly and without malice, each priest simply tells the novice one simple sentence about how a particular facet of his character strikes them. As the environment is that of a trappist rule, no talking about it. It is startling to watch this scene. One flinches with the simplicity of the statements made about the novice, as indeed he does. There is no discussion just one pronouncement by various priests, no answering back. So we see a person judged merely in terms of their way of being in the world and how it makes others feel. A paring down of all the baggage and excuses people make for their behaviour usually is completely absent. This telling scene is worth the entire film and very insightful. It isn't done to control or hurt, it is done to help, so that the novice can get a grip on the mechanics of true humility.

The different perspective of psychology in this film is so refreshing; as it is about a young seminarian, it is taken for granted in the environment of trappist priest rule, that the character *has to look very deeply* at his own feelings and reactions; whereas in civvie street, well we can react how we want or runnaway or find a displacement activity or simply justify our reactions to ourselves and others. Usually addressing situations by citing things outside inner selves.
Not so, for the young seminarian, he cannot distract himself from facing himself and therefore has to deal with himself and his thoughts and searing doubts and those around him. It's a tough call for anyone and takes courage not to quit, as he nearly does at several points in the film.

It is visually a beautiful film utilising light and shadow and becomes a reflective experience for the viewer ... it is uplifting and by the ending, the viewer is left wondering, after the character's intense journy, will he leave? All that pain and perhaps he is left with doubts and nothing else?
Wonderful editing confirms that he stays, he accepts himself and found he could love selflessly. This conclusion is presented with shots of the exterior of the monastry, the viewer still wondering if he has left, then a shot of his face extends out he is closing the doors of the monastry, with relief you realise he is inside at peace and smiles that smile of 'yes' I know who I am and I am in the right place as he closes the doors. Wonderful film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 14 April 2014
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
This Dvd can be a little difficult to totally comprehend and not to be watched if you have an idealised view of' Call and service' but it raises some very important issues and ends well. Battle of Good over evil and defeat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Film, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film on BBC Four when I stumbled on it one night and as it was a silent film with subtitles I thought, what is this and sat on the edge of the bed. 40 minutes later I thought I had better make myself more comfortable. What a lovely film which keeps you thinking throughout and routing for the hero of the film. After watching this I raved about it for weeks to friends so I by accident stumbled on it on Amazon and thought, why not, treat myself. I did and I've watched it again and shared it with friends too. Everyone I know says what a thought provoking film it is - leaves you thinking about it for a long time afterwards. For the cost, it is a great purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars In the end we are left with the mystery!, 15 Dec 2012
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A ponderous journey to faith.. The eternal question, " Why did God adopt human frame, and submit to the barbaries of mankind?"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Three Men on an Island, 9 Nov 2012
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this movie at the cinema and decided to buy the DVD so that I could watch it again. I am not a formal religious person, and this is not a formal religious film.

Andrea is a young man with unspecified issues apart from a general malaise about society. He seeks a new life through testing himself at a seminary on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice to see if he should enter the priesthood. Is he up to it, especially when he is surrounded by other young men with their own issues too?

And then, in the middle of the night, Andrea hears a quiet tapping at the door of his neighbouring cell, occupied by Fausto (note the name). And what is going on in the room at the end of the corridor that fascinates Fausto so? Later, a conflict arises between Andrea with his clinical interpretation of the gospel and another novice called Zanna whose view is diametrically opposed to Andrea's. Zanna laments, "The silence of this church is empty."

There is no joy, no laughter in this film. Rather, it is full of an air of foreboding with plenty of quiet stares, surreptitious glances, and lack of eye-contact between the novices. There are long sections of the film without any spoken dialogue, but plenty of communication in other ways.

Disorientation and a sense of paranoia are also present, and I felt also a repressed homo-eroticism pervading the narrative. Because there is no certainty in the characterisation; because questions are never answered; because the truth is never made manifest, the film has a subtle amorphous quality akin to some of the middle and later works of Tarkovsky: Hollywood would never think of remaking this film for the American market.

There is much contrast made between the inner quiet and ostensible tranquillity of the seminary with the life of the outside world: huge cruise liners are seen passing the windows at the end of the corridor with only an ominous hum to mark their passing in sound, whilst later the night is disturbed on the island by the sudden appearance of fireworks over the city.

Imaginatively filmed - each shot of the grand but plain corridor is never the same in terms of lighting and framing - this film is also superbly acted, especially given that so much is communicated by gesture, the stance of the body or the look of the eye. German actor Andre Hennicke is particularly convincing, particularly so as he is not a natural speaker of Italian. There is an interesting choice of music too: a Strauss polka and the slow movement from Tchaikovsky's piano concerto recur, and - of course - there's a short extract of Mahler's adagietto from the Fifth Symphony, as well as some Arvo Part.

There are a couple of good extras on my DVD. Firstly, there is a forty-five minute documentary called `Men of God', a `making of' feature with the director and actors. Here, we see scenes not in the film of the main protagonists making their way to the seminary. We also learn that they all underwent a period together in a spiritual retreat prior to filming, using Ignatius Loyola's spiritual exercises as a guide. Secondly, there is a twenty-five minute interview in English with the young Italian director. This talk is wide-ranging and has much of interest: I found what the director had to say strangely compelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will suit those who like being thoughtful, 4 Aug 2014
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This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
Will suit those who like being thoughtful. Lovely setting, gently moving and communicates an inner growing awareness of spiritual peace and growth.
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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire, malicious, and tedious, 3 Dec 2010
This review is from: In Memory Of Me [DVD] (DVD)
Somehow this tedious film manages to miss the entire point of the testing novitiate (nothing every said about what religious order it is supposed to be, but think Jesuits), in that the sweetness of heart-felt religious committment is absent. Instead you get a truly claustrophobic and ever so slightly creepy movie centred around one long corridor, peopled by unlikeable frosty characters and a leading man who may or may not be gay.

The end of the movie is completely at odds with all that has gone before it. Moving? Memorable? No. Just a rather smug production that manages to present religious profession as something like joining the Nazi party. A movie without a single smile. A movie without heart. A movie with a subtle undertone of malice. And this is about Christian Catholic committment? Stay away from this. Long lingering shots of a corridor by day or night do not a beautiful movie make.
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In Memory Of Me [DVD]
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