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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul food for movielovers, 15 Dec. 2003
This review is from: How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints inCulturally Significant Films (Paperback)
If you've ever emerged awed and blinking from a film with a feeling that life is not quite the same as when you went in, you'll love this book. In a hyperactive world, argues Belfast-based writer Gareth Higgins, going to the flicks is one of the few contemplative rituals we have left.
Contrary to a couple of somewhat clenched reviews on this site, it makes no claim to be a definitive guide to the spiritual content to films. This is not "God's Favourite Movies: Ten Vetted Film Nuggets to Save You From Doubt". Instead Higgins offers us his own subjective and bracingly candid meander through themes such as death, community, fear, conspiracy, power and love, drawing on diverse cinematic offerings ranging from "Amores Perros" to "The Wizard of Oz".
Written in witty, conversational style but without sacrificing intellectual rigour, it also has a beguiling vulnerability. Higgins shares his life as well as his love of movies, and the result is often as moving as it is illuminating.
Evidently a man who has been bruised as much as blessed by his Christian religious heritage and unafraid to say so, he refuses to be thrown off the scent of the great Director at work in the universe. The result is part filmography, part memoir, part meditation - an engaging and uplifting meander through one man's love affair with life both on and off the silver screen.
Borrowing a habit from Woody Allen in "Manhattan", Higgins ends the book with a list of the everyday miracles that make him grateful to be alive: Randalstown forest on a crisp morning; coffee with friends; tigers; Singin' in the Rain; the inside of Krakow Cathedral; and the feeling when the lights go down in the cinema...
You're left with the same brimming fullness you experience after a stunningly good movie: a sense of life's luminous beauty and pain, a renewed vision of the good, or God, that so often goes unnoticed... and of course a determination to see more films.
More than a cinematic guide, this is a spontaneous act of generosity. Enjoy.
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