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Anchoress
Anchoress
Actors: Natalie Morse, Gene Bervoets, Toyah Willcox, Pete Postlethwaite, Christopher Eccleston
Director: Chris Newby
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2001     1hr 48min


     
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Movie Details

Actors: Natalie Morse, Gene Bervoets, Toyah Willcox, Pete Postlethwaite, Christopher Eccleston
Director: Chris Newby
Creators: Ben Gibson, Catherine Vandeleene, Judith Stanley-Smith, Julie Baines, Paul Breuls, Christine Watkins
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Religion
Studio: Vanguard Cinema
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 10/30/2001
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

A Profound depiction of medieval life
Carl McColman | 05/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are not enough words to describe the utter beauty of Anchoress. The imagery and symbolism is intellectually and visually satsifying; one could watch this film over and over again without boredom. The silence, which so permeates this film, allows for a certain contemplation for the viewer; the dialogue is fabulous, and is not thrown around in an uncareful manner - it is placed where it is needed, conveying perfect and correct meaning. Overall, Anchoress offers the most expressive and possibly most accurate depiction of medieval life (even though us 21st century folks don't know what that would truthfully be) on film. I could not imagine Anchoress being in color - it would take away from the grainy feeling of the black and white, which is such a key part to the imagery I believe; the black and white even adds more to the medieval feel. Moreover, the story of Anchoress is equally important. Christine, the young anchoress (Natalie Morse) could teach us a lesson or two - she finds God in her food, in the dirt, in a beautiful (yet very primitive looking) Virgin statue, in a small cell, and underground; Christine discovers God. . . she does not allow God to be dogmatically pushed on her (as seen in her discussions with the Priest). I could watch Anchoress over and over. . . honestly. As a medieval history buff and as one interested in the lives and practices of medieval anchoresses, I highly recommend this film to others with the same interests. Also, to anyone who appreciates visually stunning film, Anchoress will fill your mind with awe."
Gorgeous and thought-provoking
Carl McColman | Clarkston, GA USA | 03/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a joy it is to see "Anchoress" coming out on DVD -- and at a consumer-friendly price, no less. This artsy/indie film should appeal to lovers of unusually and visually beautiful films, and it should appeal both to Pagans and to Christian mystics, as it explores issues of the soul dear to both groups. The central character, the Anchoress of Shere, is reminiscent of Julian of Norwich, a more orthodox though no less spiritual historical figure from the 14th century. The Anchoress of Shere enters the stern life of a female mystic/recluse, in part because she has visions of the Blessed Mother, in part to escape the unwanted advances of her landlord. Trouble begins to brew when her visions of the Mother do not match the rigid orthodoxy of the parish priest. This movie asks important questions about the relationship between authentic spiritual experience and the dogmatic "party line" of organized religion; it also explores the tension between heavenly-oriented and earthly-oriented spiritualities. It also has a few things to say about gender politics. But beyond the philosophical tension in the story, this film (shot in a softly-focussed black and white) is cinematographically gorgeous, a pure delight to look at -- a visual hymn to the mysterious beauty of both heaven and earth."
A visual feast for the senses and soul
Carl McColman | 11/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was so enthralled by the beauty of this film that I had to go back and see it again the next night. I might add that I almost never see movies twice. Visually stunning black and white cinematography toned a deep blue-tone, lent a rich sense of dreamlike antiquity to the film. Shot on location in northern France, full of medieval icons and stone buildings, surrounded by peasant farms and fields the film touched on many local customs and lore : gypsies with houses in trees, a dark-tressed virgin mary-possibly an older connection to Ceres or an earth-mother goddess, early midwivery, and, perhaps most importantly the desire for a direct connection to God, which conflicts with the Church-as-middle-man role. The story was a deeply moving and inspiring tale of a pure desire to touch divinity."
Very Cool
Carl McColman | 05/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not saying much, because saying anything is already too much. Filmed in black/white, the poetic suggestions and use of imagery are simply spectacular. At the same time it's very subtle, evoking comparison with Bergmann, Lagerkvist and Popol Vuh. See the rough sculpture of the blessed virgin being carried across the field of rye and you will get drunk on the poetry that's in it. Oh, and the ending!!! It's wine....A friend told us about it, we caught it the last night of its run and I thank GOD every day that we did not miss it."