In queuing last night for the excellent Lourdes at Dublin’s Screen cinema, I had a conversation with my film mate. I was telling him that having registered for the PhD last week, I have been wondering when I’ll get the time to commit to the big ideas and the down and dirty fieldwork and that, frankly, I felt I wasn’t doing enough. He turned to me and smiled and said “it has started; you can expect to have that feeling for the next five years”. Great, I thought. Post-registration anxiety.
Lourdes was a real visual treat. The director (OL trailer) knows light and shadow so well and insisted on putting some parts of a shot out of focus momentarily to draw our attention to detail. It’s clear that she also likes the detail of surfaces, the beds in the accommodation, the smooth wall at the pilgrimage site and the hair-brushing. It also contains one of the best jokes I have heard in a while, told by a languid team leader to the bland-answer-for-everything priest:
The Virgin Mary and Jesus are sitting on a cloud. Jesus turns to Mary and says, “let’s go on holidays.” Mary says “great idea, how about Jerusalem?” Jesus replies “Nah, I’ve been there loads of times”.
After a while Mary turns to Jesus and says “I know! Let’s go to Bethlehem” to which Jesus replies “No, I’ve been there loads of times.”
Mary, trying to think of somewhere original says, “I know, what about Lourdes?”
B-dum tish. I’m here all week!