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Jack Kerouac and the beatific vision

. Dennis McNally speculates about his mood as he prepared for his first Holy Communion: Complex, terrifying, and fulfilling, the Church’s sacraments embraced the whole of life, from Baptism at birth and Confirmation in childhood to the rite of Marriage and the Extreme Unction of death. Of all the sacraments, however, none was more important than the Eucharist, when the body of Christ was present during the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Sunday after Sunday for fourteen years, he listened to the priest and joined the parish in the whispered replies. Like rolling thunder, the

in Beat sound, Beat vision

( 1990 ), ‘The sacrament of writing: Robert Bresson’s Le Journal d’un curé de campagne (1951), in Susan Hayward and Ginette Vincendeau (eds), French Film: Texts and contexts, London and New York , Routledge . Reader , Keith ( 1998 ), ‘“D’où cela vient-il?”: notes on three films by Robert Bresson’ , in James Quandt (ed.), Robert Bresson, Cinémathèque Ontario , Toronto

in Robert Bresson
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Gothic conspiracy and the eyes of Lara Means

power in his absence. In Millennium , most of the first season is entirely secular: Frank’s visions are often comprehensible as flashes of insight, the Millennium group is a consulting firm, and nothing supernatural happens. Then, in “Sacrament” (1.15), Frank’s daughter has a vision of her aunt’s suffering during a kidnapping and, in “Powers, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions” (1.19), an angel

in Men with stakes
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From Les Bronzes to Ridicule

sacrament. The belief system piously invoked by the courtesans holds that language is the medium by which the subject not only interacts with the other, but has a transcendental relation with God, and therefore assumes ‘humanness’. This tendency to locate subjectivity in language has a more contemporary – and secular – equivalent in linguistically influenced poststructural theories. For psychoanalytic thinker

in Patrice Leconte
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dogged persistence they endure, for the most part, and outlast amid the challenges of a world unfit to acknowledge their belonging as creatures, children, of God. Milch’s vision is deeply religious, which is to say that without being associated with any formally organised religion, it is grounded in the revelation that redemption can be received by the most ‘unworthy’ (by their own lights) through their seeking out and participating in the daily sacrament of human ­sociality – ­conversation, argument, conflict: the full intensity of a pack of souls. Social and

in David Milch
Fairytale, fable and myth in the Demy-monde

, adopts the stance of resolve and optimism towards the alienating environment in which he lives. He instructs Gavin in the insights of the Greeks and importance of scientific facts over religious faith, rejecting the clerical scholar Papias the Elder for the historian Heroditus. As a Jew, he is unbound by the strictures of Catholicism, evinced when he dismisses the Bishop for reading the Last Sacrament to Lisa. Despite the Star of David emblazoned on the reverse of his tunic, Melius acts as if God is superfluous, incapable of safeguarding the people, unlike medical

in Jacques Demy

‘is killed, because what one needs so much in order to live, the desire for illusions, disappears in her. And it’s her sister who wears mourning for this death’. 58 catherine breillat par le feu de la passion, le plaisir salissait’49 (Beauvoir 1958: 289–90, 166). With this religious context in mind, we can more readily understand the depth of Elena’s disappointment when her sacrament of love with her fiancé turns out to be a black mass of merely degrading sex in which her body’s temple is despoiled. It is because Elena so prized her virginity that its loss under

in Catherine Breillat
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Carnivàle, Supernatural, and Millennium

power and profit. That Ben is increasingly identified as a Christ figure and Justin is his nemesis adds a further twist to the semiotics of the series. In much Christian practice, across a range of sects, an ordained minister is allowed to act in persona Christi , in the role of Christ, particularly in celebrating a sacrament. Justin as a minister is thus, by definition, a counterfeit Christ; Ben is a

in Men with stakes
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and an availability to the solace and sacrament of the present moment (the ‘Quotidian Plural’ as Milch puts it), the ready miraculousness of it and its transient charismatics: fine notions, perhaps, but not exactly the engine of restless dissatisfaction with things as they are that has underpinned at least some of the beneficial human progress in material comfort, ethics and morality that has been achieved. There is more inspiration there, at least, than in the experience of consumption or the spectacle of Luke Perry. It was naive to imagine that either John or John

in David Milch

crossing a loaf before cutting reminds viewers that rural culture traditionally views bread and the grain from which it comes as everyday sacraments above any vulgar monetary exchange value. The scene moved a critic for Marianne to observe that ‘c’est avec ce qu’on pourrait appeler des “sentiments-matières-premières” que Pagnol fait ses admirables œuvres. Rien de plus “matière première” que le blé. Il

in Marcel Pagnol