Saturday, June 06, 2009

Luis Buñuel - Simon Del Deserto

St. Simon Stylite is tempted by the devil in the form of a woman and is transported to 1964 in this cut. It is an extraordinary scene.

After I left the monastery, I arrived in Boston - to live as a sort of urban hermit. I wandered southern Europe as a pilgrim for awhile, until discouraged by my weakness, I returned to Boston hoping to return to monastic life.

One Saturday on my way to the North End, a convertible stopped at an intersection I was crossing, and "Love Hangover " by Diana Ross was playing on the radio.

That night I went out to a disco. The music was thundering and throbbing - I could actually feel the mix concocted by the DJ, and along with the lights and the smoke and the people dancing, it seemed to me I had entered into the antichamber of hell...

Someone offered me a joint, I smoked a little, got a drink, and never found my way back to the monastery, except for an occasional retreat.


  1. You found your way out of that life and back to Christ. Thank God for that.

    I could tell a similar tale-sans monastery.

    I'll pray for both of us.

  2. Definitely psychedelic and a bit creepy. I think I need subtitles.

  3. Monica - I made this post on youtube - so I did not have spell check - SB antechamber rather than anti and I forgot to acknowledge your post on the stylites which reminded me of this film.

    Cath - He found me.

  4. Carol9:30 PM

    All of which reminded me of Francis Thompson's own story a bit, and his "Hound of Heaven".. you can access that poem and more (also briefly about Simeon Stylite) if you Google Illuminating Lives and click on the first offering on that page.

  5. michael r.7:11 AM

    A favorite film by one of my favorite directors. I'm glad that you discovered it. Your own story sounds eerily similar -- except that you danced your way out of the disco!

  6. Michael - I'm going to order the film.

  7. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Very thought postulating clip. It's interesting what humans do to alter one's state of consciencness.

    Either way in a Monastery or in a room full of loud music and frenzied motion--we are all, in a way, seeking God. The young kids in the clip, are just expermenting--trying to figure it all out. And yes, I was there--I would be the blonde one who is sitting in the chair smoking--next to the saint--and then getting up to dance--looks like very strange behaviour looking back now.

    But that was then, this is now, and Terry if you wanted to--you could always join a Monastery still. But, then there's our plan, and then there's God's plan--and our plan doesn't count. I think if you were supposed to be there--you would be--but it's better that you are not--so you can blog--and we get the benefit of you!


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