Hell wants him, heaven won’t take him, earth needs him.” So proclaims the poster for Constantine. It sounds like an ad for a previous Keanu Reeves movie, the ridiculous Devil’s Advocate. Yet some of the same publicists who promoted Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ are promoting Constantine—and for similar reasons.
You gave me time. And giving that, like a master, a miser, gave away nothing. You knew this all along. For though you move in cycles and seasons, you dwell beyond, outside of time and measure, beyond the scope of words and reasons. This is what you give, then: a center, a way of being, that though it moves, lies beyond movement the way the springs of a well rise far below the moving waters of their mirrored surface where they play and spill like the dance of trees rooted upside down in heaven. How strange it seems, through the looking glass. For I know your ways, am one of them with you. Like needle, like compass, like kayak I follow you as you follow me. And moving, am moved toward you. As you like these waves, make no move at all. Croatan Sound. Albemarle Sound. Currituck Sound. Pamlico Sound. The music of a water wind beyond human names and naming.
Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar’s The Sea Inside is a triumph-of-the-spirit picture with an unconventional premise: the hero, Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), a quadriplegic for two decades as the result of a diving accident, is seeking the right to end his life.
The diaries of World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon have been digitized and made available to the public by the University of Cambridge. Sassoon, a British soldier, was quickly disillusioned by the war and became an outspoken war critic. His diaries feature poetry, prose, and drawings and include his 1917 antiwar “Soldier’s Declaration,” which got him committed to a hospital for the duration of the war. He described the first day of the Battle of Somme as a “sunlit picture of hell” (BBC, July 31).