The Robe is a 1953 Biblical epic which tells the story of Marcellus Gallio- the Roman soldier who wins Jesus' robe in a dice game at the foot of the cross- and his slave Demetrius, and how their lives are both changed by this event. It is based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Lloyd C. Douglas:
In the book, the irreverent young Tribune Marcellus Gallio insults Prince Gaius Julius Agrippa. Because his father is a prominent Roman senator, Marcellus isn't executed but is instead punished by being sent to command a small Roman garrison in a podunk town in Palestine. In Jerusalem at Passover, he is ordered to carry out the crucifixion of Jesus. His second-in-command, a grizzled veteran who has presided over many executions, advises Marcellus that it'll be easier for him to get through if he's liquored up. At Golgotha, a tipsy Marcellus drunkenly gambles with some of the soldiers and ends up winning Jesus' robe and afterwards it- and its former owner- seem to haunt him, destroying his peace of mind and, he fears, his sanity. I haven't actually seen the film, but I have read the book, which is excellent. The movie clip below depicts the crucifixion and the dice game.
After Good Friday services at our respective churches, I and other family members gathered at a sister's place for the annual painting of Easter eggs. Egg painting is serious business in our family, though some of the nephews and nieces rolled their eyes at the amount of time we adults took, mostly because the ice cream wasn't being served until after all eggs were completed. Here are a few results:
One sister's egg
Another sister's and brother-in-law's eggs
Front & back of my egg
Admittedly, decorating eggs predates the Christian celebration of Easter; many cultures practiced this as part of spring rituals, as eggs were seen to symbolize fertility and rebirth. Early Christians in Mesopotamia continued this familiar tradition but gave it a Christian twist by dying their eggs red, to commemorate the shedding of Jesus' blood during His crucifixion. Eventually the Easter egg- symbol of rebirth- came to represent Christ's resurrection for Christians. And, of course, they're really fun to paint.
Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, miserere nobis. have mercy on us. Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, dona nobis pacem. grant us peace.
This image is from the 1896 novel Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It is set in the very early days of the Christian church- Paul and Peter are both characters in it- and is a love story about Lygia, a young Christian woman and Marcus Vinicius, a wealthy Roman. It takes place against the backdrop of the ghastly persecution of the Christians in Nero's Rome. In this scene Lygia, who has been imprisoned for her faith, is tied on the back of a bull which is then sent out into the arena. There it charges at Ursus, her servant and fellow Christian who has been sent out to fight the bull because of his great strength. Nero has gleefully forced Vinicius to watch what he assumes will be the gory death of the woman he loves but to everyone's shock, Ursus manages to kill the bull and rescue Lygia. The fickle crowd, awed by his strength, cheers for Ursus and this forces the sadistic Nero to pardon the two Christians.
We watched P&P 1995, episodes 3 and 4 on Sunday night and it was, of course, great. The plot is rolling merrily along: Charlotte has married Mr. Collins, Mr. Darcy has asked Elizabeth to marry him in what I was about to say was the worst proposal scene imaginable, until I remembered Mr. Collins' proposal to Lizzie. Elizabeth has had her eyes opened to Wickham's perfidy, and while visiting the Charlotte has made the acquaintance of the delightfully unpleasant Lady Catherine de Bourgh (who just happens to be Darcy's aunt). Really, what makes this series so great is the plethora of amazing supporting characters. Elizabeth and Darcy have just run into each other again for the first time since his disastrous marriage proposal, and she is shocked by the changes in character which seem to have taken place. Huh. What can have effected this change?
“It is a peculiarity of knitters that they chronically underestimate the amount of time it takes to knit something. Birthday on Saturday? No problem. Socks are small. Never mind that the average sock knit out of sock-weight yarn contains about 17,000 stitches. Never mind that you need two of them. (That's 34,000 stitches, for anybody keeping track.) Socks are only physically small. By stitch count, they are immense.” ― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations For Women Who Knit Too Much
This is so true. I was knitting socks for my sister's birthday which we were celebrating on Sunday afternoon. I had been planning on finishing them off on Saturday but ended up having a practice at church for the Good Friday and Easter services, went out for lunch with two of my sisters, spent a couple of hours at the gym, and then had a retirement dinner to attend for one of my co-workers. I did work on them when I got home, but ended up frantically knitting the last toe before I left for church on Sunday morning. I also got my sister a Starbuck's gift card because for some unfathomable reason she enjoys their green tea lattes. As an indiscriminate drinker of black coffee I find this mystifying, but each to their own.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – Haldir in The Fellowship of the Ring
Okay, so I watched Lars And The Real Girl last night and I really enjoyed it. It has a weird and wonderful charm about it and is alternately laugh-inducing and touching. I'm not going to say too much about it right now because I intend to review it in a while, so I'll just post the trailer for the film below:
My latest foray into the book & movie sections of the local thrift shop resulted in my purchasing two DVDs: The King's Speech and Lars And The Real Girl. I only came away with one book, however- The Guns of Navarone. The Guns of Navarone is a 1957 novel by Alistair MacLean which is set in W.W. II. In it, a team of Allied commandos attempts to neutralize a German fortress on the fictional Greek island of Navarone. I've never read the book- or even seen the movie- though I've always meant to at some point. Now I'll have the opportunity. The King's Speech is the 2010 film which tells the true story of King George VI and his speech therapist. Through much of his life, King George (Bertie) has struggled with stuttering. After his brother abdicates and Bertie unexpectedly becomes King, it becomes necessary for him to somehow overcome his stutter because he's going to be expected to give public addresses, especially as W.W. II looms. To this end, he hires speech therapist Lionel Logue to help him. The film explores this relationship and uses information from various historical sources including Logue's actual case notes. I saw this movie when it first came out and really enjoyed it but haven't seen it since, so I'm looking forward to revisiting it. I haven't seen Lars And The Real Girl before, but it's a favourite of one of my sisters and her husband, who have recommended it highly to me. It tells the story of a shy, socially awkward young man named Lars who, raised by his emotionally distant father after the death of his mother, has trouble relating to other people. He acquires a blow up doll whom he deludes himself into thinking is a real girl and starts to respectfully court her, introducing his wheelchair-bound "girlfriend" Bianca to the mystified residents of his small Wisconsin town. This all sounds a bit bizarre, but my sister assures me that it's a really sweet, if somewhat strange, film. We shall see.