Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Woody Allen and St. Augustine?

Let me explain. Augustine battled a heresy known as Donatism. In short, the Donatists were Christians who believed that the validity of sacraments were based upon just how holy was the priest who presided over them.... Augustine replied that the sacraments were efficacious regardless of the priest's level of sanctity (not to excuse priestly misbehavior -but to keep the accent on God where it belonged). The Latin bumber-sticker to sum up the teaching was ex opere operato. You see where I'm going I'm sure...

Apply Augustine's move to movies, and one is helped to see how a man of such questionable moral credential could make such consistently delightful, witty, beautiful, sometimes even haunting films.

Currently holding the millinerd favorite position is Crimes and Misdemeanors, but oh how many contend for the spot. Familiarity has bred contempt in too many American critics regarding Allen (especially for his newer stuff), so in this department I side with Le Francais.