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“. . .  its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar . . .”

THE NEW FGG can in a certain light be seen as a reflection on the ebb tide of the Sea of Faith that Matthew Arnold famously described in his poem ‘Dover Beach’, published in 1867. I thought of this when I heard Madeleine Bunting, a British journalist, talking on the radio last week about the decline of Christianity and at the same time our unwillingness to jettison the continuity of Christian narratives. She had in mind such powerful concepts as glory, sin, patience, sacrifice. I was struck because all of these things feature in the films I discuss in the book, reinforcing in my mind that narratives hinging on them – and other concepts such as redemption and atonement – have been the basis of masterpieces. Even as we are indifferent to the idea of God, we respond to these stories.

colour of poms 2

A moment of glory from Sergei Paradzhanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates (USSR 1968)