Yesterday (20 March 2015) we had a solar eclipse over northern Europe, total over the Faroe Islands. I was planning to photograph it in Norwich (south-east England) but when I awoke the skies were murky, hopeless weather for eclipses. I watched on television, repulsed by the gushing commentary, and then mesmerized when they showed the total eclipse from a plane above the clouds over the Faroes. Suddenly the mind paused and the eyes froze. (Did they use the moment just to let silence accompany the image? They did not, dear reader, since that would be asking too much of our unimaginative television producers.) The image even had the merit of being unsteady so the image of the corona bounced around the screen, only reinforcing its impact on the optic nerve.
I was reminded of Jordan Belson’s short film Samadhi of 1967, of which he said: “And finally we reach the point where there virtually is no separation between
science,observation and philosophy.” (To which I would add ‘theology’.) Samadhi is a paradigm of psychedelic cinema, worthy of the ‘far-out’ generation, and a beacon of spiritual cinema.
Seeing the solar eclipse today forcibly brought Belson (1926 to 2011) to mind.