Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Exorcist: The Mystery of Faith, and Our take on Inexplicable events

"I think that most people, take out of The Exorcist what they bring to it.
If you believe that the world is a dark and evil place, then the Exorcist will reinforce that.
But if you believe that there is a force for good...
"- William Friedkin, Director of ‘The Exorcist’.


An Open Mind

In my last post on Movies to Watch, we focused on House of 9, where nine strangers are faced with very tough choices and insurmountable odds, all in a bid to survive. I emphasized the need to approach issues in life with an open mind, a mind ready to learn. If you watch Jonathan Haidt's TED talk about the moral mind, he talks about the same need to leave the moral matrix that usually makes us lose sight of objectivity in life. But I digress.


The Exorcist


The Exorcist is a horror film that was released in 1973. It's about the demonic possession of a young girl, and her mother’s desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests.

Both critically and commercially successful, The Exorcist has spawned Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III, Exorcist: The Beginning, Possessed and The Ninth Configuration.

According to William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist:
The Exorcist is a film about the mystery of faith, and I think the fact that it's endured for more than 25 years now, is due in large part, to what it leaves you with, after you've seen the film.

It starts with a brilliant screen play from an equally powerful novel by William Peter Blatty. And it's a story that can perhaps make you question your own value system, even your own sanity, because it strongly and realistically tries to make the case for spiritual forces in the universe - both good and evil.
But what you may not be aware of, is the fact that The Exorcist is based on a true story...

It took place in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1949, and was widely reported by the American press. When I saw the files at George Town University, pertaining to the actual case, I knew that this was going to be, or needed to be something more than just another horror film. This had to be a realistic film, about inexplicable events.

I've always thought that a film should first of all be an emotional experience. It should make you laugh, or cry or be scared. But it should also inspire and provoke you, and make you reflect.

Over the years, I think that most people, take out of The Exorcist what they bring to it. If you believe that the world is a dark and evil place, then The Exorcist will reinforce that. But if you believe that there is a force for good, that combats and eventually triumphs over evil, then you'll be taking out of the film, what we tried to put into it.

In any case, turn down the lights, turn up the sound, and enjoy the digitally remastered version of The Exorcist.

What more can I say? Unless you are really faint-hearted, watching this movie may prove to be an interesting, albeit very unconventional learning experience.
The onus is upon you, should you decide to watch this terrifying film. The ball is now in your court.

Choice: The blue pill, or the red pill?

So, you either take the blue pill, the story ends and we forget all about The Exorcist as you continue to believe whatever you want to believe. Otherwise, you can take the  red pill, and you get a chance to see just how deep this rabbit hole of faith, belief, inexplicable events, and spiritual forces really goes.

Let us all learn, share and get enlightened.

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