Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

It’s all about “the look”

by Giacomo Andreetta

“This is not a pipe”. René Magritte paints a pipe and thus challenges the observer to take one more step: to read the work of art, to reflect on reality, to look for clues in the brush stroke or in the setting of the painting. Reality and representation. It is neither simple nor immediate, so in the novitiate, among the thousand activities, we attend a “gym” for this ocular training, involving mind, memory and bulbs. This Gym is our Cinema Club.

You do not have to imagine us in a cinema room of the early twentieth century smoking cigarettes and talking about big problems, but in front of the TV first and sitting between the sofa and chairs then. We are not experienced people, but one of us proposes a film, preparing himself on the plot, giving cues, frame information and then each one shares some impression. It is not just a “like” or a “I do not like” statement, but a sharing of what has moved in us watching the film and, in the meantime, a confrontation about the way the film was shot, lending attention to framing, photography, calls …

The camera then becomes the director’s gaze on a particular story, or on the reality that we live and, once entered in the narration, dragged by the cinematographic medium, we can then experience a wide range of feelings, thoughts, impressions… Sometimes we agree with a particular point of view sometimes we don’t . Even looking at a story with a different perspective is already a big step!

To allow this we do not watch the movie after dinner, when the Holy Spirit goes to sleep, but on Sunday afternoon, so that everyone is “alive” and a heated debate is possible. And if you see us on the beach, a bit lost, do not worry: we are looking for Gelsomina, the unforgettable protagonist of “La Strada” by Fellini!!


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