Monday, December 08, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Several people have asked me how we handled the mystery of the Immaculate Conception in our screenplay "Mary, Mother of the Christ."   We elected with most of the theological mysteries in the movie to take on a more reverential posture of not looking straight on, but rather,  using imagery to hint at the "beyond mere words" realities of the moments.  This has a great tradition in sacred art, and I think, achieves much more for the project and for the viewer than if we tried to show everything literally.

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which has been made the patronal feast of the United States of America.  That feels particularly significant as our nation prepares to inaugurate the most anti-life President and Administration in American history.  We need to pray for the mercy of God, asking for the special intercession of Mary, Mother of Jesus that Obama and his crowd will somehow be held back from all the evil they intend to do to children in the womb.   

But anyway, in honor of the Feast today (which for you Catholics IS a holy day of obligation...ahem....), here's the scene...



The sky gradually lightens and makes visible the Land of Galilee. There are rolling green hills verdant with olive and cypress trees, and flowering fruit orchards. Terraced tracts of grape vines and golden wheat are carved into the hills.

A SHEPHERD looks over his flock of goats and sheep.

CLOSE IN ON, Nazareth, a modest village nestled on a slope. Patches of white flowers dot the hills around the village.

MOVE IN ON a patch of flowers in a crevice behind a poor home. They are lilies, bright white with yellow pistils.

ECU A LILY, its white purity only interrupted by its vivid yellow pistil.

ECU ANOTHER LILY, white and yellow.


ECU A LILY unlike any of the others, is slightly apart from the rest, with an immaculate white pistil at its center.

Hold.  Then, a light breeze stirs it softly.


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