We are extremely fortunate to have John Anderson writing for us. Anderson, one of our new film critics, also writes regularly for The New York Times Arts & Leisure section, as well as for The Washington Post and Variety. In fact, you might have seen this recent piece he did in the Times on Loyola Productions, the Jesuit-run film production company in LA, run by Eddie Siebert, S.J. Anderson is a terrific writer who brings his faith to movies whose faith dimensions often escape other secular reviewers (that, or they are not encouraged to write about them in explicitly religious or spiritual terms.) One such movie is the new "Handsome Harry," which he reviews in an online Culture piece just posted today.
While the concept of faith is never addressed by any character in “Handsome Harry,” the entire film is built on it. Realistically speaking, Harry has little chance of finding men he lost track of 30 years previous, or to expect their memories to be reliable, or to think they’ll be forthcoming when and if he finds them. Besides, why should he think there’s any cosmic forgiveness awaiting him at the end of his journey, and why does it matter?
These are matters that don’t require explication, because they are at the root of our conception of existence: Harry proceeds because everything he’s ever known tells him he should and must, and while Bette Gordon may be a filmmaker of daring and a painterly hand, the eternal truths of “Handsome Harry” are finally what hold us.
James Martin, SJ