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"We do more by accident than many people do on purpose; but if we tried to do it on purpose we would probably mess it up and that's the secret of monastic life...it is a bit poetic."
-Fr. Martin Bowler, Prior, Mount Saviour Monastery
"Very engaging and insightful. Well shot and well edited, this film really made me understand what the monastic life has to offer." -Andy Halper, Senior Producer for WIDE ANGLE--Thirteen/WNET New York
"I was very impressed at the amount of care put into the production. You have done an excellent job with this difficult topic." -Ozzie Alfonzo--Emmy and Peabody Award Winning Director of Sesame Street
The Everyday is a one-hour program documenting the lives of the monks living at Mount Saviour Monastery in Elmira, New York. The program, shot over the course of five years, is an invitation into the private and holy existence of monks. It explores the monastic attitudes toward everyday secular issues such as: faith, work, commitment and love. The monks offer insights to the joys and the disappointments of monastic life and in the process, lay down the groundwork for a new way of thinking about our own 'everyday' lives.
Monastic living is about consistency, routine and rhythm. It is about taking a lot of the drama out of the day-to-day routine so that you have some time and energy to devote to prayer, study and reflection. While this is a great formula for the monks, it presented us (me and my co-director, Sean McGinn) with a very interesting production dilemma...how do you capture something on videotape that is mostly happening below the surface? In the edit room, what do you cut to when a monk is sweeping a floor and talking about God in his life?
The answer, much like monastic life, is in the details...to resist 'directing' and opt for observing. To trust that the film could mirror the life by following the same rules, was ultimately the solution to our problem.
In many ways this is a film about faith, and faith helped bring this project to its conclusion. Production lasted for six years, and even when it was clear to the monks that we had lost our way, they continued to grant us access and continued to show faith in us. The end product is an honest, open portrait of one community and their everyday interpretation of a lifestyle that is over 1500 years old.
-Matthew Kells, May 2005
NTSC - 50 minutes + bonus audio and video
(c) 2005 Spooky Truth Productions Inc - All Rights Reserved
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