Friday, October 8, 2010

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

After listening to Donovan all afternoon I felt nostalgic for one of my favorite films Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Franco Zeferrilli  I saw this film directly after coming back from my mission and the cinematography, the music, and the message of simple religion just resonated with my soul. 

The story revolves around St. Francis of Assisi and his conversion and subsequent devotion to poverty, and service.  The film illustrates this in a very beautiful way.  Some of the best scenes I have captured from You tube videos.

According to the unofficial Donovan site,
Tracks (as they appeared in the film):
01. A Soldier's Dream
02. Lullaby
03. Brother Sun Sister Moon (theme)
04. Lovely Day
05. Bread (orchestral version)
06. Brother Sun Sister Moon (theme)
07. Brother Sun Sister Moon
08. Brother Sun Sister Moon (theme)
09. The Little Church (a capella version)
10. Brother Sun Sister Moon (theme)
11. The Little Church (theme)
12. Lullaby
13. Giving (uncertain title)
14. The Little Church
15. Shape In The Sky
16. Brother Sun Sister Moon
  • · In 1972, along with the movie, a soundtrack was released as an LP (Paramount/EMI 3C 064 93393), but it was only Riz Ortolani's rejected orchestral songs (that weren't released in the film), although it also contained orchestral versions of Donovan's original songs without any mention to his authority. Riz Ortolani wasn't credited in the film's titles.
  • · Riz Ortolani's soundtrack was reissued on his own label in 1980 on vinyl (Ricordi ORL 8482) and in 1989 (with the Italian title Fratello Sole Sorella Luna) on CD (Ricordi CDOR 8482). The CD covers credited the music as "composed" by Ortolani, which was not true
  • · The songs composed by Donovan that actually appeared in the movie had incredible success and many a Donovan's fan asked for the release of the original studio recordings as a proper soundtrack album, but Gulf/Paramount, the producers of the film, inexplicably didn't grant permission for the songs to be issued. In spite of that Donovan always wanted to release it, first on his failed label Donovan Records, and later on Donovan Discs, but this never happened.
The first scene is the main theme from the film and the spectacular scenery and occurs after Francis is converted.

The second scene is about Francis' love of nature and how he believed that nature was God's gift to man.

The next two scenes were so powerful to me because of the melody and the lyrics
If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely
Small beginnings, Greater ends
Heart felt work grows purely

If you want to live life free
take your time go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Simple Joys are holy

Day by Day
Stone by Stone
Build your secret slowly

Day by Day
You'll grow too
You'll know heaven's glory

If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely
Small Beginnings Greater Ends
Heart felt work grows purely

If you want to live life free
take your time go slowly

Out of small things proceed that which is great.  It is true.

The next thing is when the small church is completed and there is a Thanksgiving service.  Just Beautiful.

The final two scenes also were most powerful.  It recounts the visit that Francis takes to Pope Innocent III
in Rome to try to understand why his simple gospel is persecuted by the rich Priesthood.  A powerful part is when the Pope played by Alec Guinness descends the stairs from his throne and leaves his robes of power on the throne.  It is like he has to escape from the costume to relate to Francis.  Again observe how the robes of power trap him again after he has knelt and kissed the feet of Francis.  Powerful Imagery

May God bless you.

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