Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Secret of Kells

Today being St. Patrick’s Day, I’m reminded of a plug I meant to give for a movie I saw for the first time a few weeks ago. The Secret of Kells is a delightfully animated film which involves a fictional story (populated by some quasi-historical characters) about the creation (and preservation) of the famed Book of Kells. The animation style is refreshingly and uniquely stylized in a way that pays homage to the artistry of the text around which it revolves.

As a rather interesting aside which I was unaware of prior to watching the film, a tall central siege tower, as is prominently featured in the movie, was indeed a feature of the Abbey of Kells, and possibly of other Celtic monasteries of the period. As my pastor pointed out to me in a conversation about the film, this fact lends a new dimension to these lines from the well-known Irish hymn Be Thou My Vision.

Be thou my breastplate, sword for the fight;
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tower:
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

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