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Transverberation in Teresa Teresa

by Critical Commons Manager

Text commentary by Sherry Velasco

This film is unique as it explores Teresa of Avila’s life through the format of a 21st-century television talk show in which the saint appears as a guest in the form of a virtual image.  A discussion of vanity and love leads into Teresa’s narration of the transverberation episode, which, like Molina’s version, is recited directly from the original text.  The scene begins with a medium close-up shot framing both actresses, as Teresa narrates the vision for her listeners (the talk show hostess and the studio audience).  As the action and rhythm of the narrated episode intensify, the camera moves in closer to frame Teresa alone.  Her head reclines subtly, as if she were re-experiencing the original ecstasy (and perhaps suggesting the even more iconic sensuous representation in Bernini’s famous sculpture).  As she recalls the pain and pleasure of the vision, her voice becomes higher and faster until she abruptly pauses to clarify that the experience is not physical but spiritual (thus defusing the erotic charge of the scene).  At this point the camera pulls back slightly to frame both actresses together in a close-up shot until the scene ends.

Teresa Teresa (2003; Dir. Rafael Gordon):

This film is unique as it explores Teresa of Avila’s life through the format of a 21st-century television talk show in which the saint appears as a guest in the form of a virtual image.

from Teresa Teresa (2003)
Creator: Rafael Gordon
Distributor: Rafael Gordon
Posted by Sherry Velasco
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