" They have a basic contact with the life of Britain," said Mr. Grierson of this country's rather complex assortment of churches, and the remark is particularly striking because it stresses a fact which is almost too obvious to be noticed. No cult or religion can flourish unless it has strong contacts with the important everyday things: no scheme to deal with life everlasting will be given very much attention unless it makes some attempt to cope with 1938 and All That.
Naturally, in this as in all other things, Catholicism shows the way, and the Englishman assisting at Mass knows with peculiar happiness, as the English martyrs knew, that the Catholic religion is essentially linked with his own everyday English life, just as it is essentially linked with all mankind's lives, everywhere.
As there were Catholic folk to build the English Cathedrals: so there should be Catholic folk to build an English Catholic cinema.
Gradually, cleverly, French Catholics are achieving something; every now and
then a Catholic film meets the stern test of the box-office--and survives. It succeeds because sound direction and firstrate stars and a good deal of money go into it. L'Appel du Silence is an example: featuring the life of Br. Charles de Foucauld. It was made, like all other good films, with first-class actors, first-class technicians, and first-class equipment. A fleet of trucks went to the Moroccan desert, the Chasseurs d'Afrique co-operated, etc.) In other words, a serious work was handled in a serious way.
Get to work, English Catholics, as Mr. Grierson hinted, if cathedrals, why not films? Money, first-rate planning and firstrate artists (some of them imported professionals) made the cathedrals : and the same combination could give us a twentieth century glory—a Catholic cinema.