Priests in film

Cinematical points us to an indie film (also featuring Peter O’Toole, in addition to those in the excerpt below) that premiered at the Toronto Independent Film Festival earlier this week: “…Dean Spanley, a wonderfully charming and whimsical comedy about an Anglican priest who believes he is the reincarnation of a dog.”

A New Zealand production, the film is set in England near the turn of the last century, a time when manners and social graces were all-important, and when a man could say “Poppycock!” and truly mean it. A well-to-do bachelor named Fisk (Jeremy Northam) is more open-minded than most of his contemporaries, and he finds that a local minister, Dean Spanley (Sam Neill), when plied with a certain rare and expensive brandy, will speak freely of his memories of being a canine before he was born into his current existence.

What will those wacky New Zealanders think of next? Read the rest of the review (witty! lovely! oscar-wilde-ish!) here — it is the second film reviewed on the page. There is also a podcasted interview with Bill Maher, whose “docu-comedy” “Religulous” also premiered at the event, here.

And for those on the other end of the obscure film spectrum of taste (or who want to see Hercules in a dog collar), there’s always Kevin Sorbo, playing an Episcopal priest/action hero in the Sci-Fi Channel B-eco-horror flop “Something Beneath,” which apparently came out on DVD this week.

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