Throwback Texts: Stigmata (1999)

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I was reminded of Stigmata this week, when my subconscious gave me a rather nice dream about the wonderfully  charismatic Gabriel Byrne. I’ve always loved watching him onscreen, and for a long time, Stigmata was on my radar. The tale of a scientific priest, a lost gospel and a party girl who starts to exhibit the signs of Christ’s crucifixion, despite being an atheist, is both loved and hated by viewers. I, of course, loved it!

Back in 2006, when I was learning video making technology on my old Windows laptop, I chopped up Stigmata and did what everyone was doing at the time; I set the film to Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life. One of the most vidded songs on the internet, it’s a generic yet beautifully angsty song that Amy Lee’s vocals take to a new level of melancholy. Used in every fandom from Harry Potter to Top Gear, it’s a song that’s dear to many people, it seems.

For me, the lyrics seemed to match Father Andrew Kiernan’s dilemma perfectly. Torn between his devotion to the church and a growing attraction to a vulnerable young woman, at heart, this is a love story between two very different people, however much Rupert Wainwright’s visuals dress it up as a horror film. Arquette and Byrne compliment each other perfectly, and their chemistry is the cornerstone of a film that could so easily just be yet another ‘rogue priest strikes out against the evils of the Catholic church’ cliche. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a conflicted priest narrative, but, even that aside, it’s a great pairing.

So I had a little flurry of creativity, and I made this fanvid. Like the fanfiction I wrote around the same time, I can now see the flaws, but I still like the piece as a whole. The song helps a lot, and I wanted to capture the love story. Despite one or two obviously badly edited moments, I’m still fond of this one, because I had so much fun making it. I hope you like it, too, if you choose to watch it :).

And if you’d like to read some words, here’s the fanfic, A Question of Divine Autonomy. Again, I can see the joins now, but it hopefully represents the love I felt for these two characters, and my obsession with filling in back stories! Of course, when the back story belongs to a character whose onscreen representation is Gabriel Byrne, I hope you can forgive the fascination ;).



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