Archives For Film

 

Where (and With Whom) We Stand

A Review of 

How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World
Robert Joustra and
Alissa Wilkinson

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2016.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Rob O’Lynn

 

In many ways, this excellent book can be divided into three components:

1) A philosophical introduction where the umbrella—or arc—themes are funneled down into their base components.  This will be discussed below, however it is important to note here that this is extremely helpful for the reader who is not well versed in cultural theory (especially those of Charles Taylor, upon which most of the discussion is based).  The authors take great care in throughout this book to continually connect Taylor’s theories to the cultural artifacts that they use to illuminate our present social condition.

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Today is the birthday of Norton Juster, the author of the side-splittingly hilarious kids book The Phantom Tollbooth.  

In the wake of The Phantom Tollbooth‘s success, Juster wrote The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, which was inspired by Edwin A. Abbott’s novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.  I just spent several days writing a paper in tribute to my friend and mentor David Neuhouser, who introduced me to Flatland (which I talk about in my new book Reading for the Common Good) and would have loved Juster’s book.

The Dot and the Line was turned into a short film by Chuck Jones, the renowned animator and producer of Looney Tunes, etc. It seems fitting to share this film here today…

Enjoy!
 
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Much_ado

Last week, marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

In honor of the occasion, here are seven of our favorite film adaptations of Shakespeare’s play from the last 50 years…

#7 – Ten Things I Hate About You
    (Adaptation of Taming of the Shrew)

[ Stream the Movie via Amazon ]

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Thomas_Stearns_Eliot

Today (January 4) marks the anniversary of the death of poet T.S. Eliot, who died on this day 1965.

In honor of the occasion, we present the T.S. Eliot Film Festival, four shorts based on his poems for you to watch in their entirety!

Also of interest:

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letters-teresa

 

A Dark Vocation.

A Review of 

The Letters: The Untold Story of Mother Teresa

A film by William Riead, written and directed by William Riead.
115 minutes. Rated PG.
Opens in Theatres Dec 4.

[ Watch the trailer ]

Reviewed by Jon M. Sweeney

 

The title of this film, in theaters on December 4, comes from the revelation eight years ago of Mother Teresa’s “dark” letters. The world was shocked when the book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light appeared, and discovered that she’d lived and worked among the poorest of the poor for a half century feeling much of the time as if God had abandoned her. Reading those letters, some thought they reflected negatively on her work, as if she were a hypocrite for talking to people of God’s love and care while harboring doubts as to God’s presence in her own life. Others thought she was suddenly more human, as well as more saintly, for persevering in spite of feeling spiritually empty and alone. The screenplay of the film allows the “dark” letters to tell her story.

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Looking for God’s Fingerprint

 
A Feature Review of

Burning Bush 2.0: How Pop Culture Replaced the Prophet
Paul Asay

Paperback: Abingdon Press, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Danny Wright

 

In Burning Bush 2.0: How Pop Culture Replaced the Prophet, Paul Asay, from the often-visited website www.unplugged.com, takes the reader on a journey through pop culture’s music, movies, television shows and video games in order to experience God’s message that extends to each of us through those various forms of communication. Asay knows that we search for God in all of our stories and that we need to make sure we do not miss his revelations as we live in this storied existence. He wants to help us hone our ability to be sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance as we live, move and have our being in God and shuffle through this God-created, God-soaked and God-sustained world in which He is not very far from any one of us. Each chapter begins with a quote that focuses the reader and prepares them for the journey of the following pages as he begins to bounce back and forth through a variety of references to well-known media.

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far-from-the-madding-crowd-film

Today is the birthday of English novelist Thomas Hardy (born 1840). Hardy’s novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, has recently been released as a feature film.

( Far From the Madding Crowd is available as a FREE ebook for Kindle or in a variety of other FREE ebook formats through Project Gutenberg. )
 

Watch the trailer for the movie here…

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Dreaming Freely about a Better World

A Feature Review of

Cinematic States: Stories We Tell, the American Dreamlife, and How to Understand Everything*

*(Mostly. But Not Really. But Sort Of.)

Gareth Higgins


Paperback: Burnside Books, 2013.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Brett David Potter

 

Film is oneiric. When we all sit together in a darkened room, fixated on the flickering shadows dancing on the luminous silver screen, we engage in a kind of collective dreaming. As film theorists have pointed out, it’s Plato’s cave without anyone standing up to interrupt the show.

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A Call to Arms for Filmmakers and Viewers Alike

A Feature Review of

Cinema
Alain Badiou

Paperback: Polity Press 2013
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by S. Benjamin Holsteen
 

François Truffaut, one of the preeminent film critics of the French New Wave, once said, “[There is a] famous French advertising slogan that says, ‘When you love life, you go to the movies,’ it’s false! It’s exactly the opposite: when you don’t love life, or when life doesn’t give you satisfaction, you go to the movies.” To my mind, this statement can be read in two ways. The first approach is to read it as condemnation, casting cinema as little more than simple escapism. As I sit down to write this, summer is on the wane, bringing to a close yet another season of would-be Blockbusters; some commercial hits, many more misses, and seemingly very few concerned with much more than filling seats at the local multiplex. While there are always exceptions, one could be forgiven for looking at the broad cinematic output of the last few months (years? longer?) and feeling that this sort of respite-from-reality, entertainment-for-entertainment’s-sake approach is the highest goal of a great many, if not most, of the filmmakers working in Hollywood today.

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“Wasting Away in the USA”

A Review of

American Wasteland
By Jonathan Bloom

and

Dive
A Documentary by Jeremy Seifert.

Reviewed by Chase Roden.

AMERICAN WASTELAND - Jonathan BloomAmerican Wasteland:
How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food
(and What We Can Do About It)
.
Jonathan Bloom.
Hardback: De Capo, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon – Hardback ] [ Amazon – Kindle ]

Dive.
A Documentary by Jeifert Seifert.
Available through the website: www.divethefilm.com

Jeremy Seifert wants you to eat trash. Jonathan Bloom just wants you to stop throwing food away.

In the wealthiest country in the world, while tens of millions of Americans don’t get enough to eat or know how they’re going to get their next meal, we throw away 11 million pounds of food an hour. While people suffer malnutrition or even starve, half of the food grown or purchased in America is thrown out, uneaten.

Seifert and Bloom independently take on food waste in two recent works, approaching the topic from surprisingly different perspectives. Where Jonathan Bloom’s book American Wasteland focuses on waste in the production, sale, and disposal of food, Jeremy Seifert’s documentary Dive starts with dumpster diving — the reclaiming of edible food from the trash cans of grocery stores — and moves to broader questions about American society. The problem as Seifert and Bloom both identify it is not simply one of hunger in a land of waste, but also of the massive environmental impact of food rotting in landfills.

Jonathan Bloom’s career as a freelance journalist shows in his far-ranging fieldwork and tendency to use examples of individuals and institutions to make his case against waste. Starting on a factory farm in Salinas, CA and going wherever the story takes him — school cafeterias, landfills, nursing homes, high-tech waste facilities in the UK — Bloom is dedicated to uncovering and understanding waste wherever it occurs. He even takes a job in the produce section of a Durham, NC grocery store for several months in order to witness the industry first-hand. The stories Bloom uncovers are treated fairly and with a positive outlook, with the stories of people working against wastefulness alongside accounts of profligacy.

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