Podcast #36: Ben and Rich Look Forward (General Culture/Film)

Click here to listen!This Week: Ben and Rich run through the list of things that Christ and Pop Culture said they were most looking forward to in the coming year and share their own thoughts. Lots of talk about the Christian's challenge in this economy, Harry Potter (we know you can't get enough), and Watchmen.Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, … [Read more...]

The Oscars: A Plea for Accessibility without Condescension

I watch the Oscars every year, beginning to end. I love the things that bore many to tears: the dresses, the film clips, the self-deprecating humor (when it works), and sometimes even the montages. And yet last night, even though I was tremendously pleased with Slumdog Millionaire’s eight wins, the ceremony felt duller and more narcissistic than usual. Is it the economy?The Academy definitely let its ratings-desperation show. In an acknowledgment that most normal people (i.e., people who do n … [Read more...]

The Furious Case of Benjamin Button

Among the nominees for Best Picture at this year's Oscars is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In a field of films that have made very little at the box office, Button's $100 million gross makes it one of the more watched movies in the Oscar race.The premise of the film is based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. A child born the same day World War I ends enters the world with the features and infirmities of an elderly man. Instead of growing older, as he ages he appears younger and you … [Read more...]

Frost/Nixon and the Virtues of a Limited Perspective

“You know the first and greatest sin of the deception of television is that it simplifies; it diminishes great, complex ideas, trenches of time; whole careers become reduced to a single snapshot.” --Frost/NixonIt’s a common truism that the new medium of television lost Richard Nixon the 1960 election against the more camera-savvy John F. Kennedy. However, any semi-thoughtful viewer of the movie Frost/Nixon might wonder whether this quote about the reductive power of the visual image is inten … [Read more...]

RetroPost: What Makes a Film "Good"?

In RetroPost, we feature a post from at least one year ago (ancient in pop culture time). The posts are featured because they have some relevance to current happenings, because they are timeless in nature and speak to a relevant issue, or because we plan on providing a follow-up in an upcoming post.This Week: In a season when various award shows are proclaiming various films to be the best in various categories, most of us tend to look at the nominations and proclaim them as "not quite right." … [Read more...]

Looking Forward: Politics in 2009

Many Christians remain on the defensive in response to the culture around them, pointing out dangers and condemning anything that makes us uncomfortable. We find warning and condemnation to be a valid position, but not a valid default position. In order to demonstrate an alternative, we thought we’d demonstrate what it’s like to give popular culture the benefit of the doubt.All this week, the writers at Christ and Pop Culture will be playing the role of evangelist for some of the things we’re mos … [Read more...]

Looking Forward: Film and TV in 2009

Many Christians remain on the defensive in response to the culture around them, pointing out dangers and condemning anything that makes us uncomfortable. We find warning and condemnation to be a valid position, but not a valid default position. In order to demonstrate an alternative, we thought we’d demonstrate what it’s like to give popular culture the benefit of the doubt.All this week, the writers at Christ and Pop Culture will be playing the role of evangelist for some of the things we’re mos … [Read more...]

Why 'WALL-E' Depresses Me

SPOILER WARNING: This post discusses the endings of both WALL-E and The Dark Knight. Since I probably saw both of these films later than anyone else on earth, I'm assuming this won't actually be a problem.I like depressing movies, particularly depressing post-apocalyptic movies. Children of Men made me very, very happy. The Road was probably my most-anticipated film of 2008 (and, no, that didn’t work out too well for me, since it still hasn’t been released). So why is it that I actually find WA … [Read more...]

John Adams and the Truth

This last Christmas was wonderful, and I got many wonderful gifts. The one gift, however, that I most want to write about was the complete miniseries of HBO’s John Adams (based on the book by David McCullough, which is even better). The film is beautiful and captivating portrayal of the life of the second president of The United States.I couldn’t help but notice, however, a number of inaccuracies in the movie. I could, of course, chalk it up to artistic license and not worry about it, but then … [Read more...]

"Doubt" and Transforming Faith

On the web site for the film Doubt, writer and director John Patrick Shanley explains that, for him, doubt is not the absence of faith, but rather a stage of experience the faithful may go through, from which they emerge with a new kind of faith. Though in Shanley’s film, doubt and faith revolve around questions about human nature rather than questions about the existence of God, Doubt raises important questions about how those with religious convictions should relate to the world in a time of c … [Read more...]


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