Latest Posts

Silence: Scorsese’s Spiritual Masterpiece

Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence. One of these is not like the others. How could the same director who repeatedly reveled in the high cost of unchecked male rage also deliver the meditative and masterful Silence? Feudal Japan seems so far removed from the Mean Streets of [Read More…]

The Best Music of 2016: God Dreams and Ultralight Beams

Bad times often produce great music. The socio-political disaster of 2016 was met by remarkably moving, relevant, and inspiring songs. Thank God for African-American artists who continue to rise above trying times with sounds of praise and protest. We have so much to glean by simply listening. I was raised as a music buyer and [Read More…]

The Best Films of 2016: Empathy in Action

What animated the most enduring films of 2016? While our nation suffered from our inability to empathize with the Other, thankfully the finest filmmakers reminded us how compelling compassion remains. Empathy turned a ‘small’ film like Moonlight into an immediate masterpiece. Not a shot, gesture, or line is wasted in Barry Jenkins’ gorgeous triptych. The [Read More…]

Spiritual Transformation in The Birth of a Nation

Rarely has such a small, independent film been forced to carry such weight on its shoulders. Purchased for a record breaking price at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and positioned as an Oscar contender months before it was released, The Birth of a Nation can’t really sneak into theaters. As soon as writer-director-producer-star Nate Parker [Read More…]

Morgan Freeman Explores The Story of God

On the heels of Holy Week, National Geographic presents The Story of God, an ambitious, expansive six-part series hosted by Morgan Freeman. This is an impressive interfaith study, with Freeman traveling to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Guatemala, India and beyond in search of God, or at least humanity’s efforts to reach God. From the Temple Mount [Read More…]

THE YOUNG MESSIAH in a World on Fire

Who has time to answer a child’s questions amidst racial strife, religious conflict, and a refugee crisis? There is so much uncertainty and anger surrounding our search for a new leader, threats can lead to violence at any moment. And if we fail to see the parallels being the tumultuous ancient world that Jesus entered and [Read More…]

RISEN Dares to Dabble in Mystery

The Greatest Story Ever Told is also one of the most oft told cinematic tales. So how can filmmakers bring a fresh take to Jesus’ death and resurrection? Directors often succumb to the digital temptation of bigger, louder, faster in an effort to instill faith in their audiences. Unfortunately, relying on spectacle only builds fascination [Read More…]

Does the Arc In Hollywood Bend Towards Justice?

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square. This month we’re asking: Has Hollywood Become Our National Conscience? Read other perspectives here. While some decry the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an exclusive club deserving an #OscarsSoWhite label, others see it pushing a liberal agenda through every ribbon displayed [Read More…]

SPOTLIGHT: No More Silent Nights

Spotlight is a throwback to the golden age of seventies cinema. It is a whip smart tribute to investigative journalism, rooted in character and grounded in a world where the most special effect is human emotion. Spotlight follows the tireless efforts of a team of reporters from The Boston Globe to uncover the sexual abuse [Read More…]

ROOM: Expanding Our Empathy

Heartache is an interesting condition. It is usually associated with romance, when break ups lead to heartbreak.   So what should we call a situation where you find yourself rooting so hard for someone else’s happiness, that their trials and tribulations make your heart ache? Room is both harrowing and heroic.   It places a heavy burden [Read More…]

MCFARLAND USA: An Interview with Legendary Coach Jim White

Do you like sports movies?   I cry every time I watch Field of Dreams. The rousing underdog stories of Rudy or The Rookie almost feel too good to be true. The cynic in us may resist, but once you actually meet Jimmy, the guy who sank the winning shot in Hoosiers, your perspective shifts.   These [Read More…]