Thirty-Eight Films (Favorite Movies from Each Year of My Life)

I've found these exercises so fascinating. Other people's lists have made me reconsider movies I'd decided not to investigate (should I watch Motel Hell???) and notice my own tastes: When you force me to choose, I often pick horror, comedy-horror, and children's movies, and I very frequently rank stories about girls and women higher than my guy film fan friends. Neither of which are claims of aesthetic superiority. But hey, if I throw my list out there, maybe those patterns will lead you guys to … [Read more...]

Mourning and Weeping in this Valley of Brunch

Last week I did a speaking engagement in New York, on the topic, "Christianity Is the Most Materialistic of Religions." I did not choose this topic (BOOK ME, I WILL ROLL WITH WHATEVER WEIRD-ASS THING) and one theme that emerged from my unusually rambling performance was that Christianity cherishes and celebrates the body, but not in the way you might like. You can watch the videos here (in three parts, so check the order)--seriously, I always ramble and get tangled but this was an astonishing … [Read more...]

From Girlhood to Sublimity: Watching “The Fits” Again

It is the last dream of children: to be forever untouched.--Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name The AFI Silver theater in Silver Spring is doing this terrific series where they feature movies from the past year that you might have missed. I believe The Witch is later this week and yes, go see The Vvitch, it's vvonderful. (It's vvreally sad!) But what I saw in this series was The Fits, Anna Rose Holmer's extraordinary feature debut. It was the best movie I saw last year and now that … [Read more...]

Work Is a Four-Letter Word: Short movie notes

Let's do this one from worst to best, yes? Or no, "best" isn't what I want, let's do "worst to the one I moat want to talk about."Evil Laugh: '80s slasher, aka the one '80s horror subgenre I can almost never stand. This was an unusually stupid entry. There are organ meat gags (why did this random posh med student do-gooder have a thing for cooking organ meats?) and the music is indeed pleasantly neon-flavored, but that is about all the good I can say for this. I think I dug this thing up on … [Read more...]

Hey New York! Come See Me Yap About Catholicism & Art & the Body, This Thursday!

It'll be a neat little "interview" on the topic, "Christianity Is the Most Materialistic of All Religions." Hosted by the Crossroads Cultural Center, from 7 - 8 pm. Bring friends! For more info, and also the best photo of me taken since high school, click here. … [Read more...]

“Meet the Monks Who Spend Their Lives Praying for Ireland’s Priests”: Crux

feature: Prayer, reparation, and praising God are the focus of a new Benedictine priory in Ireland, which focuses especially on reparation for the sins of priests.“It was never our predetermined plan to come to Ireland,” Silverstream Priory’s Father Benedict Anderson, O.S.B., told Catholic News Agency. “But we believe that, through circumstances that we could never have foreseen, Divine Providence placed us here to play some sort of role, however modest, in the life of the Irish Church. … [Read more...]

Settling Accounts With Torturers

I recently finished A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers, Lawrence Wechsler's 1990 reports on post-dictatorship attempts at truth-telling and justice-seeking in Brazil and Uruguay. Wechsler is mostly an excellent writer; the book is really well-paced and there are sharp little descriptions ("his commanding wreck of a voice") and insightful uses of poetry. The afterword is overwritten but mostly Wechsler restrains the ego-driven need to assure his readers that he knows what … [Read more...]