HEY Remember That Movie I Loved, About Same-Sex Attracted Catholics?

You can watch it online now!! Here's my review; here's the movie. Now you have your plans for this evening. … [Read more...]

Too Many Motives, Not Enough… Moat?: I Watch “The Bad Sleep Well”

Sometimes you just can't find the right headline for your post.Anyway, I recently watched Akira Kurosawa's epic tale of postwar building corruption, The Bad Sleep Well. It's mostly great! The opening scene, at a tense paparazzi-stalked wedding, is unforgettable. Most of the characters are on a wildly tilting seesaw of conscience and complicity: wastrel heir Tatsuo, fearful and sheltered heiress Yoshiko (who's mostly a pawn, not a person, but she's an interesting pawn), mysterious newcomer … [Read more...]

I Watch “Deliver Us from Evil”

for AmSpec. I've now read a couple other horror fans' reviews, and they have the same mix of "There's clearly something interesting here, yet the execution is off somehow--bland, reliant on cliche, SOMETHING's not right." This even though they pick out different and in some cases opposite elements to praise or criticize. My conclusion is that the specific bits of the movie you find powerful or frustrating may vary, but there's something lacking in it, something a bit paint-by-numbers and … [Read more...]

From “Graham Greene on Film”

Granted that From the Manger to the Cross is well made, was it worth making? The film critic of The Times who didn't like it at all--"sincerity is not enough"--noted "a tendency towards gross materialism," and certainly, as in Spanish churches, you are allowed no escape at all from physical suffering; Christ is a man beaten up, like a Nazi prisoner in the Brown House. The physical horror is never far away and always well conveyed--whether it is the Massacre of the Innocents, dark passages and … [Read more...]

“In Sweden, Human Darkness Is Confronted by the Arts, Not the Church”

terrific final paragraphs: The culture wars afflicting the Church of England are basically over. By the end of the summer, the General Synod will have agreed women bishops. And while the fight for full gay equality has some way to run, this one is substantially over too: not least because the demographics are pushing inexorably in a liberal direction. Young people, even evangelicals, don't see the problem. So Christian progressives like me ought to be celebrating? Well, not quite. more … [Read more...]

“The Boy Is the Father of Whatever”: I Review Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

at AmCon: About an hour and a half into Richard Linklater’s memorable new film, my notes say, “This is RIVETING.” Exactly one hour later, as the movie finally ceased (“ended” is too strong, too decisive), I breathed a sigh of relief. What went wrong to turn the movie from startling, luminous journey into boring, platitudinous slog?Linklater’s movie has gained a lot of press for one of those gimmicks which hide deep meaning under their showy surface, like the delays in Hamlet. Linklater shot … [Read more...]

Various Tails: Or, An Update on My Summer Reading

This year I answered not one but two of those hubristic "What do you plan to read this summer?" poll-articles. Last year I read exactly one of my "planned" (= "selected in order to bolster my public image," really) books, and didn't like it--you guys can hate me, but I did not get A Confederacy of Dunces at all, just thoroughly remained outside of it the whole time. I did read Two Murders in My Double Life eventually, and liked it.But this year I've knocked off the lot (more or less) fairly … [Read more...]


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