A Girl in Love

I recently watched Writer of O, the 2004 documentary about Pauline Reage/Dominique Aury/Anne Desclos, the multiply-aliased author of the most famous work of French pornography since de Sade. Story of O was a big influence on me, as I noted in that birthday book meme. Three things stood out to me from the documentary. # The attempts to film scenes from the book are ludicrous. It’s all arty pseudoporn, too refayned to be hot and too lewd to be sensual…. Read more

Barth Behind Bars

So I finally read me some of that Karl Barth I’ve heard so much about. He used to preach in Swiss prisons, and Deliverance to the Captives collects several of his prison sermons. I got a lot out of it. He’s so good at just simply reminding us to look at God, at God’s action in our lives and the utterly unearned love He offers us. Barth is great about pointing us to see God’s power working in our lives… Read more

“The First Responder”: I review a powerful new film about medicine–and confession

over at First Things: “You can talk to me. I’m your doctor.” Dr. Jenny Davin speaks this sentence, or some variant of it, several times in the course of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Unknown Girl. And people do talk. They talk to the young Dr. Davin even though she is not an especially skilled counselor. She mostly just tells people to do things, or asks whether they’ve done the things she told them to do last time. But people respond… Read more

Talks from Doxacon 2017–Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy Con

If you all missed Doxacon this past summer, you can still hear the presentations here. I spoke on “The Humiliation of Authority in Horror Movies,” aka why is it that if you are in a horror movie you should trust the old, the very young, the mentally unwell, the ethnic or nonwhite, and the traditionally religious? Or, put the other way around, why is it that if a priest or a child or a dotty old cat lady rambling about… Read more

Rise of the Planet of the Young Adults: Some Questions for Library Types

Hey all. I’m working on a piece about what was lost in the rise of “young adult” as a publishing category. But I do not want to just whack merrily at a straw man (I want to whack merrily at a real man! wait…) so I have some questions. Email me at eve_tushnet@yahoo.com if you have answers, opinions, stories, etc. # 1. What are your favorite YA books? And what leads you to think of them as YA and not… Read more

Hangdog: I watch “Dog Day Afternoon”

Some notes on a powerful movie which uses its desultory pacing for impact. Lots of meandering punctuated by intensity. # Hey this takes place on my birthday! Or, you know, six years exactly before my birthday. # I love the side characters, especially the women. The men are just kind of there but the women are great, especially Penelope Allen as the head teller who emerges as the leader of the hostages. # “I’m a Catholic, I don’t want to… Read more

“Losing My Child at Easter”: Extraordinary piece by Leah Libresco Sargeant

at First Things: …One year later, I was married. And I was still arguing about the liturgical appropriateness of what could happen on Easter, but now I was trying to negotiate with my child. I was six weeks pregnant, but I’d spent the last week and a half bleeding and going back into the doctor’s office for more ultrasounds and bloodwork. Lazarus Saturday: “Lord who called Lazarus from the tomb, call to our child and help our baby live!” Good… Read more

Some Notes re: Fr. James Martin (And the Relevance of Orthodox Gay Experience)

So first of all, Christians should not treat one another with contempt, and contempt isn’t cleverness or “hard truths” or whatever y’all think you’re doing. Second, so often straight Christians approach gay people as if we are defined by our sexuality, and our orientation is defined by the desire for sexual sin. I see so much commentary which doesn’t even seem to know about fairly common gay experiences, which are shared by many orthodox (inc celibate) Christians: fearing for your… Read more

BoJack Adultman: A few extra notes on season 4

So I wrote this ridiculously emo, “all my tattoos are Catholic!!!!”-type piece about the new season of BoJack Horseman, and that’s fine, probably, but I do have a couple extra things to say about this cartoon about a depressed celebrity horse. One small and one large. The small thing is that the season couldn’t quite figure out what to do with Diane and, especially, Todd. Diane works best for me as stealth-BoJack–someone who doesn’t seem like she’d be a self-destructive… Read more

“The Alphabet and the Inevitability of Death in Early Protestant America”: Fantastic little piece

from the Smithsonian: Do you remember the books that helped you learn to read—maybe Dick and Jane, Dr. Seuss, or Clifford the Big Red Dog? No matter the answer, odds are your experience was very different from most Protestant children living in early America because your books probably did not contain a discussion of your imminent death. Until I started working as an intern in the museum’s education collection, I had no idea that instead of an archaic version of See Spot… Read more

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