They’ve encased the cake in carbonite.

I had a birthday the other day, and a wee party with family and friends a few days later. And this is the cake my wife made! Admittedly, she got the idea from this website, which a number of blogs and other sites linked to a few weeks ago. But still, am I a lucky guy or what?

Sexy puritans and righteous foxes.

Without meaning to imply anything whatsoever about the current political scene, I was intrigued by an article that Tom Perrotta — author of Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher, if you’re looking for a film angle — wrote for Slate recently on Sarah Palin and the “Sexy Puritan” archetype that she embodies. It reminded me of an article that appeared in The Door several years ago, on how, for hormonally driven Christian teenage males, Amy Grant once embodied the “Righteous Fox“. Note how the secular writer makes the righteousness the substantive term and the sexiness the qualifier, while the religious writer does the opposite.

Religulous — the review’s up!

My review of Religulous is now up at

BC Christian News — October 2008

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which looks at the Vancouver International Film Festival and highlights five films in particular — namely Blindness, The Desert Within, Birdsong, The Longwang Chronicles and Ctrl Z. It also has news updates on Nailin’ It to the Church, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Mrs. Darwin and Creation.

One of the niftier shorts at this year’s VIFF.

Many years ago, when I was a student at UBC, I heard through the grapevine about a fellow student who was both a Christian and a budding young filmmaker. I even saw one or two of his student films at the annual student-film show. But it wasn’t until a month ago or so that I finally met him, at the press conference for the Vancouver International Film Festival. His name was Rob Kirbyson, and it turns out one of his short films, Ctrl Z (2007), played at the VIFF this week as part of the shorts program The Obstacles Were Everywhere. The film in question also happens to be online, and I think it’s a hoot. Check it out for yourself:

Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

Review: Religulous (dir. Larry Charles, 2008)

RELIGULOUS is a documentary in which stand-up comedian turned talk-show host Bill Maher tours the world, visiting Jews, Muslims and Christians of various stripes in a bid to prove that religious belief is foolish, childish and basically dangerous.

Maher’s basic thesis, as the movie’s title suggests, is that “religion” is “ridiculous”, and so, as a professional comedian, he does not merely approach religion as a thoughtful skeptic or agnostic who is not yet convinced of, say, the existence of God. Instead, he “ridicules” the beliefs of the people he meets, often to their faces.

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