Awards, awards, awards!

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While the world waits with breathless anticipation for the Oscar nominations to be announced on Thursday morning, the various critics’ groups out there have been revealing their own picks for the best films of 2015. I happen to be a member of two such groups, and we’ve made announcements of our own over the last week or so.

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A few brief words on horror and scary movies for Halloween

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Today is Halloween, so the good folks at Context with Lorna Dueck in Toronto asked me if I could talk to them for a few minutes about scary movies and why a Christian would watch them (or, in some cases, why a Christian would make them!).

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The Arts & Faith Top 25 Films on Memory

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The Arts & Faith community released its fifth Top 25 list today — and the theme this time is “Films on Memory”. You can get a sense of what the list is all about by reading this introductory essay by my friend Ryan Holt. As before, with our lists on divine comedies and films about marriage, I wrote two of the blurbs: one on Akira Kurosawa’s Rashômon (1950), in which I sneak in a reference to his later film Ikiru (1952); and another on Errol Morris’s The Thin Blue Line (1988).

The Arts & Faith Top 25 Divine Comedies

The Arts & Faith community, which I have been part of for over a decade now, released its fourth Top 25 list today — and the theme this time is “Divine Comedies”. Before the vote, there was some debate as to what this term even means, and after the vote, there was some debate about the results and whether they were diverse enough, etc. But you can get a sense of what the list is all about by reading this introductory essay by my friend Steven D. Greydanus. As before, with our list on films about marriage, I wrote two of the blurbs: one on my second-favorite film of all time, The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), from which the picture above comes; and another on one of my favorite Jesus movies, Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979).

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The Arts & Faith Top 25 Films on Marriage

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Arts & Faith community — which I’ve been a member of since before the A&F website was created ten years ago — has released a list of the Top 25 Films on Marriage. This is the third Top 25 list that the A&F community has produced in the last few years, as a supplement to our occasional Top 100 films-of-all-time lists — but it is the first Top 25 that I myself took part in. The first was devoted to horror films, of which I am not a particularly big or well-informed fan, and the second was devoted to road movies, which was so broadly defined that some movies on that list — such as 2001: A Space Odyssey — don’t even feature any roads! (But the movie still portrays a “pilgrimage” of sorts, so.) However, I did very much want to take part in the marriage-movie list, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my favorite movies of all time — a very obscure (on this continent) British flick called The Family Way — came in at #8. I wrote the blurb on that film, as well as the blurb on Hobson’s Choice, a David Lean comedy (yes, they do exist!) which came in at #22. To learn more about the list, and the community that produced it, check out this introductory essay by M. Leary at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image magazine.