Oscar winner sees “faith-based bigotry”

A Hollywood heavyweight weighs in on the “Alone Yet Not Alone” controversy.  From the Hollywood Reporter:

Gerald Molen, an Oscar-winning producer of Schindler’s List, is accusing the Academy of discriminating against a religious movie in revoking its nomination in the best song category. [Read more...]

Oscars rescind “Alone Yet not Alone” nomination

The Academy Award nomination of the small-budget Christian movie Alone Yet Not Alone for best song was rescinded.  The composer of the music, a former member of the Board of Governors, was said to have improperly promoted the song by e-mailing the current board about it.

That the Academy is taking back the nomination because of this seems strange, given the elaborate and costly promotional campaigns that studios currently wage to win votes.  I wonder if this is the whole story.  Once word got out about the evangelical nature of the movie, could that have sabotaged it with the Academy?  The nomination was widely criticized in Hollywood circles not for the song but because the film had been praised by Christians characterized as being “anti-gay.” [Read more...]

“Alone yet Not Alone” gets Oscar nomination

Alone yet not Alone is one of those small but ambitious “faith-based-films” that usually get little traction in the Hollywood world.  Some of my students and people I know here at Patrick Henry College worked on it.  But I don’t think anybody expected it to win an Oscar nomination, which it did for “best original song.”  Listen to All 5 Tunes Nominated for the ‘Best Original Song’ Oscar.

The music is by Bruce Broughton, the lyrics are by Dennis Spiegel, and the performance is by the remarkable Joni Eareckson Tada.  After the jump, you can hear the song. [Read more...]

The real Osage County

I grew up in northern Oklahoma, so I’ve been noting with bemusement how Osage County all of a sudden has a presence in popular culture.  First there was Ree Drummond, a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, whose show on the Food Network has introduced foodies to the cuisine I grew up with and whose blog about her life on the vast Drummond Ranch has introduced a wide audience to Oklahoma culture.  Then native Oklahoman Tracy Letts won a Pulitzer Prize for his play August:  Osage County, which was then turned into a movie featuring a whole army of A-list actors, such as Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, and (of course, since he’s seemingly been in every other movie this year) Benedict Cumberbatch. The film was shot on location, so all of these Hollywood superstars lived for two months in a condo complex in Bartlesville and shot the movie in a house in Boulanger, with scenes in Pawhuska and Barnsdall.  So I had to see this movie. [Read more...]

Move the nation’s capital to Nebraska

We talk about politics here at the Cranach blog, being careful to keep the two kingdoms distinguished, but we don’t do politicking, in the sense of agitating for one candidate or another.   But I wanted to show you this campaign video as a virtuoso example of the genre.

Ben Sasse is running for the senate in Nebraska.  I have known him personally for a long time in different capacities, and he’s a good guy.  He’s a Lutheran, and I’ve worshiped with him at  Immanuel in Alexandria, where he attended when he lived in the D.C. area.

I know at least one of you will cringe at the exaltation of rural midwestern values, and I admit that some of the conventions of the genre–brilliantly realized in this video–can get kind of cheesy (the waving flags, the obligatory interview with the wife and kids, etc.).  But Ben presents himself ridiculously well.   As for his signature issue here, I am pretty sure he is (mostly) being ironic and metaphorical, but he’s got himself a clever slogan, one that voters will remember and that sets him apart from the pack in the Republican primary.

We are certainly not endorsing him, knowing nothing of his competition or of the issues in the state of Nebraska.  But you’ve got to see this video, after the jump. [Read more...]

Best movies of 2013?

You tell me.  What do you think was the best movie of 2013?


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