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?

My take on “The Hobbit” 2

We’re on the road, and Friday we were caught in the ice storm in Oklahoma City, taking shelter in a hotel in Bricktown, OKC’s very cool entertainment district.  It was 9:30 p.m. and I was just settling down for a long winter’s nap, when my wife said, “Let’s go see the Hobbit!”  Showing that we nearly-senior citizens can be just as impulsive, reckless, and irresponsible as the callow young, we walked four blocks through the freezing rain, slip sliding away to the nearly-empty multiplex where we were just in time for the 9:45 p. m. showing.  (It was nearly 1:00 a.m. when we made our way back, way, way past our accustomed bed times.)

As my wife commented, most critics have been saying that the first installment of the Hobbit was kind of slow, with all that atmosphere and exposition, and that the second installment, The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug is much better, with non-stop action from the very beginning.  As often happens, the critics describe something true, but fail in their interpretation and in their assessment.   There is way too much action in this second movie, which is not nearly as good as the first one. [Read more...]

“Son of God,” the movie

A movie entitled The Son of God will be released February 28.  An expanded version of material from the Bible TV ministeries but released from a major studio (20th Century Fox), it will keep in the miracles, unlike some film renditions of Jesus’ story.  Details from Variety after the jump.  Here is the trailer.  (But does it look good?  Is it really helpful to turn material from the Word of God into the visual medium of film?)

[Read more...]

What’s really demonic

William Peter Blatty is the author of The Exorcist, a novel about demonic possession.  He also wrote the screenplay for the movie version, which is considered one of the scariest films of all time.  It turns out the former Hollywood comedy writer penned the novel as an expression of faith.

After the jump I link to an interview with him that is worth reading in its entirety.  I excerpt the final words in the interview, in which Mr. Blatty cites something far more demonic than what he portrayed in The Exorcist. [Read more...]

Bible movies in the works

Major Hollywood studios are working on movies based on stories from the Bible.  See the list after the jump. [Read more...]


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