Specials: Winter Solstice. Undertow. Bortz scratches. Aslan talks. Hobos bite.

I’m back from a bout with the flu, and a couple of days of recovery on beautiful Whidbey Island, surrounded by sun, surf, sand, and DEER… deer everywhere.

I wanted to tell you about what I saw last week BEFORE falling ill…

I rented two films on DVD that had striking similarities. They were both about men trying to cope with the deaths of their wives while raising two sons.

Winter Solstice was one. Wonderful, meditative, beautifully filmed, and relatively overlooked by moviegoers, left to be discovered on DVD.

Undertow was the other. Wonderful, meditative, beautifully filmed, and relatively overlooked by moviegoers, left to be discovered on DVD.

And yet they’re entirely different. And I like them both.

Winter Solstice almost suffers for its lack of plot. In its attempt to avoid conventional events, it’s almost too strange, too strained. But still, I can’t get it out of my head, and I’m thinking it’s one of the best things I’ve seen this year.

Undertow suffers a bit because whenever the plot gets going, it almost spoils the graceful style of the thing, as if David Gordon Green is saying, “Aw, shucks, I agreed to direct a thriller, didn’t I?”

Anyway, they’re both worth catching, and hopefully they’ll get overdue attention when critics post their best-of lists at the end of 2005. I’ll be writing full reviews of both as soon as I can find the time.


CT puts the spotlight on Bortz’s Africa project

The new trailer for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Peter Jackson gets a visit from the monkey that started it all.

Jeunet is the latest director attached to the project.

Gaiman fantasy character goes to Dakota.

And an off-topic note for those in my neighborhood: These eight-legged freaks are all over my basement, and now they’re making news.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Gaffney

    Hmmmm. I guess this means that the Right Wingers closed down “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” and are responsible for the lack of sequels to “Gigli.”

    Maybe they aren’t all that bad after all…

    On a more serious note, I’m waiting for the flood of protesters that will actually claim they had anything to do with this show tanking, just to balance the inaccurate understanding of boycotting entertainment.



  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Ack. I meant to credit Amy’s blog, ‘cuz that’s where I found it.

  • Gene Branaman

    “Apparently, it was Evangelical Right-Wing Extremist Censorship that shut down the show.”

    Amy Welborn posted this link, too. I wondered over there what sort of reation Jack Kenny might get if he re-worked the show for next season as “The Book of Mohammed” . . .