Archives for September 2006

Ralph Winter: Producer of Blockbuster movies. “Gladiator” fan. Comic-book movie expert. Christian.

"Hollywood."In the media... especially in the Christian media... the word "Hollywood" gets thrown around a lot."Hollywood is anti-Christian. It is always producing projects that lampoon, criticize, and ridicule Christians.""We need to clean up Hollywood.""Christians should not have anything to do with what comes out of Hollywood."Meanwhile, in the middle of Hollywood, you'll find Christians are working hard to create good films, to deliver excellent performances, to write … [Read more...]

What is a “Christian Movie”?

"Christian."What is it?Is it an adjective?* * * * * * * * * * * * *Is "a Christian" someone who prayed a prayer asking Jesus into their heart? What if that person forgets about that prayer, and strays?Is it someone who continues in a dedicated fashion to pursue and develop a relationship with Christ?The word began as a label that others put upon the disciples of Christ, a teasing sort of label: "Little Christs." And the name stuck. It was, whether intended that way or … [Read more...]

“Jesus Camp”: The “best journalism” About Contemporary Christian Conservatism?

Jeff Sharlet at The Revealer reviews Jesus Camp and says, "I can't recommend it strongly enough. Jesus Camp turns out to be perhaps the best work of journalism -- or art -- dealing with contemporary Christian conservatism."Let's say that he's right, and Jesus Camp really is the best work of journalism dealing with contemporary Christian conservatism. … [Read more...]

Looking for Utopia?

One of the seductions that bedevils Christian formation is the construction of utopias, ideal places where we can live totally and without inhibition or interference the good and blessed and righteous life. The imagining and then attempted construction of such utopias is an old habit of our kind. Sometimes we attempt it politically in communities, sometimes socially in communes, sometimes religiously in churches. It never comes to anything but grief. Utopia is, literally, “no-place.” But we can l … [Read more...]

The L.A. Times: “Jesus Camp” Update

Here's The LA Times on the hubbub over Jesus Camp, and how the subjects of the film are responding to it. When Fischer arrived home Tuesday after a few days touring with the filmmakers, her e-mail inbox was loaded with hate mail. She spent the next two days writing lengthy explanations to the most common accusations — "How dare you brainwash those kids!" and "Are you raising up Christian terrorists or another Hitler Youth movement?" — then posted them on her website Thursday."I've gotten tho … [Read more...]

Happy Akemi Day!

One of my youngest friends, Akemi Takashi, daughter of my former coworker and dear friend Kathy Takahashi, is a very big deal today in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.If you're a filmmaker looking for a good, inspiring story, you won't find a more engaging youngster than Akemi. … [Read more...]

Want Your Movie to Bomb?

Today, Jeffrey Wells considers three things that will guarantee your movie will be unpopular.And, although it really depresses me to say it, this is probably true. … [Read more...]

Sven Nykvist, Cinematographer, Dead at 83.

Sven Nykvist, the man whose camera captured such memorably beautiful and varied films as What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Sleepless in Seattle, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Cries and Whispers, Winter Light, and Through a Glass Darkly has died at the age of 83. He won a few Academy-awards, and was one of my favorite cinematographers. This is a great loss, not just for moviegoers, but for the whole world of art. … [Read more...]

Suzanne Vega Considers Bob Dylan

One of my favorite songwriters writes about one of my favorite songwriters. … [Read more...]

Paste, Relevant, and CCM Magazines

Sometimes I receive letters and know right away what I want to say in response.But sometimes, even if I know what I want to say, I'm more interested in hearing what other people would say in response.This letter, which raises questions about the differences between magazines like Paste, Relevant, and CCM, is one of those letters.So, let me put this letter on the table, and see what happens.Keep it gracious, generous, but bold and true. I don't want to know if you "like" or are … [Read more...]