Archives for November 2008

Don’t Tell Me How to Feel. Make Me Want to See.

My pal Ron Reed posted this quote over at I'd read it before in one of my favorite C.S. Lewis volumes, Letters to Children, but it's always a good reminder for writers, whether they're beginners or not... In writing, don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you’re describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was terrible, describe it so that we’ll feel terrified. Don’t say it was delightful; make us say ‘delightful’ when we’ve read … [Read more...]

“Twilight in 15 Minutes”

This parody of Twilight takes only a few minutes to read, and it's much more entertaining than the film (in my opinion, anyway).There are links strewn throughout that lead to even more funny stuff, many of which are just excerpts straight from the book. (Check out The Catalog here.) Yes, it's chock full of spoilers, so if you want the movie to surprise you, run away.I suspect that Twilight's going to rank among the most-parodied films of all time. … [Read more...]

The Passion of Screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald

Mel Gibson is still in trouble for how he handled The Passion of the Christ. Screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald is suing Gibson, claiming he was underpaid for his work on "Passion."Fitzgerald's attorneys claimed Tuesday that his payments were eroded by Gibson's spending habits while filming the movie in Italy, including "tens of thousands" of dollars on his children's education and a $78,000 chiropractor bill. … [Read more...]

Greydanus on Twilight-mania; Ebert on the CelebCult

Steven Greydanus offers an insightful interpretation of the Twilight phenomenon. Now that's what I'm talking about!-Roger Ebert: Death to Film Critics! Hail to the CelebCult!  … [Read more...]

A Conversation with Margaret D. Smith, Poet and Author of “Holy Struggle” and “Barn Swallow”

TWO POEMS BY MARGARET D. SMITH Pavel talks to me over lunchMy farmhouse is away, so far from Prague there are no planes, not even cars.You can hear everything that way. The pigeons make love on rooftops,workers talk in fields, bees make sounds like music far off.My grandfather loved bees. He left Prague to live in that farmhouseto raise bees: bees in boxes, bees in fields. When he died he left me his farmhouse.The first time I stepped inside after he was … [Read more...]

Through a Screen Darkly – Bonus Commentary – The Court Jester of Christian Rock

Christian Culture's Court Jester: A Note of Thanks to Steve Taylor This reflection on the work of Steve Taylor was originally intended as part of the chapter on comedy in Through a Screen Darkly. • Directed by the Court Jester of Christian Rock As a teenager, I was disillusioned with the relentless, unflinching solemnity and superficiality of most contemporary Christian music. A great deal of what I heard on Christian radio amounted to a tiresome program of redundant, shallow praises; d … [Read more...]

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus

In the Bible of contemporary gospel music, Nick Cave’s new pair of albums prove he’s a Major Prophet.Like David Eugene Edwards (of Sixteen Horsepower and Woven Hand), Cave’s brutal honesty, surreal symbolism, zeal for the sublime, and righteous anger at himself and the reset of humanity sets him up as one of rock and roll’s equivalents to John the Baptist crying in the wilderness, making way for the return of the Lord even as he decries those who claim to speak for God.Cave embraces his r … [Read more...]


Welcome to the new all-in-one site for Looking Closer.Looking for the blog? It's called "The Journal."Looking for reviews? We're transferring them as fast as we can. Most of the film reviews are up, but the music reviews... well... we've barely scratched the surface there yet. Please be patient.Looking for information on my books? You'll find it, although there's still a lot of organizing to do.Many many more features are in the works.If you need access to a particular review … [Read more...]

Man on Wire (2008) – A Reflection

[This reflection on Man on Wire was originally published at Good Letters, the daily blog for Image.]• In a photograph from her recent wedding, my friend Tara stands on one side of the empty dance floor. On the other, Bryan, her groom, leans forward in his chair. Tara is about to reach out her hand in a gesture of invitation. No doubt about it—he’s ready to respond. Their gazes are locked in a fierce line. The tension in that open space is palpable. Complicated histories, differing citize … [Read more...]

Make your case: Why We Love WALL-E.

It's the most joyous time of the year.Yes, I'm talking about Oscar season. … [Read more...]