Men, Step Aside.

enchanted april poster

Lately, I've heard some complaints about the movie Brave. Some men have taken issue with the fact that the men are often the source of comic relief in the film, that their warrior-clan culture is depicted as amusing, bombastic, even buffoonish. Meanwhile, the two central characters, a mother and her daughter, are given complexity, intelligence, even reverence.Apparently, this has troubled some men. They are uncomfortable with this.Funny, I don't remember hearing them complain about films … [Read more...]

Auralia’s Colors… Revealed!

auralia's colors snapshot

I'm always grateful to hear people's thoughts about Auralia's Colors or its sequels.Some responses are familiar and kind: "I haven't read your book, but I'm going to." Thanks! No pressure.Some make my day: "I read Auralia's Colors!" All the way to the end? Wow. I'm relieved!I'm especially grateful when it turns out that they've read Auralia's Colors and its sequels.When they've read them all in order? That's a rare and wonderful thing.Some responses challenge me to remain s … [Read more...]

Browsing the Mailbox: July 26

Here are a few notes from this week's mailbox. (And by "mailbox," I might mean blog comments, email, or other social networking sites.) … [Read more...]

The “Be the Man!” Problem in Beasts of the Southern Wild

I remain flummoxed as to why Beasts of the Southern Wild is garnering so much acclaim. I'd begun to feel a deep distrust of my own first impression, and considered withdrawing my review.But here, in this Nashville Scene review, Michael Sicinski gets right at what bothered me about the whole film. I don't feel so alone anymore. … [Read more...]

The Sound of Silence

This week at Good Letters, Tony Woodlief reflects on the silence of those who witnessed the crimes of Jerry Sandusky. Here's an excerpt: … [Read more...]

Poem: “In Gratitude” – by Abigail Carroll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emOpCLkIYywI'm hoping to make excellent poetry a regular feature here at the new Looking Closer. I can't promise it will be a weekly event, but I'll accept submissions and show them to a jury of poets I know and trust. Those that get a "thumbs up" from them will be lined up for publication here.And I am thrilled to begin with a poem by Abigail Carroll. I heard her read this poem at a writer's retreat at the Gove Hill Retreat Center in Vermont a couple of … [Read more...]

Barbarians in Charge: Robert Joustra on The Dark Knight Rises

Robert Joustra, the senior editor of Comment magazine and a contributor to this book, emailed me this morning in response to my review of The Dark Knight Rises. If you've seen the movie and are thus not worried about spoilers, you might find his thoughts interesting, as I did: … [Read more...]

Diagnosis: A Disappointing Dark Knight

This weekend I read a lot of reviews of The Dark Knight Rises to see how other people were taking it.Two pieces in particular were especially damning, pretty much nailing the coffin shut on Christopher Nolan's Batman... and maybe on Nolan's ouvre as a whole, for this moviegoer.  … [Read more...]

Mysteries of the Lost Comments #1

In spite of a simple, fair Comments Policy that is available through not one but two links on my blog's home page, sometimes I receive comments that clearly violate those simple guidelines.Today, I received one of them in response to my review of The Dark Knight Rises.Rather than just trash the comment, I think it provides what some would call "a teachable moment." While I welcome disagreement, and get it frequently from good friends, from coworkers, and from visitors to my my Facebook … [Read more...]

Notes from Gareth Higgins and Scott Derrickson on the Shootings in Colorado…

Some thought-provoking reflections on the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, from the Facebook page of the honorable Gareth Higgins (mastermind of the Wild Goose Festival): When President Obama says that those in authority will do everything possible to ensure safety in the light of the Colorado cinema shootings, I hope we can have a thoughtful conversation about how policies promoted by a national myth addicted to violence cannot be divorced from how some individuals may not be able to control … [Read more...]


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