Welcome (or Welcome Back) to Looking Closer!

braveheart-men-with-sharp-pointy-things

Well, hello to everyone here in the big Patheos.com tent!It's a privilege to be here, and thanks to the Patheos team — especially Timothy Dalrymple and Rebecca Cusey — for inviting me. This blog turned eight years old recently, and to celebrate, I've brought it to a new home. I'm very excited to meet new friends and start up some conversations about film, art, culture, and faith.For those who aren't familiar with Looking Closer, I'd like to say a few words (okay, more than a few) about wh … [Read more...]

First Position (2011)

[This review was originally published at Good Letters, the Patheos blog hosted by Image.]All of the dollars and expertise that produced The Avengers, Men in Black 3, and the rest of this summer’s block-busting movie events could never produce a spectacle as wondrous as eleven-year-old Aran Bell dancing his heart out.Aran is reason enough for you to buy a ticket for First Position. That’s director Bess Kargman’s new documentary about young ballet dancers training to compete in New York’s Y … [Read more...]

Chariots of Fire (1981) – “To Run and Not Grow Weary” Pt. 2

[This review was originally published at Good Letters, the Patheos blog hosted by Image.]Maybe it was instinct that sent me back to relive the 1924 Olympic Games.In Part One of this reflection, you found me despairing, feeling a sudden collapse of my lifelong will to write. Slumped on the couch, I was watching, of all things, Chariots of Fire.As a child, I loved this movie. But it wasn’t until college that I saw how it stands in stark contrast to so much evangelical entertainment, h … [Read more...]

Chariots of Fire (1981) – “To Run and Not Grow Weary” Pt. 1

[This review was originally published at Good Letters, the Patheos blog hosted by Image.]So, why Chariots of Fire?Why is that what I chose for tonight’s movie? Netflix is recommending all kinds of recent, highly rated titles. Why revisit this old DVD?It happened like this:Two hours earlier, I’d taken the car, planning to drive north to a waterfront park to work on my novel. I planned to walk along the beach and watch the sun’s long surrender while ideas filled my head. Then I’d ve … [Read more...]


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