Archives for February 2013

In Defense of “Amour”

Last week, an Anglican priest I have never met called me to discuss a movie.Not a common occurrence.But, God bless him, this brave fellow is leading discussions of 2012's Oscar-nominated films in a class held at his church. And he's stumbled onto a film that is proving more complicated than others. In fact, he's encountered some rather intense condemnation of that film from fellow Christians.The film is Michael Haneke's film Amour. … [Read more...]

How “Downton Abbey” Should End

I don't care to know how Downton Abbey really ends, because I can't think of a better ending than this one...- Dame Maggie Smith wakes up with a cry. Kelly Macdonald is there, having just brought a tray of breakfast. Emily Watson is there too, with Dame Maggie's newspaper. "Oh my," says Maggie, flustered. "I've just had the longest and most melodramatic dream!" … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Special: Are These the Top 25 Films About Marriage?

Will you be celebrating Valentine's Day at the movies? If so, what will you watch? Perhaps you'll watch something romantic. Or, if you're like me and Anne, you'll just watch what sounds good. (I think she may be interested in checking out Skyfall, now that it's available online; or maybe an old favorite that involves both fantasy and true love, like Ladyhawke or The Princess Bride.)It won't be hard to find a film about love. It won't be hard to find a film about dating or romance. But it is, … [Read more...]

Side Effects (2013)

If a doctor asked you to be the guinea pig for an experimental drug, would you do it?What kind of side effects would make such an experiment too risky?Would you feel better if you knew that good results would advance the doctor's career? What if you learned that pharmaceutical companies were using you in a strategy to make more money?Shouldn't we hope to find drug-free solutions before turning our bodies into elaborate chemistry experiments?These are disturbing but relevant … [Read more...]

In Space, No One Can Hear You Have a Mid-Faith Crisis

Few science fiction novels have wrestled with questions about faith, the existence of God, and the problem of evil as vigorously as Mary Doria Russell's two-volume science fiction epic The Sparrow and Children of God.If you're not familiar with these popular novels, here's the basic idea: In the history of the world, what group of people has most frequently sought out, made contact with, and built cultural bridges with foreign cultures? Answer: The Jesuits! So, Mary Doria Russell asks, … [Read more...]

Look!: “Ivan’s Childhood”; “La Pivellina”; Steven Greydanus’s Top 10 List Collection; Joel Avery on “Melancholia” & the Apocalypse; More…

Look!These links caught my attention today, for one reason or another.Check back later. I may add more look-worthy links as the day goes on.-Last night, thanks to the new Criterion blu-ray release, I finally got around to watching Ivan's Childhood, the first feature film by master filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.I've seen Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev, Zerkalo (The Mirror), Solaris, and The Sacrifice enough times to count them among my favorite films, but have never managed to sit … [Read more...]

The Amazing Adventures of Anderson and Chabon

Michael Chabon is writing about the films of Wes Anderson. So I have postponed my plans for the morning until I've read the whole thing.Here's how it begins... … [Read more...]