Archives for September 2013

Win a Free Copy of Paula Huston’s New Novel: A Land Without Sin

Want to win a book?How about a book from Publishers Weekly's recent Best Summer Books of 2013?I'm giving away two beautiful, hardbound copies of the new novel by Paula Huston. Huston is the author of Daughters of Song, The Holy Way, Simplifying the Soul, and A Season of Mystery. She's also an instructor in Seattle Pacific University's MFA in Creative Writing program.And now she has a new novel from Slant Books.What's it about? … [Read more...]

A Film About Reno Without Casinos? A Film About Faith Without Preaching?

So many things make Chad Hartigan's film This is Martin Bonner remarkable.In my interview with this impressive young director, just published at Seattle Pacific University's Response website, I focused on only a couple of things that set his sophomore effort apart from other recent films. And it was a pleasure to speak with, and to thank, Hartigan for this — which will easily rate among my Top 10 films of 2013. (It's in the top three on my list so far. I posted my first impressions of the f … [Read more...]

Constantine (2005): Remembering a Movie I’d Rather Forget

2013 UPDATE:  This just in — the DC comic book character Constantine is about to make a comeback.Deadline reports: Warner Bros. TV and DC Comics are on a roll this development season with a third high-profile project.Constantine, a drama based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories, has sold to NBC with penalty. It is written/executive produced by The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, the go-to writer for Warner Bros.’ feature DC adaptations. Co … [Read more...]

Hi 5: Autumn Arrives, Eric Crissman Moves On

BREAKING NEWS: Summer is over and Autumn has arrived in Seattle!After an intolerable stretch of sunny days — perhaps the most relentless flood of sunshine the Emerald City has seen in decades — the clouds and rain have finally begun to move in and liberate Seattle from the conditions that confuse them and cause them to question their identity.So, we're sending out a massive HI 5 TO THE FACE to Autumn. Rain, thunder, lightning, radiant colors, melancholy, depression... bring it all on! … [Read more...]

The Sound of a Place: Guest Writer Brian Volck on Over the Rhine’s New Album

The following review is an extended version of "The Sound of a Place," Brian Volck's meditation on the new album by Over the Rhine. Consider it the "Director's Cut."The original version was published at Good Letters — the extraordinary blog about faith, art, and culture that is hosted by IMAGE. With the permission of Good Letters' editors, I'm sharing this post to offer a second opinion to my own review, which I posted here earlier this week. I could have left it that but, well, the doctor is … [Read more...]

Meet Me At the Edge Of the World: Over the Rhine Arrives at a Place Called Home

“Jesus come… turn my world around!”That was singer Karin Bergquist’s soulful appeal in the song “Changes Come,” the fiercest, most emotional moment of Over the Rhine’s 2003 double-album Ohio."Changes Come" was written in the aftermath of the attacks on America, during a time of heightening strife in the Middle East. Moreover, it was a time when Bergquist and her husband, Linford Detweiler — the other half of the Over the Rhine partnership — weren’t sure if their marriage would recover fro … [Read more...]

Wings of Desire’s Cassiel Takes Flight: Otto Sander Dies at 72

The German actor Otto Sander died today. But he will live on in the movies he made, like the legendary submarine thriller Das Boot, and my all-time favorite film, Wim Wenders' poetic and glorious Wings of Desire.  … [Read more...]

The Late Gatsby: First Impressions

Okay, I'm very, very late seeing Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.I had looked forward to the film, as I became a Baz fan back when Strictly Ballroom became an audience favorite back in 1992, and I so enjoyed Moulin Rouge's flamboyant tribute to the superficiality and soul of pop music that I saw it five times in the theater.But early reviews convinced me to make other movies a higher priority, and I put off the latest Luhrmann spectacle.Well, now I regret that. To the complainers I … [Read more...]

With Gratitude for the Life and Work of Lee Hough

Lee Hough passed away this morning.Lee was my friend, my counselor, my confidant, my voice of reassurance, my coach. … [Read more...]

Hi 5: Why Criticism Matters; Alissa Wilkinson; William James Bookseller; Facebook Followers

Here's today's Hi 5 to the Face report. Hi 5s are going out to...Adam Kirsch, senior editor of The New Republic: For contributing to The New York Times feature Why Criticism Matters." In an editorial titled "The Will Not to Power, but to Self-Understanding," Hirsch spells out something that lines right up with an approach to criticism that I whole-heartedly  embrace.Alissa Wilkinson: For posting this excerpt from Kirsch's article on her blog, which led us to the whole inspiring article. … [Read more...]