Archives for January 2014

Through a Screen Darkly by Martha Bayles is New. Through a Screen Darkly by That Other Cultural Critic is 7 Years Old!

Through a Screen Darkly, a consideration of art, entertainment, and faith, was published by Regal Books in 2007.Now, a book about pop culture by Martha Bayles bearing the same unlikely title has arrived here in 2014.I'm going to take that as a compliment. I took the Bible verse that says we see the glory of God "through a glass darkly" and applied it to how we can see the glory of God on a big screen. And in the age of Google, you'd think that a publisher would bother to take the time to … [Read more...]

In Case You Missed It: Personal Highlights of 2013

Like Robert Redford in a storm-battered boat, seeking to survive one wave of trouble after another, I sailed on through 2013, striving to accomplish what I could under difficult conditions.And whaddaya know — I managed to have some memorable adventures in writing, speaking, and teaching in spite of everything.So I'm taking a moment to remind myself that it wasn't a wasted year, and that even though 90% of my energy went to coping with difficulties, I invested some of that last 10% in s … [Read more...]

Her (2013): A Guest Review by Lauren Wilford

It is a pleasure and a privilege to welcome guest reviewer Lauren Wilford to Looking Closer, with a review of a film that made a strong impression on her: the new film from the director of Where the Wild Things Are. (I posted an "All Thumbs review" of this film last month, but you need a second opinion.) Thanks for sharing this, Lauren!•Depending on your perspective, Her has either an amazing elevator pitch or an awful one: “A guy falls in love with his iPhone.” There’s the reflexive reac … [Read more...]

Listen Closer: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Rosanne Cash, and More

It's a good day for fans of St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Rosanne Cash, Stephen Malkmus, and Sharon Jones. … [Read more...]

Respect The Wolf of Wall Street (The Movie, Not the Man)

"What? You liked The Wolf of Wall Street? How could you possibly recommend such Hollywood muck? Such profanity! Such perversity! Such evil!"(Sigh.)Every year, there's at least one movie that stirs a lot of evangelical Christians into condemning that movie as evil when, in fact, the filmmakers' intentions were to zoom in and expose evil... the way doctors enlarge X-rays to expose cancer... so that we will be shocked by the reality of it, live in greater awareness about it, avoid it, and a … [Read more...]

Listen Closer: Peter Gabriel, Joe Henry

My musical journey through 2014 begins with a bunch of my favorite artists together on one record performing Peter Gabriel covers. And right off the bat, I'm impressed. David Byrne's version of "I Don't Remember" is fantastic. … [Read more...]

Overstreet’s Favorite Films: 2013

In short, a conversation between a counselor and a recently paroled prisoner in a Las Vegas diner made a much bigger impression on this moviegoer than any comic book hero showdown, any fantasy roller-coaster ride, or any special-effects extravaganza in outer space.It was a year characterized by box-office-busting exhibitions of excess. Consider the bloated, ludicrous, and unapologetically unfaithful ruination of The Hobbit; the Superman movie in which the "hero" contributed to massive … [Read more...]