The Browser, Post-Oscar edition 2/25: Best Day Ever!, Critics picks, and Raymond Chandler

Thank you for making this the best day ever at Looking Closer. My blog stats inform me we've had a record number of visitors here in the last 24 hours, meaning that the Oscars proved a bigger deal than The Lord of the Rings and The Golden Compass controversy among Looking Closer readers.How do critics' picks differ from the Academy?Now, let's forget about the Academy for a moment. Let's look at the Best Films of 2007 according to those who *study* hundreds of movies every year. Here's … [Read more...]

Larry Norman is Dead. Long Live Larry Norman.

"The father of Christian rock" -- Larry Norman -- is dead. And as you might expect, Andy Whitman has written something appropriate to this solemn event.UPDATE: CT on Larry Norman. … [Read more...]

The Oscars, and How to Pick a Real Winner…

Who will take home those golden chunks of cheese tonight? … [Read more...]

Spellbinding Syndromes

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My Oscar predictions, Christian Oscars(?), and Left Behind

If "Falling Slowly" from Once doesn't win, it's just another confirmation that the Academy voters don't know anything about good songwriting. (Remember when Celine Dion's Titanic histrionics beat Elliott Smith's Good Will Hunting song?)But okay, enough already. I never do very well at this game, but as a film critic, I'm required to submit my predictions for Sunday night's glamour-bash. So here we go... … [Read more...]

Tired of Debates and Campaigns? Imagine “If a Song Could Be President”

Listen to this Election Year's theme song: Go to Over the Rhine's MySpace page and listen to "If a Song Could Be President."Then, read the latest update on Over the Rhine from Linford Detweiler. … [Read more...]

T-Bone Burnett’s “Tooth of Crime” Album – Due May 13 (Finally!)

I can't believe my eyes.USA Today reports T-Bone Burnett's Tooth of Crime, the album of material he wrote as accompaniment to the Sam Shepard play of the same title, is coming out on Nonesuch on May 13.This collection has been talked about for, what? Three, four... TEN years?And Sam Phillips is on six tracks. Marc Ribot plays guitar, of course. And there's even a song penned by Roy Orbison.This will really help distract me from the unfortunate postponement of Sam's Don't Do … [Read more...]

The Void Within Daniel Plainview

Steven Shaviro, who applauds Daniel Day-Lewis's performances as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood, poses an insightful rebuttal to Stephanie Zacharek's critique of that performance.In doing so, he deepens my appreciation of Anderson's latest masterpiece even further, and inspires enthusiastic comments. … [Read more...]

The Browser: Dobson and the election. Another Top Ten List. O’Connor.

Whitman on this election year's Dobson¬†factor Some writers make me nod off. Andy Whitman makes me nod on, and on, and on.¬†-A Lively ListVJ Morton has one of the most interesting¬†Best of 2007 lists I've¬†seen, and a thoughtful trip through the¬†acting categories too. Bonus! Actual scenes from great films!¬†-Falling for Flannery... Again!And last but certainly not least... in fact, perhaps this should have been first... Flannery O'Connor, via her blog:What the fictio … [Read more...]

The Browser 2/20: Iron and Wine

John Wilson, editor of Books and Culture, attended an Iron and Wine concert. And in this short testimony about the experience, he captures perfectly exactly what disturbs me about Sam Beam's writing... and what disturbs me about the fact that many young Christians hastily embrace Iron and Wine because of the "spirituality" in the lyrics.Granted, Beam is a talented poet and an excellent, inspired musician. But he's singing about the Bible from the point of view of a "conscientious objector" … [Read more...]