FILM FORUM: Into Great Silence, Zodiac, Black Snake Moan, and Wild Hogs

Welcome to the first installment of Looking Closer's Film Forum! Yes, Film Forum has moved from Christianity Today Movies to Looking Closer, and things are going to change somewhat. It'll include links to a wider range of reviews, from the religious press to mainstream film criticism. It's not meant to be a comprehensive list of reviews, but rather just a journal of the reviews that caught my attention with some arresting observations or opinions. We have oh-so-many mainstream reviews that … [Read more...]

“Have We Lost Our Minds?” Readers Say “No!”

My blog post about CT Movies' reviews and the Christian perspective that informs them was republished (in an abridged, revised form) at CT Movies. … [Read more...]

Arcade Fire’s Church-Based Album

Arcade Fire's Neon Bible is the album with the most buzz this month. And they've earned that hype. There are a lot of reasons I'm curious about Neon Bible, and here's one of them... … [Read more...]

Kim Jeffries Asks Me About Ricky Bobby’s Baby Jesus Prayer, and More…

Yesterday on the Kim Jeffries show, Kim and I discussedthe Oscars, what the five contenders had in common, what was wrong (or right) with Ricky Bobby's "Baby Jesus" prayer in Talladega Nights, whether or not I was offended by Brian Dannelly's comedy Saved!, and what in the world is my favorite movie.Somewhere along the way a troublemaking caller named Martin challenged me to explain the thinking behind Christianity Today's top ten list for 2006 ... or better, the three top ten … [Read more...]

“Film Forum” is Coming to Looking Closer!

As I sat watching the Oscars and writing the last installment of Film Forum for Christianity Today, I was inspired by all of the thank-you speeches made by the winners.So I've started this week’s edition with thanks to a few people who have supported me in this work over six years. And I want to repeat those thanks here. … [Read more...]

What happens when four Christians talk about movies in a bar?

The Kindlings Muse ... it's the Oscar party you missed! … [Read more...]

Dick Staub on “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Amazing Grace”

When I first met Dick Staub, he was a Christian radio talk-show host who knew how to perform compelling, gracious, unpredictable interviews.Then I got hooked on his blog, where he ponders the state of Christianity and culture... Staublog.Then he went off to start a whole new venture... The Kindlings Muse... leading conversations about faith, culture, politics, theology, and art, in the public forum of Hale's Pub and Brewery in Seattle, Washington. And his new book is called The … [Read more...]

Were the Voters Blindfolded?

Somebody explain to me how you can watch Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men and think that Pan's Labyrinth is the better work of cinematography? … [Read more...]

Oscar Thoughts … as the Show Goes On (Updated)

How do you start things off on a bad note? You take a gospel choir and have them parade around singing "Hallelujah" in honor of the nominees.Isn't that just about the epitome of the industry's self-congratulation? Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacky!Otherwise, I appreciated the low-key intro by Ellen DeGeneres.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------I wish The Prestige had taken Best Art Direction. The art direction in that film was complex, colorful, … [Read more...]

The Christianity Today Readers’ Poll

I've already linked to Christianity Today's "Most Redeeming Movies of 2006" list (a list of the most inspiring, redemptive big-screen stories of the year).And I've linked to their critics' "Cream of the Crop" list (a list of the films that CT critics found to be the most accomplished works of cinematic art).But there's another list I forgot to mention: the Readers' Poll!!A "critic of the critics" recently criticized CT Movies film reviewers for being "out of touch" with their … [Read more...]