Family Stories: My Conversation with Alejandro González Iñárritu, Director of “Babel”

This interview was originally published at Christianity Today on November 8, 2006.-Alejandro González Iñárritu has a lot of stories to tell. He packs several of them into each film that he makes. In three critically acclaimed features — Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and the latest, Babel — he and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have told at least nine, depending on how you unravel his complex tapestries of narrative.All three films bear the distinct style and perspective of storytellers who … [Read more...]

Christian Film Critics Publish “Outrageous, Disingenuous Lies” for God’s Glory

This week's Film Forum contains dangerous material.Christians are giving mixed reviews to The Nativity Story.Some of them love it, some of them like it, some of them don't like it.Could it be that a movie might fall short of greatness, even if the story that it tells is the Greatest Story Ever Told?Could it be that a Christian might still have misgivings about a work of art, even if that art is about Jesus?Or is it a crime to point out weaknesses in a big-screen version of … [Read more...]

Twins! Congratulations to Geoffrey and Melody.

This was a scene at Geoff and Melody's house just a few weeks ago. You can only see four people on that couch... but there were, in fact, six people on that couch. Two of them weren't quite ready to be born.But now, they're here. The twins have been born!I've been through a lot with these two since we first met during freshman orientation at Seattle Pacific University in 1989. The adventures they've had, the courage they've shown, the love they lavish upon each other and their … [Read more...]

Headed Back to Auralia’s Colors for One Last Investigation

I have received the text of Auralia's Colors back from the publisher, and my editor has come up with a tantalyzing list of questions, encouraging me to give some of the supporting characters more time to play a part in the story. … [Read more...]

Manderlay (2005)

Danish director Lars von Trier gave us a remarkable, audacious film in 2004 called Dogville. The film starred Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Anne Bancroft, and a supporting cast of familiar faces, but it also demanded our own participation. The story played out on a stage decorated with a few props and chalk outlines that told us where the houses, streets, and other important landmarks were.The film told the story of a gangster's daughter, Grace, who happens upon a small town and, during her vi … [Read more...]

Frederica Matthewes-Green on “The Nativity Story”

Here's Frederica, entertaining and insightful as always, with her take on Catherine Hardwicke's The Nativity Story. … [Read more...]

Keeping the Christ-movie in Christmas

When I worked for the City of Seattle's Department of Construction and Land Use, one of the directors hung pictures of Buddhist temples and Buddha statues all over her office and even outside her office for passers-by to enjoy.I found this strange, since I was told that I couldn't have a little desk-top Christmas tree in my work space during the holidays because it was a "religious symbol" and could offend my coworkers.Then, when I put up a Christmas card with a picture of Santa on it, I … [Read more...]

Questions for the writer of "The Nativity Story"?

I'll be interviewing Mike Rich, screenwriter of Finding Forrester, The Rookie, Radio, and The Nativity Story, this afternoon.The guy's being interviewed by all kinds of religious press publications. I'm sure he's heard some questions a hundred time.So I'm sitting here listing questions that he might not have heward. I'm curious... what would YOU ask him? What do you want to know about The Nativity Story and how it was made? … [Read more...]

“The Nativity Story”: Gritty realism? Or sentimental, romantic iconography?

Christianity Today's David Neff, in the new issue: "This film ... runs from the horror [of Herod's bloodshed] and quickly reverts into Silent Night"-happy ending mode. The shift from the realism of Mary and Joseph's life in Nazareth to the romantic iconography of the Nativity scene seems to be a surrender to the romantic structrure of the plot. The gritty reality of village life in first-century Palestine is abandoned in favor of Christmas-card sentimentality, with wise men, shepherds, animals, … [Read more...]

Snow Day at Overstreet Headquarters

Anne wisely decided not to sit back and relax on several inches of snow.But I chose otherwise. … [Read more...]