My Favorite Films of 2005

I've just published the Looking Closer "Favorite Films of 2005" list.This list will very likely be revised in the next month, as I catch up to some of those hard-to-reach 2005 releases. But I'll be required to turn in my list to various publications in the coming weeks, so I figured I'd better come up something.I'm as surprised as anybody to see what has ended up as my #1 film of the year. A few months ago, I would never have guessed. But my love for it just keeps deepening... … [Read more...]

Film Viewing Journal – 2006

I will provide a link to this post on the top of the Looking Closer blog soon. (Currently, there's a link to the 2005 journal.) This is the post where I'll catalog every film I see in 2006.* = indicates first-time viewing2006 December The Last King of Scotland* (DVD screener).....B The Secret of Roan Innish (VHS) ..... A- Marie Antoinette*......B+ The Holiday*.....C- Children of Men (second viewing).....A Letters from Iwo Jima*.....A- The Devil Wears Prada* (DVD … [Read more...]

New NBC Show Stars a Buddy Christ, Written by "Recovering Catholic."

If a show about Muslims were written by sarcastic evangelicals who liked to poke fun at Islam, can you imagine the cultural outcry across America? That show would be shot down so fast, you wouldn't have time to say "politically incorrect!"Now, imagine a show in which Jesus himself is a regular character who pals around with a priest. Imagine it's written by "a recovering Catholic" who is apparently very interested in the idea of reincarnation, and who thinks a lot of the "myth" surrounding … [Read more...]

The Chicago Film Critics Nominations

As these critical nominations roll out this year, there's far more love for King Kong than I ever expected. Here are the nominations by the Chicago Film Critics... one of the groups that don't seem to be hasty, waiting until most of the 2005 films have arrived and had time to sink in. … [Read more...]

Rod Dreher on "Brokeback Mountain"

Rod Dreher on "Brokeback Mountain" True, the men begin their doomed affair in a time and place where homosexuality was viciously suppressed, and so they suffer from social constrictions that make it difficult to master their own fates. But it is also true that both men are overgrown boys who waste their lives searching for something they've lost, and which might be irrecoverable. They are boys who refuse to become men, or to be more precise, do not, for various reasons, have the wherewithal to … [Read more...]

After seeing it twice, I’ve posted my full review of "Brokeback Mountain."

I finally got tired of reading the debates and the diatribes. I sat myself down and watched the film twice in one week. And I wrote a review that was ten pages long.Then, deciding that I wanted at least one person to read it, I did a severe edit.Here's my in-depth... but hopefully not insufferable... review of Brokeback Mountain. … [Read more...]

Thoughts on future Narnia films

I'm engrossed in editing Auralia's Colors this weekend, and working on my Top 25 of 2005.But in the meantime... Jeffrey,I think it has been proved that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has enough legs that a sequel will be made and since you have already posed the question of who might direct future films, I think an interesting question to pose to your readers would be which of the remaining books should or will actually be made into movies. At least I would find that discussion … [Read more...]

Steven Spielberg to re-make "Mary Poppins"?!

The Independent has the scoop.Time will tell if it's a... um... quality scoop. … [Read more...]

Sufjan Stevens is my new hero.

I liked his Seven Swans album.Then I grew to love it.I liked his Illinois album.These days, I love it more than I can say. The two songs "John Wayne Gacy Jr." and "Casimir Pulaski Day" are better on their own than any other full album I've heard all year.And now this... NPR has rated Illinois as the album of the year, and says, "Sufjan Stevens new album isn't just this year's best album, it's the best album to come out in several years. In an era when most of the music we hear is … [Read more...]

Ladies and Gentlemen… Craig Detweiler.

I interviewed screenwriter/film-instructor Craig Detweiler at Biola several months ago in L.A., before any trailers for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had even been shown. (The trailer debuted above Detweiler's head on a big screen at the Biola Media Conference.)That interview was published today at Christianity Today Movies.Here's a clip: Do you see "good, beautiful, complex, redemptive" films being made today?Detweiler: Almost every class I teach here ends with David Gordon … [Read more...]