Over the Rhine to tour West Coast in May?

Linford Detweiler has just sent out his latest update on Over the Rhine. It's full of good stuff: The Olympics, New Zealand, an update on the new live album, and upcoming tour plans.Oh, and according to Linford, spring is coming.I've just wrapped up a new interview with Linford (my fourth!), and it'll be published in the next issue of SPU's Response magazine, which will be available in mid-March. … [Read more...]

A Good Year for Poetry

Anne and I read as much poetry, perhaps more, than we do fiction. Of the poets writing and publishing today, we have many mutual favorites. But there are two poets in particular who, when they release new material, send us rushing to a nearby independent bookstore to grab a first edition. Both of them write in a way that seems sacramental... the sound, the pace, the flavor of the language is as fragile and beautiful as the imagery it inspires in the reader's mind. Both are intently focused on … [Read more...]

Half-shot #9: Making it easier.

More than 20 guesses, and still no winner on Half-Shot Contest #9.Okay, here's a little more of the picture...If you love movies, I'm pretty sure you know this film. … [Read more...]

Interesting letter of the day

Got the daily bundle of letters in response to the Brokeback Mountain reviews, but I also received one that was quite unusual. I don't usually post the complimentary letters because I don't want to appear to be glorying in somebody's appreciation. But this one really struck me... While I am not Christian, nor even theistic; I truly wanted to commend your work on this site as being insightful if different, from that of most reviewers. Your brief description of the once uber-popular Fight Club, … [Read more...]

Half-Shot Contest #9

I still haven't found a good half-shot related to the term "reverend." (And since the last winner was The Cubicle Reverend, I should be able to find SOMETHING related to that name.)So, until I find one, here's another half-shot for you....Any guesses? … [Read more...]

Disney back to drawing!

"TRADITION, TRADITION, DA-DA-DA-DA.... TRADITION!"Disney returns to hand-drawn animation! Thank goodness.There's a beauty and a personality to hand-drawn cartoons that CGI just can't replace. Don't get me wrong, I love what can be done with digital animation. But to let it completely replace other styles of animation that have their own strengths? A waste. Since Disney started incorporating CGI into their animation, I can't say their films have improved much. I still prefer classics like … [Read more...]

First Impressions of “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story”

Just saw Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull story, which really lives up to that title. It's a Charlie-Kaufman-like leap into the absurd, as we are drawn into the comical lives of the filmmakers and stars trying to make a movie of this "unfilmable" novel. Maniacally non-chronological, and full of comedian Steve Coogan's direct-to-the-camera commentary (in which he pokes fun at his own Hollywood disaster Around the World in 80 Days), it runs along like an adrenalin rush, but ends up leaving you … [Read more...]

Julia Jentsch on Playing Sophie Scholl

Cinematical has an interview with Julia Jentsch, the actress who deserves an Oscar nomination for her performance in Sophie Scholl: The Final Days. (Alas, the film is only nominated for Best Foreign Film. It deserved a screenplay nomination and a Best Supporting Actor nomination as well.) … [Read more...]

Thanks to Jennie Spohr

Jennie Spohr is wrapping up an impressive endeavor over at Seattle's University Presbyterian Church. The film festival she hosted, entitled "Dreams of Our Childhood," inspired quite a few moviegoers to look at films with greater discernment, to appreciate more fully the possibilities and the power of big screen art.Thanks, Jennie, for your hard work. It was exciting to see people gathering in a church to discuss the rich veins of truth and beauty in films like Born into Brothels, films that … [Read more...]

What Would You Show in a Film Festival About "Calls to Conscience and Action"

Having just seen Born into Brothels again, I'm inspired to consider what other films have done such a great job of making us care about wrongs that need to be righted in the world.If you were to host a film festival in hopes of inspiring viewers to apply themselves to serve a good cause, what films would you show? What matters would they ask us to consider? Some films are downright preachy, and they end up being more irritating than inspiring. What are the works of art that make us want to … [Read more...]