An Elevating Contest: Looking Closer Readers Review “Up”

Okay, I'm going to pick the poster-winner  on Wednesday. But these are the three considerations of Up that came in. I present them warts and all! … [Read more...]

Browser: Another New Sam Phillips Song. A Surprising Top Ten List. Favorite Albums of 2009 So Far. Calvin & Hobbes.

The Browser: News & links to raise your eyebrows & furrow your brow. New headlines may be added as the day goes on. Stay tuned.Hi ho, Jeffrey the Blogger here. … [Read more...]

The 100th Birthday of Wallace Stegner

In Books and Culture, Richard W. Etulain notes the centennial of one of my favorite writers: Wallace Stegner. … [Read more...]

Design Your Dream Concert

The U2 rehearsal lists that are going around have given me an idea.I want to hear from you. Post your dream concert in the Comments below.Pick an artist. U2, Springsteen, Over the Rhine, Emmylou Harris, David Bazan, Iron & Wine... anybody. Pick 20 songs from their catalog that you'd like to hear them play. List them in the order they should perform them. Set off 3 of those 20 songs as encores. If you want, make one of those songs a cover of someone else's song... just to … [Read more...]

Browser: My Coworkers! The Iran Election. U2 Set Lists. C.S. Lewis on Iran. Book Covers. Twitter. Wise Blood.

Hi ho, Jeffrey the Blogger here. … [Read more...]

Yikes! Five years, and I Missed the Anniversary!

Last month, I had no idea that I was celebrating the five-year anniversary of this blog.But it's true. The Looking Closer Journal made its debut on May 11, 2004. The first post was a welcome. The second noted that Tilda Swinton just might be cast as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.We've come a long way, baby.Thanks so much for making the journey with me. We've discussed so many great films, albums, and stories, and I've enjoyed your company as dreams like … [Read more...]

Laura Bramon Good on “The Girlfriend Experience”

I've been following Laura Bramon Good's writing since she spent some time at SPU as the year's Milton Fellow, leading the Milton Center writers' group. She's an excellent writer with a big heart, and I love her contributions to the Good Letters blog at Image.This week, she's written on the new Soderbergh film, The Girlfriend Experience. Here's an excerpt: I’ve seen The Girlfriend Experience twice: once, under the guise of professional development for my anti-human trafficking day-job, and a … [Read more...]

Today at Filmwell: Meet Lee Isaac Chung! A 2-Part Conversation

I'm thrilled to share my interview with Lee Isaac Chung, director of Munyurangabo, today at Filmwell.Part OnePart TwoChung also shared an essay, published at Filmwell, about his experiences and approach to filmmaking.You can bet his movie will be in my short list of favorites for 2009. It's easily my favorite so far.My review will be up at Image next week. … [Read more...]

What Movies Are in Your Top Ten List That Aren’t in Anyone Else’s? What Albums?

Looking Closer reader Tyler Petty just came up with a good idea for a discussion starter.I mentioned in my first installment of 140 Characters that the movie Midnight Run is on my list of personal, all-time top ten favorite films. I include that film for many reasons. Some of those reasons have to do with the film itself, and some have to do with the friendships in which the film played a memorable part.So Tyler suggested a conversation about what titles we'd include in our lists that … [Read more...]

Jeffrey Overstreet’s 140 Characters…. #1

Lately I've been thinking about how rare it is that I find myself thinking about a movie's main character.Usually, when I leave the theater, I'm already talking about the supporting character who won my attention. I think it's time to draw your attention to some of these memorable characters. Most of them are so intriguing, I'd love to see them lead their own TV series. They just have that magic that makes them irresistible. I can't get enough of them.And, since Twitter has made it clear … [Read more...]