Eldorado (2008)

My review of Eldorado, a bizarre comedy from Belgian filmmaker Bouli Lanners, is published at Filmwell. … [Read more...]

Who’s the Fairest of Them All? (As Documentaries Go, Anyway…)

If I say "documentaries," most readers will probably stop reading and move on to something else.But for those of us who who are enjoying a "golden age" of documentaries, finding that they are often more engaging and rewarding than other kinds of films (Was there a better suspense-thriller last year than Man on Wire?)... here's a question: … [Read more...]

What does “mono no aware” mean?

Jason Morehead enlightens us as to the meaning of "mono no aware"... his first feature at Filmwell today.Lo and behold, I realize that I love a lot of movies that explore "mono no aware."He also surveys some memorable Japanese movies like The Twilight Samurai and After Life. … [Read more...]

Sara Zarr’s in the new issue of Image.

Sara Zarr and I are very, very different people, writing very different kinds of books.Nevertheless, we became friends a few years ago at Image journal's summertime arts conference, The Glen Workshop, which takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We met in the fiction workshop taught by the magnificent novelist and short story writer Erin McGraw. We've been back every year since then, become fast friends, watched our dream of becoming published novelists come true, and now... we've had articles … [Read more...]

Browser: Zbignew Priesner. Jeff Buckley. Bruce Cockburn’s “Slice O Life.” Bob Dylan. U2. Tauntaun. Tom Hanks.

1. Start your day with a quick dose of Zbignew Priesner, my favorite film music composer. Here's a track from A Short Film About Killing, from Kieslowski's Decalogue.2. Another random musical surprise: M. Ward links to a recorded telephone conversation with Jeff Buckley, who sings Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" over the phone at about the 4-minute mark.3. The Matthews House Project has a long, in-depth look at the amazing Bruce Cockburn and his new double-live solo CD Slice O … [Read more...]

Wild Things!

They make my heart sing!I recently listened to an archived interview by Terry Gross with author Maurice Sendak. It brought back memories of the strange emotions I felt as a child whenever I read Where the Wild Things Are. That I feel those same feelings watching this trailer is very promising indeed. If I feel them as I watch the film itself, it will be something truly wonderful. And Spike Jonze might be just the man to make that happen.I also think this is my all-time favorite match … [Read more...]

To Be and To Have (2002) and The Class (2008)

tobeandtohave1

This two-part review of The Class and To Be and To Have was originally published at Christianity Today.-"Carpe Diem."Remember that? That's what Professor Keating (Robin Williams) told his class of troubled youngsters in Dead Poets Society."Seize the days, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."In The Class, "Seize the day" might be the worst thing the teacher could say to his students. This multi-ethnic group of troublemakers, cynics, and egoists have already seized the c … [Read more...]

The Class (2009)

This two-part review of The Class and To Be and To Have was originally published at Christianity Today.-"Carpe Diem."Remember that? That's what Professor Keating (Robin Williams) told his class of troubled youngsters in Dead Poets Society."Seize the days, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."In The Class, "Seize the day" might be the worst thing the teacher could say to his students. This multi-ethnic group of troublemakers, cynics, and egoists have already seized the c … [Read more...]

Let the Right One In (2008)

This review was originally published at Good Letters, the daily blog for Image journal.-NOTE: The following (including the comment thread) contains spoilers about scenes in the film Let the Right One In.-Blood on her lips, eyes wide with lust, Eli stares at Oskar and commands him to run.Oskar is confused. To seal a child's contract of friendship — a “blood bond” — he's carved open his hand with a knife. Little does he know he's just awakened the worst in his new friend. It doe … [Read more...]

The Reviews of Steven D. Greydanus

Movie critics (and this includes me) are too easily tempted into being snarky, sarcastic, and arrogant. We rush to be the first to call things "the best" this, and "the most" that, and the ___________ of the year, and the __________ to beat in 2009, and a _____________ like no other.I'm wearying more and more of critics who merely shout about what they don't like, or who pretend the authority to make claims about a film's place in history before it has even opened in theaters, even as I … [Read more...]


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