Have We Lost Our Minds?

If you've been reading the CT Feedback page and reading this blog, you've seen a lot of recent criticism, and read a lot of accusations, regarding the philosophy of CT Movies reviewers.Well, my blog post describing our "philosophy" inspired an invitation to share the same thoughts at Christianity Today Movies. So my editor, Mark Moring, and I did a bit of editing and polishing and now here it is again, new and improved, with a much better title. … [Read more...]

Are Christianity Today’s Movie Reviews Written With an "Anti-Evangelical Agenda"?

As you may already know, this week a radio talk-show host accused Christianity Today Movies' film reviewers of misrepresenting the magazine's foundation of evangelical conviction.And a Christian filmmaker responded to one of those reviews by declaring that one of CT's most prolific and respected reviewers clearly needed to sit down with real Christians and learn what they are like.Well, it should be clear that these are serious claims, with serious implications. I'm not naming them here, … [Read more...]

Eugene Peterson’s "Eat This Book" … and Moviegoing

I am finding Eugene Peterson's Eat This Book to be a particularly inspiring meditation on our need to read, taste, chew, and digest the Bible.And along the way, I am thunderstruck by how often the points Peterson is making about how we should read scripture run parallel what I've tried to convey about how we should attend to art.I've just read a section on the power and essentiality of storytelling. (p. 40)Check this out:Honest stories respect our freedom; they don't manipulate us, … [Read more...]

Publishers Weekly on “Through a Screen Darkly”

It's not often I steal a line from Darth Vader, but here goes: "This will be a day long remembered." … [Read more...]

Why My Faith is Not FoxFaith (and Great Art is Not Necessarily “Christian Art”)

When I saw a promotional video for the arrival of FoxFaith, a special library of movies that "Christians and families can enjoy," I had a flashback.As I perused the titles of films being included in that label, I felt the walls closing in, trapping me in a familiar world of art that consisted of: A) Nice, gentle, comfortable entertainment B) American nostalgia C) Bible stories. About ten years ago, I decided that I couldn't take living in such a small world anymore. … [Read more...]

Why My Faith is Not “FoxFaith,” and Great Art is Not Necessarily “Christian art”

When I saw a promotional video for the arrival of FoxFaith, a special library of movies that "Christians and families can enjoy," I had a flashback.As I perused the titles of films being included in that label, I felt the walls closing in, trapping me in a familiar world of art that consisted of: A) Nice, gentle, comfortable entertainmentB) American nostalgiaC) Bible stories. About ten years ago, I decided that I couldn't take living in such a small world anymore. … [Read more...]

The Seed of an Idea

auralia1

Auralia, still as death, like a discarded doll, lay in a burgundy tangle of rushes and spineweed on the bank of a bend in the River Throanscall, where she was discovered by a hapless old thief ...-One day in 1996, before Anne and I were married, we went hiking with our friends Jon and Anna in a vivid territory of woods, waterfalls, and boulders near Flathead Lake, Montana.Somehow, our conversation meandered from thoughts on the scenery, wildlife, bears, and blackberries, to explore … [Read more...]

Looking Closer Classic: "Mystery and Message"

Not much to blog about today, as I've been sitting at home and at a top-secret Seattle coffee house all day working at condensing all of my thoughts about the wonder of movies into a book. As I wrote, I kept recalling things that I learned from one man: an art photographer and English instructor named Michael Demkowicz. No one taught me more about art than "Mr. D." … [Read more...]

Doug Cummings on Jean Renoir’s "The River"

Peter Greenaway once said that cinema as an "art form" has yet to be established.He meant that, so far, movies aren't much more than illustrated narratives: books with moving pictures to bring the manuscripts to life.That comment has stuck with me, as I've begun to appreciate, more and more, how film can communicate through methods other than storytelling. Like the animals who respond to the beauty of the music in The Story of the Weeping Camel, I think human beings respond to imagery, … [Read more...]

Joke of the Day (except that it’s true)

I'm not making this up. This just happened to me.I was contacted this morning by someone who works for one of the three major news networks. They wanted me to come downtown and film a segment for a TV news talk-show addressing the question, "Is the media anti-religious?"I prepared. I pondered. I was ready.Here was the basic idea of my planned reply: "'The media (if we must use such a vast generalization, like "Hollywood" or "Democrats" or "Republicans") tends to go with whatever … [Read more...]


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