Best Stormtrooper Ever.

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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...]

“Hamlet, Threepio, and Us”

Anyone who can write an inspiring piece linking Rosencrantz and Guldenstern, The Hidden Fortress, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and R2D2, has my full attention.Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Shea! … [Read more...]

Star Wars Week: “Clone Wars” Trailer, Star Wars Muppets

As I mentioned Friday, it's the week of Star Wars' 30th birthday, so I'm trying to put aside my resentment over the prequels' failures and remember what made Star Wars great.You know, I might just get excited about Star Wars again if I'm not distracted by bad acting, bad directing, or bad scripts. We'll see what Clone Wars looks like when we actually get to experience the stories, but the animation in this promotional preview grabbed and held my attention.Oh, and here's something … [Read more...]

“It was 30 Years Ago Today Ben Kenobi Taught the Farmboy to Play…”

On May 25, 1977, Star Wars arrived.I could wax nostalgic and tell you what that did to my seven-year-old imagination, how it changed my life, how it encouraged me to envision "a larger world" ... but I've told that story in Through a Screen Darkly.I'd like to know your Star Wars story.Where did you first see it? With whom? How old were you (if you're willing to share)? What was your first impression? How has your impression changed? Did the movie have any kind of influence … [Read more...]

The Vader Sessions

This YouTube video is spreading like a wildfire, so you've probably already seen it. (I discovered it through Peter Chattaway's blog.)If not, here it is: the funniest YouTube link in, oh, at least a few weeks. … [Read more...]

Specials: Amy Wellborn – Vigilant. Adam Walter – literate. Chewbacca – full of Christmas spirit. Teachout – thirsty for music.

Open Book, Amy Wellborn's blog, continues to be an essential stop on my daily tour, for her relentless vigilance. Here's one of the recent highlights, regarding mainstream media and faith.Other blog entries worth noting:Adam Walter discovers the new Mark Helprin Web site. I visited Adam last night at the fine bookseller where he works and packaged up a couple of gifts for my wife while we chatted. In spite of my love for the movie world, I greatly envy anyone who gets to spend all day in … [Read more...]

Specials: We’ve lost Porkins. Foreign Oscar-hopefuls. Magdelena.

Today's specials:HE STAYED ON TARGET. Star Wars fans, it is a day to mourn. We've lost Porkins. He also had memorable roles in Raiders of the Lost Ark and A River Runs Through It.ONLY ONE FILM PER COUNTRY GETS TO PLAY The annually-screwed Foreign Language Oscar category has named its list of qualifying films for the year. As usual, each country only gets to submit one film for consideration. So, if the ten best films of the year were all made in France, it wouldn't matter... only one … [Read more...]

Brock Peters, 1927 – 2005

Brock Peters (front right) with Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.Details here, at CNN. LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Actor Brock Peters, best known for his heartbreaking performance as the black man falsely accused of rape in "To Kill a Mockingbird," died Tuesday at his home after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 78.Peters was diagnosed with the disease in January and had been receiving chemotherapy treatment, according to Marilyn Darby, his longtime companion. His condition … [Read more...]

Generation-Defining Films: Star Wars. What Else?

I keep running into younger people, students mostly, who don't seem to think the end of the Star Wars saga is any big deal. And of course they don't... they weren't born yet when Star Wars opened.It's causing me to wonder... Star Wars was such a defining film for so many of us. It changed our imaginations. It provided a new vocabulary for understanding good and evil.What other films in film history have been “banner films” for their generations? Which films reflected their times, but als … [Read more...]


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