Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

Fledge the winged horse and Jewel the Unicorn, as painted by the author of this post

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]

Star Wars Needs A Faith Crisis

Along with my love of the original films is a massive appreciation for Ralph McQuarrie's excellent concept art for the very first Star Wars. (Fair use)

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but there’s a new Star Wars coming out next month. Remember Star Wars? It was a 1977 low-budget film from the chronically anti-social merchandising kingpin George Lucas that shamelessly ripped of Kurosawa and Frank Herbert. Believe it or not, the film was followed by not just one but two sequels in the ‘80s, and then an entire prequel trilogy in the early ‘00s. Now Disney owns the property and is planning on inundating the public with more Star Wars films fro … [Read more...]

The Politics of Monsters

Zombies_NightoftheLivingDead

Editors Note: This post isn't about Mormonism, since it is an unpublished blog for a non-religious publication. However, I think it's an idea still worth exploring, and since Halloween is around the corner, why not? Let's talk about monsters. Specifically, zombies. Monsters in books or film tend to serve a purpose, to reimagine some abstract fear into a corporeal entity. Beings like Frankenstein's monster or Dracula challenge our hubris over science, or our relationship with lust and nature. … [Read more...]

Did Back to the Future Really Predict 9/11?

Via YouTube (Fair use)

I know we're a day late, because the future was yesterday, but I did just watch this "Back to the Future Predicts 9/11" video.I fancy myself somewhat of a skeptic, but I think I'm sold. Not really, but maybe Zemeckis heard about this theory and put Joseph Gordon Leavitt in the same outfit as Marty McFly just to add fuel to the fire. That's my best guess.Also, in case you're confused about the whole 2001: A Space Odyssey  monolith thing, this video breaks that down rather w … [Read more...]

Remembering Wes Craven

Nightmare01

Horror movies were off limits when I was a kid. That’s the way it should be. My mom, in her best intentions, always declared that watching a scary movie would definitely lead to nightmares the following night. I suffered from sleep paralysis as a kid, so nightmares were inevitable. But the connection between the two was profoundly influential on my relationship with horror. The idea that some piece of art could affect me in such a way that I physically suffered—how cool is that?Sometimes it f … [Read more...]

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Why an 80-year-old children's book feels newer and more grown-up than the high-tech PG-13 epics recently based on it.Reviewing the Hobbit movies at this point would be, well, pointless. If you care about these things (and I do), then you already know that the Hobbit movies are bad Tolkien fan-fiction1 or even a parody—The Battle of the Five Armies reuses material from the Lord of the Rings movies in such silly ways that I’m half convinced it’s making fun of them. On the other hand, if you don … [Read more...]

It’s Time For Mormons To Be Scary Again

It’s Halloween time, so as usual I’m watching a lot of horror movies. Maybe this is why, by a mechanism purely driven by my own absurd imagination, I’ve loosely associated Meet the Mormons with the horror genre. Specifically, as a Dawn of the Dead-esque sequel to the 1922 silent film, Trapped by the Mormons.Disclaimer: I have not seen Meet the Mormons, and this is not as a criticism of the film itself, but an entertaining thought experiment meant to analyze the evolution of Mormons in cinem … [Read more...]

Why You Should Read More Fiction (and John Turner’s Brigham Young)

Recently, I finished John G. Turner’s excellent Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. It is an eminently fair-minded biography that should prove to be the definitive account of Young’s life. Personally, I came away from the biography with far greater insight into Young’s spirituality and his theological contributions to Mormonism—one of the many wonderful pay-offs for reading Turner’s 400-page tome. I also came away from the biography with a previously held picture of Young confirmed: he was a harsh in … [Read more...]


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