At Sundance: THEIR FINEST

Their Finest wasn't on my radar going into Sundance this year, but it turned out to be one of my more enjoyable screenings. Based on the novel, Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans, it focuses on British propaganda filmmakers during WWII. In the process, it's a celebration of cinema and filmmaking and, especially, women's roles in it. … [Read more...]

At Sundance: COLUMBUS

Columbus, the first feature film from Kogonada, a video essayist and artist, reveals a filmmaker who understands the ways in which the aesthetics and narrative of cinema should compliment one another. It's rare to find a writer/director who can execute this relationship at such a high level. … [Read more...]

#KillerSerials: 2016 Emmys

Tony Jones and Ryan Parker, as PhDs are want to do, belatedly discuss this year's Emmys, what they say about pop culture, what we think about the winners, and what our next Killer Serial will be. … [Read more...]

God, Guns, & Family: Why ‘Bible-Believing’ Christians Have no Right to Self Defense, Pt. 2

In my last post I proposed that, against the uniquely American theology of God, guns, and family, the Christian teaching of the New Testament doesn’t allow for self-defense at all. I started with arguments against defending property, which is the easier path, since we know Christianity is anti-materialist. But I want to expand on those thoughts to talk about why Christians also have no Biblically-mandated right to defend themselves or their family using lethal force.First, let’s look at the i … [Read more...]

God, Guns, & Family: Why ‘Bible-Believing’ Christians Have No Right to Self-Defense, Pt.1

Again, we find ourselves in national mourning for horrendous loss of life caused by a man with a grudge and too-easy access to military-grade weapons. The loss is unfathomable, but not unexplainable. We continue to live in a gun-sick society. There is still a pervasive American belief that honors excessive gun “rights” at the expense of the health and safety of our people.I have hope for the future, if only because the demographics are in favor of stricter gun laws. The political will of the … [Read more...]

Presbyterian Reflections on the Death of Prince

Strange things happen at summer camp. Even Christian summer camp. Away from parents, out in the woods, under the supervision of mildly responsible college students. It was at my Christian summer camp in 1985 that I first heard the music of Prince.There in the meadow shelter at Camp Wildwood, the picnic tables had been pushed aside for the talent show. Some of the performers were doing lip-sync. (When did this even become an art form? With the invention of more portable music on cassette? … [Read more...]

THE BIRTH OF A NATION Trailer

Fox Searchlight has just released the first trailer for The Birth of a Nation, the standout film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and what is sure to be one of the most important films of the year. The Birth of a Nation releases in theaters on Oct. 7th. You can view the trailer and read more about the film after the jump. … [Read more...]

At SXSW: ACCIDENTAL COURTESY

Perhaps one of the more disturbing trends of advances in media technology is that while social media has the power to bring us together, we are using it in ways that drive us further apart. We retreat to the safety of our camps, never having to experience the face-to-face interactions with those folks that disagree with us or even hate us. Accidental Courtesy: Darryl Davis, Race, & America is a new documentary about a musician turned social activist that dares to meet his enemies … [Read more...]