‘The Silver Chalice’ and the Bible in our Minds

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If one stores a collection of images of a particular literary figure, or setting, or style of costume, that collection is not stored mentally in chronological order. It does not matter whether I have seen Rita Hayworth’s Salome before viewing Gustave Moreau’s painting or after reading the version in the Gospel of Mark. All the representations collide and coalesce in my construction of the figure of Salome. In our postmodern image culture, readers are also spectators. -- Alice Bach*This is o … [Read more...]

Notes on ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

Twitter Activists: Based on this screen shot, I can tell this film is racist--you must not see it!Me: John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver are playing the Pharaoh and his wife? I HAVE to see it!

Ryan Parker already has an excellent review of this film, which actually involves interviews with Christian Bale and Ridley Scott. Not being able to add much to that by way of review, let me just mention a few points of observation on viewing Exodus: Gods and Kings:1.)  There are predictable cries of ‘foul’ from some evangelical Christians for this film. The fact that the film follows the highlights of the Exodus story and shows the destruction of pagan gods at the hands of the One True God o … [Read more...]

Disquiet Time: A Review

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had a productive streak of quiet times: portions of the day devoted to scripture reading and prayer. From a young age, I was indoctrinated into the importance of said practices. We even had to check off boxes on the outside of our offering envelopes to let the world know we had been faithful stewards of our time. I feel a little guilty…sometimes. … [Read more...]

A Dance Between Science and Religion

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Far too many of us are well aware of the tension between science and religion, or at least between the passionate devotees of each realm. However, there are occasions when these diverse adherents fall into conversations that result in members of each camp seeing the world around them in richer, more holistic ways. The new biopic about cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane, The Theory of Everything, illustrates this better way, which might best be described not as a conversation, but as a … [Read more...]

Left Behind: It’s as Bad as We Feared

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Left Behind is an awful movie. I expected it to be awful on the theological level; I was hoping it wouldn’t be awful on an entertainment level. Unfortunately it is both.First, the film. If you have lived on the East or West Coast for the last 20 years, or are Roman Catholic, you may not know how the Left Behind story goes. But unfortunately for the rest of us, many of the details have trickled down even if we have assiduously avoided this evangelical book/movie/then-another-movie j … [Read more...]

The Violence of History

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Within the genre of war films lies a sub-genre devoted to anti-war war films, films that are so honest and earnest in their depiction of battle that they make us question our own sanity for ever sending women and men into such conditions. David Ayer's latest film, Fury, falls into that category. … [Read more...]

BORGMAN: Movie Review

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American filmmakers just don't do weird and disturbing like European, Asian, or, heck, any other region of filmmakers. Borgman, written and directed by Dutch filmmaker Alex van Warmerdam, is one of those weird, disturbing films that's more mentally than physically unsettling. If you're inclined to think along these directions, it felt like a good conversation partner with the far-less-weird Calvary, particularly around themes of theology and religion and their place and role in a post- … [Read more...]

The Drop: Movie Review

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It's rare that I go see a film based solely on one actor. There are actors that I really like, but the type of movie might keep me away. I'd watch Tom Hardy eat soup. His latest film, The Drop, is a good one made even better by yet another profound performance, which is crucial because he is the linchpin in a morally complex narrative. … [Read more...]


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