Cross Roads: Faith and Renewal, Getting Lost in Cannes


Upon my first full day in the town of Cannes, France, I was reminded of a truth I often forget, sometimes it's good to get lost. The day following my 29 hour trip to this sublime town, and after a long night of sleep followed by a couple of naps, I set out to explore the area. The first thing I found was of course the Palais Des Festivals, the home of the famous Cannes Film Festival and soon to be my home for ten days. … [Read more...]

The Multiple Meanings of “Pride”

Pride film still

The British coal miner’s strike of 1984-85 has been fodder for several small but scrappy films in the last twenty years, including Brassed Off (1996), Billy Elliott (2000)  and the steel-industry based but still scrappy The Full Monty (1997).Joining this award-winning lineup is Pride (2014), which won a BAFTA and the heretofore unheard-of “Queer Palm” at Cannes, and is now out on DVD and streaming video on demand.What’s fascinating about these four films is that although they seem to be a … [Read more...]

Cross Roads: Faith and Film Renewal, Tribeca Overview


Faith and film pilgrim and new Pop Theology contributor Kenny Dickson gives us an overview of a selection of films at this year's Tribeca Film Festival that take oppression and individuals' efforts to break free as their central themes.  … [Read more...]

Cross Roads: Faith and Film Renewal, Day 1


We're excited to welcome a new contributor to Pop Theology. A good friend and colleague, Kenny Dickson is pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch, TX (Dallas) and lover of all things film. He's just begun a sabbatical which will include trips to both Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals and a pilgrimage, of sorts, to some of the great film sites in Europe. We're lucky to have him chronicling his journey with us here at Pop Theology and the larger Patheos community. His first post … [Read more...]

Raging Devil: DAREDEVIL and the Failure of Imagination


Posts have been sparse on Pop Theology over the last few months. Richard and I are working to correct that. Of course, with constant Netflix series either releasing or returning and the impending tidal wave of summer blockbusters, we have our work cut out for us. Over the weekend, I finished the new critically-acclaimed Netflix series, Daredevil. I loved it, even though it was a failure...of a sort. Warning: spoilers galore. … [Read more...]

Movie Review: Ex Machina


Alex Garland's Ex Machina, his first as writer and director, proves that you don't need eight-figure budgets to make a smart, thrilling sci-fi film, although seamless CGI still helps.  … [Read more...]

‘Metalhead’ and the Community of Resurrection

Metalhead 2

  Metalhead, an Icelandic film written and directed by Ragnar Bragason, premiered in fall of 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is finally getting limited release in the United States, along with widespread Video on Demand starting April 3.The film starts with a rural farm family experiencing a horrific loss. Their teenage son, Baldur, is killed in a tractor accident as his twelve year-old sister, Hera, watches. The family holds the funeral in the local … [Read more...]

Movie Review: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief


Alex Gibney's latest film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, feels more like a horror film than a documentary. Scientology survivors' accounts of their time in the cult (I refuse to call it a church) are almost beyond belief. While it lacks elements that could have made it a great doc, it's still a must-see film that exposes one of the more bizarre and surprisingly successful (?) cults of the 20th and early 21st centuries. … [Read more...]