Go On, Get Happy!

Yesterday morning, I heard a homily in which the priest talked about partaking of the Eucharist and how he (we) often do so daintily as he mimicked a timid partaking of the cup.  He countered this image by reflecting on the large stained glass window in the sanctuary which depicts Jesus' baptism.  As John baptizes Jesus, rays of light beam down from a dove at the top of the window and flow over Jesus' head, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.  The priest concluded that, while we daintily partake of the … [Read more...]

Jesus at the Movies: A Review

In her book, Jesus of Hollywood, Adele Reinhartz claimed that Jesus films often tell us more about the socio-cultural locations of their filmmakers than they do about the character whose story they purport to tell.  W. Barnes Tatum, in his equally fascinating book on Jesus films, Jesus at the Movies:  A Guide to the First Hundred Years, would perhaps agree.  At least his in-depth research reveals such a reality. … [Read more...]

Little Britain USA: A Review

Richard Lindsay takes a break from holiday revelry to provide a great review of the HBO sketch comedy series, Little Britain USA. … [Read more...]

Theology and Film: A Conversation

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Marjorie Suchocki, a process theologian and Professor Emerita at the Claremont School of Theology, about her work in theology and film and the upcoming Whitehead International Film Festival, of which she is the chair.  Follow the link after the jump to listen (my interview is just below the two YouTube clips), and check out the featured video here in which Marjorie discusses her upcoming book on sin and cinema. … [Read more...]

A Millionaire Making Meaning

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button provides us with a character who is able to reflect back on her life as she lies on her deathbed.  This is something of fictionalized Hollywood here for a variety of reasons.  In many cases, death comes for us quickly and without warning, robbing us of any opportunity for grand meaning-making.  In other cases, the dying individual so fearfully resists death and her immediate future that there is no time for healthy reflection.  In The Curious Case of Benjamin B … [Read more...]

A Curious Love Story

Over the Christmas holidays, I saw two films that dealt with the meaning of life...or rather the meaning of life for two distinct individuals.  Both The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire involve two characters looking back over significant events in their lives.  Both films, to an extent, rely on gimmicks:  the former, an individual who ages in reverse and the latter, a child of the slums who strikes it unbelievably rich on the world famous game show, Who Wants to Be a Mi … [Read more...]

From the Top Please…

John Huston concludes his film, The Bible:  In the Beginning (1966), with Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Isaac and God's promise of countless future generations in return for his faithfulness.  In the film (not in scripture), God tells Abraham that he has been tried like metal in a fire.  Viewers of Huston's sprawling biblical epic might feel the same way at the conclusion of this almost three hour long film, though with little formation or insight to show for it. … [Read more...]

Another Good Interview…

No, I'm not talking about the latest Pop Theology review between Richard Lindsay and myself.  I'm talking about Ron Howard's latest film, Frost/Nixon.  But back to one of our Pop Theology dialogues:  we felt that one of the true highlights of Oliver Stone's latest film, W., is his effort to humanize a controversial political figure with whom he no doubt vehemently disagrees.  One of my frustrations with that film was when Stone drifted into the war room and out of the living room of Bush's lif … [Read more...]