At SXSW2017: May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers are an emotional band - but they are neither saccharine nor maudlin. They do not write songs to feign sentimentality or play at the role of troubadour. They are emotional in the sense of confession, in the sense of honesty, in the sense of moral duty - if not for the ones they love then at least for themselves. They are deeply personal without being obscure or confessional while remaining ever universal. In directors Michael Bonfiglio and Judd Apatow’s new documentary, May It L … [Read more...]

A Scorsese Q & A

Over the weekend, I had the rare opportunity to listen to--and briefly meet--one of my favorite directors (and one that I consider the greatest of all time), Martin Scorsese. We screened his latest film, Silence, for the Fuller Seminary community. After the jump, you can read some of the highlights from Scorsese's Q & A with Kutter Callaway, assistant professor of theology and culture at Fuller, and Mako Fujimura, director of the Brehm Center at Fuller. … [Read more...]


Critics and moviegoers at this year's L.A. Film Festival are praising the diverse lineup. Three-quarters of the festival's world premiers are directed by women or people of color. Eighty percent of the entries are from first-time filmmakers. These are welcome statistics indeed. Two of these films, though set in drastically different locations, use scandalous relationships to explore highly contested spaces, female and gay sexuality and agency. The View from Tall and Play the Devil are sometimes t … [Read more...]

At Sundance: THE LAND

A couple of years ago at a friend's film festival, I had the privilege of screening director Steven Caple Jr.’s short film, A Different Tree, which HBO ultimately purchased. Unfortunately, that great short is difficult to find, so when I saw that Caple’s first feature, The Land, was premiering at Sundance, I couldn’t miss it. … [Read more...]

At Sundance: AGNUS DEI

“Faith is twenty-four hours of doubt with a minute of hope.” --Sister MariaScandal, doubt, and brokenness cloud Agnus Dei, the new film from French director Anne Fontaine, but hope ultimately and miraculously shines through in authentic, hard-won ways. … [Read more...]


Back in 2010, I reviewed the graphic novel, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, a beautiful and challenging recounting of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on that city. I sad that the graphic novel might be the most fitting medium through which to examine those events because it lets us linger on and contemplate at greater length the images of loss and brokenness, while news, film, or television footage rushes over them. In that similar vein, graphic novels might be an ideal medium to … [Read more...]

SXSW Film: The First Half

It’s my first time to SXSW, so I quickly learned what a fool I was for planning on seeing so many films in one week, what with all the parties and meetings that emerge from those parties. On top of that, seeing each movie requires standing in line for at least an hour. As a result, I'm still seeing around two movies a day.  … [Read more...]