‘The Rise of the Guardians’ an inspiring fantasy mash-up

North (Alec Baldwin) welcomes Jack Frost (Chris Pine) in this scene from the animated movie "Rise of the Guardians." (CNS/DreamWorks Animation)

Although it took me some time to figure out what was going on and what Dreamworks' handsome, over-long film was trying to say, it became apparent about halfway through that I could easily make connections between the imaginative narrative and Christian beliefs. Seeing "Guardians" bears out the saying "You get out of a film what you bring to it" because you make meaning according to your own lens.The story opens with Jack Frost (the voice of Chris Pine) telling us how he came to be the spirit … [Read more...]

“Weaving Life” “Where Do We Go Now?” and a “Girl with a Book” Images of peacemaking in the Middle East

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In the last month or so, a narrative film, a documentary and a poster on Facebook came across my desk. The films were sent for review, but the Facebook poster (or image) arrived in my newsfeed this morning, unbidden, a "share" from my youngest sister."Weaving Life" a documentary on The Life and Death of Peacemaker Dan Terry - is a film from MennoMedia that will air on participating ABC stations beginning Oct. 21 (check local listings). It is the story of Dan Terry, one of 10 humanitarian w … [Read more...]

‘The Flat’ is a fascinating detective story

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 "The Flat," an award-winning documentary, follows the story of Israeli documentary filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger, whose 98-year-old grandmother died in Tel Aviv a few years ago, sparking a search to understand who the woman really was.Along with Goldfinger's mother, Gerta, his siblings and his cousins, he begins to go through the woman's flat, especially her papers and photographs.In the flat, which Goldfinger describes as "Berlin in an apartment," they discover dozens of pairs of … [Read more...]

Media’s part in the culture of guns

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"Fourth of July parade, 2011, Independence, Calif.," by photographer Craig Semetko,                                                                          from his project "America -- E Pluribus Unum" (©Craig Semetko, 2012) I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way images, entertainment, the news and language are socializing us into accepting a perpetual state of violence, with the mass shooting at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in the Aurora, Colo., theater on July 20 in mind. … [Read more...]

Bows, arrows and a sword: Girls rock this year on film

Princess Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, in Disney/Pixar's "Brave"  (Disney/Pixar)

2012 is turning out to be a banner year for films with significant female lead characters: warriors, weapons and all.With an estimated budget of $185 million, the new Pixar/Disney 3-D animated feature, "Brave," opened June 22 and grossed $66 million. Made on half that budget, "The Hunger Games" opened March 25 with a box office of $152.5 million and has brought $400 million in North America and nearly $650 million worldwide. (The DVD is due out Aug. 18.) "Snow White and the Huntsman," made … [Read more...]


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