Bedford Falls: The Post-Clarence Years


The arrival of the holiday season can mean only one thing for classic film buffs everywhere: it is time to once again turn our attention to that most definitive and dualistic of Christmas films, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1946 amidst charges of unrealistic and excessive sentimentality, the film has become a Yuletide [Read More...]

“Bicycle Thieves” and the Victory of Our Fragility


For a father, there are few moments filled with more deeply conflicting emotions than when he holds his newborn child for the first time. To that tiny little infant, mewing and squirming in his arms, he is the ultimate, a godlike power. In the coming years, this child will trust him absolutely, love him unreservedly, [Read More...]

Seeing All the Colors of Paradise


This review discusses a number of SPOILERS. Proceed with caution. “…out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.” – Isaiah 29:18 From time to time, a film will end in a way so unexpected and so significant that it profoundly influences its audience’s reaction to everything that has come before. In most [Read More...]

Paved-Over Grace Along “The Road to Perdition”


The artistic gulf between cinematic works and literary ones is so vast, I sometimes marvel that anyone is courageous enough to attempt to marry the two. Aside from the occasionally successful (if often bland) A&E or BBC miniseries, cinematic adaptations are forced by time constraints to simplify so drastically that there is little chance of [Read More...]

Searching Amidst the Bread and Circuses


There are few writers who have written so clearly or so well about the art of cinematic interpretation as has that charmingly blunt hillbilly Thomist, Flannery O’Connor. It might seem counter-intuitive to search for insights on understanding film among the essays and lectures of a fiction writer — and a short-story writer, at that. But [Read More...]