Love’s Little Ways and “The Road Home”


The great Chinese director Zhang Yimou is best known to Western audiences for his superb wuxiatrilogy: Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Curse of the Golden Flower. This trio of films, with their spectacular colors, brawny action sequences, and breathtaking set pieces, has earned him a reputation as “epic” in the truest sense of the word. Audiences who marvel [Read More...]

These Pricking Thorns of Guilt


Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. (Isa 49:15) Death and Guilt have a great deal in common. They both have the ability to bring life to a shuddering standstill. Both are terrifying consequences of our humanity. And [Read More...]

Familiarity, Complacency, and “The Man in the White Suit”


To misquote the old Aesopian saw, familiarity breeds complacency—a truth nowhere more painfully illustrated than in the classic Ealing Studios film, The Man in the White Suit. Set in the textile mills and factories of early 20th-century England, the film tells the story of Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness), an eccentric, secretive young scientist obsessed with creating [Read More...]

It Takes a Town to “Get Low”


It has been said that there is no such thing as a private sin—that the relationship humans share as members of the Body of Christ makes such a distinction impossible. While the theology may be a bit fuzzy, the notion that transgressions committed in secret send ripples throughout all of humanity is borne out by [Read More...]

Renoir’s Rules Affirm Our Lenten Need for Sacrificial Love


Jean Renoir, son of the famous impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, must have been a remarkable child. Growing up in a world overshadowed by such fame and artistic ability as that wielded by his beloved father, one wonders if he ever felt driven to pursue a career outside of the arts, where he’d have a better [Read More...]

Film Noir Loves a Tell-Tale Heart


He didn’t get away with it, did he? He’ll go to the chair, as he should. A few dates are all it takes to realize that Miss Film Noir, despite her reputation as one of the most beloved and oft-studied genres in cinematic history, is one strange, frighteningly bipolar dame. The deadly molls, hard-bitten gumshoes, and rain-drenched streets popularized [Read More...]

Divorce, Granted


C. K. Dexter Haven: Sometimes, for your own sake, Red, I think you should’ve stuck to me longer. Tracy Lord: I thought it was for life, but the nice judge gave me a full pardon. It is difficult to watch Cary Grant’s effortless cinematic grace without envy mixing with that admiration. The former acrobat, christened Archibald [Read More...]

The Road Less Traveled: Reconsidering the Easy Life


Americans love a good con man. Perhaps it is our implicit endorsement of P. T. Barnum’s well-known axiom: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Perhaps it is our begrudging appreciation for cleverness and intellectual ingenuity, no matter its object. Or perhaps it is our deep-seated respect for the chronic overachiever that has led to our [Read More...]

Trust and Doubt: Our Endless Dichotomy


A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our shelter He, amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing. The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke’s chilling tale of mystery and violence engulfing a small German town prior to the start of the First World War, is a drama that bears as much relevance to our modern [Read More...]

To Be Pickering in a Henry Higgins World


When George Bernard Shaw first learned of the creative licenses taken in an effort to make the ending of his play Pygmalion more marketable, he was outraged. Confronted by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s claim that “My ending makes money, you ought to be grateful,” he responded (with his trademark sharpness of wit and tongue): “Your ending is [Read More...]