About Andrew Spitznas

I arrived late to my atheist, secular humanist worldview, having spent decades as a Sunday school teaching, mission trip taking evangelical. Psychiatrist by day, I specialize in trauma, geriatrics, and the interface of mental health with culture and religion. Movies and books have been lifelong consuming passions; I have wonderful childhood memories of staying up late to watch James Bond on TV and waiting in a winding line to see Star Wars in its opening weeks. Nowadays, favorite directors include Kurosawa, Ozu, Miyazaki, Truffaut, Herzog, and Wes Anderson.

Despite its Title, Stephen Hawking’s Biopic Earns an “Incomplete”

“The Theory of Everything” features a remarkable lead performance by Eddie Redmayne, but falls short stylistically and biographically. [Read more…]

“Whiplash”: A Pulse-Quickening Musical Battle of Wills

An almost unbearably intense drama about a music teacher and his drumming student? Yes, such a thing exists. [Read more…]

“Princess Kaguya”: A Treasure for its Visual Beauty, Despite its Flawed Story

The latest film from Ghibli, Japan’s masterful animation studio, astounds with its visuals while suffering from second-half sluggishness. [Read more…]

“Rosewater”: the Horrible Buffoonery of Iranian Theocracy

Jon Stewart’s directorial debut tells the true-life story of an imprisoned, Iranian-born journalist, effectively showing a populace longing for freedom from theocracy. [Read more…]

“Ilo Ilo”: A Singaporean Slice of Home and Work Life

Now available for home viewing, this award winner adeptly shows us a family facing rough economic times, through the eyes of both parents, their son, and their maid. [Read more…]

“Birdman” Is One Strange Creature

Quite possibly the oddest movie I’ve seen this year, “Birdman” paints a kinetic, funny, yet too smug picture of a has-been actor losing his grip on reality. [Read more…]

An Alternate View: “Interstellar” Flies High, Even If It Doesn’t Quite Reach the Stars

While full of the grand special effects we now expect from Christopher Nolan, “Interstellar” is also a pleasing if overlong reflection upon the enduring bond between parent and child. [Read more…]

“1000 Times Good Night” Deserves Your Attention for an Evening

One of the year’s best films, this story of a war photographer split by demands of vocation and family challenged my mind and broke my heart, both as a world citizen and a parent. [Read more…]

A Brief Digression: “God’s Not Dead” and the Teflon Psyche of its Creators

An interview with the writers behind “God’s Not Dead” and the upcoming “Do You Believe?” gives a troubling glimpse into their self-serving mindset. [Read more…]

“The Blue Room”: A Gallic “Gone Girl”

As a suspenseful story of marital and extramarital intrigue, this French film parallels and ultimately surpasses “Gone Girl.” [Read more…]