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.

A Classic Revisited: Red Beard (dir. Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1965)

Red Beard, a medical drama set in 19th Century Japan, showcases director Akira Kurosawa’s flair for great storytelling, inspiring humanism, and visual brilliance. [Read more...]

Love Is Strange (dir. Ira Sachs, USA/France, 2014)

Inspired by the style and stories of master director Yasujiro Ozu, Ira Sachs crafts an excellent drama, making universal the particulars of one family’s challenges and changes. [Read more...]

James Gandolfini’s Praiseworthy Final Bow: The Drop

Fans of The Sopranos and The Wire will discover much to appreciate in this fine suspense film. [Read more...]

Land Ho! (dir. Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, USA, 2014)

A wise comedy with warm characters, set in lovely Iceland, is a welcome addition to the summer movie roster. [Read more...]

The Normal Heart (dir. Ryan Murphy, USA, 2014)

This year’s Emmy winner for Outstanding Television Movie uses a terrific ensemble to tell the gripping story of the AIDS crisis in early 1980′s New York. [Read more...]

The Zero Theorem (dir. Terry Gilliam)

Terry Gilliam’s latest sci-fi dystopia challenges the mind and overwhelms the senses. [Read more...]

Calvary: An Alternate View

With Calvary, writer and director John Michael McDonagh most certainly knows how to tell a good (albeit flawed) story, though I vehemently disagree with the heart of his allegory. [Read more...]

The Great Beauty (dir. Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, 2013)

Considering that this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film centers upon a despondent older man confronting the void of his empty life, The Great Beauty is a surprisingly giddy ride. [Read more...]

Beyond God’s Not Dead: Three Better Films About Clashing Worldviews

It’s high time to look past “God’s Not Dead” and examine three far superior movies from the past year (“The Unbelievers,” “Philomena,” and “Broken Circle Breakdown”) that prominently featured clashing believer and unbeliever characters. [Read more...]

God’s Not Dead: An Atheist’s Response

  Warning:  This analysis contains spoilers that include the film’s ending. For atheists who love movies, the trumpeting and stomping elephant in the room all year long has been God’s Not Dead (hereafter referred to as GND).  Although a few Christian film critics laudably objected to this aesthetic shop of horrors (Peter Chattaway’s detailed evisceration [Read More...]