July 19, 2022

As I slowly but surely make my way through gleaning the religious metaphors across every film in the Disney animated canon (I’m coming for you, The Black Cauldron!), 2016’s Moana finds its way onto the docket. It might be really fun to just spend 500 words going over Moana’s little Moses moment in the climax, but I think that there’s an even deeper conversation to be had with this film. Like many movies of quality before it, Moana finds itself... Read more

July 17, 2022

Like many of the films we discuss here, there are a lot of internal contradictions with Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional that make it an unusual item of study for religious overtones. For one thing, it’s a very violent movie. The world these characters inhabit isn’t one where goodness abounds. Just so, it’s against this kind of moral desolation that glimmers of Christlike light really shine through, and that’s worth talking about. At the start of Leon: The Professional, Matilda... Read more

July 12, 2022

I mentioned in my piece on Rust and Bone that one of the hidden graces of film, and storytelling in general, is that it allows us to see others as God sees them. This is true even of characters that we might deem “ungodly” on first glance, like the daughter of a Nazi traitor. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 film, Notorious, follows Alicia Huberman, a woman fallen from grace after her father is convicted as a Nazi traitor. After her father’s trial,... Read more

June 29, 2022

As I eagerly await the final episodes of Stranger Things 4, and as I, too, find myself suddenly inducted into the Kate Bush fandom, I inevitably reflect on my relationship to the Netflix juggernaut. As with most pop culture powerhouses, the hype surrounding Stranger Things has been described as “religious.” Normally that term is thrown into the discourse separate from its spiritual context, but here at Sublime Cinema, we know that most pieces of entertainment can be described as such... Read more

May 31, 2022

Well, Jurassic World: Dominion comes out really soon, so naturally I’ve been thinking about the 1993 classic these last few weeks. Like, more than usual. I’d imagine many of us will be revisiting the series over the next little bit, if we have not started already. So why not take a moment and review the film, and why not do it through a spiritual lens? Because the movie’s religious overtones are at once up and front while also buried under... Read more

April 26, 2022

In my piece on “Black Swan,” I confessed that growing up, R-rated films were a sort of forbidden zone for me. By nature, they featured content that felt incompatible with someone devoted to following Christ. One film degree later, I’ve softened this particular stance, as I mentioned. But I won’t deny that I still wrestle with what exactly healthy film viewership looks like. Media leaves traces on our psyche, for better or worse. Prudence in media consumption is a necessity,... Read more

April 7, 2022

In my old age, I consistently ask myself why Disneyland still hasn’t given us a ride for “Lady and the Tramp.” (If they can do it for “The Adventures of Mr. Toad,” they can do it for this one too!) For a film that consistently features on Disney’s Diamond/Platinum/Whatever Precious Metal line of movies, this one sometimes slips under the radar. This is regrettable because the film captures a truth most precious: love is inexhaustible, and there is always room... Read more

February 8, 2022

I enjoy a great many films, but there are a select few that have actually made me reflect on the artform itself. Today we’re going to talk about one such movie, Jacques Audiard’s 2012 film, “Rust and Bone.” This French-Belgian production follows Stephanie and Alain, both of them broken individuals at the start of the film. Stephanie has recently endured an accident that necessitated the amputation of both of her legs. Alain is a drifter who can’t hold down a... Read more

January 24, 2022

I actually didn’t start watching The Andy Griffith Show until really recently. My clients at my day job have it on all the time, and I try to catch a few episodes when my workload allows. While I’m finding the show amusing, I’m still getting used to seeing Mr. Griffith as a good guy. I get that for most of America, Andy Griffith is the picture of wholesomeness, but they got to know him as Sheriff Andy Taylor. I knew... Read more

January 11, 2022

So this weekend marked roughly my dozenth watch of Knives Out. Not much else to do as I eagerly await the currently in-development sequels. On this viewing, what really struck me, aside from just how great Jamie Lee Curtis looks in phosphorescent pink, is just how good they manage to keep Marta. That our heroine is this movie’s ambassador of morality should come as no surprise. It’s a regular truism in storytelling in general that goodness is the ultimate decider... Read more

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