Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting caught up on films

During the late summer, I've always seemed to find my way to the library or video store to check out some movies that have slipped by without me seeing. (After my senior year of high school, this practice got me several dates with the foxy video store girl. I distinctly remember trying to look for movies that would impress an older, more sophisticated woman. I guess it worked!) Now that I'm married with silver hairs (Lara loves to point them out.) , my interest in getting dates with the video store girl has waned, and I settle for turning the Tulsa public library website into a free version of Netflix. Here are some that I've seen.

There Will be Blood--Danial Day Lewis is his usual brilliant self. The movie is sparse (first 15 minutes go by without a word) but with a great story filled with sawdust and oil.

Thank You for Smoking-- Aaron Eckhart (sp) is a tobacco lobbyist and a mentor to his son. I love his self perception as one who defends the right for people to make their own minds up about things. Very funny movie.

No Country for Old Men--The new face of the grim reaper! I got into this one and can see why it won the Oscars that it did. I felt edgy and pursued the whole time I was watching, and because I broke it up over lunch and later in the evening, I felt edgy and pursued all day.

The Children of Men--Okay, it was my second time on this one, but had to skim through it again, specifically for two shots--the long long long shot (like 7 or 8 minutes of action without a cut!) of Clive Owen and Julianne Moore getting attacked on that country road, and for the scene with the seige on the projects and "Key" carrying out the first baby born on Earth in 27 years--it's quite a good metaphor for the Nativity, I'd say.

Darjeeling Limited--I'm a big fan of Wes Anderson, and this is the only film of his not in my collection. First one I also did not see in the theater. Well--having kids'll do that to you. This seemed a lot like Bottle Rocket to me, with Owen Wilson playing a similar character: Idealistic schemer set on bringing about a reunion and living life to its fullest. Wes really dresses up the set and background (which he's been doing since the Royal Tannenbaums, I'd say). But set in the visually rich and colorful world of India, his palette has grown larger. That's where he seems to pour his increasing budgets for his films. It's like a kid who keeps getting a bigger crayon box until he finally has the huge-assed one with the crayon sharpener.

If my reviews are lacking something you want--sorry, go to IMDB

on the high seas

I never liked these, but Wes said he wanted to go on it, and mom is preggers, so that leaves me. You can call me Ishmael. Oh, and uh...yeah, that's me. And Wesley loved it--we rode it no less than 10 times.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Best summary on the value of doubt I've heard

In a recent interview in the Christian Century, author Ron Hansen crystalized what I've always thought in an unspoken cloud of ideas. The question is about his new book based on Gerard Manley Hopkins (a poet I've always loved). Now I've requested the book from the library--it's called Exiles. Anyway, the question and answer are as follows:
When people think of Hopkins they often think first of his faith. But he also wrestled with doubt.
I have a priest friend who points out that the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. I think God intended that--it is a way of making us creative instead of smug in our belief. God plants in us the seed to love and worship God, and the seed is enough to make us want to seek God out, but not enough to fully get there. That reaching, that striving, is what God is really interested in--that creative activity that all of us should pursue.

Amen Bro. Hansen--I'm gonna comment on Jeremy's "one minute sermon" post that this would be my entirely borrowed one minute sermon.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Eucharistic Theology in Film

I finally watched a movie that had been suggested to me by one of my mentors years ago. It is the Oscar winning Danish film from 1988, Babette's Feast. (that link is IMDB--wikipedia gives away a plot point that I wish I had been surprised with, although knowing it while watching the film was somewhat enjoyable too). There are many beautiful aspects of the film, but what appealed to me was viewing the film as an analogy of the Eucharist--something that important plot point that I found out about before the film hammers home). I won't give you all the details, because maybe you haven't seen it and would like to watch it without spoilers. But, you should check it (Tulsa Library had it) out and comment below. One thing it portrays is the Protestant struggle with Pietistic dualism. Nothing illustrates better the broad indictment of life contained in the words of Ecclesiastes, "Vanity, Vanity, All is vanity," than when they come in this film. Also, I don't know that I've seen a more poignant symbol of the Eucharist than what is in this film. I'll give you a few days to watch before I go to the comments and analyze more deeply. (so if you don't want to have any more info about the movie than this before watching, don't click on the comments if there are any there.) Don't be like me and wait years to watch this one!