Family Friendly Films: Deep Loves, Deep Cuts, and Might Be’s

I’ve been asked by my friend and colleague, Alana, create a list of family friendly films. Now, this challenge is both easy and hard. It’s easy because there’s no shortage of family friendly films. But that abundance of options is what makes it hard. How does one pick from such a plentiful list? Another challenges comes the way memory erodes our impressions of these stories. … Continue reading Family Friendly Films: Deep Loves, Deep Cuts, and Might Be’s

The Crisp Ending: What is it and Which Films Have it?

There’s so many different parts of a film that can make it memorable, an exciting beginning, a thrill-ride story, surprises and suspense, and sometimes the quietude of slow camera work can provoke reflective thought. It’s the endings, though, that leave people breathless and wide-eyed when the lights come-up and the people shuffle out into the hallways. It’s the endings that keep the viewers in their … Continue reading The Crisp Ending: What is it and Which Films Have it?

Ten Films about the Media that Will Make You Think

There are all kinds of First Amendment films, freedom of the press films, media films, broadcasting films, and so forth. You’ve probably seen many of them yourself. One common characteristic amongst these films is the hagiographic treatment they give of journalists, reporters, and anchors. If you watch too many of these films, you’ll get the sense that your average reporter is a modern day errant … Continue reading Ten Films about the Media that Will Make You Think

Parasite: Aristotle and Arthur Miller, Tartuffe and Montgomery Cliff, and the Genre of the Ingénue Climber

Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!! The 2019 film Parasite, directed by South Korean filmmaker, Bong Joon Ho, has provoked awe in audiences, both for it’s aesthetic construction and for its treatments of the themes of social inequality, fate, and chance. These two layers of the film–it’s artful construction and it’s provocative meaning–work in tandem to tell the story of the nearly destitute Kim family, … Continue reading Parasite: Aristotle and Arthur Miller, Tartuffe and Montgomery Cliff, and the Genre of the Ingénue Climber

Fighting with My Family: Self-Portrayals, Body Slams and Rudy Goes to the Ball

Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!! In the mid-twentieth century, Gloria Swanson, an aging out-of-the-limelight former silent film star, played the part of Norma Desmond, a character who might be described as an aging out-of-the limelight former silent film star. This performance, in the film Sunset Blvd. (1950), demonstrated that the legendary Swanson, unlike Desmond, possessed self-awareness and an ability to poke fun at herself. … Continue reading Fighting with My Family: Self-Portrayals, Body Slams and Rudy Goes to the Ball

Bees, Knees, Pilgrimages, and Substitutiary Locomotion: A Review of Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Merovingian Bees: Recasting Identity through Heritage A few years ago, I watched a 93-part episode series on the History of the Christian Church, taught by Professor Ryan Reeves of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. The video series is, by the way, immensely educational and creatively put together. One of the most effective techniques Reeves uses is to start each video lecture a bit off kilter, a … Continue reading Bees, Knees, Pilgrimages, and Substitutiary Locomotion: A Review of Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Get Out: Head Fakes, Zombies, and Big Macs in Paris

“And these kinds of head fake learning are absolutely important. And you should keep your eye out for them because they’re everywhere.” Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture“ I’m not a big zombie movie fan. In fact, to be honest, and I don’t really care for the genre. It might have to do with the fact that they are a subset, or, at least, a close … Continue reading Get Out: Head Fakes, Zombies, and Big Macs in Paris