1. Happy Fantastic Mr Fox day! My wife and I had the pleasure of attending a live interview with director Wes Anderson and actor Jason Schwartzman earlier this week. I’m proud to report that the second the Q&A opened to the wider audience, my wife’s hand shot up and she asked the question on everyone’s mind: “What took you so long to use The Beach Boys in a movie?!” [FMF features a number of their songs – “Heroes and Villains”, “I Get Around” and their version of “Ol’ Man River”] Anderson replied by expressing his long-time love for Brian Wilson and co, stating that there’s something about their music which connects especially well with children. Jason Schwartzman then recounted his boyhood love affair with the John Stamos-stained “Kokomo”. Another notable takeaway from the event was the fact that Bill Murray’s initial conversation with Wes during the Rushmore casting sessions revolved almost entirely around Bill’s take on the similarities between Rushmore and another one of Mockingbird’s favorite films, Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard…!

The reviews of Mr Fox have been uniformly fantastic. The NY Times calls it Anderson’s most “fully realized and satisfying movie”, while my favorite review thus far, in Slate, states: “You don’t want to watch this movie, you want to climb inside it and play”. Sounds like inner-child/abreaction city! [For some bonus non-trailer clips, go here.]

2. Some great soundbites from the post-finale interview with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner over at The Daily Beast (ht RF):

“I think, as does Betty [Draper], that [Don Draper] wanted to be found out. I think that’s why he had a relationship so close to home, I think that’s why he left the keys in his pocket… He was not comfortable with the way things were going and I think that… in his heart, something about having to live as this other person, it was too much for him.

In reference to the episode dealing with the JFK assassination: “I wanted [the characters] to be going about their lives and have it stuffed into the middle of everything and see how an event like that heightens the reality in all of our regular lives… The powerlessness and the family tragedy, which a lot of people really identified with, all of that personal drama really comes into focus. No one can control anything and it makes people nihilistic and it also makes them take action.”

3. A very interesting article from The NY Times about the intersection between American free speech and German privacy laws in the digital age. Or in other words, how the desire to have one’s sins washed away hits a brick wall called Wikipedia (ht AZ).

4. Justin Holcomb’s Follow Your Heart? column over at The Resurgence takes a distinctly Reformational view of The Care Bears.

5. Finally, do yourself a favor and listen to The Rev. Dr. Ashley Null’s recent sermon (at St. George’s in NYC) entitled “The Prodigal Love”. Dr. Null’s book Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing The Power To Love has been a great inspiration to many of us here at Mockingbird. Don’t be dis-swayed by the hefty pricetag (or wordy title) – it’s remarkably user-friendly and worth every penny. That said, we have it on good authority that a popular version is in the works… Stay tuned.