New Here?
     
Film/Music/TV


Three Minutes of Pixar Easter Eggs

Because we could all use a mental health break this AM:

p.s. Remember when we released “The Gospel According to Pixar”? Me neither…

(The Tide Decides) When The Hill and Wood Goes

(The Tide Decides) When The Hill and Wood Goes

If the cover of The Hill and Wood’s brilliant new record, When You Go, looks familiar, that’s because lead singer/songwriter Sam Bush and I share not only a long friendship but an affection for the work of Australian artist Jeremy Geddes. Sam somehow got permission for Geddes’s “Ascent”, part of his series of astronaut-slash-deepseadiver-floating-in-space paintings. No dove in this one, you’ll note. Instead, tentacles of fresh, slightly tangled plant-life are breaking through the voyager’s vacuum-sealed armor as he/she/it rises into the light. That’s no coincidence either.

The way Sam tells it, this record wasn’t supposed to happen. After a couple of…

Read More > > >

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

However many years a man may live,
   let him enjoy them all.
   But let him remember the days of
      darkness,
   for they will be many.
— Ecclesiastes 11:8

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— John 1:5

I wake up mornings in the darkness, to get ready for work, or writing if it’s a day off. I let my wife sleep and I close the bedroom door after I press the switch for the hall light. I turn on all the lights in the kitchen, even the under-cabinet fixtures that have separate switches because it’s…

Read More > > >

The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2016

The Dirty Deacon’s Top 10 Horror Films of 2016

Disclaimer: Pinning down actual years on films is a tricky endeavor. Some films travel film festival circuits and have limited theater releases well before they’re actually “out”. However, my list below contains the top 10 horror films that had a wide release in 2016, whether it was in theaters or through video-on-demand services. So while films like The Love Witch might have been seen by some in the more metropolitan areas, I do not include them here, because if I can’t get my paws on it somehow in the Panhandle of Texas, then it’s not wide enough.

That being said, I saw 53 horror films that…

Read More > > >

January Playlist

Time to ring in the new year with a new playlist (and a new article for Christianity Today, “500 Years After the Reformation, We Still Feel the Pressure to Be Justified”). Gulp gulp triple gulp:

P.S. I had help on that article (from a good family friend my favorite theologian.)

The Top Ten Films of 2016

The Top Ten Films of 2016

Listen, 2016 has been…difficult. From political turmoil to national racial unrest, and the deaths of many beloved pop-icons such as Bowie, Prince, and, most recently, one of the more daring heroines the cine-verse has ever known, Carrie Fisher. But, as Sarah Condon so gracefully pointed out, 2016 wasn’t the worst year ever. As both the enthusiastic cinephile and the average moviegoer can attest, 2016 provided an admirable follow-up to an excellent year of film in 2015. Listed below are the ten best films that I saw in 2016. With a variety of genres and production levels represented, there is truly something for everyone! I hope you enjoy,…

Read More > > >

A 2016 Movie Wrap-Up

A 2016 Movie Wrap-Up

Here we go! A look into some of 2016’s most-talked-about films…

Birth of a Nation. Nate Parker’s film shares a title with D.W. Griffith’s 1915 technical masterpiece, yet inverts the idyllic narrative that championed the victory of white supremacy over the supposed societal dangers of Reconstruction. Where Griffith’s storyline details the violence that ensues when fear drives one people group to inflict genocide on another, Parker’s 21st century vision shows us the violence preceding the redemption of a people who have historically responded to oppression via artistic innovation and spiritual transcendence.

A rare film abundantly flowing with references to Scripture without attempting…

Read More > > >

Westworld and the Myth of Christmas

Westworld and the Myth of Christmas

Here’s a great one from Geoff Holsclaw, Augustine scholar, Mockingcast moonlighter, and friend. Spoiler alert applies: 

The best works of art remind of us reality, or point to what could be.

Provoking the local community, one of our artists installed “Away from the Manger” on the church lawn. Life-sized versions of Mary, Joseph, and the three Wisemen were placed 15 feet away from baby Jesus in the manger. They “adults” were all gathered around a giant television tuned to Fox News.

We received outraged letters from another church about how we were profaning Christmas. The neighbors were mostly confused and the installation was…

Read More > > >

In This Hope We Rebel: Rogue One, An Advent Story

In This Hope We Rebel: Rogue One, An Advent Story

Everybody!!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story delivers magnificently on the promise Star Wars fans have known still lurked within the franchise but struggled to manifest over the last seventeen years of films. Yes, I’m hyperventilating a little–but so will you. Rogue One is so excellent it would be easy to drown the internet in superlatives praising it but part of the excitement that accompanies it is the sheer wonder of witnessing a story that celebrates heroism and hope without resorting to the stale devices that characterize so many blockbusters. Gareth Edwards has composed an elegy to broken human beings consecrated to…

Read More > > >

Mom Goggles

Mom Goggles

One of my favorite shows on television is The Goldbergs, which is a sitcom about a family in the 1980s. The mother, Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), is ridiculous not only in her 1980s-ness (jazzercise, big hair, shoulder pads, mom jeans), but also in her single-minded devotion to her family. Her love for them often seems to travel only in a one-way direction. Her husband is apathetic. Her children are teenagers and embarrassed by her smothering affection. But she doggedly loves them anyway, in spite of herself and in spite of their protests. In one episode, her children accuse her of having…

Read More > > >

Martin Scorsese Explains That God Is Always Present, Even in His Silence

Martin Scorsese Explains That God Is Always Present, Even in His Silence

If you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for the release of Silence, Martin Scorsese’s adaption of the classic novel by Shūsaku Endō, check out the foreword to the 2016 edition, excerpted below. Written by the movie magician himself, Scorsese reveals how the novel has been intensely personal for him, and why it is this story–one of persecution, doubt, and betrayal–that best illustrates Christian faith.

How do you tell the story of Christian faith? The difficulty, the crisis, of believing? How do you describe the struggle? There have been many great twentieth-century novelists drawn to the subject–Graham Greene, of course, and François Mauriac, Georges Bernanos and,…

Read More > > >

Red-Eyed Gravy: “A Charleston Feast for Reconciliation”

Red-Eyed Gravy: “A Charleston Feast for Reconciliation”

This sniffle-inducing reflection comes to us from our friend, Joshua Retterer. 

Christmas is a time of nostalgia and hope, which, for me, at least, can turn a bit maudlin. I listen to podcasts at work, and sometimes, during certain seasons, my podcast tastes can lead me down ill-advised paths. At work, poignant is the most dangerous podcast category. The excuse of allergies is a good cover for tears when you work in a blue collar environment like I do.

I spent the best part of a half hour with tears dripping out of my safety glasses while listening to an episode of…

Read More > > >