Hi ho, Jeffrey the Recovering Storyteller here.

It’s my first real day off since completing Raven’s Ladder. I plan to rest. Write reviews. And see movies. 500 Days of Summer and District 9, to be specific. My friend, painter Laura Lasworth, loved the first one, and blogger Mark Shea, who I encountered in the grocery store parking lot yesterday, was very impressed by the second. Can’t wait to see them both.

But first, some notes…

1.

Alissa Wilkinson is so lucky, having both the time and the geographic fortune to get to see the new Hirokazu Kore-eda film Still Walking. The film reminds her of Rachel Getting Married and Summer Hours… and that’s high praise, as far as I’m concerned. Report at Filmwell.

It’s a quiet, buoyant tale of a family gathering to celebrate the memorial of a loved one’s passing, and without giving much away, I can say that in its cheerfulness, its celebration, and its dark moments, the film has much to say about treasuring loved ones before it’s too late, about regret and what it does to people, and about the nature of memory. At one point, a photograph of the missing loved one is actually carried into the family photograph that’s being taken, reminding us that, as one character says, “People might die, but they are never really gone.”

2.

History teachers, take note: Michael S. Smith had found a movie for you.

The story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American boxer to win the heavyweight title, is in many respects a microcosm of this larger dilemma of race within a democratic society, and Ken Burns’ documentary about Johnson, Unforgivable Blackness (which I recently watched for the first time), is a fairly illuminating look at the connection between the life and the history.

3.

No Depression has pulled a great interview with Joe Henry from their archives.

4.
Wow. Annie Young Frisbie, critic for Christianity Today, gives Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” 3.5 stars out of 4. I suspect the CT editors are going to get some very interesting mail this weekend…

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