20 Mar 2017

If you loved The Secret of Kells

For the grand finale of my film-focused research writing course at Seattle Pacific University, I treated my finals-weary students to a screening and discussion of The Secret of Kells. I didn’t even realize until I was loading up the movie that, lo and behold… it was St. Patrick’s Day. And so, another

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19 Mar 2017

Embracing dangerous neighbors in Of Gods and Men

I recently posted a review of Martin Scorsese’s Silence that was written by a high school student who took my online film course called “Viewer Discussion Advised.” Today, I’m sharing another review by a first-time film critic who took that class with me over seventeen weeks. Her name is Martha-Grace

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16 Mar 2017

Q&O: What should I see this week?

It’s the post-Oscar-season slump, when studios typically dump their trash into theaters. If I have an itch to go to the movies, what’s actually worth seeing?

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03 Mar 2017

Reflections on Scorsese’s Silence

I’ve been teaching a 17-week online film course for high school students. My students read Through a Screen Darkly, keep reading journals where they respond to what they read, participate in a private Facebook group discussion about film interpretation, watch a wide variety of movies, and write reviews of them. One

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27 Feb 2017

Jesca Hoop’s faith frustrations

Perhaps you’ve been around long enough to remember when, in the late ’80s, Leslie Phillips released an album called The Turning.  It was a life-changing experience for me, hearing her bravely sing about how she couldn’t reconcile her faith-born questions with the judgmental certainties of Christian fundamentalism. The Turning was the prelude

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24 Feb 2017

Inspiring lovers in an uninspired movie

David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike make A United Kingdom worth seeing.

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22 Feb 2017

Scary but true: Time to watch Sophie Scholl

On January 19, The Washington Post published an article by Tyler Huckabee called “Christians say Hollywood ignores them. But they ignore great films about faith.” This was no surprise to me. I’ve been writing about films that fit this description for decades now. And one of those films — a movie

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14 Feb 2017

A United Kingdom’s Oyelowo: “Sacrificial love.”

Here’s a perfect post for Valentine’s Day. Over at Movie Mezzanine, Kristen O’Neal talks with David Oyelowo, who played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s film Selma, about the interracial love story in A United Kingdom. It caught my attention because I have plans to see the film next week.

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12 Feb 2017

Warning: The Witch is just the beginning

I was lucky enough to start reading work by Lauren Wilford when she was still an undergraduate at Seattle Pacific University. Just a few years later, here she is — the senior editor at an extraordinary film journal called Bright Wall Dark Room, where she’s quickly becoming one of the most

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12 Feb 2017

The LEGO Batman Movie trumps expectations

When, during an early scene of The LEGO Batman Movie, my opening-weekend audience was surprised by a Jerry Maguire joke and laughed appreciatively, a little girl sitting next to me — she might have been six years old — scowled, shook her head, stood up, and announced to her mother, “This

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