21 Jun 2017

My Box of 64: Ep. 4 – The Summer of Nathans

Here it is at last — Episode Four of My Box of 64, my new audio journal. Press play… This episode took a while to produce. Thanks to “the Nathans” and to John Barber (who volunteers so much of his time helping me put this show together). I’d hoped to

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04 Jun 2017

Where did the “evangel” in “evangelical” go?

I try to avoid posts that aren’t focused on the arts and imagination. But we’re living in a world where an “evangelical” leader calls our President a “dream President” for evangelicals. So if I’m going to retain any capacity to respect the term “evangelical,” which my childhood burned like a

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04 Jun 2017

Looking Closer at Wonder Woman

My hopes: That Wonder Woman is one of those rare comic-book films that capture and hold my attention by questioning whether the glorification of violence is the way to celebrate true courage, conscience, and conviction. That Wonder Woman subverts the idea that masculinity is defined by muscularity and “fighting good.” That Wonder Woman offers

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27 May 2017

I believe in Doctor Jenny

Before I talk about two brothers from Belgium and review their impressive new murder mystery — The Unknown Girl — I’m going to step up on my soapbox and talk about heroes and villains. Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker have always been, for me, the least-interesting characters in their own franchises. Temperamental Hermione

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21 May 2017

My Box of 64: Ep. 3 – Getting Into Character

On the third episode of the new Looking Closer audio journal, My Box of 64… I write to my muse, Thomas, with comments on the new Netflix series — Abstract: The Art of Design, the new Terence Davies film about Emily Dickinson called A Quiet Passion, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Then I

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13 May 2017

Davies brings Dickinson to life (and vice versa)

The brilliant Terence Davies cast — Cynthia Nixon in — A Quiet Passion as the great — Emily Dickinson. The poet’s played by Emma Bell — In the opening scenes — Where Emily embraces doubt — And authenticity. But then — the wonder of the sight — family portraits change!

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30 Apr 2017

The haunting of a half-hearted woman

Just as Olivier Assayas’s new film Personal Shopper keeps shapeshifting from horror movie to socio-economic commentary to erotic thriller to paranormal murder mystery… so this review keeps shifting as I write it. I haven’t published my comments until now because I couldn’t figure out where to begin in describing all that

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25 Apr 2017

My Box of 64: Episode 2 – Mischa Willett & the power of practice

On the second episode of the new Looking Closer audio journal, My Box of 64… I welcome poet and Seattle Pacific University writing instructor Mischa Willett to talk about why he gave up on entering poetry contests, to share why he memorizes his favorite poems, and to read poems from his

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17 Apr 2017

Don’t Think Twice: Yes, and . . .

Improv comedy is a demanding art. Making a movie about an improv team — one that is both dramatic and funny — that’s even more challenging. Mike Birbiglia succeeds!

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16 Apr 2017

My Box of 64: the new Looking Closer audio journal!

In which I launch the new LookingCloser.org audio journal. Take your first step into a larger world… of creativity, conversation, and community!

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