Meditations on Malick’s “The Tree of Life”

I've been hearing about this film for awhile.  "You'll either love it, or hate it," people told me.  A few people who know me pretty well figured it would be my kind of movie.   Anjie travels, and I'd been contemplating watching it without her, but I kept thinking, "No.  I'll wait for her."  So …

A Call for Syllabus Ideas

The title of the university class is this: The Arts and Culture: A Christian Aesthetic.   It’s in January, is one week long, 8-5 for five days straight, beginning Monday, and there’s a two-three hour final on Friday afternoon.   I’ve been teaching this class for ten years, a couple of years on my own, and the …

The Last Station

What is love? It's an appropriate question to encounter on the day before Valentine's Day, and Saturday afternoon, the question appeared with force in Michael Hoffman's film, The Last Station, starring Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, and Paul Giamatti.   (Spoilers ahead.)    The Last Station chronicles the last tumultuous days of the relationship between …

Run, Lola, Run / Choices, Chance, Outcomes

My small film group watched Run, Lola, Run last night, a 1998 German film in which a young woman receives a desperate phone call from her boyfriend.  He has lost 100,000 Deutsche Mark, and unless he can deliver this enormous amount of cash to his drug-dealing boss within 20 minutes, he will most likely be …

Julie & Julia

My fun and busy Saturday (Shoreline Parade and Festival, Taproot Theatre curtain speech and Act I of Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming, a dinner party at a friends house) ended with the whole family headed to the movies, a rare, but always memorable experience.   Julie & Julia, Nora Ephron's film about Julia Child, had to …

The Visitor

Thomas McCarthy's film The Visitor snuck up on me several months ago.  I forget who, but a couple of friends had recommended it and one boring night, there it was, offered on one of the cable subscription channels.  So I clicked on it and sat there, no expectations...and just got bowled over.  Whether it was …