Monday, November 20, 2017

The Star -- reviewed by Deanna Evans

Image result for the star movie posterDeanna Evans, who works for one of the companies I sometimes get books from, has written a review of The Star. I thought you might like to read it. It can be found at https://www.christianquotes.info/star-movie-review/

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Review: Movies are Prayers -- Talking to God at the movies

Image result for movies are prayers josh larsen book cover



M
ovies are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings; Josh Larsen, IVP Books (2017)


I picked this up as a dear friend told me about it and it intrigued me. I love movies and have connected them with my faith for over a decade. I have seen them as ways we can experience transcendance as we engage with movies, learning something about ourselves, life, and God, and sometimes even experiencing God Himself.  I had not necessarily thought of them as prayers.

Josh Larsen, cohost of the podcast *Filmspotting*, says “that movies, at their most potent, are not diversions or products or even works of art, but prayerful gestures received by God.” He further elaborates: “Movies are our way of telling God what we think about this world and our place in it. . . . Movies can be many things: escapist experiences, historical artifacts, business ventures, and artistic expressions, to name a few. I'd like to suggest that they can also be prayer.”

He divides the book into 10 types of prayer, each forming a chapter of the book:

1) Prayers of praise
2) Prayers of yearning
3) Prayers of lament
4) Prayers of anger
5) Prayers of confession
6) Prayers of reconciliation
7) Prayers of obedience
8) Payers of meditation
9) Prayers of joy
10) Prayer as journey

He uses various movies, from Buster Keaton silent film, to the most recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, as well as books and scripture to illustrate his points. For the most part, just a scene or two from a film is used.

This book is a quick read and does communicate the writer’s thesis well. I have two main criticisms. First, it is short at just over 200 pages, with a good 25% devoted to notes. I had expected more. Second, I anticipated more in-depth analysis of some films. Larsen does that at the very end, as he takes the concept of prayer as journey and looks at one film. He does with Rushmore, exploring how it moves through the various stages in progression. That was what I wanted more of.

All in all, I would recommend this book. I’d give it 3.5 if I could.

Copyright ©2017, Martin Baggs

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Films 2016: International Turkey Movies

Well, it's that day again when we give thanks for our blessings. We bring our family and friends together, close to us, to enjoy their presence, to stuff ourselves full of turkey and to reflect on . .  . turkey films. This is where we substitute the word turkey for a word in the movie title.

So here is the top ten list for 2016, with a distinctly international theme:
    Image result for turkey images
  • Turkeylie
  • Embrace of the Turkey
  • The Lives of Turkeys
  • The Turkey Thief
  • Turkey of God
  • Turkey Paradiso
  • The Girl with the Turkey Tattoo
  • Like Water for Turkey
  • Crouching Turkey, Hidden Dragon
  • The Diving Bell and the Turkey

So, as they say in Paris, "Adieu jusqu'à l'année prochaine, ont une grande journée de Thanksgiving".

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crosswalk’s Best Movies of 2015

CrosswalkMovies.com's Top 10 Films of 2015Well, January is almost behind us and awards season is in full swing. It’s time to look back at the best movies of 2015. The Christian website Crosswalk announced their best-of list for 2015. Their article includes reasons for inclusion and brief snippets from the reviews themselves. Here is their top 10:

10 Creed
9 The Martian
8 Brooklyn
7 Mr Holmes
6 Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Cinderella
4 Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
3 Room
2 Spotlight
1 Inside Out

Of this list, I have seen only 2, both sci-fi films (#6 and #4). I enjoyed both a lot. But I intend to see most of the others before Oscar night. More lists to come shortly.