“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”: Rebuilding Moral Community

By |2020-10-21T16:31:26-05:00October 21st, 2020|Categories: Civil Society, Community, Film|

The struggle between good and evil that Frank Capra depicts in "Mr. Smith" is clearly understood by viewers as reflecting timeless truths about citizenship and living together in a free society. Even in the fractured public square we inhabit today, members of opposing political tribes can recognize our common humanity in the heroic and humble [...]

“Triumph of the Will”: The Culture of Death on Screen

By |2020-09-03T00:11:08-05:00September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Culture, Death, Europe, Film, History, War, World War II|

Commissioned by Adolf Hitler, “Triumph of the Will” is a terrifying film. It is as if, for a moment, something infernal took control of the camera and caused the audience to be entranced, as it projected a lie into Germany’s consciousness, and then beyond to an unwilling world. As a consequence, 85 million people [...]

Redeeming Film Music From the Avant-Garde

By |2020-08-25T16:07:20-05:00August 25th, 2020|Categories: Featured, Film, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Perhaps we should be grateful to John Williams and Howard Shore for showing us that we can still use the tonal language to create music that resonates in the hearts of ordinary people. Perhaps we should be suspicious of those musical censors who leap to dismiss whatever is spontaneously likeable as cliché, and whatever [...]

The Pro-Life Themes of Uberto Pasolini’s “Still Life”

By |2020-08-13T15:56:45-05:00August 13th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Community, Culture, Death, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Senior Contributors|

Uberto Pasolini’s “Still Life” is a haunting, original, and moving tribute to human worth and self-sacrificial love at the street level. It is a beautiful, quiet film that packs an emotional and philosophical punch far beyond its weight. Always on the lookout for a film that is better than the formulaic, ideologically-driven entertainment that [...]

Going Over Jordan: Images of Baptism in “1917”

By |2020-07-18T17:49:07-05:00July 18th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Film, Literature, Poetry, War, World War I|

Sam Mendes’ appropriation of baptismal imagery allows the film “1917” to achieve the rare feat of portraying the First World War in terms of hope and rebirth rather than merely of pity and death. As we watch the protagonist Schofield’s journey, we recall that we have been buried and raised with Christ. I was [...]

The Economics of Marriage in Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women”

By |2020-06-09T09:57:01-05:00June 9th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Fiction, Film, Literature, Marriage|

Director Greta Gerwig’s film “Little Women” ends as Louisa May Alcott’s novel does, with a family-centered fall festival at Plumfield. Perhaps unintentionally, Ms. Gerwig captures the spirit of Alcott’s beautiful ending to her novel. Not only has she married off the heroine, but she has shown marriage to be far more than an economic [...]

Race Riots, Nietzsche, and “Django Unchained”

By |2020-06-08T16:48:44-05:00June 8th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

During the last fifty years we have seen the cities of America crumble into race riots time and again. The problem of racism is solved by the way of the cross, by the way of the ordinary person who, filled with transcendent insight, sees a problem, owns it, then rolls up his sleeves to do [...]

“Memoriae Tuae”

By |2020-10-08T09:35:36-05:00June 5th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Film, Music, World War I|

“Memoriae Tuae” Martis nec gladius, belli nec ignis impiger Vivum momentum unquam memoriae tuae consumet Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory* Patrick Doyle wrote "Memoriae Tuae" as part of his score for the animated film, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, a 2018 computer-animated adventure film [...]

“Baseball Has Marked the Time”

By |2020-05-16T13:36:23-05:00May 16th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Baseball, Film|

The following is the speech of Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones) from the film Field of Dreams. Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as [...]

“Star Wars”: Identity, Love, and Redemption

By |2020-05-04T14:30:42-05:00May 4th, 2020|Categories: Film, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

Is Star Wars more than an entertaining space opera meant to relax us after the daily grind of post-industrialized life? To answer that question, we must consider the possibility of depth in cinema—that cinema is itself the vehicle for our post-technological mythology, manifesting our deepest fears as well as our subconscious and unconscious struggles. While [...]

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