Film

The All-American Magic of Ricky Jay

By |2018-12-28T21:53:27-05:00December 28th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Film, Imagination, Mystery|

Ricky Jay was born in 1948 and died last Saturday. He was the greatest magician in America for more than a generation and a character whose like we will not see again. He combined the all-American love of wonder, which he understood to fixate on European aristocracy, and the all-American passion for science. He was [...]

Incarnation and the Moving Image: Towards a Christian Philosophy of Film

By |2019-06-24T16:36:41-05:00December 8th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Film|

In the iconoclasm controversy of the eighth century, the church debated the possibility of images in worship. The Eastern Church, challenged by the rise of Islam, with its total prohibition of religious imagery, worried that Christian imagery broke the commandment forbidding the making of graven images. The iconoclasts also argued that the only true [...]

The Authenticity of Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino”

By |2018-11-30T22:45:18-05:00December 1st, 2018|Categories: Dwight Longenecker, Film|

Clint Eastwood made his name with a squint, a glare, a snarl, and a few well-chosen one-liners. His vigilante loner has served him well in films from the spaghetti Westerns, the Dirty Harry franchise, Unforgiven, Pale Rider, and more. All these roles are summed up in Walt Kowalski—the main character in the 2008 film Gran Torino [...]

Family, Love, and Tragedy in “The Godfather”

By |2019-06-13T12:22:25-05:00November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Books, Culture, Featured, Film, Literature, Love, Morality, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine, Tragedy|

The Godfather is the Augustinian film par excellence–though it does not conclude where Augustine's vision ends... The Godfather, by Mario Puzo, was the best-selling book when it was first published and the film adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola is rightly considered a masterpiece. The drama of The Godfather is an epic; it is an epic because [...]

The Death of Europe: Two Classic Films and the Great War

By |2018-12-13T23:45:16-05:00November 10th, 2018|Categories: Ethics, Europe, Film, Friendship, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, World War II|

So incisive and troubling did the Nazis find Jean Renoir’s indictment of war and his embrace of the shared culture of Europe, that when the Wehrmacht invaded France and occupied Paris in the spring of 1940, Renoir’s film La Grande Illusion was among the first cultural artifacts Nazi officials confiscated… The Great War was a catastrophe for Europe. [...]

Russell Kirk’s Ghostly Tales: Horror and Eternity

By |2018-10-26T13:04:10-05:00October 25th, 2018|Categories: Ancestral Shadows, Books, Film, Heaven, Mystery, Russell Kirk|

Russell Kirk’s horror stories are fundamentally conservative, insinuating a chain of being that connects the living and the dead, reminding us of our duty and obligations to the past. They challenge us by piercing our day-to-day sense of the temporal with bright flashes of eternal order. And they lay upon us the heavy but joyous [...]

Our Own American Genocide: “Gosnell,” the Movie

By |2018-10-22T21:33:49-05:00October 22nd, 2018|Categories: Abortion, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Rule of Law|

While Gosnell tells the true story of a squalid, back-street abortion mill, we are also reminded by the film that the majority of baby murders are committed legally by nice, middle-class people who are well-connected, well-off, well-educated, well-spoken, and well-funded... A friend once commented about Christian films, “For ‘Christian’ read ‘inferior’.” His critique was all [...]

The Coen Brothers’ “True Grit”: Little Girls, Outrageous Outcasts, & Romantic Fools

By |2018-10-12T16:55:06-05:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: Books, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Senior Contributors|

The Coen brothers' heroes in True Grit are wacky anti-heroes, representing the common man against the establishment elite, the ordinary man in the face of outlandish wickedness. As such, they inspire every outsider who longs for greatness, every outcast who has a heart of genius, and every romantic fool who loves beauty, truth, and goodness for their own sake... True [...]

Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps”: A Coded Message?

By |2019-02-21T12:31:31-05:00October 4th, 2018|Categories: Film, History, Mystery, World War II|

The 39 Steps is one of five films that Alfred Hitchcock made in England about espionage in the mid-to-late 1930s. These films capture the growing threat felt in Britain from foreign powers. In their scenarios the nation's security was nowhere more threatened than by spies hiding in plain sight... The Thirty-Nine Steps. A novel. Then a film: The 39 Steps. In the end, that [...]

Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge,” & the Real Hollywood Counter-Culture

By |2018-08-31T02:07:07-05:00August 30th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Film|

In Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson continues to present an alternative world-view to filmgoers. It is one at odds with almost all that emanates from Hollywood, but, nevertheless, is one that finds a welcome reception in the real world, where family and marriage, patriotism and courage, faith and self-sacrifice still form part of the daily lives [...]

“The Human Condition”: A Tale of the Suffering Servant

By |2018-08-24T20:58:30-05:00August 24th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Film, World War II|

The Human Condition, directed by Masaki Kobayashi, is more than a mere movie. It is certainly not entertainment. It is an experience in which the viewer participates. It is not an easy movie to watch. The suffering Christ is encountered at every turn… In one of the most ambitious cinematic projects ever undertaken, Japanese [...]