New movie reviews - Piaf, Moon, Wild Things, An Education, and East of Eden

Hey All,

Sorry I've been away from the blog for so long. Been busy. So here are five more films worth talking about: La Vie en Rose (or The Passionate Life of Edith Piaf), Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and East of Eden.

Let me know what you think.




Using films evangelistically

Hi Ted, I've very much enjoyed reading your blog over the last few weeks, having heard lots about you! I work with Christian Unions in British universities, and am hosting a movie night in which I'll be giving a talk on Guy Ritchie's movie, Sherlock Holmes (as it was voted one of the favourite films of people at the university). As it is a film you have mentioned before as really liking, I was wondering if you had any pointers of themes you might draw out in a talk? I'm struggling a bit! Best wishes, Ben

Dropped the ball . . .

Dear Ben,

I feel that I really dropped the ball on you. Sorry. Truth is, you caught me just after I came back from teaching in Wales, I was pretty wiped out, and was planning on doing nothing that week besides playing Skyrim. Turns out my to-do list grew and grew. AND the website was under construction and I was waiting on a friend to make some changes. All to say, you found the perfect storm of non-responsiveness. I'll check more frequently in the future.

About Sherlock, it's been a while since I've seen the film, so I'm working from memory. That said, I remember the themes of Holmes' dazzling intellect versus his social ineptitude (contrasted with Jude Law's Watson's communal values). The film inherently raises the question (as does the BBC series), "Is being a brilliant intellect enough? Especially when it alienates us from others?" That's why Holmes needs Watson (or else needs a 7% solution  -- but that's another movie). But that's inherent in all the stories. Particular to this plot was the tried and true "superstitious/religious hocus-pocus versus the post-Enlightenment human rationality." Many Dr. Who episodes that I grew up with (the Tom Baker years) worked over this premise. Religion and the supernatural are gimmicks cynically employed to keep the simple-minded enthralled and subservient. That was Lord Blackwoods MO, anyhow. You could talk about that kind of cynicism. Is there anything in the world that is mysterious, or can it all be explained away, Holmes-style? That can get at people's presuppositions and lead to an interesting discussion, if you can avoid people getting too hostile.

Hope that helps. Again, sorry for the delay.