Jun 30 2012

Love and loneliness in Moonrise Kingdom




Sam and Suzy are both social misfits who feel alone and apart from other people. They meet at a church production of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, an opera about Noah’s Ark, and make an immediate connection. Sam is only on the island for scout camp so they become pen pals. After a year’s correspondence they meet again and run away together when Sam returns for camp. As a huge storm approaches everyone pursues them to bring them back.

Moonlight Kingdom’s director and co-writer Wes Anderson’s storytelling involves attention to detail. Music, sets, and props all support the script in telling the story and communicating theme. Even the name of the town, New Penzance, is carefully chosen. The opera The Pirates of Penzance is about an orphan boy who falls in love at first sight. Continue reading

Apr 7 2012

Blue Like Jazz is honest, funny, unreligous storytelling


Every life is a story. Blue Like Jazz is the new movie based on Donald Miller’s book, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. It opens in theaters this weekend.

The movie, Blue Like Jazz has taken considerable license to fictionalize the series of essay and reflections that make up the book Blue Like Jazz, in order to create a narrative story based on the book’s basic ideas. In fact, the movie Blue Like Jazz emphasizes the aspects of storytelling using the acronym SCCR which stand for setting, conflict, climax, and resolution, a device that links nicely  to Don Miller’s more recent projects. Blue Like Jazz is an honest, funny journey through conflict towards resolution. Continue reading

Apr 2 2010

Jesus of Montreal takes on Hubris and Pride in the Church and the Media


It may not be a typical inspirational Easter movie, but Jesus of Montreal is a relevant, devastating, contemporary take on the real power of Christ. Hollywood Jesus recently posted a list of their top 20 stirring Easter flicks with this 1990 Academy Award nominated film as their #3 pick.

SPOILER ALERT. In Jesus of Montreal the life of the actor who takes the role of Christ begins to strangely parallel Jesus’ life. A group of actors led by Daniel Colombe are hired to “freshen up” a passion play but they make changes that are unacceptable to the Church. The religious establishment in the form of the Catholic Church plays the part of the Pharisees. The media, like Rome, evaluates everything by how much money it will make and how much influence it will generate. In this movie the media industry is portrayed as yielding more even power than the church. These people enjoy their power to influence and exploit others. Continue reading