The new film ‘Sorry to Bother You’ is a sign that change may be coming.
My nomination for the most important movie of 2018 has a plot that doesn’t involve superheroes or space travel, and its production didn’t involve any of the usual Hollywood oligarchs. It’s Sorry to Bother You, an independent feature written and directed by hip-hop artist, activist, and self-identified “communist” Boots Riley. The movie is a sort of magical realist satire built around a union organizing drive at a shady telemarketing company.
In the new film ‘Hereditary,’ characters are doomed to live out drama set in motion by an earlier generation.
I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me (Exod. 20:5).
In ‘The Line Becomes a River,’ author Francisco Cantú joins U.S. Border Control to gain a new perspective on immigration.
In this new version of the classic show, children and parents must work to overcome their estrangement, a situation all too familiar to modern parents.
Toss a family onto a deserted tropical island—or, say, an uncharted planet in outer space—and see what happens when all social and cultural conventions and pressures are swept away and parents and children are forced to work together to survive.
That was the story arc of Johann David Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson novel in 1812, which was made into a film twice—in 1960 and in 1998. Then the Robinsons were reimagined as being shipwrecked not in the East Indies but in outer space on an uncharted planet in the Lost in Space CBS television series in the 1960s.
Is ‘Come Sunday’ the tale of a brave spirit or a tragedy about a religious tradition that gives its followers few tools for making sense of their faith?
In the past 25 years or so, nondenominational evangelical Protestantism seems to have become the state religion of the American suburbs, and in many of those churches every pastor is a pope. They face no educational requirement, and their only accountability comes when the offering basket is passed. If it is full enough then grace abounds. If a preacher rubs congregants the wrong way, abuses their trust, or just tells them things they don’t want to hear, they leave.
‘Pope Francis: A Man of His Word’ is more than just the top hits of Francis’ papacy.
Midway through the documentary Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, there is an image that brings to mind scenes from May’s Met Gala celebrating Catholic imagination in fashion. Notably, there was no outfit at the ball resembling the cheap yellow rain poncho Pope Francis wore to celebrate Mass in the Philippines during a tropical storm. Nor was there anything resembling the simple habit papal namesake and ex-fashionista Francis of Assisi donned after renouncing his wealth to take up preaching the gospel.
A new documentary traces Jean Vanier’s founding of L’Arche, providing a window into the existence of people with disabilities.
The Black Panther is the hero we need right now.
In ancient Greece, heroes were half god, half human. Comic superheroes followed that mold—unlikely people with exceptional abilities to leap tall buildings or fly invisible planes, celebrating the potential greatness hidden in mere mortals and making common folk feel as if they, too, might someday rise.
Fred Rogers believed that love, embodied as justice and compassion, could change the world.
This is the year when America seems to be experiencing the 50th anniversary of everything—the Tet Offensive, the 1968 riots, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. But in the midst of that maelstrom, on February 19, 1968, the still, small voice of Fred Rogers began to be heard on the nation’s embryonic network of public television stations.
‘Lucky’ tackles both aging and death with feeling and dignity.
Directed by John Carroll Lynch (Magnolia Pictures, 2017)
Harry Dean Stanton died on September 15, 2017 at the age of 91. This was just after completing the film Lucky, in which Stanton plays a man named Lucky who is approaching the end of his life and contemplating the reality of death and the meaning of existence. It’s a powerful convergence and gives Lucky an even more momentous and sobering dimension.
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