Archives For The Arts

mockingjay-lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence’s appearance in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 embodies juxtaposition. While rummaging the corridors of District 13, Katniss is modestly dressed. Humble clothes divert attention rather than absorb it. Her hairstyle is simple; her face unadorned. If you didn’t know Katniss was the Mockingjay, you probably wouldn’t have guessed it. Continue Reading…

tumblr_nn41fax8ay1u47gvjo1_1280

During Jurassic World’s climatic showdown, the main characters find themselves lying in a stack of the park’s merchandise. Hats, shirts, etc. The image is cleverly ironic, given that consumerism brought about the film’s primary conflict. It’s also a metaphor of our own perilous state of art consumption, and, if I am being straightforward, why Jurassic World isn’t a very good movie. Continue Reading…

american-sniper-bradley-cooper

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is neither pro-war nor antiwar. It’s simply war. Groups and/or individuals who campaign to place the film in one of these categories over the other are, I believe, missing the point. In Sniper, Eastwood seems less concerned with pronouncing strict judgement than he is with telling a story that will provoke audiences on both sides to assess their prior presuppositions regarding the effects of violence and retaliation. Continue Reading…

My Ten Favorite Films of 2014

Wade —  December 29, 2014 —  Comments

nightcrawler-jake-gyllenhaal-2

I’ve seen some great films this year. Though there are still more I need to catch (Whiplash, Selma, Inherent Vice, and Birdman to name a few), I thought it would be fun to put together a list highlighting my favorites so far. I hope this will be a guide of sorts for those of you looking to expand your filmography. My top ten list includes blockbusters, independent and foreign films, dramas, a horror picture, a black and white feature, and even one movie with Tom Cruise.

Because one of my passions is examining how art and Christianity coincide, I’ve included within each description a number of themes I feel interact with that particular film’s story. This will, hopefully, help you look at these movies through a more critical, spiritually-minded lens. Continue Reading…

The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Part-1-Poster

Much like the stereotype in an average fairy tale film, Katniss Everdeen gets a makeover in Mockingjay – Part 1. Her long, slightly frizzed hair is weaved into a trademark single braid. Makeup is applied. She wears a black combat suit in the vein of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. Yet, in contrast with most stories involving princesses and magical outward transformations, Katniss’ new style doesn’t help her blend in with the bar set by society. The image of her glamorized figure is juxtaposed with the dirty, ruffled edges of war. She looks out of place among the wounded. Her outfit doesn’t match the rubble she walks through. Continue Reading…

interstellar-movie

It could be argued that Interstellar is a product of how far humanity has come. In his ninth feature film, Christopher Nolan stretches technology to a near breaking point, producing a visceral absorption of sight and awe-producing sound (and silence). Narratively speaking, Interstellar also presents human technology at its highest heights, it’s outermost point of human evolution. Man can go farther than they have ever gone before, reaching the ends of the galaxy, and more. Just like technological advancement isn’t what keeps its characters scratching and crawling for life, Interstellar is a humanistic film grasping for something more. It pushes us to look to the stars. And when we do, we’ll find something bigger than ourselves.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE AT CHRIST AND POP CULTURE

FURY-Brad-Pitt

In Fury’s opening scene, Brad Pitt stabs a German officer in the eye. This act of brutality makes two important statements about David Ayer’s new film. First, Fury isn’t for the squeamish—those uncomfortable with such displays of brutality should probably sit this one out. Second, Fury won’t be a glossy, glorified homage to the “greatest generation”…READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE.

nicolas-cage-left-behindI sincerely believe there’s a good narrative hidden somewhere in the Left Behind series. A fan of rapture theology or not, the idea of an event where Christians are instantly transported to heaven has an air of intrigue to it. How will the world recover from the fallout? Even more so, how will those not taken live with the inevitable feeling of rejection? Then there’s the apocalyptic element; a window into a world tearing itself apart. Continue Reading…

Believe Me Slide

I’ve been asked multiple times about Believe Me, a new film hitting theaters and video on demand tomorrow. Is it a Christian film? Does it trash the faith or have some sort of redeeming quality to it all?

I had a chance to view an early screening of Believe Me and later interview Will Bakke, the film’s director. It was a great conversation and I think it’ll answer some of your questions. YOU CAN READ THE INTERVIEW HERE

Taylor-swift-shake-it-off

Last year, I took some time to dissect Taylor Swift’s song, 22. It’s upbeat, fun, and a reflection of the darkness surrounding Taylor’s life.

What?!

Yes. 22 is more than just a catchy tune for teenagers driving to prom. It bleeds with clear allusions to failed relationships, sorrow, and, of course, an episode of The Twilight Zone. If you haven’t had a chance to read my piece, you can do so here.

Today, I’m going further down the rabbit hole by critically analyzing Taylor’s (we’re on a first name basis) new song, Shake It Off. Continue Reading…