Archives For The Arts

Daniel McFadden/Universal Pictures

Last week, I talked about Damien Chazelle’s new film First Man on two different podcasts. It’s a wonderful picture in nearly every way—technically, narratively, and thematically. Specifically, I was surprised at the film’s spiritual focus.

First Man isn’t simply the tale of humanity’s journey to the moon, it’s an exploration of grief and the ways we find meaning and purpose in the midst of tragedy. It’s a film that longs for transcendence in the universe, highlighting how we often go about searching for this significance through ambition and accomplishment. From a Christian perspective, First Man is a deeply satisfying and spiritual story.

For more of my thoughts on the film, check out the links below:

Hear my review of First Man on Episode 173 of Seeing and Believing.
I also chatted with Steve Norton over at Screen Fish about Chazelle’s movie.

I don’t even want to calculate how many days it’s been since I’ve last blogged—let alone blogged regularly.

If you used to follow Wadebearden.com, you might have wondered where I disappeared to. Well, let me explain. The last few years I’ve been:

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…