Arts & Leisure

Time for another Purge?

I’m not a fan of horror films. It is difficult for me to enter storylines that deny the sanctity of life and capitalize on the mass appeal of gratuitous violence. But I was sucked in by the provocative plot of The Purge. Though its ratings weren’t stellar, this low-budget, 2013…  [more]

Hearing the music of redemption in Begin Again

With the release of his musical romantic drama Begin Again, Irish filmmaker John Carney, whose previous film was the low-budget Once, answers the question, “What could this guy have done with some real money?” More importantly, however, he hints at a much better question. What is it about music that…  [more]

Should Christians watch sexually explicit movies?

With the July 8 DVD release of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac – a two-part art film in which a woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) recounts her excessive sexual exploits to a philosophical older man (Stellan Skarsgard) – I thought I’d revisit a May piece I wrote for Reel Spirituality on Nymphomaniac and…  [more]

Ida and Galatians 3:28

The new Polish film Ida begins in reverence and ends somewhere less obsequious, if still truthful. It’s the story of a novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who must reconcile with her past before making the vow that will decide her future. Among other things, her struggle allows for a reconsideration…  [more]

Edge of Tomorrow and Tom Cruise’s works-based salvation ethic

For a science-fiction blockbuster, Edge of Tomorrow offers some surprising parallels to the doctrine of salvation. Too bad they’re largely of the works-based kind. Edge of Tomorrow is a Tom Cruise vehicle, but it interestingly doesn’t begin as one. Rather than being the hero, Cruise’s character, Maj. William Cage, is…  [more]

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