This 4th of July, I needed to be reminded of what America can be at its best. So I watched the new documentary on Fred Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? It’s a surprisingly terrific film: creative, inspiring, moving, surprising, and thought-provoking. Perhaps most refreshingly, it doesn’t shy away from the role of Christianity in the life … More The Gentle Power of Mr. Rogers
It’s made by one of my best friends. It consists of nothing but interviews with professors at a small university, plus images from public domain films. I’m in it. For all these reasons, you won’t want to believe what I’m about to write. But it’s still true: Why We Teach is the most compelling documentary you’ll … More Why We Teach
While I’ve skimmed through Charles Lindbergh’s most famous memoir, I’m actually intimidated to read The Spirit of St. Louis. A popular and critical hit, SoSL won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for its inventive, gripping narrative. Any would-be biographer needs to live up to the high standard set by Lindbergh himself (with considerable editing assistance from his wife, Anne). … More The Spiritual Spirit of St. Louis
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been happy to cheer on fellow Covenanters Mark Safstrom and Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom as they worked with filmmaker Tim Frakes on a documentary entitled God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good: The Story of Pietism. Here are a couple of short clips, from filming at the Hauge Museum in Norway and at the Copenhagen … More Pietism on Amazon Prime!
Of all the ways that the First World War has attracted renewed attention in these years of its ongoing centenary, I don’t think any is less likely than its becoming the setting for the superhero movie debuting tomorrow: Yes, that’s Wonder Woman (played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot) leading a frontal assault across No Man’s … More Wonder Woman and World War I
If you had asked high school or college Chris to name his favorite TV show, Star Trek would have been near the top of the list. I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation right from its 1986 beginning, and in the process worked my way back to “The Original Series,” which debuted on NBC fifty years ago tonight. I’ve enjoyed … More Religion in Star Trek
Today at The Anxious Bench you’ll find part two of my series on how we might evaluate historical movies like Free State of Jones, which has inspired rave reviews from some historians and criticism from others. If you missed the first part, go back to read what I meant that historical movies and TV series must strive to be both … More What Makes for the Best Historical Movies? (part 2)
I’m not planning to blog this week, while I join my family on vacation on Minnesota’s beautiful North Shore. But over at The Anxious Bench, my regular Tuesday post kicked off a new series on historical movies like this summer’s Civil War/Reconstruction epic, Free State of Jones. At the end of the series, I’ll reveal two of … More What Makes for the Best Historical Movies? (part 1)
The recent release of Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks as the Eisenhower era lawyer tasked with defending a Soviet spy (played by the awesome Mark Rylance), got me wondering: What are the best Cold War movies? I actually dedicated a three-post series to the question of the best war movies back in 2013, so I … More What Are the Best Cold War Movies?
I’ve got a busy morning, but before it gets started let me share a brief story about my son and what he’s taught me about fear. Isaiah is the happiest child I know… except during the last 15 minutes of any movie. He’s a pretty imaginative and empathetic kid. For the most part, that’s wonderful, but it … More “Do Not Be Afraid”