The second day of AFI Fest Presented by Audi, was another day filled with interesting and powerful films. The odd thing about being at Hollywood and Highland this year is that since the Egyptian Theater down the street isn’t being used this year, I have no reason (or desire) to descend to street level and… [Read More]
Directed by Jesse Peretz (Our Idiot Brother, Girls), Juliet, Naked tells the story of Annie (Rose Byrne), a young woman stuck in a dead-end, long-term relationship with an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads Annie to a… [Read More]
Pastor Toller’s spiritual anguish, I think, is an exaggeration of a malaise that afflicts much of the church and society. It is not a lack of faith (either for Toller or the church at large). We become so overwhelmed by the griefs and pains of life that we feel paralyzed to address the deep needs of the world around us.
First Reformed tells the story of Toller (Ethan Hawke), a former military veteran and pastor of the First Reformed Church. Preparing to celebrate their 250th anniversary, the church has become largely ceremonial, with most parishioners having moved over to the local megachurch, led by charismatic Pastor Jeffers (Cedric the Entertainer). When tragedy strikes, Toller finds himself torn between… [Read More]
Written and directed by the legendary Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ), First Reformedtells the story of Reverend Toller (Ethan Hawke), a pastor of a small church in upstate New York. After an encounter with an unstable congregant and his pregnant wife leaves him shaken, Toller finds himself embroiled in an environmental… [Read More]
“The whole of life, already framed, right there.” It’s hard to assign Maudie to any one genre. Certainly it qualifies as biography. But it is also a bit of art history. It’s an inspirational story of finding success and happiness against terrible odds. And at its heart it is a love story—but not the kind… [Read More]
“Will God forgive us?” — Toller (Ethan Hawke, First Reformed) First Reformed tells the story of Toller (Ethan Hawke), a former military veteran and pastor of the First Reformed Church. Preparing to celebrate their 250th anniversary, the church has become largely ceremonial, with most parishioners having moved over to the local megachurch, led by charismatic Pastor… [Read More]
The Spaghetti Western is back! In a Valley of Violence harkens back to the films of Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. From the opening credits we know a very close similarity to films like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
To kick off Season 3, Steve ponies up to the saloon with Pastor James Harleman (Cinemagogue.com) to chat about Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven! Does the western still matter today? What’s the line between righteousness and justice? All this and more as the guys showdown at high noon… Want to continue to conversation at home? Click the link below… [Read More]
The presence of the church throughout the story points us to the consideration of righteousness in the midst of a story about revenge. In this story about a battle against evil, we may not be sure there is a place for righteousness at all.