It may seem a contradiction

It may seem a contradiction. I hate contradictions, but they can be useful for telling stories—as long, I suppose, it winds up one way or another, and if not, face a flat sort of ending. The contradiction I am referring to is when I posted something like “why read reviews” and then publish a review blog a few days later. I must come down one way or another or just let it linger in limbo. Why not let it linger?  Except what is one saying? Does it matter? The answer must be this: Welcome to my new review blog, Pete’s Movie Round-Up . I cover several bases be that story, ‘dodgy’ content,  theme, and artistry all fairly objectively, and also cover the human story, coming down one way or another. I may not like some ‘dodgy’ content. I endeavor to be fair, though, as much as possible , depending on how I feel about what I am watching.

 

 

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While waiting

While I was waiting for the main event, I was almost meditating like in a desert, when I heard “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.

The song was over the sound system in the café section of the theatre.

It’s a U2 song. U2 were described by Time in 1987 as the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world. But they aren’t really rock n’ roll. They are rock although their sound has changed tempo from album to album, even going alternative. They have never gone country.

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is the most popular single from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. It was nominated for a Grammy.

Listening to it again today, I revisited the old feelings I had for the song back in 1987.

I loved singing along to it in my soul. But following the third section, which describes a love for what Jesus did, the section ends with the line, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I just couldn’t sing that.

Because I believe that what Jesus can do for someone is the beginning of a journey and not the stepping stone of a quest. Jesus satisfies the believer’s heart and sends him or her on a journey with him.

This U2 song, unfortunately, leaves me cold by the end. By the end of the third section, the song falls flat rather than resonates; I was waiting for the lyric, I have found what I’m looking for. That doesn’t fit this song.

So, where would I sit with the The Joshua Tree? It came to me today. The album’s about a quest that is barely satisfied even with knowledge about what Jesus has done.

I would not sit in the middle as I have always done. I would not sit on the positive. But when it comes to theme I would have to sit on the other side, on the negative.

The album sounds good musically, but looking at the lyrical facts of this album, it lacks the thrust of theme to fully satisfy, unfortunately.

I wish I could say otherwise, but I can’t. I don’t think my experience of the album is a solitary one. I think the feeling is not unusual, depending on who one is talking to.

Why read reviews?

Hypothetically speaking, some parting words from a film reviewer who aims to stop the movie habit except for a very few movies. Don’t know who this is, but it sounds good to me:

Reading reviews of movies are not really necessary if you’re looking for a film to see. All it requires is a little research. Go to imdb.com. Watch the trailer first. Does the trailer resonate? Does the trailer give you warning signs that it might not be as good as it wants to be? Read the premise. Does the premise sound all right? Check the parents guide. Is there anything that may shock you in it? We may not need film reviews at all if we just use the information at our disposal first. Judge for yourself.

 

Trailer looks promising

This week Darkest Hour is on release in North America–it is about British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s decision to make a deal with Hitler or fight the Nazis in Western Europe, as the brilliant trailer reveals. Gary Oldman as Churchill is riveting and another good looking production from director Joe Wright. A must-see. View trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pNOCzV5jG0

Making things right

The Killing Fields (1984) is, despite the title, real heart and soul, a wonderful sense of humanity in desperate places, based on a true story. A Cambodian interpreter is working with a New York Times journalist covering the conflict in Cambodia circa the 1970’s. Dith Pran, the interpreter, stays in Cambodia, as Sydney, the journalist, leaves the country. The Pol Pot regime takes over and Pran is imprisoned, but he attempts to escape the prison camp and flee to safety. Sydney is dealing with a guilty conscience over leaving Pran behind and tries to find him. The Killing Fields is done with a sense of horror at the atrocities of war and a thread of hope and humanity despite the horrors and how things can be made right. It is also a vivid recreation of that period.
Rating: 10/10

Two wholesome movies

Wonder and The Star are at theatres this weekend. The trailer for Wonder shows me a winning attitude despite the obstacles of facial disfigurement in childhood. In fact, the boy August Pullman is a winner in this trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob7fPOzbmzE

Animation The Star is an animal focussed take on the nativity Christmas story about the birth of Jesus. The trailer is cute (unlike the Justice League trailer which has sensational visuals and a tad theology that may be debatable). The Star trailer will probably whet appetites for more among family friendly viewers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NjvYZtwk00

Counting the cost

That Sugar Film (2014) is an Australian documentary that positions itself on the side of the debate that says added sugar in food is not good for you. I agree. In fact, I’m adamant.

I’ve been off juice drinks for almost a year now and don’t miss them. The taste for them has gone. This documentary has motivated me to do more.

There’s a theological rationale for it, too. God the Creator wouldn’t make our bodies react in adverse ways to food that isn’t good for us or isn’t supposed to be there.

One interviewee said that “addiction to sugar” has caused materialism, in that people will buy things that satisfy their cravings for more sugar. Materialism is an artificial way to live as it can leave one feeling empty. But empty for what? More things?

The final judge?

There are different levels of engaging media and art, but the top level perhaps, is when a work or piece of art speaks to the heart. Then one has engaged with the “eyes” of the heart, which is a genuine response. One can begin to see everything in “level one”, the level of seeing what speaks to the heart, and this may be a genuine response. Would seeing with the “eyes of the heart” be the final judge?

A little reading and reflection

What I’m reading. After reading and reflecting on the book of Job I went back to the start of the Bible with Genesis, with the intention of noting facts of the scripture rather than reading primarily for themes. Thematic analysis is what I had been doing, but I wasn’t sure if I was being true to the text by seeing themes that may or may not be there, for what was the purpose of writing devotionals.

I’ve also finished Star Wars, the original novelization of the film. This year it’s been re-published in a trilogy of books. This trilogy is the original Star Wars trilogy, from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, to Return of the Jedi. I was surprised how they condensed two hours that seems longish into a shortish book. I expected longer, but that’s how this film-tie in went.

Never say die

With three publishers wanting to see my work, you’d think I’d be happy about that. Well, I am, but it’s just three isn’t it? It’s casual writing work. Short writing or thereabouts. Like it. Would like more avenues but am grateful for what’s in the writing department.

With avenues for writers scarce in the religious genre, the younger ones are being promoted.  Did a lot back in the day when the publishers were still going. Hope the younger ones do well.

May just find something else as well. So I keep the possibility open. Have two websites I use for information on publishing somewhere else.

With the thought of possibility, one may never let the possibility die. Opportunities may come and go, but possibility can be forever, whatever happens. Because one thinks, what if? Then you keep on going.