The Beaver (Foster, 2011)

                    “Are Mel Gibson’s eyes really that blue, or does he wear contacts or something?” my little sister asked me after The Beaver. In the era of color-grading, you can never be quite sure– but Mel’s piercing blue eyes are a Hollywood relic. “Piercing” isn’t really the word that I would use anymore, though. It’s too active. It implies focus, control– traits... Read More

Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)

“Doesn’t it make you furious when they walk all over you this way?” “No. I can’t afford to hate people. I haven’t got that kind of time.” Akira Kurosawa’s epic Samurai films are among the greatest movies ever made. But it is a quiet, intimate story about a very different sort of hero, a mid-level bureaucrat confronted with the futility of his own life, that may be the director’s masterpiece. Certainly it’s one of his most spiritual films. IKIRU... Read More

The Passion of the Christ (Gibson, 2004)

(Ed. Note: This was originally published at The Matthew’s House Project.) There is silence all around. The Baptist appears, and cries: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws Himself upon it. Then it does turn;... Read More