Archive for 'Movie Recommendations'
Posted on 11. Sep, 2010 by Tim Stoner.
Coming to a campus near you is the premier screening of a ground-breaking documentary addressing the growing nonviolence movement in Israel and Palestine. Little Town of Bethlehem tells the gripping story of three men—born into sectarian violence and on opposite sides of the conflict, yet willing to risk everything to embrace a non-violent solution to the hostility tearing their homelands apart. Their three paths intersect in Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, now a town in occupied territory surrounded by a 30-foot cement wall crowned with barbed wire.
Posted on 21. Mar, 2010 by Tim Stoner.
A Life Apart is a captivating documentary on the culture war between ultra-orthodox, Jewish Hasids and America. In it there is this wonderful story that illustrates the movement’s haunting attraction. It was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. Baal Shem Tov, its founder, was praying. He stopped abruptly and after a while the congregation grew restless. Suddenly, an illiterate young shepherd, unable to restrain himself, pulled out a flute and played a single, heartfelt note. The congregation was scandalized but, as the sound died out, the Rebbe began praying as though nothing had happened. When asked about it he said, “I sensed the gates of heaven were closed to our prayers, but that one, pure note, sounded by the shepherd boy, pierced through the heavenly gates and only then were our prayers permitted to follow.”
Posted on 16. Sep, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
After watching the documentary, Food, Inc., it finally connected: food and how it is produced is a moral issue. Just because it is more efficient to keep hundreds of thousands of cows in pens up to their knees in mud and feces or chickens immobilized in metal boxes their whole lives, breathing methane gas from their droppings, for maximum egg and meat production does not make it morally right. That is not “ruling” as God commanded Adam, that is heartless and cruel oppression. And, I believe, it is disrespectful and dishonors the creature and its Creator. How not to be complicit in this callous brutality is the big question.
Posted on 21. Jul, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
The mythic theme of the end of the world is recurring in the movies with alarming repetitiveness. It is hard-wired into us that this story we are in has a definite conclusion–that as all epics must, there comes a final conflict and a final resolution. There is a point to all the drama, the struggle and the heart-ache. The movie, Knowing, with Nicolas Cage, left me feeling that the suspicion is growing that the book we have all been reading–in which we have all been taking part–is about to reach its conclusion. But, fortunately, we have not been left without some warnings and we have not been left completely alone.
Posted on 24. Jun, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
Grand Torino, the car, is a metaphor for misplaced priorities, squandered opportunities–a shiny steel coffin filled with regrets. Walt’s (Eastwood’s) estranged sons wish they could connect with their father, but they can’t and they know down deep they will never be able to. But Walt loves his 1972 Gran Torino. He lavishes the love on it he withheld from his children. Not the greatest of life choices. But the message it delivers is that even at 75 you are not too old to make attempts to “redeem the years that the Locust’s have eaten,” to quote the Bible. And the confessional may not be a bad place to start.
Posted on 19. Jun, 2009 by Tim Stoner.
Patty and I went to see Up and we found ourselves walking out of the theater raving about it to each other. It is, hands down, my favorite Pixar. Better even than Toy Story which set the standard but lacks the poignancy of Up. To put it bluntly, Toy Story did not make me cry. Up did–twice.