Holiday Inn (1942)

Though cars, planes, and trains contrive to bring all your holiday guests around the table, circumstance doesn’t necessitate community. The black and white 1942 Holiday Inn understands this all too well. When the holiday performance trio of Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby), Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire), and Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale) collapses into a love triangle, Jim heads for the country to escape the hectic pace … Continue reading Holiday Inn (1942)

Caroling with Scrooge

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Come December (or November, or October—there’s no accounting for taste), when our townspeople begin to erect, not only trees and lights, but monstrous, inflatable snow globes; when entire radio stations change over to non-stop holiday music, oppressive with a surfeit of sleigh bells; when our august retail institutions flood the market with plastic consumer goods designed to … Continue reading Caroling with Scrooge

The Root of Everything: Witnessing Divine Love in “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

In that last week of clammy August malaise that inevitably precedes the start of the semester, my family and I often go to the “second-hand” theater a couple of blocks away in search of discounted entertainment and free air-conditioning. This past summer, our feature of choice was Morgan Neville’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Neville’s documentary sketches the life of Fred Rogers, whose unique careers … Continue reading The Root of Everything: Witnessing Divine Love in “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

“A God That Can Dance”: Nietzsche and the Logos

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. —John 1:1 In his magnum opus, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed that he “would only believe in a god who could dance.” Nietzsche … Continue reading “A God That Can Dance”: Nietzsche and the Logos

Coming Home and Other Memories: The Heart (or Art) of the Story

“We’ll Meet Again,” Vera Lynn Let’s say goodbye with a smile, dear Just for a while, dear We must part Don’t let this parting upset you I’ll not forget you, sweetheart We’ll meet again Don’t know where Don’t know when But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day Keep smiling through Just like you always do ‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far … Continue reading Coming Home and Other Memories: The Heart (or Art) of the Story

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” —Clarence Ah, It’s a Wonderful Life. The film that has graced many a cozy living room since 1946. It is a much beloved and familiar tale. George Bailey grows up dreaming of his future away from the sleepy old town of Bedford Falls. … Continue reading It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Antman and the Wasp

Ant Man and the Wasp rejects the high stakes of Infinity War to tell a playful, good-hearted, family story. Scott Lang/Ant Man (Paul Rudd) enjoys fathering his young daughter, though under house arrest due to fallout from the events of Captain America: Civil War. He is starting his own company and is anxious to stay on the right side of the law. This proves more … Continue reading Antman and the Wasp

First Reformed

Sitting in a grey room on a bleak winter day, the Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) listens as a despairing member of his flock asks, “Will God forgive us for what we’ve done to this world?” This ominous question sets the general mood for Paul Schrader’s First Reformed and lingers over the reverend’s head as he personally wrestles with a life caught between hope and … Continue reading First Reformed

Crazy Rich Asians

Directed by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians flaunts the extravagant lives of Asian elites and the ongoing battle between heritage and cultural assimilation. Set in Singapore, the comedy centers around Asian aristocracy and Asian-American ideals. Lead heroine and NYU economics professor Rachel Chu (portrayed by Constance Wu) finds herself caught in the midst of an all-out Asian socialite war because she is unwittingly dating “Asia’s … Continue reading Crazy Rich Asians