Love Actually: A Theory

The following exchange between Sam (the little Thomas Sangster) and Daniel (Liam Neeson) in Love Actually has, for me, always been at the very heart and center of the film. Sam: By the way, I feel bad I never ask you how your love life’s going. Daniel: Ha! No. As you know, that was a done…Read On


What We Are All Dying To Know

This is the preeminent human question: What is she thinking? Or else, What is he thinking? Or, What does she think of me? What does he think of me? Can I be certain of how she feels? Is she guarding her true thoughts of me? Does she know what I do? What I think about?Read On

Undefended: Let’s Get Political.

This week, the best of cinematic politics… Thomas Banks: The scene in Godfather II where Michael Corleone refuses to let Senator Whatshisname walk on him. “Senator, my answer is this…Nothing.” The scene in Casablanca where Humphrey Bogart meets Major Strasser. “What is your nationality, Monsieur Blaine?” “I’m a drunk.” “That makes him a citizen of…Read On


Neopagan Christ Figures

It’s a small petpeeve of mine, but in modern young adult fiction the protagonist is often designed to be flattering. They all seem to be misunderstood or lonely or different (re: the virtue du jour: unique) in order to appeal to the vanity of the audience. Two of the most popular stories follow this model:…Read On

The Greatest Songs In Children’s Movies

This week, the five best songs from animated children’s movies. Sean Johnson: Roger Miller’s “Not In Nottingham” in Disney’s Robin Hood: An education in mournful sadness not likely to be soon forgotten by most children who knew the movie—never to be forgotten by me. Miller’s no crooner, but a good folk song is a perfectly…Read On


Solomon Vs. Catharsis: Why We Need Movies

Why do people like movies so much? Why will we not shut up about movies? Why do we like making lists of our favorite movies, sharing those lists with friends, and perusing our friend’s lists of favorite movies? Why are movies so easy to talk about at a party? How is it that films are…Read On


Violence, Justice Porn, And Free Characters

From time to time I hear teenage boys mutter, after directing their intellects toward the sticky issue of foreign relations and the Middle East, “Ah, geez, why don’t we just nuke them all?” I could not say for certain how long teenage boys have glibly advocated for the universal destruction of foreign nations, but if…Read On


Nudity In Film

“Would you let your daughter do a nude scene in a movie? Huh?” Unfortunately, this is about as sophisticated an argument as most Christians are capable of making against nudity in film. “Christians have allowed nudity in art for hundreds of years. Haven’t you ever been to a museum?” Similarly, many arguments in favor of…Read On


Secular-Worthy: An Interview with Paul McCusker

If you grew up in a Christian family in the last two decades, you probably have listened to Paul McCusker’s work. McCusker is the mind behind many episodes of the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey and several of Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre programs. Beyond the Mask was McCusker’s first screenplay. After he wrote…Read On

Undefended: Great Films You’re Never In The Mood For

Plenty of fine films are easy on the eyes and ears, but not all of them. This week, five great movies that you can never summon the energy or courage or humility to watch. And why? Remy Wilkins: 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days: Is the greatest film I will almost certainly never watch…Read On

Undefended: Vocal Performances

This week, top five vocal performances from a motion picture. Sean Johnson: Roger Miller’s “Not In Nottingham” in Disney’s Robin Hood: An education in mournful sadness not likely to be soon forgotten by most children who knew the movie—never to be forgotten by me. Miller’s no crooner, but a good folk song is a perfectly…Read On


Do We Need To Worry About Being Realistic?

We live in an age which demands certainty. Faith is not enough. We want to live by sight. Before the Enlightenment, man was content to live by speculation, opinion, and sacred text. Back in the Dark Ages, truth was buried between layers of parable and history and myth and it was hard to keep straight…Read On

Undefended: Scenes From Cyberspace

While the internet is a daily, even hourly, aspect of many Americans lives, I find myself bored when characters in films get online. I want them to acquire knowledge directly, or talk face to face with the texting partners or email partners. Further, a character surfing the internet is static, motionless, looking away from all…Read On

Undefended: Scenes From A Classroom

This week, FilmFisher is back in class. Presented below are FF writer’s favorite scenes from a classroom. Brian Murnion: Zero for Conduct dir. Jean Vigo (France – 1933): Boarding-school boys pull pranks in and out of the classroom. The 400 Blows dir. Francois Truffaut (France – 1959) “…Doinel, for tomorrow you will conjugate – take…Read On

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 1.19.16 AM

Mad Men Series Finale

“It’s The Real Thing”: Person-to-Person Connection in the Finale of Mad Men Recently, Matthew Weiner’s acclaimed television series Mad Men concluded its run with a strange, quiet, opaque, challenging, and divisive final episode. In other words, with an episode of Mad Men. The show’s final moments have earned comparisons to the ambiguous ending of The Sopranos –…Read On

Undefended: Knowing The Score

This week, we’re proud to have Greg Wilbur join. Greg is the Dean of New College Franklin and the chief musician at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee. He regularly gives very fine lectures at ACCS and SCL conferences. Greg and regular FilmFisher writers were asked to contribute a list of the greatest film scores…Read On

Undefended: They Should Have Switched Places

In his review of “The Talented Mr Ripley,” Anthony Lane complains of the obvious casting choices. Matt Damon as the pasty, deviant recluse and Jude Law as the beach-going playboy… how much more interesting would the movie have been had they switched roles? As much as I like “Ripley,” I’ve always been fascinated by the…Read On

Undefended: Greatest On-Screen Arguments

You might have seen (and taken part) in more on-line arguments than usual lately. To that end, this week we’re looking at the greatest on-screen arguments in cinematic history. Timothy Lawrence: All 102 minutes of The Unknown Known. The genius of Errol Morris’s self-designed interview camera is that it slides the distinction between the interviewer…Read On

Undefended: Best Hospital/Surgery Scenes

This week, the greatest hospital/surgery scenes in motion picture history. Thomas Banks: Gene Wilder’s “Life! Give my creation life!” scene in “Young Frankenstein.” Because really, how often is the parody more memorable than the work parodied? Jack Nicholson/Louise Fletcher in the “Nurse Ratchet, you turn that television on scene” in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s…Read On

Undefended: Animal Movies

To the zoo. This week, the top five animal movies. Timothy Lawrence: War Horse: Spielberg’s masterful direction really elevates this one. The Rover: I won’t spoil it, but the way in which this film turns out to be “about an animal” is meaningful and heartbreaking. Where The Wild Things Are: In which the “animals” are…Read On