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Undefended: Quarantine Recommendations

For this month's Undefended, FilmFisher's writers did something a bit different. Since almost everyone is cooped up at home right now, we are offering some easily accessible viewing recommendations to help you sift through the mountains of garbage clogging every streaming service…Read On

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Film… a Medium for Memories

Lately, I asked my students which time period they would like to live in. When they pressed me for my own answer to the question, as students do, I quipped that I’d like to live in the late ‘90s or early 2000s, because “I was a child, which means I was happy then.” I found it curious that my students (who, after all, are still children to my eyes) responded with knowing laughter. Why does this sort of joke ring so true? Why do we see the past as happy? More precisely, why do we see the past as containing some inaccessible happiness that cannot be replicated in the present?Read On

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Undefended: Unloved Gems

This month – in honor of February, that veritable dumping ground of studios' cinematic refuse – FilmFisher's writers picked their favorite underrated, underseen, unknown, unappreciated, and generally unloved films…Read On

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What About Oscar? Some Thoughts on the Academy Awards

It seems to happen every year now. After the Academy Awards telecast has ended and the names of the Oscar winners cease to echo across the internet a few days later, I make a belated New Year’s resolution I only half intend to keep: I will swear off Oscar-watching this year.  By Oscar-watching, I mean…Read On

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The Top 25 Films of the 2010s

This month, FilmFisher's writers were to asked to name their choices for the 25 best films of the last decade. The resulting lists were then compiled and tallied up to create this list of the top 25 films of the 2010s, as selected by the FilmFisher team…Read On

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Can The Rise of Skywalker Bring Balance to the Force?

Tonight, the final chapter in the Star Wars saga will be released in theaters – though of course, describing The Rise of Skywalker as a “final chapter” is bound to raise a few eyebrows. On the one hand, it is evident that new Star Wars films will be flooding the market in an endless stream for…Read On

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Inside a Scene from Inside Llewyn Davis

The tragic centerpiece of the Coen Brothers’ greatest film takes place at the Gate of Horn. The Gate of Horn is a music venue run by Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham), but it is also the most overt of the film’s many references to the Greeks. In the Odyssey, the gate of horn separates true dreams from false, which pass through the gate of ivory instead…Read On

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Undefended: The Best Performances of the Decade

As the decade comes to a close, FilmFisher’s writers will be spending the next few months looking back at the cinema of the 2010s and compiling “Best of the Decade” lists in various categories. This month, they picked the top five performances of the decade – that is, single actors in a single film, not…Read On

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The Paradox of Pretend in Ready Player One

Ready Player One is my favorite movie of 2018. I’ve seen it eight times now, over a year since its release. It’s directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the best-selling 2011 book by Ernest Cline. I love the film, but it is not without its critics, and it gets a lot of flack for…Read On

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Notes on R2-D2 and C-3PO

In what Umberto Eco calls the medieval landscape of Star Wars – one populated by princesses, knights, farmers, and wizards – we can readily identify two holy fools. R2-D2 and C-3PO are so ubiquitous that their presence across all soon-to-be-nine episodes is easily taken for granted. How swiftly we forget that, for the first twenty…Read On

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Pinocchios of the Future

The story of Pinocchio – the story of an artificial being, a creation, becoming real – is a story in which the most childlike longing, one experienced by anyone with a favorite toy or an imaginary friend, meets the deepest theological truth. That is why it can justly be described, like the tale of Sleeping…Read On

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Undefended: The Best Scripts of the Decade

As the decade comes to a close, FilmFisher’s writers will be spending the next few months looking back at the cinema of the 2010s and compiling “Best of the Decade” lists in various categories. This month, they selected the best screenplays of the decade…Read On

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On Friendships with Films

American Christians tend to think of movies in much the same way they think of food. If movies can be reduced to their nutritional value by websites like PluggedIn Online, which tally up curse words and pixels of bare skin like calories and grams of sugar to determine if a movie is “bad for you”…Read On

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Undefended: The Best Film Music of the Decade

As the decade comes to a close, FilmFisher’s writers will be spending the next few months looking back at the cinema of the 2010s and compiling “Best of the Decade” lists in various categories. This month, they highlighted the best film music of the decade…Read On

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Beauty and Blood in the Films of Quentin Tarantino

My relationship with Quentin Tarantino is a complicated one. As I first ventured into his body of work over the last year or so, I found myself impressed by the obvious talent that saturates his films but overall underwhelmed by how little they stuck with me. I saw (and still see, for the most part) Tarantino as…Read On

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Undefended: The Best Trailers of the Decade

As the decade comes to a close, FilmFisher’s writers will be spending the next six months looking back at the cinema of the 2010s and compiling “Best of the Decade” lists in various categories. This month, they tried something new and picked the best trailers of the decade…Read On

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A Toy’s Telos, Chapter 2: How the Vision Was Won, and Lost

Thesis and Antithesis In “A Toy’s Telos, Chapter 1,” I argued that the Toy Story trilogy presents a moral vision for what it means to be a toy, and I outlined the key tenets of this vision as they are embodied by Woody in his relationships with Andy and Buzz. Woody has a vertical telos:…Read On

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The Greatest Blockbuster of the Decade

I watch The Lone Ranger every 4th of July. I do this not only because the film is wildly enjoyable and exciting, and thus an apt complement to the mood of a hot summer afternoon with hot dogs on the barbeque, but also because it is an ideal encapsulation of (and commentary on) the national myth…Read On

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Undefended: Summer Break Movies

FilmFisher’s own Joshua Gibbs recently published a list of ten summer movie recommendations at the CiRCE Institute, together with some thoughts on the nature of the season’s moviegoing habits. Along similar lines, though with a slightly different bent, FilmFisher’s writers compiled lists of films they’d specifically commend to young people on summer break – films that, as…Read On