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

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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


The Conversation

“It had nothing to do with me. I just turned in the tapes.” Again and again, that’s the refrain of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. Overlooked in favor of Coppola’s more famous features when it was released in 1974, The Conversation’s small-scale tragedy presents a powerful study of the way in which sin grows out…Read On


Why The Rubber Suit Monster Is Better Than The CG Monster

Why go to the trouble of flying all the way to New York City just to see the Metropolitan when you can order a book which features highlights from the museum collection and enjoy it at home? Or, cheaper yet, just browse the Met website for a few hours? In the last five years, I…Read On

Undefended: Top Five Movie Monsters

With the recent release of Jurassic World, we decided to take a look at the greatest movie monsters of all time. Fraser Martens The Xenomorph, Alien. A list of 5 great movie monsters is really a list of the 4 greatest monsters other than the Xenomorph. None of the sequels have done justice to how…Read On

Michael Allen

Christian Movies and Four-Letter Words: A Conversation with Michael B. Allen

Michael B. Allen, co-writer/co-producer of Believe Me and co-founder of Riot Studios, thinks that the mainstream independent Christian film movement is growing irrelevant. With Believe Me’s wickedly satiric take on evangelical culture—which gained the New York Times’s approval—he hopes to unite the Gospel with artistic excellence. I took a few minutes to learn more about…Read On

Undefended: Films About Travel

School’s out, vacations are beginning. This week, the five best films which deal with travel. Brian Murnion: “Ugetsu” dir. Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953 “The Wages of Fear” dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953 “Alice in the Cities” dir. Wim Wenders, 1974 “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” dir. Stanley Kramer, 1963 “Weekend” dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1967 Elizabeth…Read On

Undefended: Top Five Hot Weather Movies

For the last several years, I’ve figured that there is something Dionysian about Summer and something Apollonian about Winter. When November rolls around, the Best Picture candidates come out. Everyone gets thoughtful, but in the Summer, nothing doing. A few films do a pretty fine job capturing the madness of Summer… I think of “The…Read On


The Captivating Perversity Of Hitchcock’s Three Best Films.

M Night Shyamalan might be Hitchcock’s greatest living devotee, but no matter how good Shyamalan’s films were ten to fifteen years ago, even his best work missed lacked the essence and toxic potency of Hitchcock’s best work. Shyamalan is an innocent. He makes moral films, pure films. On the other hand, the battery which powers…Read On


Inside A Scene: The End Of Kubrick’s Paths Of Glory

In Paths of Glory, Col. Dax is the righteous, indignant military lawyer who defends three innocent French soldiers being tried on trumped up charges of cowardice. In truth, the three soldiers are merely scapegoats of the upper brass and are ultimately put to death to cover over the shame and selfishness of top generals. Dax…Read On

Undefended: I Take It Back

You feel intimidated. Ten minutes in, you think, “This can’t be going anywhere good. I should probably get while the getting is good.” But you have nothing else to do, nowhere to go, nothing else to watch. So you sit and you sit and you sit and you do not like it one little bit…Read On