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Film


We Are All Sociopaths (for Love)

Do the names Jesse and Celine mean anything to you? Right now they mean a lot to me. After years of putting it off, I finally binged Richard Linklater’s much-loved Before trilogy: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. The movies trace a single relationship between an American man and French woman over three decades. […]

What Lies Beneath: The Horror Story Of Our Hidden Monsters

This post comes from Josh Irby. Josh and his wife advocate for orphaned children in Eastern Europe in partnership with the non-profit Lost Sparrows. Horror films are not my favorite genre, but I have seen my share over the years. Most follow the same basic plot-line: A city/institution/family/individual lives in peace and security, until strange […]

No Mercy: The Bittersweet Victory of Cobra Kai

I’m as surprised as you are that my favorite summer show turned out to be a sequel to an 80s karate flick styled as prestige TV. Formerly hidden away on YouTube’s premium subscription video service, Cobra Kai dropped on Netflix this weekend, bringing the world of The Karate Kid franchise to the small screen. It’s […]

The Tragic Symmetry of Star Wars and the Grace of Failure

To imbibe the words of a certain space wizard, “from a certain point of view” George Lucas’s Skywalker Saga is a poetic space opera that disseminates a uniquely hopeful story of victory through failure. Some might find that articulation of a tale about spaceships and laser-swords a bit too flowery and pretentious, especially considering how […]

There’s No Trouble Like the Trouble You Make Yourself

My husband and I recently rented the latest film version of Jane Austen’s Emma, out this Spring and now streaming at home.  I’m solidly in Generation X, and so I can’t think of Jane Austen’s Emma without conjuring up Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless (“as if!”). I passed on the 1996 version with Gwyneth Paltrow. That was before […]

Church Shopping at the Apocalypse

This (timely!) article by CJ Green was originally featured in Issue 7 of The Mockingbird: The Church Issue.  Don’t tell me you’re going to read Stephen King next, my mom said when I started high school, suspiciously eyeballing my more grown-up selection of books. At the time, I didn’t know who Stephen King was, but […]

In Praise of Emotional Time Travel (Sort of)

It arrived while we were at the beach. I had almost delayed our trip to be there to receive the package in person. Even from afar I could feel the tectonic plates of my personal archaeology click into place. After decades of dreaming and pining, a copy of New Mutants 87 was mine. We’re talking […]

Faithful Representations: The Bible That Vanished Without a Trace

Thankful for this post from Rachel Arteaga: In the spring of 2004, the Oregonian reported that police in Portland had found “an elaborate camp dug into a steep hillside” in Forest Park, a 5,200-acre woodland conservancy just within the city limits, where a man and a young girl, presumably father and daughter, had been living […]

PZ’s Podcast: Bright Road, Outer Ashen Limits, Kolchak and Corona, (You’re) Having My Baby, Narrative Schmarrative, and Speed Bump

EPISODE 297: Bright Road There is this unexpected plethora of gems coming at me just now in a Mockingbird vein. Last week there was Journey into Light, from 1951; and also The First Legion, also from that year. Today there is Bright Road, also a Hollywood movie, which came out in 1953. I feel like the surface of the moon […]

Commandos For Christ Stockpile Grace Like it’s World War FREE!

Of the many disappointments we weathered in having to cancel this year’s NYC conference, none was more painful than missing out on hosting a surprise early screening of the upcoming film Electric Jesus. The director Chris White is an avid Mbird reader and approached us with the opportunity after wrapping production last year, on the condition that we weren’t allowed to advertise. So we were going to spring the opportunity on attendees after they arrived. Those who’ve been following the film’s FB pagethe destination these days for top-drawer Christian kitsch (presented with affection rather than disdain!)–know the glory of what could have been. The promo for the movie describes it this way:

ELECTRIC JESUS is a wistful coming-of-age music-comedy reminiscent of THE COMMITMENTS, THAT THING YOU DO, and SING STREET—a rock-and-roll movie about a band that never quite goes all the way. While the screen band’s music is a weird mash-up of 80’s hair metal and vacation Bible school, ELECTRIC JESUS wears its teenage protagonists’ hearts on its sleeve, à la THE BREAKFAST CLUB, LADY BIRD, and ALMOST FAMOUS.

As if that weren’t enough, the original songs and score were provided by no less than indie rock god Daniel Smith (Danielson Famile, Sufjan Stevens, Jad Fair, et al). Can I get an amen?! White assures me that Mbird will have another shot at a pre-release viewing, but in the meantime, the first music video has arrived and it is … a revelation. I’ve posted the lyrics in the comments. Share and share alike my friends:

Giving In to Screens and Finding Home

There’s No Place like Home, and Other Moments of Vulnerable Mercy in the Movies

Horrifying Piety: The Real Villain of The Witch

The Violence of Self-Justification: A Chilling Warning for Church-Goers