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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

Screens feel unavoidable these days. Sure, there are the walks and the socially distanced conversations. But the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and care taking feel like an endless parenting treadmill that just hit the incline button. And so, for better or worse, our rest from this weary world is happening on screens. Lately, we have watched […]

Horrifying Piety: The Real Villain of The Witch

Thankful for this post from Derrick Bledsoe: I have not always been a fan of horror movies. Perhaps it was a mix of legalism coupled with an exposure to a more lurid kind of horror (read: the Saw franchise), but it wasn’t until all that long ago that I truly began to appreciate the art […]

Get on the Bus: Fatherhood, Vulnerability, Redemption, and Grace

At the heart of Spike Lee’s travelogue Get on the Bus is a message that politics can’t save our communities. Ultimately, we need dads to be dads to their kids, whatever that looks like. Though he tends to lean left in his politics, this rarely touted 1996 film retains a fairly conservative message that “it […]

Quarantine, Netflix, and Bittersweet Memories of Bernie Mac

A couple of months ago, my big brother wanted to do a movie night replete with Miller High Life and the kind of fraternal bonding that can only take place in the midnight hour. Then, the kids are asleep, the challenges of marriage and parenting are momentarily put on pause, and two brothers who are […]

My Night of Innocent Sexuality at Maud’s

Spoilers below (for a film a half-century old) Desire, satisfaction, and justice are uneasy acquaintances. They are asymptotes, or Italian dressing. With space, time, and energy enough, they may emulsify, fraternize, or verge, but they will never fuse. Why? And what to do about it? My Night at Maud’s dramatizes this problem. The film’s fulcrum […]

Ikiru: “To (re)Live”

This post comes as somewhat of a very late retraction. Ten years ago I wrote a Mockingbird piece about Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 cinematic masterpiece Ikiru, which in Japanese means, “To Live.” The point at which I wrote that post was a different time and place, and the weight of living tends to change one’s views. […]

The Gospel According to Dune

Note: Big big Dune spoilers ahead! It has been delightful to see Dune re-enter the public consciousness. It happened in response to the recent Vanity Fair articles about the upcoming film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic. Although David Lynch’s 1984 theatrical release *ahem* exists, I haven’t been able to make it through the […]

A Useful Lie: The Music Man and Imputation

Extended home life has led to some unusual TV viewing these days. Case in point: we all watched a 12-hour documentary on an exotic zoo owner. The shortage of content recently led me to watch the old 1962 film, “The Music Man”. The musical has almost canonical status in theater culture and is a staple […]

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