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Posts tagged "Brad Pitt"

“Ad Astra” and Dad

Usually I disdain movies. But aesthetics can seduce, and I am a sucker for dystopia, and, well, last night I was beat. So we went to see “Ad Astra.” I had heard of the sublime art direction and the contrast between the full-on space travel and the intimate subplot of the father/son relationship. You may […]

Another Week Ends: Vulnerable Stars, Moral Lovers, Generational Dysphoria, Wizard Rock, and Reading Under the Covers

1. Let’s start off with entertainment this week. It’s not that Brad Pitt’s star has fallen by any stretch. His turn as Cliff Booth in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood will likely garner him another Oscar Nomination. His 2017 divorce, however, with superstar-wife Angelina Jolie and their family of six kids, hasn’t exactly been […]

Once Upon A Time… In Heaven

Let’s get the shameless plug out of the way: one of my favorite essays I’ve had the privilege to write for Mockingbird was a contribution to our 2015 book Mockingbird at the Movies. The essay was an introduction to Quentin Tarantino, a review of the auteur and the cinematic world he’s built. In hindsight, it […]

Fury at the Cross(roads): The Gospel in the Violence of History

Another great contribution from Michael W. Nicholson, this reflection on the film Fury’s religious dimension first appeared on his blog, Tides of God. The most religious film many moviegoers will see this year will not be an inspirational story from a faith-based production company; it will be writer-director David Ayer’s WWII tank combat epic Fury. And in […]

Another Week Ends: Bloated Syllabi, the Jeremiah Option, Better Call Saul, Brangelina Vows, and New Culinary Imperatives

1) Our friend at The Dish, Matt Sitman, gave a poignant response to the question of Christianity in modern life. As opposed to Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option”, where stalwarts of Christian virtue create a new community devoid of distractions, Sitman prefers the “Jeremiah Option,” as described by Samuel Goldman, that life as God intended is […]

Cain vs Cain vs Cain: Tarantino’s Moral Universe, Part 1 of 2

Tarantino’s Basterds is the ultimate anti-violence porn violence porn. Trouble is, it failed. Nazis, of course, are the archetypal modern movie villains, the evil “out there” which should be eradicated according to all of our moral judgments. For Internet nerds, Godwin’s Law expresses the sentiment perfectly:  “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” […]

Human Being and the Limits of Language: Reflections on “The Tree of Life”

It is no surprise that a film so fixated on conveying the experience of human being so strongly subordinates language.  I suspect The Tree of Life’s script of looks much different from any other.  The film succeeds because it is committed in its belief that language can only obscure its purpose.  Language is not absent […]

Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France

I’m going to come out in my first Mockingbird post ever and just say it: Inglourious Basterds was the best movie of 2009 (Yes, better than Hurt Locker). Say what you will about Tarantino’s violent films, but Basterds is about as masterful of a film as any made in the past decade because it posits […]

Mockingbird at the Movies: I Want You to Hit Me as Hard as You Can

There’s a scene in Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, which finds Norton being taught by Pitt to make soap. Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden, embodies everything Norton’s unnamed narrator aspires to be. It’s Durden who makes speeches about “the things [we] own end up owning [us]” and when confronted with the ugly truth […]