Category Archives: movies

“Other ways of knowing”: Out of Africa

I’ve been in long-term “discussions” (a euphemism for “arguments”) with some people who claim that the humanities—in particular art, music, and literature—constitute “ways of knowing” that tell us facts about the universe either unattainable by science, unverifiable by science, or truths first revealed by literature and later verifiable by science. Often these arguments are made by […]

Trump rally features cringe-making “Freedom Kids”

Just to show you how low American politics have fallen, here’s a video of the “entertainment” during a Donald Tump Rally in Pensacola, Florida three days ago. Read a bit more about the “Freedom Kids” at Mother Jones. The tune, if you don’t recognize it, is “Over There” by American showman George M. Cohan, written to […]

Alan Rickman, 1946-2016

by Greg Mayer Alan Rickman, the accomplished British actor of stage and screen, has died of cancer at age 69, as reported by the BBC, the NY Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and other media outlets. We have lost two London-born luminaries in the span of a week. Tributes are pouring in from the many […]

Movie review: “Spotlight”

I’ve just seen the new movie “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe‘s coverage of the Catholic child-rape scandal in their city, and how their stories shed light on not only pervasive priestly pedophilia, but its coverup by the Church hierarchy. Their reporting eventually not only led to the criminal conviction of several priests, but brought down […]

Review: “45 Years”

SPOILER ALERT: Some plot revealed, but it doesn’t much matter for this movie. This isn’t a full review of the new movie “45 Years,” which I saw last weekend, but rather a brief summary and a very strong recommendation that you see it. Starring two wonderful actors, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, it’s based on […]

Dawkins has no objection to Church of England’s ad in movie theaters; I disagree

Yesterday I wrote about a one-minute ad, “Prayer is for everyone,” that the Church of England wanted to show in British cinemas. The commercial agency that handles ads for UK movies refused, saying that their policy banned the showing of religious or political ads in theaters. I agreed, for reversing that policy would turn theaters into venues for religious […]

British cinemas refuse to show Anglican commercial; CoE is upset

There’s a religious kerfuffle in the United (?) Kingdom, one that probably wouldn’t occur in the U.S. According to the BBC, many cinemas in the UK are refusing to show a one-minute religious film that highlights the Lord’s Prayer.  The Church of England, which apparently produced the commercial, is miffed: The Church called the decision “plain […]

OMG: A sequel to “God’s Not Dead”

I don’t believe I ever highlighted the execrable movie “God’s Not Dead,” starring Kevin Sorbo as an atheistic philosophy professor who proselytizes loudly for godlessness in his classroom, challenges a student to a debate about the existence of God (and loses) and then, at the film’s end, is struck by a car and, just before […]

Movie “Spotlight” opens, and a NYT columnist uses it to criticize religion’s privilege

I was quite heartened yesterday to see an established New York Times columnist, Frank Bruni, go after Catholicism—and faith in general. After all, the good gray Times isn’t known for criticizing religion: it’s the home of Ross Douthat, of Tanya Luhrmann, and various others who osculate the rump of faith. The lesson the paper and its writers […]

A new must-see movie on the Vatican’s coverup of child abuse

I haven’t yet seen the movie “Spotlight,” but reader Tom C. sent me an email headed “Sockless in Toronto”, which said this: I’m in Toronto at the Toronto International Film Festival sans socks because they have been blown off by a movie I felt I should give you a heads-up about as it doesn’t open […]


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