Thursday, August 17, 2006

world trade center: not an oliver stone film

just saw world trade center at the cinerama dome - amazing cinema in hollywood that i'd always wanted to visit. this movie is perhaps not the ideal film to be seeing in a place known for its cinematic spectacle, but i was glad to see it nonetheless. was particularly intrigued by the fact that it was made by oliver stone, and wondered what this most political of film-makers would do with it.

what he did: memorialise.

this film is a powerful tribute to the courage shown by many people on 9/11; but deeper than that, it seeks to represent the horror of what happened in the twin towers. for the most part, it is not a political film.

people like me found it difficult to truly engage with the tragedy for at least two reasons - the immediacy of the visuals on tv, and the lack of images of human beings suffering (as with hurricane or tsunami footage) made the event seem almost mechanical; but most damaging of all was the fact that the response of the bush administration forced us to devote our resources to the attempt at restraining further violence rather than lamenting what had happened.

so it is a good thing that a film has been made that seeks to do little more than respect the victims.

lament is important, but it is a lost art.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

will ferrell is having a laugh. but i'm not.

when a movie's end credits are funnier than the film itself, and when the best scene was missed because you were asleep when it happened, then i guess the film must be 'talladega nights: the ballad of ricky bobby' - a very well shot comedy which forgets that script and plot are not incidental to humour. will ferrell's a smart guy - but not smart enough to realise when a joke has gone on too long: for frankly, this was one of the most boring films i've seen in a long time. to russty, michelle, jared and gina, all i can say is 'forgive me for asking you to see this with me'. hope we'll do better next time.

(and if you want to be reminded of ferrell's ability to really make you laugh, try and get hold of the comilation dvd of his saturday night live stuff. no one does lipton like ferrell)

Monday, August 14, 2006

doug pagitt is next to godliness

he is the michelangelo of the emerging church

there is no man so erudite, so thoughtful, so wise, so tall, and so able to make nanotechnology sound interesting as he.

i highly recommend that you all turn your prayer mats toward minnesota if you want your intercessions to work in future.

or at least you could check the man himself out at

Sunday, August 13, 2006

human hospitality

at the soliton sessions in ventura this week several thoughts collided as i found myself sharing the presence of doug pagitt, shane claiborne, si johnston, ched myers, kester brewin, greg russinger and the bridge communities - all worth a bit of a google if you've time to read up on these marvellous people (and if you want an object lesson in hospitality you should go and stay with my amazing friends jared and regina williams):

bonhoeffer - if you're in love with your vision of community, your community will fail. if you're prepared instead to love people, then you might just succeed at building community.

hospitality is more than having friends over for dinner - it is an attitude of mind and heart - a demeanour of generosity toward everyone and everything. that's too important to miss, so i'll say it again: hospitality is more than having friends over for dinner - it is an attitude of mind and heart - a demeanour of generosity toward everyone and everything.

also - what would the world look like if we based politics on hospitality? if we saw foreign policy as an opportunity for nations to show each other generosity?