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"You can't measure the success of a [film] on how many tickets it sells. You can only measure it in how many hearts it changes." Hayao Miyazaki …more »»  
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What’s the deal here?

Have you ever had a blinding flash of clarity about a better life or a better world? A moment where you thought, “Hey, maybe there’s life before death”? It can change you, and it can start with a moment in a movie.

That’s what is about: finding life through film. Whether a film is old or new, we turn things around: We spend less time critiquing a film and more time asking if the film can critique us. With any film, we:

  • Focus first on how a film embodies the best in life — good, true, beautiful things — even if its filmcraft falls short.
  • Tone down (but don’t ignore) our critique of a film’s failings.
  • Allow a film to show ugly sides of life if, by doing so, it might help us see the best in life more clearly.

Why? Because life is better when the world’s a better place, and that starts with us. Whether on DVD or in a theater, we have a good time with film and we want movies to help us get better. Other bits you’ll find on the site:




A angle on film is about how we change from the inside out and how film can help us do that. It works like this:

Change from the inside out

  • Heart. On the inside, in our hearts, is who we really are. A film can show us the best things in life and move us toward loving them.
  • Beauty. Our hearts move with Beauty — good, true, pleasing things. A film can help us feel the joy of real Beauty or the pain of Beauty's absence.
  • Love. As a film moves us toward Beauty, we can find and live love and relationship with those around us.

Be thoughtful about film

  • Find a film's heart. Seeing a film, we want more than the fun of the moment. We also want the film's heart to move us toward the best in life.
  • Take care with content. We see films that dive deep into ugly issues of this life, and thus show ugly things, but we don't want to enjoy ugly content for its own sake.
  • Consider what to watch. We see a broad range of films, yet we aim to choose better films that enrich our lives with Beauty in the moment and that also help us get better.

I hope you'll join us.

Randy Heffner
organizer

Talk about great films: Doubt (2008)

Before viewing talk
The simple title Doubt captures the film's exploration well. The story deals with certainty and doubt around certain events, but the film evokes an exploration ...more »»
After viewing talk
Doubt reinforced for me the dangers of prematurely moving into a position of certainty. In the film, the core issue of doubt versus certainty revolves … more »»
 
…more »»  

Reviews and stuff on other interesting film sites



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Like the boy that shares its name, the Harry Potter series stumbled from the gate, saddled not entirely unexpectedly with inexperience…

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
It is no secret that I disliked the first two Transformers films. In fact, I employ no hyperbole whatsoever in admitting that…

Larry Crowne
Several years ago, one of my dearest friends starred in a national CitiCard commercial in which a woman Feng shuis her house (the…

Cars 2
It was bound to happen. No one can keep a winning streak like that going forever. A 25-year perfect game isn’t exactly shabby.…

The Green Lantern
When I was young, I accidentally punched a hole in the side of our garage wall with a wayward snow shovel. Terrified at the implications…

Super 8
Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy…

X-Men: First Class
In a summer unfortunately glutted with superhero movies, every one an origins story, X-Men: First Class not only eclipses its…

The Tree of Life
Author’s Note: The following is less a standard film review and more a lengthy, deeply personal and impressionistic filmic examination. When…

Kung Fu Panda 2
Kung Fu Panda 2 is disappointing only because it is not the original Kung Fu Panda, a rare animated action-packed adventure that…

The Hangover: Part II
To dispense with a lengthy plot synopsis for The Hangover: Part II would be a profound waste of the time it would take me to write…

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Fan fiction is an awkward literary subset written not by the original creator of a given work, but rather by fans. Nearly always…

Bridesmaids
It is both artistically dishonest and embarrassingly naive to grant the status of “classic” to something only newly born.…

Priest
Priest is the sort of movie you walk into knowing full well its IQ is significantly less than the bucket of popcorn balanced in…

Thor
The problem with the current crop of superhero movies is that once you’ve exhausted the A-list (Superman, Spider-Man, Batman),…

Fast Five
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states roughly that there is a universal tendency for all things to progress from order to disorder.…

Updated: 15 Aug 2013, 06:00 UTC

 


“The 33″ story of Chilean miners coming to theaters
I received the following press release a couple of days ago. I’ve seen the film and my review will follow nearer the film’s…

Breaking News: “Vacation” receives DG (IWY) rating!
I was a little surprised to be invited to a press screening for “Vacation” – an downdating  or unbooting of…

‘Phoenix’ is a haunting post-Holocaust mystery
In the still-growing canon Holocaust cinema, its victims and survivors, it’s impact on history and humanity, there are fact-based…

‘Samba’ reminds viewers what it means to be human
While illegal immigration grabs political headlines in the United States, it is a major global human and social concern for those…

‘The Look of Silence’ exposes Indonesia’s present day legacy of genocide
  Beginning in October 1965, an anti-Communist purge, rather conveniently instigated by a failed coup, led to the ousting…

’1913: Seeds of Conflict’ seeks to explain source of Israeli-Palestinian tensions
  This comprehensive and compact docudrama premiering tonight on PBS (10pm), “1913: Seeds of Conflict” reveals little…

‘Batkid Begins’ – a wish with a life of its own
As news of the terrible shootings at the AME Church in Charleston, S.C., broke Wednesday, a couple hundred people were gathered…

‘Forbidden Films’ the hidden legacy of Nazi films
    This documentary from Germany explores the dilemma of censorship about a cache of about 40 Nazi feature films (out…

‘Woman in Gold’ is a first-rate detective story that unravels a decades-old mystery
“Woman in Gold” is a David-and-Goliath story. When the sister of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) dies in Los Angeles,…

‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ kicks off with a familiar story
“A.D. The Bible Continues” Premieres 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central, Sunday, April 5, NBC   The NBC website for this new…

Updated: 30 Aug 2015, 22:00 UTC