Theology

Think Christian: Responding to God’s Call in The Black Phone

In The Black Phone’s third act, a little girl named Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) leaps out of bed and rushes toward her dollhouse. Opening it, she pulls out several pieces of Christian iconography, including a rosary, an ichthus with the word “Jesus” written inside, and a cross. Falling to her knees, she clutches the cross and …

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Think Christian: The Northman’s Corpse God

With its images of loincloth-clad warriors leaving carcasses in their wake, The Northman is a full-bodied affair. The movie’s approach to bodies can be seen in one of its earliest moments, in which Heimir The Fool (Willem Dafoe) welcomes two visitors into his cave. His muscles illuminated by flames, Heimer drops bowls of broth and fish before …

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Living Lutheran: Privilege and Participation in The Batman

Protected by the night, a gang of street toughs bully a young initiate into attacking an innocent bystander. But as the boy hesitates and the bystander pleads for help, heavy footsteps echo from a nearby tunnel. With every step punctuated by composer Michael Giacchino’s thundering score, Batman emerges from the shadows, slowly, menacingly. “Who [are] …

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Faithfully Magazine: Everything Everywhere All At Once & the Absurdity of Love as Resistance

Evelyn Wang is a chef at a hibachi restaurant, locked in a constant rivalry with her co-worker. Evelyn Wang is a sign twirler, drawing eyes by spinning an advertisement around her back and neck. Evelyn Wang is a singing sensation, star of the Chinese stage and screen. Evelyn Wang is a woman with hot dogs …

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Christians Need a Renewed Imagination, Not Copaganda

“We’re not the bad guys, we’re just the guys trying to get home!” This line, spoken by Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, Danny Sharp, in the trailer for the movie Ambulance (April 8) does more than just relate the plot of director Michael Bay’s next action thriller: it also gives viewers hope that the movie will tell a relatable — if extremely …

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Stressed is the Peacemaker

A kick-drum roll and a sing-along shout—that’s how every episode of HBO Max’s Peacemaker begins.  Set to the aspirational anthem “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” by Norwegian metal band Wig Wam, the opening credits of each episode feature the cast performing an elaborately choreographed dance number. Dressed in costume—from schlubby street clothes to the blue-and-black tactical gear of antihero …

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‘The Forever Purge’ Envisions the Wages of Racist Sin

On the surface, the “Purge” movies are pretty ridiculous. The five-film franchise that began with 2013’s “The Purge” takes place in a near-future America, which allows an annual 12-hour period in which all crimes are legal. According to the conservative New Founding Fathers party, the Purge helped the country recover from near-economic ruin by allowing Americans to …

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Dignity, Details, and In the Heights

Early in the screen musical In the Heights, matriarch Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz) describes the velvet gloves her mother purchased when she immigrated from Cuba to the Manhattan barrio Washington Heights. What some might see as an unnecessary extravagance for a family struggling to make ends meet, Abuela Claudia sees as a necessary remembrance. “We had to assert …

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Lets White People Off the Hook for Systemic Racism

For a show about masked villains, the Disney+ series “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is surprisingly frank in depicting American racism. In the first episode, a White bank manager thrills when he meets Sam Wilson, aka the Black superhero the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), but will not grant his loan request. In episode two, White …

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