Philomena

This post was first published in Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013. For discussion material on this film, see Sophie Lister’s Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and the supplementary questions in the published version of this article in the Film & Bible Blog Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) has lived with a secret for…

The Past Comes Flooding Back – The Sea

Film & Bible Blog Article The Past Comes Flooding Back Image © Independent Film Company, 2013. Used by permission. Art historian Max (Ciarán Hinds) is grieving after the recent loss of his wife, Anna (Sinéad Cusack), to cancer. Against the advice of his daughter Clare (Ruth Bradley), he goes to stay in a boarding house…

Something Not Accounted For – Arbitrage

This post was first published on Culturewatch as part of the Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013. For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and the supplementary questions in the published version of this article in the Film & Bible Blog. Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is a…

A Stream That Goes Dry – To The Wonder

This post was first published on Culturewatch as part of the Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013. For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and the supplementary questions in the published version of this article in the Film & Bible Blog. Warning: This article contains plot spoilers….

Fading Memories – Robot & Frank

This post was first published on Culturewatch as part of the Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013. For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and the supplementary questions in the published version of this article in the Film & Bible Blog A house is being burgled in…

A Fragile Façade – What Richard Did

This article was first published as a Film and Bible Blog article in Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2012. For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and additional questions for reflection in my Film and Bible Blog article. Warning: This article contains plot spoilers. Richard Karlsen (Jack Reynor) has just…

This is Life – Berberian Sound Studio

This article was first published in Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2012 Berberian Sound Studio is an extraordinary, profoundly unsettling film like no other. It’s the second film by independent British film-maker Peter Strickland, confirming the talent he demonstrated with his acclaimed debut Katalin Varga, which won the Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. It stars…

By Fairest Blood – Snow White and the Huntsman

This article was first published on Culturewatch.org. © Tony Watkins, 2012 There seems to be considerable interest in films based on fairy tales at present. Rupert Sanders’sSnow White and the Huntsman comes close on the heels of Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror, while in various stages of development are Jack the Giant Killer, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and two…

Fading Dreams: The Iron Lady

This article was first published in Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2012. My discussion guide is here. Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent in The Iron Lady. © 2011, Pathé Productions Ltd. Used by permission. An old lady in a headscarf is buying a pint of milk in a local shop. She’s surprised by the price of the milk,…

Twilight – True Blood and True Love

This is a repost to coincide with the cinema release of The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn (Part 1) This article was first published on Culturewatch.org. © Tony Watkins, 2010. Vampires are currently one of the biggest phenomena in popular culture. They are central to hit television series like True Blood, Being Human and The Vampire Diaries, but leading…

Relish This Remarkable Ride – About Time

Richard Curtis is almost an icon of British romantic comedy, thanks to Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Notting Hill (1999), and Love Actually (2003). About Time is very much a comedy in the Curtis style, and love is the central ingredient, but ultimately it is not so much about romantic love, as the love…

Dark Recesses – Hitchcock

This post was first published on Culturewatch as part of the Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013. For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and the supplementary questions in the published version of this article in the Film & Bible Blog. Alfred Hitchcock is one of the…

All Those Little Minefields – Before Midnight

This post was first published on Culturewatch as part of the Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013. For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and the supplementary questions in the published version of this article in the Film & Bible Blog. Some of us have known Jesse…

Red Pill Living –Oblivion

This article was first published as a Film and Bible Blog article in Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2012.For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and additional questions for reflection in my Film and Bible Blog article. Warning: This article contains plot spoilers. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and Victoria ‘Vika’…

Something Rotten in the State of Denmark – A Royal Affair

This article was first published as a Film and Bible Blog article in Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2012.For discussion material on this film, see my Damaris Film Blog discussion guide and additional questions for reflection in my Film and Bible Blog article. The end of the eighteenth century was a time of great change in…

The Name’s Bond

This article was first published in Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2012. For discussion material on this film, see Sophie Lister’s Damaris Film Blog discussion guide. James Bond has been in the spying business for such a long time that he really ought to be up for a long-service award. But the world’s most famous secret…

He Will Wipe Every Tear – Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’

This article was first published in Culturewatch.org in two parts, where you can also find my discussion guide. © Tony Watkins, 2012. How can we ever understand God? Because he is infinite and transcendent, and we are finite and limited, we often end up thinking about him in very human terms. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud claimed…

An Island of Misfit Toys – Moneyball

This article was first published on Culturewatch. © Tony Watkins, 2011 Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) sits brooding in the empty Oakland Coliseum stadium. He switches on his radio to listen for a few moments to the commentary of a baseball game, then turns it off. It’s only moments before he turns it on again. Off….

The Monster Inside – Tyrannosaur

This article was first published on Culturewatch.  Life in a broken world is deeply unjust. Some people breeze through life with material security, happy marriages and hardly a care in the world. Others struggle through every miserable day. The central character in Paddy Considine’s astonishing and harrowing debut as writer-director, Joseph (Peter Mullan), is a…