Media in a post-truth world – part 2

Why do people click so frequently on false stories? How do these lies spread so rapidly? It is certainly true that facts and non-facts circulate at a speed that would have been inconceivable before the Internet and social media. Most people do not have the means, or perhaps inclination, to fact check the things that…

Shaming the wise

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Philomena. © Pathé, 2013. Used by permission Day two of the Keswick Unconventional Film Club was absolutely packed for watching and discussing Philomena. Directed by Stephen Frears from a screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, it’s a film which is loved by audiences and critics alike. It won…

© Ian Broyles. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0)

Art’s Desire: Responding to Film and Literature (part two)

This is the second in a series of six posts, which was first published as an article in Anvil journal, Volume 28 No 3 (November 2012), and is published here by kind permission of the editor. Two-faced human beings Adam and Eve were tempted by the freedom to make their own moral choices; they wanted…

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…

A Hunger for Truth and Justice

Stieg Larsson’s Crime novels Interview with Tony Watkins by Christian Bensel, 23 March 2010   The bestselling Millennium Trilogy features cases of mass murderers, human trafficking and government conspiracies. 27 million copies have been sold in over 40 countries according to theEconomist (March 22,  2010), making the late  Stieg Larsson the second most sold author worldwide in 2008…

State of Play

Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is covering the story of an apparently random shooting in Washington DC for his paper, the Washington Globe, when he sees an old friend of his on the news. Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is a rising star in Congress. He’s handsome, bright and ambitious, and is chairing a committee investigating defence spending. What catches McCaffrey’s attention is that Collins’s attractive young research assistant, Sonia Baker, has died – and Collins is clearly very cut up about it. McAffrey is irritated when a very junior colleague, the Globe’s political blogger Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), comes to ask if Collins was having an affair with Sonia. McAffrey rebuffs her enquiries, but before long their demanding editor, Cameron Lynne (Helen Mirren) has them working together on the story. It’s a story of deceit, corruption and murder. Apparently unrelated events turn out to be connected, and nothing is quite as it first seems.

EU referendum © florriebassingbourn Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0) licence

Media in a post-truth world – part 1

This post was first published on Engaging Media, the website of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network. Oxford Dictionaries chose ‘post-truth’ as its Word of the Year for 2016. Editor Casper Grathwohl said, Fuelled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth…

The Importance of Beauty

Greg Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of Image journal, which has just celebrated it’s 25th anniversary. In an interview with Brett Beasley of Curator magazine, Wolfe makes the following observation: One of the key dimensions of beauty that theologians and philosophers consistently refer to is beauty’s disinterestedness. The very nature of beauty is that it…

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’…

Dan Brown’s Secrets

Why is Dan Brown the biggest-selling author in the world after J.K. Rowling?1 After all, Brown’s writing is not high quality literature (in fact, that’s probably in his favour – many readers prefer light fiction to sophisticated, intellectual literature). But The Da Vinci Code in particular is one of those books that get even reluctant…