Using film in Christian communication - part 4

Worldview dimensions, continued Humanity The second key aspect of worldviews is the nature of human beings. What does it mean to be human? This is closely bound up with the question of reality, of course. Are we simply physical beings – very clever animals or biological machines – or are we also spiritual beings? What […]

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Using film in Christian communication - part 3

In the third part of this series on using films in Christian communication, we start looking at the five key dimensions of worldviews. Worldview dimensions There are five key dimensions of any worldview map to which we we need to pay very careful attention. They may seem a little abstract or theoretical at first. In […]

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Using film in Christian communication - part 2

In the first post in this series, I reflected on life in the mediasphere, and the influence which films can have on us. In this post, we begin to get into the subject of worldviews. Film and worldviews While films tell stories and may have all kinds of things to say about love or politics […]

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Using film in Christian communication - part 1

Life in the mediasphere Sean Penn’s wonderful film Into the Wild (2007) tells the true story of a young man who abandons normal middle class life, gives everything away and hitch-hikes to Alaska where he plans to live in the wilderness. He wants to be surrounded by a beautiful landscape, not a cityscape. Most of […]

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Mark Kermode interviews Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman is an extraordinarily talented actor, as well as a theatre director for the last thirteen years. Now he's turning his skills to directing a feature film for the first time with Jack Goes Boating, which is released in UK cinemas on 8 July. It looks like it's going to be a quirky […]

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Why We Love Men in Capes

My friend Mark Meynell is a great film fan, an enthusiast for superheroes and an excellent communicator. So I'm excited to see his new venture - an audio documentary about the significance of superheroes. It's 30 minutes long and is at the bargain price of £1.29 on iTunes (see below). I've not yet had time […]

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The truth will set you free - Catfish

A conversation this morning made me realise I'd never posted this article here, which is why it's appearing some time after the film. This article was first published on Culturewatch. Beware: spoilers ahoy! One of the many changes which the Internet has brought into our lives is that it is remarkably easy to masquerade as […]

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The King's Speech - Encouraging Words

First published on Culturewatch © Tony Watkins 2011. The King's Speech is bookended by two speeches. The first is a disaster, a deeply humiliating experience for Prince Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth), because of a severe stammer which had afflicted him since early childhood. He gives this speech on behalf of his father, King George […]

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Robin Hood: A hero for every age

This article was first published in Idea magazine (May/June 2010) and on Culturewatch.org. © Tony Watkins, 2010. The legend of Robin Hood has an enduring fascination, and not just for small boys with bows and arrows. For over seven centuries, he has been an icon of struggle against unjust authority and of defending the interests […]

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Are Fairy Tales Finished?

An interesting piece by Mike Cosper on The Gospel Coalition Blog about Walt Disney's announcement that it will not make any more princess fairy tales, at least for the foreseeable future. I was particularly struck by this observation:   I can’t help but wonder, though, if the cognitive disconnect between today’s families and the world […]

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Running a film discussion evening

popcorn from Crestock Stock Photos I often lead film discussions, but there's enormous value in organising leading them yourself rather than depending on some 'expert' from outside (though sometimes that can be a good thing - I'm still open to invitations!). Here are some brief guidelines. I'll add to this and expand on some of […]

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Good films to discuss

Here are some suggestions for good films to discuss in a group context. This list nowhere near exhaustive; merely a few films that I’ve either enjoyed using myself or that I’m confident would be great. The list is very roughly in order of how suitable I think a film is for discussing: things near the […]

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Whose opinion on films do you trust most?

The results of a survey into whose opinion people most trust about films has just been published, prior to the British Film Institute London Film Festival. It's clear than people don't trust film critics, with even the wonderful Mark Kermode only reaching 3%, though I think this is simply because most people don't actually listen […]

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Twenty Questions to Consider When Watching a Film

Movie Time from Crestock Photos These question are based on those in my book, Focus: The Art and Soul of Cinema. They are intended to help you organise your thinking as you watch a film. As well as helping you in your own thinking about movies, these questions also provide a useful framework for group discussions […]

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Norman Wisdom, 1905–2010

Norman Wisdom was one of the funniest people in the history of British film. His talent for physical comedy was matchless - no wonder Charlie Chaplin called Wisdom his favourite clown. But he could also switch to become sensitive and serious, as when he first sang 'Don't Laugh at Me' in Trouble in Store (1953). […]

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Jeffrey Overstreet on the how of storytelling

Encounter 10: Jeffrey Overstreet on the how of storytelling from International Arts Movement on Vimeo. Jeffrey is a great, insightful Christian film critic whose perspectives I value highly. This lecture was given at the International Arts Movement Encounter 10. These posts may be related: Art’s Desire: Responding to Film and Literature (part six) This is […]

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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 […]

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Why is Twilight popular? – a 3-minute explanation

via lookingcloser.org Posted via web from Tony Watkins These posts may be related: 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... Using film in Christian communication - […]

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The failure of His Dark Materials film trilogy

I stumbled across this yesterday, having missed it when it was published in The Guardian last year: The actor Sam Elliott, who starred in the 2007 adaptation of the first novel, Northern Lights (the film was called The Golden Compass), said earlier this week that books two and three were not being filmed due to […]

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Alice in Wonderland

This article was first published in Idea magazine (March/April 2010) and on Culturewatch.org. © Tony Watkins, 2010. Yet another film foray into Wonderland demonstrates the abiding charm of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories. But Tim Burton’s surreal fantasy isn’t just a retread of the much-loved children’s story, however; it picks up Alice’s story several years on. […]

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The Lovely Bones

Dir. Peter Jackson (Paramount Pictures, 2010) This article was first published on Culturewatch, © Tony Watkins. Warning: this article contains plot spoilers When Susie was small, she was worried for the penguin trapped inside a snow globe. ‘Don’t worry, kiddo,’ her father Jack (Mark Wahlberg) reassured her. ‘He has a nice life; he’s trapped in […]

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A statue in Oviedo

In Woody Allen's film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Juan Antonia (Javier Bardem) invites Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) to accompany him to Oviedo to view a particular sculpture which he finds inspiring. Cristina jumps at the opportunity, but Vicky goes reluctantly. The statue we later see is of a crucifix, which allows Woody Allen […]

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The Ten Most Redeeming Films of 2009

Every year, the film critics at Christianity Today compile a list of the ten films that they consider to be the most redeeming of the year. What do they mean by that? We mean movies that include stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of our films have characters who are redeemers themselves; all […]

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Invictus

This article was first published on Culturewatch.org. © Tony Watkins, 2010 The 1995 Rugby World Cup final was an unexpectedly significant world event. It had a resonance far beyond the excitement of rugby fans because of its particular historical context. Rarely, if ever, has a sporting event been such a powerful cohesive force within a […]

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© Tony Watkins, 2020
The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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