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’ […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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A Brief Introduction to Cinema Projection

Cinema projectionists are, sadly, a dying breed, thanks to digital projection. Here's a very good, brief introduction to cinema projection, courtesy of the Phoenix Cinema, Finchley. It's the second oldest purpose-built, continuously operating cinema in Britain, having opened in 1912 (the oldest is the Duke of York's Picture House, Brighton). It features Peter Bayley MBE, […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Citogenesis - how spurious factoids become established

A good warning from xkcd about the hazards of references in the online world: These posts may be related: 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 […]

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All at Sea - Submarine (dir. Richard Ayoade)

This article was first published on Culturewatch.  ‘Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.’ Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) would probably agree with Tom Stoppard’s wry comment. Oliver is fifteen years old and anxious to be grown up, yet struggling with the transition to adulthood. He’s a rather serious boy, full of both […]

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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 […]

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Using Film in Christian Communication - downloads

It's taken me a while to get round to it, what with holidays and teaching in Norway, but I've now produced pdf and epub versions of my recent series of posts on films and worldviews. These posts may be related: Using film in Christian communication - part 4 Worldview dimensions, continued Humanity The second key aspect […]

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How do we make sense of the world?

A little while ago I was filmed for version 2 of Glad You Asked, a DVD-based series of 8 sessions exploring the big questions of life, produced by the excellent Innovista. The first version was excellent, so I was delighted to be involved in version 2. It will be on sale very soon, but samples […]

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This is the article on the book of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which I wrote for Culturewatch. Warning: contains major plot spoilers. Ten years after Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone blasted onto the best-seller lists, J.K. Rowling has finally brought the series to a spectacular and moving conclusion with Harry Potter and the Deathly […]

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Using film in Christian communication - part 6

Read the rest of this series. Why use film in Christian communication? Although aspects of the Christian worldview still do hang on in western culture, it’s all too obvious that very few films communicate much of it clearly. As I have already noted, films are primarily about telling a story, and often the worldview aspects […]

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Using film in Christian communication - part 5

Worldview dimensions, continued Morality Some of the issues which I raised in the previous post, in relation to human nature are profoundly moral questions. What does it mean when we say that darkness and evil reside in the human heart, and that genuine goodness can be found there too? What makes for a good person, […]

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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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© 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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