Seven stories we keep telling

Over the course of around twenty years of analysing films, books and other media, I have often been struck at the ways in which storytellers keep telling the same kinds of tales over and over again. That’s not to say that the narratives they construct are inevitably wearied or hackneyed; far from it. There is extraordinary diversity in the way that the themes have been explored. Yet, it remains the case that, under the surface, most if not all stories are versions of a limited number of key themes.

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

This is the last 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 more aspects of responding to film and literature 4. Morality Image from We have considered the moral […]

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

This is the fifth 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. Celebrate the good1 Image from If the ideas actually make sense, we need to acknowledge that fact, even […]

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

This is the fourth 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. Image from Worldviews in film and literature While not wishing to over-emphasise this aspect of responding to art […]

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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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Seeing through other eyes - C.S. Lewis

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis's An Experiment in Criticism (1961), which is easily applicable to film as well as literature: This, so far as I can see, is the specific value or good of literature as Logos; it admits us to experiences other than our own. They are not, any more than our […]

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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. Related posts: Being Charlie Kaufman Some recommended books on film and faith Discovering the brokenness of […]

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Interview with Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor

Colin Duriez, the most knowledgeable person on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien I know, interviews 'the Tolkien Professor', Corey Olsen, for Festival in the Shire Journal. Here's one question which particularly interests me. You can read the rest here, but you'll need to go to the Festival in the Shire home page to access anything […]

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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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Handling the prophetic literature in the Old Testament

A handout for the second half of the second of five sessions on the prophets in the Old Testament at Bible & Culture 2010. BC2. Handling the OT prophets View more documents from Tony Watkins. Related posts: Understanding the Old Testament prophets 1 Introduction to the prophets Prophets 2a - Overview of Old Testament history […]

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Philip Pullman and his atheist fiction

Philip Pullman CBE is the acclaimed author of around thirty books, mostly aimed at older children. He is best known for His Dark Materials, a brilliantly written, ambitious trilogy (Northern Lights/The Golden Compass (1995); The Subtle Knife (1997); The Amber Spyglass (2000)). He has received many awards, including the highly prestigious Astrid Lindgren Award. His […]

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Pullman's next book reworks of the story of Jesus

Children's author Philip Pullman says Jesus wasn't the Son of God by Tom Kelly Bestselling children's author Philip Pullman has provoked more anger from Christians with a new book denying that Jesus was the son of God. The book, due to be published next Easter, accepts there was a holy man called Jesus but says […]

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Angels and Demons - discussion guide

This discussion guide was first published on Culturewatch in 2009. Summary Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is woken by the ringing of his telephone in the early hours of the morning. The caller is Maximilian Kohler, Director of CERN, the largest particle physics research facility in the world. He wants Langdon’s help because of the murder […]

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Scaring kids

Some quotes from Lewis and Tolkien on fairy tales.

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The Da Vinci Code - more audio

I've now added the recordings of Wednesday evening's events at Above Bar Church, Southampton, which I shared with David Couchman of Focus. I talked about the appeal of The Da Vinci Code, its opposition to orthodox historical Christianity, the sacred feminine and goddess spirituality. David addressed three key claims in the book: that the Gnostic […]

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Getting Da Vinci-ed out!

I'm beginning to feel like I've overdosed on Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Hardly suprising I guess since it's been such a huge bestseller since publication and especially given the amount of over-the-top hype from Sony (which is, frankly, setting people up to be disappointed with the film - all the advertising makes people […]

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Dark Matter

Dark Matter: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Philip Pullman was published on 22 September 2004. Response has been very positive from readers and the few reviewers who ever saw a copy. Unfortunately, it fell foul of major changes in the way Damaris books were published and distributed so it had virtually no marketing. You can […]

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A few useful websites on Pullman

There's stacks of stuff on His Dark Materials on the web. What I've realised during my research is that a lot of it is recycled endlessly round loads of sites - including mistakes. Some of the stuff around is innacurate or poorly thought out, some just trivial. And some is fabulous! These are a few […]

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More on the book

Here's an outline of what the book will include: Part 1: Chapters about Philip Pullman, the influences on him, etc., and chapters about the three volumes of His Dark Materials. Part 2: Chapters about the big philosophical and theological themes which Pullman explores. Since it's a 'thinking fan's guide' it will be both enthusiastic about […]

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Philip Pullman book

True to my word, here I am telling you a little about the book I'm writing on Pullman. The focus, of course, will be on his magnum opus, His Dark Materials. It will be the second in a series of 'thinking fan's guides' from Damaris Publishing. I was a contributor to the first book, Matrix […]

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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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