Film Review: The Lobster

The Lobster

The Lobster written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (A24, Film4, Irish Film Board, Eurimages, R, 119 min) Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Olivia Coleman, Ashley Jensen, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, and Ben Whishaw. Seeing the World through Black Mirror Having recently finished the utterly creepy anthologized series, Black Mirror, I’ve begun to see the world through its nihilistic lens. Facebook is not a platform by which people can remain connected worldwide, but rather a data collection agency hellbent on swaying opinion to the highest bidder. A smart phone does not provide ubiquitous access to every possible thing someone might need on any given day, but rather a slot machine engineered to… Read More →

Book Review: The Hundred-Year House

The Hundred-Year House

The Hundred-Year House: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai (New York: Viking, 2014. 352 pp) Rebecca Makkai’s first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, and an O, The Oprah Magazine selection. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, and New England Review, and has been selected four times for The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, she lives in Chicago and Vermont. The History of Place I live in a house nearing its one-hundredth birthday. I am aware of a few of the inhabitants before me, perhaps 5 years worth of residency. The people meandering these rooms for the other 95 years are left to the imagination…. Read More →

Album Review: The Beast in its Tracks

The Beast in its Tracks by Josh Ritter

The Beast in its Tracks by Josh Ritter (Pytheas Recordings, 2013. 44 minutes) Josh Ritter is an American singer-songwriter born in Moscow, Idaho. A graduate of Oberlin College, Ritter sang open-mic nights and worked odd jobs until he was discovered by Glen Hansard. Ritter has released 7 full-length albums and numerous EPs. A Gig, Most Difficult In my opinion, the hardest gig in show business is that of the singer-songwriter. Typically alone on stage without much accompaniment, the singer-songwriter can’t hide behind anything. When you have a band, the focus of the audience wanders from member to member. A backing band can bring energy to a mundane song; it can hide meaningless lyrics. But when you are alone on stage,… Read More →

Film Review: The Master

The Master written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (The Weinstein Company, Ghoulardi Film Company, Annapurna Pictures, R, 144 minutes) Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. The Boat and Its Prop Wash Praise be to a boat. Its ability to move from point A to point B. Its revolutionary ability to float despite comprised of non-floating materials. Praise be to the captain. A sailor with capable hands. A firm direction. A destination and a plan to get there. But what about the water? It has no say in the matter. In fact, one might even consider it an obstacle. Without it, there’d be no need to develop a boat. Water is the passive substance gliding beneath the… Read More →

Album Review: Old World Romance

Old World Romance by Sea Wolf (Dangerbird Records, 2012. 32 minutes) Sea Wolf is an indie folk band fronted by Alex Church. It began as a side project for Church but morphed into a full-fledged band. They signed to Dangerbird Records in 2007. Sea Wolf’s first record, Leaves in the River, hit #24 on the Billboard Heatseeker’s Chart. We All Believe in Something Some people have faith in a higher power; they see absurdly complex entities and conclude a higher power is in control. Some people believe in an emotional state. They meet their one true love and they know, without a shadow of doubt, wedding bells will soon follow. Some people have faith in reason. They read the latest… Read More →

Book Review: Shop Class as Soulcraft

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford (New York: The Penguin Press, 2009. 256 pp) Matthew B. Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago and served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought. Currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he owns and operates Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, Virginia. An Apple Nowhere Near the Tree They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Whether it’s culinary taste, similar joys in sports, or comparable career paths, parents and children often resemble each… Read More →

Television Show Review: Doctor Who: Series 7

The Critical Importance of Relationship In my latest contribution to Fieldnotes Magazine, I explore the latest series of Doctor Who. Series 7, which began in September 2012 and will run through Spring 2013 highlights the increasing tension between The Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gilian) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). In my article, I link this tension to the importance of relationship and the theological principle of being made in the image of God. “One principle becomes clear: The Doctor is alone—and his solitude has influenced his judgment. There’s much to learn much from this atrabilious narrative. Relationship is crucial to a leader’s decision making process (even if that leader is a Time Lord).” So meander over to Fieldnotes Magazine… Read More →