Review: Beautiful Light Film by Roy Anker

If you’re looking for a Christian author who writes about film in a deep and meaningful way, I highly recommend checking out Roy M. Anker. Anker, formerly professor of film and literature at Calvin College, analyzes everything from crime films to historical dramas, noting spiritual ideas in their plots. Beautiful Light: Religious Meaning in Film, …

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Sentimentality and Substance (Sidetrails 1)

In a recent post about “kid-friendly entertainment,” I pointed out that for a certain audience, “Christian art” and “family-friendly” automatically go together. You can also use the term “sentimental,” or “inspirational” to describe that kind of art, which dominates faith-based films and Christian Romance novels. There are several reasons why “Christian” and “family-friendly” don’t always …

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Films on Faith I’ve Enjoyed

In addition to seeking novels that explore spiritual ideas in interesting ways, I’m always on the lookout for a good film that explores religious ideas. While my previous post focused on novels written by people who considered themselves orthodox Christians, this one includes a variety of people. Some of these filmmakers were Christians, some were …

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Create Wonder (Building a Better Christian Novel Pt 4)

I review Christian books, mostly nonfiction ones but I do get a Christian Fiction novel or two each month. Occasionally I’ll get one that I enjoy, and frequently I’ll give 3 or 4 stars just because I know the author means well and it’s not too terrible. However, most of the time I’m just not …

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The Need to Do Art Well (Why Art Can’t be Strategized Pt 2)

In an earlier post, I suggested that artists can’t ultimately control which spiritual themes people see in their work. This raises an interesting question: if making art is ultimately about leaving room for God to speak to peoples’ hearts, then why do art well? Can’t he use bad art as well as good art? Yes, …

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Transcendental Style (God in Film Pt 9)

This blog post really should have come earlier. When I started this blog series on how literally showing God or angels in movies may always feel cheesy and therefore we should consider alternate ways to talk about the divine, I mentioned two writers who’ve really influenced this series: Roy Anker and Paul Schrader. Anker argued …

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Chance Encounters (God in Film Pt 6)

Thus far in this blog series, I’ve suggested that maybe you can’t make a movie where God or angels literally show up without it seeming somehow cheesy, absurd. I’ve suggested that you can get around that by embracing that sense of absurdity, talking about the existence of evil in contrast to God, talking about the strangeness of …

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