Obit

Obit is an eloquent, observant, and superbly crafted documentary by Vanessa Gould on the New York Times obituary writers and the people they cover. One of the writers says writing obits isn’t sad because they are writing mostly about a person’s life rather than their death. I can see why that would be the case,… Read more Obit

The Vanishing American Adult

I can’t believe it. I think I may have just found a Republican U.S. senator I’d actually vote for. I’m as surprised as anyone that I read, let alone greatly enjoyed, Ben Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse, Republican (but, phew, #NeverTrump) senator from Nebraska.… Read more The Vanishing American Adult

Wonder Woman

I recently began reading The Iliad for the first time. Having that in mind when I saw Wonder Woman was helpful in my appreciation of both works. The way Ares interacts with humanity in Patty Jenkins’s excellent film—first subtly, then catastrophically—mirrors that of the gods of The Iliad, who bounce in and out of the affairs of men, sometimes… Read more Wonder Woman

Movies Are Prayers

Tangerine as an opportunity for reconciliation. Top Hat as a jump for joy. 12 Years A Slave as a song of lament. In his new book Movies Are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings, Josh Larsen performs what he calls “cultural refraction,” revealing how the many colors of prayer match quite comfortably with movies of… Read more Movies Are Prayers