Archive

The Power of Art

(, , , , , , )
May 4, 2018 Gordon Houser

By Gordon Houser A delightful French film, Faces Places, directed by Agnès Varda and JR, is a documentary from 2017 that appeared on many critics’ top 10 lists, and it would have appeared on mine, had I seen it in time. Varda, 89, is a well-known director (she was part of the French New Wave in the early 1960s), and JR, 33, is a photographer known for placing large photos on buildings. The two travel through rural France and create portraits of people they come across, then paste them onto surrounding buildings. These are regular people, not celebrities.   The […]

A Quiet Place

April 27, 2018 Matthew Kauffman Smith

I may owe Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn an apology. In last month’s review, I claimed that the sound-editing award makes for a good time to grab a snack during the Academy Award broadcast. Then I saw A Quiet Place, a movie in which sound—or lack thereof—is essentially the movie’s main character. While the actors and directing were excellent, it is Aadahl and Van der Ryn’s sound design that triggers every seat-squirming moment in this new thriller. The story takes place in the year 2020, when mysterious monsters wipe out most of the earth’s population. Completely blind, the monsters hunt […]

Amateur

(, , , , , , , , )
April 20, 2018 Michelle D. Sinclair

Netflix is releasing new movies direct to its streaming site at a rate of about one or two a week, and despite the acclaim garnered by some of its earlier projects, it is not skewing toward quality. “Throw everything at the ceiling and see what sticks” seems to be the ruling approach. From that inauspicious breeding ground comes Amateur, a social media–infused spin on the old underdog sports story. Number blindness poses challenges on the court as well—how does a point guard who can’t read the shot clock or the scoreboard control the flow of the game? Eighth grader Terron […]

Palestinian youth in jeopardy

April 20, 2018 Thirdway

Many of us like to have our days planned out when we start the morning. We send our children to school, we head to the gym or to work, we meet with coworkers for lunch. At the end of the day, we expect to return to our homes to spend time with our families before we start a new day. But life is often not so predictable for Palestinian families living under occupation in the West Bank. Sometimes simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can mean arrest and detention, even for children. Many times youth are […]

$1.7 trillion

April 20, 2018 Jennifer Wiebe

By Jenn Wiebe, MCC Ottawa Office Director In 2016, global military spending amounted to a staggering $1.68 trillion. It likely won’t be surprising which countries topped the military-spending charts—that year, the U.S. and China clocked in at $611 billion and $215 billion respectively. While nations like the U.S. are, of course, in a league of their own, Canada is not off the hook. Though not commonly known as a “military superpower,” Canada is still in the top 16 highest defence spenders worldwide (and 6th out of 28 NATO countries). What’s more, last June the Canadian government unveiled a plan to […]

Paul, Apostle of Christ

(, , , , , )
April 13, 2018 Vic Thiessen

Recent years have witnessed a major upsurge in films aimed at a Christian audience. Fueled by outstanding box office numbers, this is a trend that will continue for some time. Among the positive outcomes of this trend is a general improvement in the quality of these Christian films. The acting is getting better, the production values are almost state-of-the-art, and a higher caliber of writers and directors is being employed to make these films. Almost none of the cover story of Paul, Apostle of Christ is found in the Bible, yet I would describe the film as very faithful to […]

An Open Palm

April 13, 2018 Thirdway

An Open Palm by Thien Phuoc Quang Tran Growing up as a preacher’s son, I was immersed in Christian values. Every memory I have revolves around Vietnamese Mennonite Church (VMC) in Ho Chi Minh City. I learned the way of Christ — to love my neighbours, and to give to the poor. In Vietnam we have a philosophy called “the way of the open palm.” The palm facing up is a non-threatening gesture, reminiscent of the pleading gesture of a beggar. The person being addressed will not feel threatened by the gesture, and it is used universally as a way of […]

Remembering the Legacy of War

April 6, 2018 Charissa Zehr

I walked the perimeter of a small rice paddy, surrounded by a few simple houses and groupings of gravestones. The plaques nearby list the names of people who died there, but no one is exactly sure who ended up in which mass grave. Most haunting was the cement-covered path, now imprinted with the steps of barefooted children and soldiers’ boots–a reminder of the tragedy that took place in this Vietnamese hamlet 50 years ago. On March 16, 1968, Lt. William Calley led his platoon into My Lai in the Quang Ngai province of Vietnam. Convinced the village held enemy combatants, […]

A Wrinkle in Time

(, , , , , )
April 6, 2018 Jerry L. Holsopple

A Wrinkle in Time, based on the novel by Madeline L’Engle, starts in familiar territory: an adolescent girl, who misses her absent father, has become the target of bullies. Absorbed by her pain, she is an easy target for those gathering like moths to the light around someone who appears weaker than they are. Meg Murray (Storm Reid), formerly an outstanding student, is reduced to confiding in her younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe). Charles Wallace, embracing his oddness, is fully open to the seemingly absurd. He introduces Meg to Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), who reveals the possibility that Mr. Murray is […]

Academy Award short films

April 2, 2018 Matthew Kauffman Smith

There are certain Academy Award categories that scream “bathroom break,” “I need a salty snack,” or “stop ignoring the kids.” For me, it’s film editing, sound editing, and sound mixing. Though I would rank it last of all nominees, this year’s nominees were all well done, and even the fifth best is worth watching. I used to not care about short films either, until theaters recently started showing them leading up to the Academy Awards. Even though the awards have come and gone, none of these films received a ton of hype; they still offer fresh viewing. All of the […]