The Definable and Indefinable Nature of Art

All these struggles to define what art is really boil down to fear—a fear that elitism will strangle joy out of what it is we all enjoy consuming.

From Signs to A Quiet Place: Perspective in Apocalyptic Horror

The claustrophobic feeling of the not-knowing forces us inside ourselves to examine our own reactions to the scenarios presented in the stories and—in the case of movies—on the screen.

Toy Story 4: Lost Toys and the Most Noble Thing

Toy Story 4 models the fact that while farewells may be bittersweet, they can also be hopeful and filled with fondness.

Following in the Footsteps of Sophie Scholl’s Misfit Messiah

The film’s intentional depiction of an all too real history invites reflection on the nature of the conscience and urgency of becoming a misfit.

On First Reformed, Narcissism, and Being a Beautiful Soul

After all, to turn inward, to turn away from the world, is that not also a type of violence?

A Perfect Movie: The Enduring Legacy of The Princess Bride

When the grandfather reads the story to his grandson, he invites us all to sit at his knee and listen. He invites us to be children again. 

Dancing with Milton’s Satan: The Joker and a Fascination with Evil

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, and John Milton’s Satan invite us to view them as the heroes of stories that were never intended to be about them.

Finding Reason and Goodness in the Longing for a Superhero

Our collective superhero fascination reveals a lot about how we define ourselves, Jesus, and our relationship to him.

Thirsty for the Galaxy’s Edge: A Dispatch from Star Wars Land

There’s an insatiable appetite behind this ever-increasing desire for deeper escape and stories that never end.

The Monster at the End of this Book, Arrival, and How Nonlinear Stories Help Us Think

If you know there is a monster at the end of the story, it takes great bravery to turn those pages.

Spider-Man: Far From Home and the Power of Personal Narratives

The benign neglect of Tony Stark and Peter Parker.

Booksmart and Female Ambition

Yet the more radical vision of flourishing for women would strike harder at the heart of the film’s concept: what if Molly’s real mistake was in her ultimate goal of power and success?

Training Dragons and Learning to Say Goodbye

The Hidden World shows us goodbyes in all their gritty pain and walks us through them.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Is Not Safe, But He’s Good

Godzilla-worship is idolatrous in reality, but this fiction helps us simulate “worship” of a great entity, despite its terror and ability to wound us.

Persuasion 170 | A Titanic Podcast Season Finale

Titanic is in the hot seat for Persuasion‘s Never Seen series finale.

Knock Down the House and Our View of the Political Millieu

Knock Down the House provides real-life glimpses of what we love most about our favorite political dramas.