Every other Thursday, we’re going to be featuring some of the resources that inspire, provoke and delight our writers. These websites, twitter accounts, podcasts and books will help you to be more thoughtful about popular culture.We recommend them to you, especially if you find yourself interested in the subject at hand.
- Arts & Faith – A wonderful online community made up of critics, writers, and “regular” folks that discuss all manner of art, with an emphasis on film. Discussions can get heady and heated at times, but they’re always challenging and thought-provoking. Be sure to check out their top 100 films list if you need a recommendation or two for the weekend.
- Roger Ebert – It might seem somewhat clichéd to include Ebert on a list like this, but there’s a reason why he’s arguably the most famous movie critic of all time. He writes passionately and intelligently about all manner of cinema, from “low art” to “high art”.
- Decent Films – What we appreciate most about Steven D. Greydanus is his ability to examine the “spirituality” and “integrity” of even the harsher and more difficult films without ever reducing them to a simple checklist (hello MovieGuide).
- Twitch – We love serious, thought-provoking arthouse fare but often there are few things as satisfying as a good kung fu film — and with Twitch, we get to enjoy both. They approach both the loftiest arthouse film and the trashiest cult film with the same zeal, intelligence, and thoughtfulness.
- Filmwell – Some of our favorite critics and writers — e.g., Jeffrey Overstreet, Michael Leary — write about film with a desire to look past Hollywood’s current obsessions and seek out cinema that is “off the beaten track.”
- Midnight Eye – Simply put, Midnight Eye is the best place online for information on Japanese cinema.
- DVD Beaver – The site can be a little daunting to navigate, but if you ever need to find out which DVD/Blu-ray version of a film you should buy, this is the place. They focus primarily on foreign, indie, and arthouse fare, but you’ll find an occasional Hollywood title in their archives as well.
Paste Magazine.com – Though not explicitly faith-based, its movie reviews, anaylsis, and news are thoughtful and full of humanity. Plus they often tip you to movies you wouldn’t otherwise have heard much about.
Empire Online – A British film magazine that delivers news, previews, and reviews of both mainstream and art house films–though it focuses more heavily on the mainstream. For those who like top 10 lists, they have every top 10 list you can imagine.
- @EbertChicago – Ebert’s Twitter feed is always interesting, if not always “clean.” I find that his feed is a good source of dialogue on film and film culture. While I often disagree with his political and ideological stances, I almost always find his comments to be intelligent and thought-provoking.
- Filmspotting – Great film criticism and discussion that doesn’t sound pretentious or humorless.
- The Film Talk – Two guys discuss the deeper meanings behind the latest films. Often they can sound like they’re overreaching, but when their thoughts ring true the show is utterly fascinating.
- KRCW’s The Business – If you’re interested in the true inner workings of Hollywood and the entertainment business, with a focus on film, this podcast will not disappoint. A realistic discussion of the way the industry works with entertainment reporters, writers, producers and directors results in some often fascinating revelations.
- Slate’s Spoiler Special – If you’ve just seen a film and want to hear others discuss its’ artistic choices and implications, you’ll love this weekly frank discussion about the ins and outs of a film by Slate film critics.
Sculpting in Time by Andrei Tarkovsky – Like his films, Tarkovsky’s book Sculpting in Time, which lays out his theories regarding art, can be trying and academic at times. But every time I read through the book, I find a thought or two that inspires and challenges me to think better and more deeply regarding film… and art in general.
- Through A Screen Darkly by Jeffrey Overstreet – I expected expanded versions of Overstreet’s film review and blog content that I had already been familiar with over the years. I got a very personal and deeply engaging account of his life as a moviegoer. Readers are invited to consider what it means to look more closely at the films they enjoy and even to reevaluate movies they don’t appreciate as readily.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!