Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Movie: "The Horde" (2012)


The Horde is a 2012 historical film directed by Andrei Proshkin and written by Yuri Arabov. The film is a highly fictionalized narrative of how Saint Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, healed Taidula Khatun, the mother of the Golden Horde khan Jani Beg, from blindness.

Most of the dialogues in The Horde are in the Karachay-Balkar language (with Russian overdub in the theatrical release). Filmmakers considered Karachay-Balkar as the living language most closely resembling Kipchak spoken by the 14th century Golden Horde. Nevertheless, none of the actors of Turkic extraction are native speakers of the language; Dakayarov, Lovov, and Yegorov are Yakuts, whereas Hairullina is Volga Tatar.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Movie: "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951)


I've decided to begin a series called Movie of the Week, in which I will recommend a movie to be seen every week, from the past or the present, with a certain perspective in mind that would be of interest to my readers. This past week I had the opportunity to see the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still on the big screen. It is a favorite film of mine that I have seen at least a handful of times, but never on the big screen. If you have seen this film, then I highly recommend a rewatch if you have never seen it from the perspective mentioned below.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Good Guy/Bad Guy Myth


The Good Guy/Bad Guy Myth

Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?

Catherine Nichols
January 25, 2018

The first time we see Darth Vader doing more than heavy breathing in Star Wars (1977), he’s strangling a man to death. A few scenes later, he’s blowing up a planet. He kills his subordinates, chokes people with his mind, does all kinds of things a good guy would never do. But then the nature of a bad guy is that he does things a good guy would never do. Good guys don’t just fight for personal gain: they fight for what’s right – their values.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Observations About Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale from "The Scarlett Letter"


"Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret! Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years' cheat, to look into an eye that recognizes me for what I am!" (17.18)

The fictional character of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is the most fascinating character, next to Hester Prynne herself, created by Nathaniel Hawthorne for his 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter. Arthur was a Puritan minister in Puritan New England. This means that he believed in predestination, where one believes that one cannot choose salvation, for it is the privilege of God alone. All features of salvation are determined by God's sovereignty, including choosing those who will be saved. The Puritans distinguished between "justification," or the gift of God's grace given to the elect, and "sanctification," the holy behavior that supposedly resulted when an individual had been saved. Keeping the commandments of God was proof of your faith and salvation, but falling short of living in accordance with the commandments of God could prove that you were not among the elect.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Confession of Faith of Popular Greek Singer Nikos Vertis


Nikos Vertis is a popular Greek singer with five released albums to date. In an interview a few days ago on ΑΝΤ1 he was asked about and spoke about his Christian faith, among other things, which is a rare topic for him to address, and even spoke about the lack of faith among today's youth. He said:

"I love Christ very much, I have Him in my life. We are going through a time when many people, especially young people, are afraid to say, 'I believe in Christ.' I don't like this. I want everyone to have the freedom to express what they believe, whether its Christ or Muhammad or nothing. I don't think it's nice to hear, 'I believe in a higher power.' It bothers me, because yes, everyone thinks there is something higher, but they are afraid to express it. Why do I believe in Christ? Not for the miracles He has done or have been written about. I believe in Christ because He has this thing that represents me in my life. The beginning and the end. What is this? Love. With love you solve everything in your life, you fight everything, even your problems, if you have love, they are solved right away, automatically, the knot leaves your stomach. What does love mean? Go home, there is your wife, your family, your friends. If you have problems and they come to pat you on the back, what is it, but love. So this is Christ to me and that's what He taught me.

Monday, January 6, 2020

"All-Bright Theophany": A Short Story by Alexandros Papadiamantis


All-Bright Theophany

By Alexandros Papadiamantis

(1894)

Constanti Plantari’s small boat was running the risk of foundering, while plodding among mountains of billowing waves, each of which was enough to capsize, without letting up, many and strong vessels and send them into the sufficiently spacious abysses, which were able to insatiably devour a hundred boats. It was almost about to sink. A savage northerly wind was blowing full blast ploughing deep trenches in the sea, and the captain of the small shallop had struck down its sail as it was lying to windward. So the boat, left only with its mast, was drifting before the wind and was trying to tack. In vain. After a while the sea held the miserable cork of a boat in its sway and the wind blew it hither and thither. Captain Kostanti Plantari immediately forgot every blasphemy he knew and was preparing to say his prayers while his companion, deckhand Tsotsos, a seventeen-year-old adolescent was stripping off his clothes and ready to dive overboard hoping to swim to safety. The only passenger, cattle-dealer Pramatis, was weeping and thinking it was not worth the trouble to sail on the large sea to drown since firma terra was sufficient to bury so many people.