Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Announcement: The Lenten Jesus Films Challenge (20 Films in 40 Days)

Beginning this Monday, which is Clean Monday and the beginning of Great Lent, I am going to watch then review twenty films about Jesus over the course of forty days. I am typically not a big fan of movies about Jesus, though some are certainly better than others, but I think they all merit a review from an Orthodox Christian perspective. When I was younger I used to watch as many biblical films as I could get a hold of, but as I grew older I have stayed away from them because I know odds are I won't like them. It's been years since I've had an appetite for them. But now I am going to approach each film with an open mind and evaluate them as fairly as I can. All the reviews will be posted at this website. I am hoping to make this an annual tradition until I get through every movie about Jesus, and believe me, there are a lot more than you can imagine. I have only so far selected about half a dozen films I will be reviewing this Lent, so if you have any suggestions, pass them along at my email address: and I will take your suggestions into serious consideration.

P.S. This is not a public challenge I recommend for others to participate in, though feel free to do so if you wish. It is a personal challenge.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Documentary Trailer: "Philothei the Athenian: The Revolution of a Woman" (2019)

A dramatized historical documentary on the life and revolutionary activity of Philothei, a woman who dared to defy the authority of Suleiman the Magnificent. She freed men and women from the slave markets and provided refuge for women abused and pregnant. She created the first school for women in Europe and founded a hospital. Her revolutionary activity riled the conqueror and the establishment: she was tortured and killed in 1589.

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.