SPOILER ALERT: Readers are strongly encouraged to view the entirety of the television series LOST prior to reading posts in the LOST Series. Information about the characters and storyline of the show may be revealed.
The writers of LOST are masters of at least one thing: Storytelling. The art of storytelling has been tainted throughout the years particularly by the film industry. I have yet to read a book and then watch the film version and think that the film is better. I would be interested in reading and viewing any work where you might suggest a film format as superior to the original written text [I am anticipating that at least one person (those who come to mind shall remain nameless) is wanting to comment that "The Passion of the Christ" is better than the King James authorized version of the Bible; nonetheless feel free to comment]. Though LOST was not originally a written piece transferred to a television script, I think the example of film is consistent and the show captured even more than what a book could have contained.
I specifically enjoyed the metanarrative countered and accented by the subplots of individual characters’ stories. Multiple things occurred both at the same time and at quite different times (literally). I’ll address the “flash-sideways” scenes later. The essence of the storytelling allowed the audience to be invited into the lives of the characters but but subsequently maintained a sense of mystery. The viewer never knows everything about every character. We are left with many questions. In fact, the season finale reveals characters who apparently leave the island. The audience never knows what happens to them between their departure and their deaths. We are left wondering, “What happens in their stories? How do they write their stories from this point on?”
The question is one we need to ask ourselves and ask each other, “How do you write your story from this point on?”
A dialogue from the 1995 film Braveheart:
Princess Isabelle: The king desires peace.
William Wallace: Longshanks desires peace?
Princess Isabelle: He declares it to me, I swear it. He proposes that you withdraw your attack. In return he grants you title, estates, and this chest of gold which I am to pay to you personally.
William Wallace: A lordship and titles. Gold. That I should become Judas?
Princess Isabelle: Peace is made in such ways.
William Wallace: Slaves are made in such ways. The last time Longshanks spoke of peace I was a boy. And many Scottish nobles, who would not be slaves, were lured by him under a flag of truce to a barn, where he had them hanged. I was very young, but I remember Longshank’s notion of peace.
In what ways is peace made?
In case anyone is looking for any last minute gift ideas:
What is the gift for? Nothing. It’s just that there is never a bad time to quote Christmas Vacation.
May the creative and artistic expressions in dance be considered worship? Does dance possess the same type of depth of meaning as other forms of creative production such as music and film?
What’s the saying?… “Dance like nobody is watching?” Or should it be… dance like everyone is watching and allow the lyrical flow of human movement to express the soul and texture of humanity in touch with the divine.
The most meaningful pieces of human struggle, tragedy, creativity, and beauty from So You Think You Can Dance?:
1) The Interplay of Creation: Hok and Jaime as a hummingbird and flower to The Chairman’s Walk from the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack.
2) On Confession and Forgiveness: Anya and Danny performing to Apologize by One Republic.
3) Time: Neil and Lacey dance as father and daughter to an emotionally invested Mia Michaels routine. Music by Billy Porter.
4) Commitment and Brokenness: Danced to Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis, Mark’s character commits his life to something other than the bleeding Chelsea.
5) Marriage at Bedtime: Jeanine and Phillip wrestle through anger to Mad by Ne-Yo.
6) Addiction and Freedom: Kayla is controlled by the sinister addiction (Kupono) danced to Gravity by Sara Bareilles.
My friend Matt Frye commented on my last post about parenting. I was simply going to reply in the comments but his thought were too funny and legit to leave there. Here is his comment followed by my response:
"dude, remember that scene in ‘the little memaid’ where flounder and that seagull and ariel (spelling?) are naming things. like they named that fork something strange. and then she started combing her hair like it was spaghetti. man, that was funny. i dont know why ‘the littler mermaid’ came to mind, but it did. maybe because of that scene and because of flounder the fish. and because the dad in the movie is awesome. remember that beard? and his deep voice. and his trident. and also, i feel that one does not have to be a parent, or a good parent to offer good words about parenting. like ive never been deep sea diving before, but if i read a few books about it i am sure that i could offer some good words. especially if the book was written by sebastion the lobster. or was he a crab? and why did he have a sweet caribean accent and everyone else spoke plain english. ok im done. see you daddy."
MY RESPONSE :
I know why "The Little Mermaid" came to mind. It is Kyla’s favorite movie and Ariel is her favorite character. Well… I’m not sure… she also really likes "Annie" and "Monsters, Inc." I like her favorite movies because Ariel has a substantial identity crisis and subverts the imperial reign of her father the king (though I don’t hope that I’ll need to be subverted; nor do I plan on bearing a trident or running for political office). I really hope that Kyla realizes that her identity is "in Christ" rather than being defined by voices that represent the popular appeal to human goodness or self-hatred. The fork is called a "dinglehopper" and, yes, Kyla always tries to comb her hair with her fork (which she is now beginning to use quite well unless she is stabbing peas). Sebastian is a crab not a lobster. All crabs have Caribbean accents. Or… do they? Maybe crabs speak "normally" and we’re all just too arrogant to realize that we (whoever "we" is) are the ones with the accents.
On to other movies… Annie. Annie is an orphan and Kyla loves her. Enough said. Monsters, Inc. employees Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are just plain funny and Kyla looks and acts like "Boo." The children in the movie are like the "untouchables" of 1c. Israel (except that children get scared by monsters in their closets and I don’t think that ever really happened). "Sully" ends up being the figure that redeems the monsters’ relationship with the children. Rather than scaring the "dangerous" children, Sully leads the energy-creating-and-capturing-monster-world-industry to not fear the children. Interestingly, those named "monsters" are the ones who must learn to not fear the "unclean" and "untouchable."
Since my last posting on movies I have seen a number of additional motion pictures that have altered a previously determined list of best movies ever.
The Top 10 Films Ever
NOTE : This list is not biased and is completely accurate.
In NO particular order:
1. The Bucket List
2. Reign Over Me
3. Rain Man
5. Shawshank Redemption
6. The Dark Knight
7. A Beautiful Mind
8. The Matrix
9. Batman Begins
10. Good Will Hunting
11. Finding Forrester
13. Pay It Forward
It appears as if my postmodern tendencies permitted me to supersede the previously prescribed list of ten movies. If you were to eliminate three movies, which would you choose and why? If you were join me in my postmodern exploits, what films would you add and why?
A theme throughout the comments on my last post centered around the concept of action being of greater importance than dialogue. I think that most of us could say that Shane Claiborne of the Simple Way (link in right column) is quite socially active and intent on being the person of Jesus for those who are otherwise overlooked by many supposed of followers of Jesus. I was sitting with Shane at the Envision Conference at Princeton just before he gave a portion of his presentation on Jesus and the Church. Here is a clip:
While at the conference I met one of Shane’s friends, Jamie Moffett . Jaime was in the process of producing a documentary called "The Ordinary Radicals. " The documentary was finalized earlier in September. Shane contributed to the video along with Jim Wallis , Brian McLaren , Tony Campolo, Rob Bell , and John Perkins (I also hung out a little with Jim, Brian, and John at the conference). Here is a portion of what Shane said for "The Ordinary Radicals "which pertains the the previous topics of engagement with the empire.
The Ordinary Radicals – Trailer from Jamie Moffett on Vimeo.
WARNING : Spoilers ahead. If you have not yet experienced The Dark Knight [now playing in a theater near you] then forgiveness may still be imparted and you may not want to read any further so as to avoid disclosure of the unveiling story that is the saga of Bruce Wayne and a nameless, unhuman.
My favorite scene (currently) in The Dark Knight is when the man called "The Joker" is sitting in the Gotham City jail cell. When Police Commisioner James Gordon enters the holding area one of the GCPD officers informs Gordon of "The Joker’s" identity. He is… well… mmmm… no one. He has no name. He has no fingerprints. No DNA matches. Nothing. Even his clothing and shoes have no tags or identification. Though found in the form of man he doesn’t really seem to be… a man, a… hu-man. In addition to having no physical identity, the character doesn’t act or think like a human. His behavior and thought patterns caused me throughout the film to think of him as a genious, psychotic lunatic who can’t be… a man. So what is it that has stripped this man, now called "The Joker," of his humanity?
The evil in our world has quite tragically succeeded in the process of dehumanization. I must confess that, even in an attempt at good, I have been engaged in the dehumanization of others. In my poor attempts at "ministry" I have objectified people by seeing them as "projects" rather than as human beings loved deeply by God. I have been consumed by consuming "works of righteousness." I the more "good" I could feed myself, the more satisfied I thought I was from "helping others." When will I cease to pridefully desire the satifaction that seems to come from suppossed "good works?" When will serving others be something more than my very own Wayne Enterprises? How may I be a part of a community that goes about restoring humanity?
I am a dark knight.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Dan Merchant briefly this evening at the ACSD conference. Dan is the writer/director/producer of the documentary, “LORD, save us from your followers.” I also attended the viewing of the film. I was entertained, confronted, and reaffirmed all at the same time. I am definitely going to be purchasing the film and hosting a screening as a part of the film forum of Oakwood Hall. I will also be meeting with Dan hoping that he may visit our community at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
The following trailer is somewhat vague and does not come close to providing a full representation of the movie. Please visit the website to watch more video clips and read more information.