Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

DANIEL SMITH, CORNERSTONE, AND THE LIFE I HOPE TO LIVE

Last night at Dwellings, the new church that I’m a part of, we hosted the first of three movie screenings in a film series called Contineo. Contineo is a Latin word meaning “to connect or join together”. The heart of the Contineo Film Series is to connect people together through discussions on faith, art, and community as we explore some interesting movies together.

As I sat in the Flint Local 432 watching the first film in the series, Danielson: A Family Movie (or Make a Joyful Noise Here), I was reminded of the place that this idea was born. In 2006, my wife and I made our second trip to the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, IL. The festival was an experiment that began in 1984 by a group of Christian/hippy/rockers from a commune in Chicago called Jesus People USA. Cornerstone was created to provide a space for Christian music that fell outside of the mainstream by gathering annually to celebrate the diversity of God’s people. Over the years, Cornerstone added different elements to the festival experience including a film festival called Flickerings.

During our first trip to Cornerstone in 2004, I was so excited to see every band possible that we ran around like crazy people. While it was a memorable experience, it was exhausting! So when we went back to Cornerstone two years later, we realized that we wanted to have a more restful experience. It was out of this desire for restfulness and a slower pace that we stumbled on Flickerings. On the second day of the fest we crawled out of our hot, sticky tent and made our way to see a documentary about a quirky musician from New Jersey named Daniel Smith.

That morning I was struck by the beauty, creativity, and honestly that the filmmaker, JL Aronson, was able to capture. I remember being inspired to think of Christianity in new ways. I saw Daniel living out an authentic faith apart from the Christian subculture that so often seems to seek to shelter and protect people from the world around them. Daniel seemed driven to create art from who he was and share it with anyone who would listen. He was true to himself even though the sounds he creates aren’t always the most pleasant for casual listening. As a new Christian, the experience of Cornerstone and watching Danielson: A Family Movie were formational events for me. I began to dream about how I could live my life with the kind of integrity displayed by Daniel. I wondered how I could live my faith in a way that didn’t scare away those who had different ideas and desires than I did. I wondered how art could be used to build relationships and nurture productive conversations.

So six years later, these are still the kinds of questions I wrestle with. And I think with every new day and each step I take I’m moving towards the kind of life I started dreaming about down in Bushnell, Il. Now, that Cornerstone has called it a day (the final Cornerstone Festival took place in July of 2012), I hope that Dwellings will help to create that kind of safe space for people to question and connect with God that Cornerstone, and artists like Daniel Smith, have provided for me, at least did in my little corner of the world.

I’d love to hear from you! What are some experiences or pieces of art that have moved your towards the kind of life you want to live?

If you are interested joining us for the next installment of Contineo, can get more info here.

IF I COULD CAST THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIE…

I was jamming to the phenomonal soundtrack to the upcoming movie adapation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games when I had an ephiphany.

Besides watching the trailer a couple times, I have tried to stay away from anything that would give too much away. I can’t really picture anyone in the movie except the chick playing the Katniss character and Haymitch, which I think is brilliantly cast, placing Woody Harrelson in the role. We’ll see how that pans out this weekend, though.

Back to my ephiphany.

I was thinking about a specific television cohort that I think would be fantastic to explore the dystopian future where children killing each other on television is a means of entertainment and social control. This plot doesn’t even seem that far removed from the original television series that my dream cast got their start on.

So who would I choose to play the motley crew carrying the story of The Hunger Games to the big screen?

None other than….

The teenage cast of the 90’s sitcom Saved By The Bell!

Here’s how I would make it happen with my trusty DeLorian at my side:

Jessie Spano as Katniss Everdeen

Kelly Kapowski as Primrose Everdeen (I mean, seriously Jessie is way tougher than Kelly!)

Zack Morris as Peeta Mellark (Ahhhh…hearthrob.)

Screech Powers as Gale Hawethorne (Picture, the rugged hunter. Are you feeling it?)

Mr. Belding as Haymitch Abernathy (This is Haymitch on one of his better days.)

Lisa Turtle as Effie Trinket (Look at that style!)

A.C. Slater as stylist Cinna (Yep.)

I think I missed my calling.

Who would you have cast in The Hunger Games?

THE SHACK MOVIE CAST

So I heard a movie is being made from William P. Young’s The Shack (a great book if you haven’t read it). Every time I think of the movie I keep imagining the main characters being played by the cast of LOST.

Mack

Papa

Jesus

Sarayu

Man in Green Van

Who do you think would make up a good cast for The Shack?

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