Swinton, TildaIt’s the same old “racism” Catch-22—damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  Disney was criticized for years for supposedly not having enough black characters in their major movies, then for having black actors do some of the voices in the cartoon movie The Lion King.  (Critics said, What, Disney can only have black characters if they’re animals? as well as accusing Disney of casting black actors only as the voices of the villains, which isn’t even close—James Earl Jones played the central character of the king and father, Mufasa, and black actors also voiced Rafiki, Simba’s mother, one of the Nalas, and one of the Simbas’ singing voice.)  Then Disney made The Princess and the Frog, with predominantly black (and non-animal) characters, and was criticized for supposedly playing into racial stereotypes.

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In the church year, Easter is when the we remember Christ’s resurrection and ultimate triumph over death; Good Friday is when we remember that we, in our sin, put Him to death.

In observance of Good Friday today, Mark Steyn reprints his 2004 review of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.  (Note that this link will probably expire.)

Instead of Jesus the wimp, Mel gives us Jesus the Redeemer. He died for our sins — ie, the “violent end” is the critical bit, not just an unfortunate misunderstanding cruelly cutting short a promising career in gentle teaching. . . .

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This week’s work is the song “Brick” (1997), by Ben Folds Five.

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This week’s work is Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas (IMDB, Wikipedia, Amazon).  Will Vinton (official site, current projects, IMDB) apparently invented the term “claymation”, created the California Raisins, and was a producer of the television series The PJs.

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‘Coming of Age’

November 28, 2012

At National Review Online, one Betsy Woodruff has an interesting discussion of two authors of the current popular culture, Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham.

Apatow and Dunham have a lot in common . . . .

But there’s an important difference between Apatow’s work and Dunham’s, and that is that Apatow tells and re-tells stories of growing up, while Dunham shows a group of women who stubbornly refuse to do so. Apatow shows characters learning the importance of responsibility and morality, while Dunham’s characters are largely devoid of the former and uninterested in the latter.

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This week’s art work is the movie Snow White and the Huntsman (director Rupert Sanders, Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman, Charlize Theron as the evil queen), released last summer (official site, IMDB page, Youtube channel, Wikipedia article)—not to be confused with Mirror, Mirror (Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane), another Snow White movie that also came out in 2012.

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Yarn on Trees in Cincinnati

September 30, 2011

If you’ve driven down Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati recently, you may have noticed colorful (and elaborate) yarn decorations on the trees along the way.  You may have wondered, What’s going on?

What’s going on, apparently, is a “yarn bombing”.  Last week, in an Art Works project named “Operation Bomb Central”, a group calling themselves the Bombshells went downtown and painstakingly wrapped yarn around trees, other fixtures, and even a Metro bus!

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