One Year Later: Gravity

It’s impossible to predict how time will weigh on films, whether they’ll grow or shrink in stature as tastes and popular culture shift around them. But in Gravity’s case, it’s hard to envision a future where, despite its rapturous reviews, overwhelming buzz, enormous box office, and trophy case full of awards, it becomes a hallowed cultural landmark. That’s because Gravity is first and foremost a shining example of what a theatrical viewing experience can be—and it’s no longer a movie you can watch in a theatrical setting. One year later, the film is already a curious object, a magnificent creation that can only be screened in less-than-optimal circumstances. That’s true of every movie, but few movies’ power diminish as noticeably at home as Gravity’s.

-Matt Singer, One Year Later: Gravity”, The Dissolve

I didn’t know that this type of analysis was a thing, but what a great Friday afternoon read. There are a few films that seem to stand the test of time in many ways: 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jurassic Park come to mind immediately. Gravity, as Mr. Singer discusses quite astutely was one of those movies that seemed an instant classic, but I almost refuse to watch it again on a smaller screen, knowing what a ride it was in the movie theater. I would love to see what the analysis looks like after five or ten or more years from its release. Either way, I like the idea that The Dissolve has with this line of articles:

In One Year Later, we look back at the most hyped and heavily discussed movie of this month one year ago, consider its reception at that time, and examine how it holds up today, free of expectations.

I will definitely be subscribing to future posts of this kind.

(via Khoi Vinh on Twitter)

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.