Spiritual Cinema Circle

Spiritual Cinema Circle

For the Spirituality In Our Daily Lives class, we’re viewing and discussing short films from the Spiritual Cinema Circle, a subscription service that sends a DVD with four movies on it – shorts and features, comedies, dramas, documentaries. I haven’t yet watched more than a few of the shorts, looking for some that would work in the class.

The film for October 1 is Celamy (2005) by Julie Anne Meerschwam, a lovely 18-minute film about a five-year-old girl who, after her mother dies, finds her way with the help of her best friend. Some discussion at the Theology and Film blog, but caution, if you don’t want spoilers. Added Saturday, Sept 30.

So far, we’ve watched and discussed these films—

  • Sweetheart, (2003) by Australian filmmaker Matthew Saville. Its tagline: “A mother. A son. A phone call.” Read Matthew Saville’s Wikipedia entry, and an interview with Saville) at Sleepybrain, a Melbourne-based blog about modern culture.
  • In God We Trust (2000), by Jason Reitman, director of the justly praised 2005 satire Thank You for Smoking. A young actor, a quarter, a truck, and an all too brief chance to find out what matters in life.
  • Spin (2005), by Jamin Winans: “Two Turntables and a Time Machine,” leads us to consider the consequences of our choices, and the unlikely places where we might find grace.

    The group has really responded well to these films – especially Sweetheart. I don’t know if it’s available anywhere else. It’s worth seeking out.

    [Update: added information about Spin on Sunday Sept 24.]

The New Old Look

After reading some help files, I made some guesses that worked out, and the familiar look here is back, but with the “Pages” navigation at top left that makes it easier to find the separate pages regarding Sunday School, individual films, and so on. I’ve made a brief page for Hoop Dreams, and will add to it as the weekend approaches. I’m writing this from a Holiday Inn in Orlando, where I’m attending an Educational Technology conference this week.

Temporary Change in Design

Old TM.net design I like the older design of timmerritt.net (tiny screenshot at left), but I needed a layout that put the Pages links near the top so people in my Film and Faith Sunday School class could more easily find the pages about the upcoming films. Hence this standard layout until I can find one that allows more photographic customization and higher homepage placement of Pages links.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

We had a nice Christmas and first day of Hanukah. We all exchanged gifts, but less expensive than in past years, and made a collective donation to Habitat for Humanity’s Katrina-specific recovery efforts. We also ate almost all of two six-pound legs of lamb, a good bit of red wine, assorted delicious fresh vegetables (in the middle of winter – modern life is better than we realize, most of the time), and several cookies and some spectacularly stinky Shropshire blue cheese. We – or some some of us, at various times – played games with the infant and the five-year old and the college students and high schoolers and grandparents and a little solitaire on a laptop, ate cookies and watched some TV and read some books, and talked and told stories, and ate more cookies. A great family holiday.

[Update: I changed the graphic at the top from New York’s skyline at dusk as seen from the Empire State Building last December to my brother making gravy Christmas day for the roasted lamb. Thanks, Michael.]

Boing Boing: Family Circus meets Cthulhu

Several years ago, while working as an adjunct instructor teaching film studies, two of the more sarcastic students I taught asked me to sponsor a student club, a club to be their response to the Campus Crusade for Christ. They wanted no more than to register the name of the group, and for that they needed a sponsor. I thought it was just clever enough to agree to, so I signed the form for the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu. Their motto: “Why pick the lesser of two evils?”

In that vein, Boing Boing posts about Family Circus meets Cthulhu mashups. Cute.

Thanksgiving

Turkey, dressing, gravy (mmmm, gravy…), pie… we feasted. I hope you did too, if you’re in America and were well fed if you’re not. We missed those not with us today, and thought of them, and celebrated those who were with us.

David Foster Wallace – Commencement Speech at Kenyon University

David Foster Wallace – Commencement Speech at Kenyon University
“It just depends what you what to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” Continue reading David Foster Wallace – Commencement Speech at Kenyon University

Jim Wallis in Atlanta

Jim Wallis Speaks at Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta

Ellen and I went to hear him speak, and ended up hearing him preach. It was a full service and Wallis gave his inspiring message about the Bible’s call for social justice, its emphasis on helping the poor.

The service was presented by the [Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta](http://www.rccatl.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=33). Wallis is president of [Call to Renewal](http://www.calltorenewal.org/), an effort working for social and economic justice, and is Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of [Sojourners](http://www.sojo.net) magazine.