Thursday, January 22, 2015

Requiem: Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg has died at the age of 72.  His theological literature has helped me continue to identify myself as a Christian in a world were that word, at the very least, is unwelcome in much of the LGBTQ community.

"Thin places" is part of Borg's approach to spirituality that I often quote.  We find these in the times, places and experiences that are a "porous" encounter with the Divine.  An emotional moment, a musical event, a transcendent work of art and for me beautiful liturgy and the sacrament of the Eucharist.

These thin places can also be the times that we encounter the "other." It can be when we engage and radically welcome those that are not like us.

Borg's book "The Heart of Christianity" explores this. I found this study guide very helpful:

Read more about Borg:


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oscar Nominations

Here's the list!
√=have seen +=must see ?=might see
As of now: MF=My Favorite, MP=My Prediction
I'll be sharing changes and details as I see all films.
Best picture
+American Sniper
√Boyhood MP
√The Grand Budapest Hotel
√The Imitation Game
√The Theory of Everything MF

Actor in a leading role
√Steve Carell — Foxcatcher
√Bradley Cooper — American Sniper
√Benedict Cumberbatch — The Imitation Game
√Michael Keaton — Birdman MP
√Eddie Redmayne — The Theory of Everything MF

Actress in a leading role
?Marion Cotillard — Two Days, One Night
√Felicity Jones — The Theory of Everything
+Julianne Moore — Still Alice MP
√Rosamund Pike — Gone Girl MF
?Reese Witherspoon — Wild

Actor in a supporting role
?Robert Duvall — The Judge
√Ethan Hawke — Boyhood
√Edward Norton — Birdman
√Mark Ruffalo — Foxcatcher MF
+J.K. Simmons — Whiplash

Actress in a supporting role
√Patricia Arquette — Boyhood MP
?Laura Dern — Wild
√Keira Knightley — The Imitation Game
√Emma Stone — Birdman
√Meryl Streep — Into the Woods MF

Animated feature film
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2 MP
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

√Birdman — Emmanuel Lubezki MF MP
√The Grand Budapest Hotel — Robert Yeoman
?Ida — Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
+Mr. Turner — Dick Pope
+Unbroken — Roger Deakins

Costume Design
√The Grand Budapest Hotel MP
?Inherent Vice
√Into the Woods MF
+Mr. Turner

√Birdman — Alejandro G. Iñárritu MF
√Boyhood — Richard Linklater MP
√Foxcatcher — Bennett Miller
√The Grand Budapest Hotel — Wes Anderson
√The Imitation Game — Morten Tyldum

Documentary feature
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Documentary short subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Film editing
+American Sniper
√Boyhood MF MP
√The Grand Budapest Hotel
√The Imitation Game

Foreign language film
Ida — Poland
Leviathan — Russia
Tangerines — Estonia
Timbuktu — Mauritania
Wild Tales — Argentina

Makeup and hairstyle
√Foxcatcher MF MP
√The Grand Budapest Hotel
√Guardians of the Galaxy

Music original score
√The Grand Budapest Hotel — Alexandre Desplat
√The Imitation Game — Alexandre Desplat
√Interstellar — Hans Zimmer
+Mr. Turner — Gary Yershon
√The Theory of Everything — Jóhann Jóhannsson

Music original song
"Everything is Awesome" — The Lego Movie
√"Glory" — Selma MP MF
"Grateful" — Beyond the Lights
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" — Glen Campbell... I'll Be Me
"Lost Stars" — Begin Again

Production design
√The Grand Budapest Hotel
√The Imitation Game
√Interstellar MP
√Into the Woods MF
+Mr. Turner

Short film animated
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Short film live action
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)
The Phone Call

Sound editing
√American Sniper
√The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Sound mixing
√American Sniper

Visual effects
√Captain America: The Winter Soldier
√Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
√Guardians of the Galaxy
√Interstellar MP
√X-Men: Days of Future Past MF (for Hugh Jackman's bum)

Writing adapted screenplay
+American Sniper — Jason Hall
√The Imitation Game — Graham Moore MF
?Inherent Vice — Paul Thomas Anderson
√The Theory of Everything — Anthony McCarten MP
+Whiplash — Damien Chazelle

Writing original screenplay
√Birdman — Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo MF  MP
√Boyhood — Richard Linklater
√Foxcatcher — E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
√The Grand Budapest Hotel — screenplay by Wes Anderson, story by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
?Nightcrawler — Dan Gilroy

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mohammed, Jesus Christ and The New Cover of Charlie Hebdo

There is reluctance on the part of many news outlets to share this cover lest they become the next victims of radical Muslims.  I cannot speak for the Muslims, but as a Christian, if my faith was used to inflict violence, which it has been repeatedly over the past 2,000 years, I know how I would feel.  A picture of Jesus Christ crying and holding this sign with "All is forgiven" over his head would be seen as an extremely generous response.

The era of forcing people to hold sacred the beliefs of oppressors is over.  Followers of Christ, Mohammed, Vishnu, Zoroaster, Buddha, God and any other deity/spiritual leader must take responsibility for hate exercised in their name.   They must stand up to those who degrade a message of love for all humanity.  If they can't do that they are worshiping a false god.