A Painful, Beautiful, Whiplash


It is indeed, as a poster claims, a “groove,” a “duel” and a “revelation” and certainly one of the best movies I saw from 2014. “Whiplash” is a tense and surprising “overcoming obstacles” story that provides enough twists to keep you eager for more.

The world of jazz students in their 20s attending a demanding academy feels claustrophobic; there is little else to occupy the story. But it is this focus and intimacy in the film that makes it work so well.

I love it when storytellers know when to stop augmenting and allow a narrative to stand alone! (If more of us preachers knew this sermons would be shorter and more memorable). This is a more disciplined small “film” than standard Hollywood “entertainment.” Thankfully.

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Jonah Is (Is) Swallowed Up One Last Time

Religion is remembering; calling back something we didn’t know we knew that grounds us and lends continuity and meaning to our days. (re-“again” legere – “to read”)300px-Prophet_Jonah

Violence is forgetting, denying, making discontinuous, or annihilating the past and stripping away identity and the security of the present. By stealing backstory we take away identity and belonging as well as livelihood and safety. What is left is the frighteningly transient quality of the Now, Continue reading