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Watch, Read, Listen

July 5, 2007

The last couple of weeks have yielded a few treats in the way of movies, books, and music. I would like to recommend to you one from each category.

First, check out the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. I couldn’t describe this movie in one word if had to…. I would need two: beautiful and terrifying. Here’s the basic gist – Set in facist Spain in 1944, a young, imaginative girl travels to the country to live with her mother and her new husband – a rutheless, sadistic army captain. In order to escape the horrors of reality, she creates an imaginary world… that might not be all that imaginary.

Yes, the movie is in Spanish and is subtitled, but it really is not a distraction. In fact, I believe the language adds to its beauty. The cinematography is amazing, the score is mesmorizing, and the direction is outstanding. There are scenes in this movie that are so unique that I will probably never forget them. The movie is full of symbolism and stark contrasts, moments of tenderness and moments of terror. This movie left me with a lot to think about, and I wanted to watch it again as soon as I was done…. I waited a day, though.

I recently finished reading Watership Down for the third time.

This is one of my all-time favorite books. Yes, it is the “bunny book,” but it is not a children’s book. This book is similar to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but on a smaller scale. In my opinion, the best kind of story is the exodus story, where a journey is made to a “promised land.” In Watership Down, a group of bunnies make an exodus from their home that is doomed for destruction to a better home that they can hardly imagine. Along the way they engage in various adventures that are filled with biblical symbolism, political allusions, grand scale heroics, and sacrificial love. There are moments that will keep you flipping the pages as fast as any other popular adventure novel. In many novels, there is normally a “Christ figure” who sacrifices himself for another in some way. What I love about this novel is that a number of the characters have the opportunity to exhibit Christ-like sacrifice. I also like the fact that the author – Richard Adams – studied the lives of rabbits and “restricted” his characters to their real life abilities and habits. Adams also developed a new language – similar to Tolkein’s LOTR, but on a smaller scale. There’s not many books that leave me on such a “high” as this book does… I love it. Denise has never read it, but her turn to pick the book in her Book Club is coming up soon, and I think she plans on picking Watership Down. If any of you have read it, I would love to hear what ya’ll think.

Finally, I want to highly recommend some excellent music that is great for the whole family. Jamie Soles is a Christian musician from Canada who specializes in “Bible” music. Really, that’s the best way to describe what he does. Because all the stories in the Bible are stories of Christ and His church, one of the best ways to teach children (and ourselves) about Jesus and our relationship with Him is to learn ALL the stories of the Bible. This is what Jamie does with his music. While all of his songs have a sing-a-long quality to them that is common with many children’s music, the subject of his music is vastly different. Here’s his website, where you can get a sampling of his music:

Jamie recently came to our church and performed. There was a great turnout and the kids absolutely loved it. We’ve only recently been enjoying his music, but it was great to see the children who have been listening to him for awhile – they could sing every word! But we’re not talking about “I love you, you love me…,” we’re talking about songs that list all the kings of Israel…. Most seminary professors can’t even do that!

Check him out… seriously. I think you’ll love it. And let me know what ya’ll think about any of my recommendations.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dolly permalink
    July 8, 2007 7:04 am

    Ethan and I just LOVED Pan’s Labyrinth too!! The making of the movie was really interesting as well as the interview with the director. Just fabulous!

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