Sunday, September 30, 2007

Walk the Line down the Gospel Road!

This week we're reviewing a movie I've been looking forward to for a while, Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus. Directed by Robert Elfstrom, and starring Elfstrom as Jesus and Johnny Cash as the narrator who guides you through the life of Jesus, this film is one of the most unusual films about Jesus I've ever seen. It also features the incomparable music of Johnny Cash, with help from June Carter Cash and Kris Kristofferson. Tune in to see how it measured up to our (high) expectations, and to hear a bit about what's coming up for the Super Candid Podcast!

Show Notes:

The San Antionio Christian Independant Film Festival(which we mentioned once before, here)

Across The Universe Official Website -Best Film I (Jon) have seen this year!

Delicious Monster - organize and catalog your books, music, movies, etc.

Halo 3 Theatre Information

Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier is free on Hotel Chevalier !

The Game I mentioned playing with Don is the great Ticket to Ride.

Intro:"God's Gonna Cut You Down" By DJ Schmolli and the Johnny Cash AllStar Band Outro:"Must I Wait" by Phil Wickham from 'Cannons'

Subscribe to our podcast by clicking the link at the right (or click here for iTunes) or download it directly here.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Their enhanced lusts

One News Now had an editorial about censorship the other day. Only they didn't call it censorship. They called it decency.

Writer Marcia Segelstein laments that "Our expectations have been lowered to the point where we expect crude language, immorality and disrespect for religion and family." She calls for Christian organizations to put together boycotts of "indecent" films and television programs.

She also goes into a rosy-eyed overview of the Hays Code, the filmmaking production standards from the 1930-1960s that placed strict rules upon what could be shown, said, and even implied. By her description it was a golden age of deceny.

She cites "the children" as the impetus that must be followed to force the "return" of decency to the screen.

I'm not too sure what to think about this. I have two opinions, one as an artist and one as a viewer.

First, as an artist I am actually leaning towards this sort of restriction. I am a firm believer that the best art comes out of overcoming obstacles, so if you add more obstacles you will get better art. I mean, Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Ben Hur, The Twilight Zone and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre all came out of the production code eara. Sure, sometimes it leads to crap because the production code, as Segelstein fails to mention, also mandated that the good guys win and evil always be punished by the final reel.

Second, as a viewer and critic, I'm against it totally. I'm of the school that says the more variety the better, and you just have to know what you're watching. That's why I think the current rating system is good for describing what content is in films, and the unrated DVD system finally allows filmmakers to release alternate versions if they censored themselves for financial reasons.

So it's an interesting question, that deserves a more thoughtful consideration than simply "these darn kids and their sexy movies have got to go." A less rose-colored view of the past would be helpful as well. It is also interesting to note that in discussing the abhorence of modern film and television, once again sex and language take all the heat while the excessive violence gets a pass.

And I'd be remiss not to mention the comments for this post, since some of them are priceless. Two gems:

"Some like to say - we can just turn off the TV, and/or not attend the movies. That may be true. But then we are subjecting our children to attending school with those who DO watch such filth, and they WILL perpetrate their enhanced lusts upon our children!"

"I curse the NYT and Washington Post they are a fig tree with no fruit, and may no one enjoy them again. In Jesus name I include the TV network news. Please see and watch as these towers fall. Praise God."

Good arguements. That'll win over skeptics. Thanks for a great post title.

(One News Now - Perspectives: Hollywood --Clean up your act!)

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another NewReleaseTuesday

It's that special time again!

David Crowder Band - Remedy
Fee - We Shine
Mainstay - Become Who You Are
T-Bone - Bone Appetit
Tree63 - Sunday!
Mark Harris - Windows and Walls
Spoken - Spoken
Grey Holiday - Glorious Revolution
Parachute Band - Roapmaps and Revelations
Moya Brennan - Signature (Enya's sister!)
Randy Travis - Songs of the Season
Bebo Norman - Great Light of the World:The Best of...
Steven Wright - I Still Have a Pony (22 years in the making!)
Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Down - III
Halo 3 (never heard of it.)

Via and me.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Does beautiful music distract from God?

The New York Times has an interesting article about religious music, particularly Christian worship music. The author raises the question of weather simple music leads to simple faith, or if overly complex music actually distracts from God.

Author Bernard Holland brings up a couple of good points, particularly about the decline in Christian music being related to the decline in the Church as a patron of the arts and the shift of economics in general away from the Church. He also relates a telling personal anecdote of reciting a beautiful and deep liturgy that took so much concentration and was so stunning that he didn't think about God once during the song.

I'm on the fence about Christian music in general and worship music specifically. I really like some classics, like "Amazing Grace," but I'm hard pressed to think of recent ones that I like. "Awesome God" was great when I was 14, but I can't stand how repetitive it is now, and it's a great example of a good idea being killed by the conventions of worship music at the time(namely endless repetition). "God of Wonders" by Mac Powell (*cough Steve Hindalong - Don) is good, and I like Todd Agnew's "My Jesus" but it's not much of a worship song since it disses your church. The only recent song I can think of that I think is really great is "Blessed be Your Name," by Matt Redman. I can't get enough of that song.

My co-contributor Don read the book that gives this post it's title, Body Piercing Saved My Life by Andrew Beaujon, and he shared with me the author's description of worship music. I think it is funny, insightful, and evocative(everything most modern worship is not):

"[describing a Time-Life Songs 4 Worship video collection]...a bunch of dorky concert goers freaking out like Beatles fans at Shea Stadium in 1964 as some of the worst music you'll ever hear blasts out of the arena's speakers. The songs are a blend of folk-rock, country, and singer/songwriter blahness spiced up with the odd sampled beat. The first time I saw it I wondered if the audience had been paid."

(NYT Article "Does Simple Music Form Simple Faith?")

(Matt Redman's Myspace, where you can hear Blessed by Your Name, if you haven't)

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another week of unremarkable news.

Sloooow News Week. Sorry for the recent lack of posts, but there really hasn't been too much to write about in Christian cinema. There's a new poster for Prince Caspian, which I find unbearably boring. The poster that is. I'm not sure what to think about the film. This was a Narnia book that I didn't care for when I read it as a kid, so I don't have any special interest in the movie, other than to see how it turns out. I'm hoping to be surprised.

The only thing that's really worth posting about this week is that Christianity Today finally put online their recent articles on the St. John's Bible. These are the ones I read in the print version that got me all excited about it when I first posted. I also found out that the Art of St. John's Bible book is only $15, so that's fast approaching my Christmas list.

You can read the full article here, and view a slideshow of images from the Bible.

If you'd like more info you can also check out the first post we did on the subject, from September 5.

(Prince Caspain Poster, from Cinnematical)

(Christianity Today story)


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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jesus died for MySpace in heaven.

Kerusso was recently named one of Inc Magazines top 5,000 fastest growing businesses. Check for the full article. Kerusso is a Christian fashion company that specializes in T-Shirts. More specifically, they make those Christian T-Shirts that look like the CocaCola Logo, or the American Idol logo or whatever but with Christian text substituted for the actual real logo. American Idol = Amazing Grace, CocaCola = Jesus Christ, etc. You can see some examples of 'their' work here.

Ugh... While its always nice to see a Christian company succeed, Kerusso's business plan is more than a little shady. These mammoth companies pour millions of dollars into product testing and research to develop the most appealing logo, the most recognizable image possible, and then Kerusso goes and rips it off. Clearly, the plan is working, but it just doesn't feel RIGHT, you know? I mean, the WWJD bracelets were pretty ugly, but at least it was something unique. (or did 'What Would Joan Jett Do? come first? hmmmm...)

What do you guys think? Would you wear an 'Abreadcrumb & Fish' t-shirt, to fit in with the Ambercrombie crowd and raise awareness for Christ? Should Kerusso be paying licensing fees and royalties to CocaCola Co.? What WOULD Jesus do?

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Monday, September 17, 2007

My World is a Flood

My world is a flood. That's what it felt like last week, what with work and all. But at least my house wasn't starting to float away, which is what literally happens in the movie we review this week.

That's right, God's own house floats away. In a storm. Kind of ironic, you might say. Take that, Jerry Falwell!

Anyway, this is Flood, a documentary by filmmaker Tom Swift. Tom is a former TV producer and a filmmaker so independant that he doesn't even have an IMDB page. The real news is that Tom is a fan of the SuperCandid podcast! Or at least he listened long enough to find our webpage and email us, asking us to review the film. Wish granted! For our next trick, we'll try to keep to our vow not to review any more documentaries for a while! This is about the third since we promised not to review any more.


Awaken Pictures homepage, where you can watch and buy Flood. You can also read about the sci-fi film Don mentions, called Illusions.

Tom Swift's blog, which I just checked out at Don's suggestion. It's a pretty good resource for filmmakers, but he doesn't update too often.

And you can read about the program to train home-schooled Christian filmmakers here at the Christian Post. I'm really not sure about this. It sounds like a good idea and all, and I'm all for more Christians being filmmakers(just to improve the odds for good Christian films), but this seems like it might result in a whole generation of Michael Landon Jr. types. I guess Love Comes Softly 5-20 will have a need for directors.

The intro music for this episode was Water of the Gods by The Changes from Today is Tonight.

The outro is Become Who You Are by Mainstay from Become Who You Are. Again, it's a free download on iTunes right now. If you're into that sort of thing.

You can download the podcast directly here, and as always, you can subscribe through iTunes, or whatever other program is your favorite podcatcher.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Coming soon... I promise.


We're not being lazy about this weeks show, we're just too busy to record! Jon has been working weird hours, and I've been working the other hours, so yeah... Expect the show to be recorded and released TONIGHT.

Thank you both for your patience.

AND!!! This is your last chance to enter the contest! I'll pretty much give some free junks to anyone who comments on this post, as entries have been slim. Hear your screen name on the show! How exciting! *cough*

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Do Christian films suck?

That's a question we address here at the SuperCandid podcast all the time. You might even say it's our modis operandi(that's "method of activity" for you non-Latin types). Well, another movie blog kicked up a sandstorm when they made the claim that Christian movies suck, and we would be remiss not to mention it. The start was this story over at Deadline Hollywood. It's a rather stupid post about how to make Hollywood better in view of some of the bombs of summer 2007. Most of the suggestions I either disagree with or the point is correct but the reasoning is wrong. Example, "Don't make threquels with cast and director intact." Sure, Spider-Man 3 sucked, but I think that was more the fault of the studio forcing Venom into the picture(Topher Grace's awesome performance notwithstanding) than anything else. All the other flaws to the picture were the same problems that have been there since the first film(which also sucked, IMO). But the quote that got people interested is this: "Don’t go after the religious market: There’s no surer guarantee of box office disaster than to make a movie aimed at appealing to The Passion Of The Christ audience. Look, that pic evolved from Mel Gibson’s deeply felt religious beliefs – not from a pitch meeting. Universal moguls dragged out every trick in the Christian playbook to Hail Mary make and market Evan Almighty's tired Noah’s Ark retelling. But the Passion crowd wants stories based on the New Testament. Heathen Hollywood didn’t comprehend that." Again, I'd agree with some of the broader points but the reasoning is stupid. Evan Almighty may have flopped for many reasons, but I think that Christian's lack of interest in Noah's Ark(WTF?) is not one of them. Maybe Christian's lack of interest in a modern day, poop-joke filled re-telling of Noah's Ark with a totally different message, but I think most Christian would agree that we like the story of Noah's Ark. Hey, it's a giant boat, a crazy guy with a mission from God, the end of the world, what's not to like? So the furor really kicked off when Dirty Harry at Libertas threw in his two cents: "No kidding. Christian films SUCK. Suck I say. Suck. All. Day. Long. They’re cynically produced, condescending, and dull. I disagree with Finke that we’re only interested in New Testament stories, but she’s even further off the mark blaming Heathen Hollywood. Other than The Passion, Heathen Hollywood has made the only decent Christian films of the last thirty-years: Sean Penn’s The Pledge, Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking, Magnolia, Signs, Tender Mercies, Places In The Heart… All came out of Heathen Hollywood. The Christian crap has come from Christian Filmmakers: The Omega Codes, The Left Behinds, Bridge To Terabitha, Facing The Giants…" I'd say that Dirty Harry, who I generally like(certainly more than Libertas's idiot founder), has the problem of seeing the wrong Christian films. And he's confusing Christian films with Christian-cash in films from Hollywood. Facing the Giants is many things, not all good, but cynically produced it is not. The problem is that there is a wide gap between stuff like Facing the Giants, The Second Chance and End of the Spear and films like The Nativity Story, Evan Almighty and The Hangman's Curse. Sure, The Hangman's Curse was produced for a song by Christians, but it represents the worst of the Christian independent film market's attempts to appeal to audiences seeking some kind of Christian version of secular films. I won't comment too much on stuff like The Omega Code, since I haven't seen that particular Rapturesploitation film, but I generally hate that type of film for vastly over-simplifying(or just stupidifying) Biblical prophecy. Plus, they're usually way too under-budgeted for a film that is supposed to be about the END OF THE WORLD and end up just being embarrassing for Christians and painful to watch or even discuss. So there is the proverbial storm of comments denouncing Libertas(which, as a "conservative" film blog has a large Christian readership), and then Dirty Harry published a somewhat retraction/revision. He said: "Not after all these Christian films failed. And this sort-of indie Christian filmmaking community either couldn’t handle such a large theme or would ignore it because they believe doubts and struggles hurt the message. In their films the story begins after the protagonist finds Christ at the end of the first act. I don’t want to see that. I can’t relate to that." This is very well said, but again it represents a limited knowledge of Christian films. I might have even said something like this back when we started this podcast. But now that I've seen films like End of the Spear and The Second Chance, I'm more than willing to believe that there are excellent Christians films that fulfil the potential of merging faith and art. Oh, and sorry Hangman's Curse. But you do suck. Hard. (Deadline Hollywood Story-Stupid story from a stupid blog) (Libertas-"Christian Films Suck"-uninformed rant) (Libertas-"Okay, Christian films only Kinda suck"-better, but still ignorant of the good Christian films) Save This Page Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hickory Huskers

I'll keep this short... I just finished watching 'Hoosiers', the story of a small town, Indiana, a basketball team, a new coach, and their inevitable road to victory against all odds. You may have seen it under the title 'Every Sports Movie Ever Made'. Anyway... it was a decent enough film, and it stars the Hack-Man himself, so it gets no knock from me. What does this have to do with anything? It might just be a perfect 'Christian' movie! It's well made, well acted, and all that jazz... Dennis Hopper plays a mean drunk, ie. Dennis Hopper in every movie ever (save for King Koopa in the 'Super Mario Bros. Movie'.), but with a little love, he sobers right up. Sort of. He's still an imperfect character, which is FREAKING WEIRD to see in a movie anymore.

So, of the seven kids on the team (though at the end of the film, they show eight... I have no idea where the extra guy came from), one of the 'stars' of the team is a very strong Christian and the son of the local preacher/team bus driver. So, before every game, they hunker down and get things right with God (the PK taking much longer to pray to God than the rest of the team is a running gag), and you know what? IT FEELS TOTALLY NATURAL. No one is making fun of the kid for praying. Hack-Man himself doesn't really pray, but he respects the rest of the team and keeps his head down and his mouth shut while they do their thing. The whole movie is about basketball, so they play lots of games, and as such... there are many scenes involving prayer and preaching and it all feels totally natural. WHY DON'T THEY JUST MAKE FILMS LIKE THIS!? The movie was totally clean, I think they maybe said 'damn' once, and it felt very natural. I guess I'm just getting tired of these over-the-top gushy scenes full of 'Christianese' in 90% of Christian films. Yes, I get it, you're making a Christian movie. STOP STOPPING THE FLOW OF THE FILM.

'The Ultimate Gift' did a good job in this department. It felt natural.

I think, for the most part, we can all agree that most Christian films are created as a ministry tool/outreach opportunity right? They promote many films with a 'bring a friend' mentality and often try to disguise films as 'normal' films (ie. Thr3e) in the box office... well, when they have some out of place, weird, awkward scene that has nothing to do with anything but to make a 'God mention' quota, it doesn't work! It's like making a 'Porkys' sequel and constantly having the higher ups demand more leg when they see the dailies.

I'm done.

- Don

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The Chariot...The Chariot...The Chariot is on Fire

My commitment to laziness and one post a day has gotten us scooped again. Oh, well.

Yesterday I saw this article on the proposed sequel to Chariots of Fire and the controversy that is brewing due to the fact that the writer has now included the character of Harold Abrahams to the script.

Quick recap, although the original article in the Guardian sums it up quite well: Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams were, respectively, Scottish and English, Christian and Jewish. They were both sprinters. They both competed in the 1924 Olympics in the 100m dash. However, the final was on Sunday and Liddell refused to race on the Lord's day. Abrahams won, but Liddell also entered the 400m, in which he won the gold medal.

Based on what I know of the history, the film made a much bigger deal over the Sunday race than Liddell did. He knew the schedule month's in advance and had been training for the 400m. Apparently the only race that Abrahams and Liddell ever competed directly was the 200m, where Liddell won bronze and Abrahams came in 6th. I don't know if their rivalry was a much as they made it out to be, but films need good drama. Personally, I haven't seen this film in about 15 years, and when I was 12 I thought it was tedious and unremarkable except for the legendary opening and closing sequences with the famous score by Vangelis.

The controversy is from Abrahams' family, which is concerned that a film about the later lives of Liddell and Abrahams, written by a Christian, will skew the perception of Abrahams from the historical reality.

Personally, I'm quite curious how the writer, Rich Swingle, will relate their lives after 1924. Here's the facts: Abrahams broke his leg in 1925 and never ran competively again. He became a barrister(British for lawyer) as well as working as a sports official and journalist. He worked for most of his life promoting athletics in England and elsewhere.

Liddell became a missionary in China from 1925 to 1943, when he was captured by invading Japanese forces. He (SPOILER)died of a brain tumor in a POW Camp in 1945.

So what we'll have is a film where the two main characters never meet and probably never interact at all. In fact, the film might end up being more about Abrahams since he was active in much more diverse activities than Liddell. Perhaps Abrahams was added because Liddell's pre-WW2 life in China was not the most exciting of material. My guess is that they'll have stuff like Abrahams covering the 1936 Olympics in Berlin(he really did) and lots of "gathering storm" stuff leading up to the war. Maybe they'll even frame the film with Liddell's funeral, much the way that Chariots of Fire was framed with Abrahams' funeral from the 1970's.

Ok, here's the buzz from two other blogs:

Jeffery Overstreet at Looking Closer Journal writes "And I hope that these concerns only encourage the filmmakers and screenwriters to tell the truth as beautifully as they can, rather than contriving some heavy-handed message, religious or otherwise. Because the truth belongs to God. And it will have the greatest influence of all… for his glory. It always does."

Good thoughts, although I would take issue with this bit:

"Wait… why the stress on the word “committed.” Is a “committed Christian” somehow worse than a Christian? Would they prefer a hypocrite, or a faker? A half-hearted Christian? Ya gotta love the culture of tolerance. If somebody raised a stink over a screenplay being written by a “committed Muslim” or “a committed Buddhist”… excuse my religious language, but ALL HELL WOULD BREAK LOOSE."

What do you think would happen if a "committed Jew" was writing about a famous Christian figure? How about a atheist who decided to write a screenplay that featured Billy Graham in a supporting role? Not that either of these would be offensive, but I can see where the family would be concerned that their Jewish father being co-opted by another religion.

Over at the Film Chat Blog Peter Chattaway corrects Overstreet on a couple of points but doesn't add much of his own commentary. I find it a bit odd that Chattaway doesn't object to this since he has previously raised issues with parodies of real life people, such as the forthcoming Walk Hard. It seems that if you are going to take issue with a film mocking someone's personal life then you should also object to a film using a non-Christian for Christian purposes. Maybe its just me. It should also be noted that neither of these films are released and neither myself or Chattaway has seen either yet, so our opinions are based solely upon speculation from what little we know.

(story from Guardian Unlimited)

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Monday, September 10, 2007

A hand-accented movie poster for only $5,000!

Time for another update! Remember The Christmas Cottage? We first mentioned it ages ago in our show about Time Changer(review). To re-cap, it is a biopic about Thomas Kincade featuring Peter O'Toole as his mentor. Well, we have some more info, and a release date.

First, it stars Jared Padalecki(Gilmore Girls) as Thomas Kincade and also features Marcia Gay Harden as Kincade's mother and O'Toole is playing Glen Wessler. It is directed by Micahel Campus(producer, The Man who Broke 1,000 Chains, director, The Passover Plot). BoxOfficeProphets is reporting that it will be released on November 30th by Lionsgate. The film has an IMDB page now, which reveals that Chris Elliot and Ed Anser also have roles.

Some reviews are popping up in forums from test and preview screenings. The word is mostly positive, so it sounds like this movie might have some quality. Apparently the early cut even features a few swear words, although we'll have to see if the reviewer is talking about real swear words or a couple of "golly gosh darns."

I'm kind of up in the air about this film. I'm no fan of Thomas Kincade, but the cast sounds good. What strikes me the most is that this is supposedly the first of a trilogy about Kincade. I smell some merchandising oppourtunities!

This actually sounds a lot like The Ultimate Gift, in that it delivers what it promises and nothing more. Take that for what you will.

An interesting note is that Michael Campus, the director, hasn't directed a film since 1976's The Passover Plot. What is really interesting is that The Passover Plot is a film, based upon a book, about how Jesus faked His death and ressurection in order to establish Himself as a King on Earth. Very odd film resume for the director of a "Christian" Film.

POSTSCRIPT: A lot of blogs and websites are talking about how strange it is to base a film upon a painting. Those people are obviously cinnematically ignorant. Aside from classic examples like The Agony and the Ecstasy(about the Sistine Chapel), there are recent films such as Girl with a Pearl Earring(based upon a novel about the eponymous painting) and The Da Vinci Code. I just think it's a shame we can't have films based upon stuff like Goya's Colossus or Cole's The Course of Empire: Destruction. Those would be movies that I would get excited about!

If you're like me and don't care too much for Thomas Kincade, you might enjoy this parody of his work. There's tons of entries, but just some on the first few pages made me laugh. Warning, if you don't know, somethingawful has a tendancy to get a bit raunchy.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007



Our last episode was a first for the SuperCandid podcast... it was released in an MP4 format. On the upside, for our iTunes listeners anyway, is that we were able to embed chapter breaks, so you can skip around the podcast a bit and go right to the news, or just hear the review or whatever, as well as having changing images based on whatever we were talking about with relevant links. Cool right?

On the downside, bigcontact and imeem do not support MP4 format, so the episode was not available to stream anywhere. Although, I could have made a separate MP3 version for imeem use, I'm too lazy to do so. (though I will if someone specifically requests it) The biggest thing is with BigContact, ie. that little orange and gray box at the top of the page that streams all of our episodes. I can't post both to BigContact AND to iTunes with all the little add-ons.

So, I'm leaving it up to you guys... Would you rather have streaming abilities, or pictures and links and chapter breaks? We have enough bandwidth through Libsyn that I could probably post both versions of the episode, BUT then ANY subscribers will download both versions.

Word? Let me know if you care one way or the other by commenting on this post.


Episode sixteen is coming this Friday! Or sooner. Or maybe later. Apparently, Jon has a hectic week ahead of him, so we'll knock it out when we can.

And don't forget the contest! Just tell us your favorite movie of all time, and give us your email address. That's it! The odds of winning right now are FANTASTIC I should add.

- Don

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Starring Monica Bellucci as Potiphar's wife!

I'm pretty sure that the headline isn't true, but we can dream can't we? I think that every Christian movie should have a part reserved for Monica Bellucci. Imagine all the roles that she could play; Eve, Hagar, Potiphar's Wife, Rahab, Ruth, Deborah, Deleliah, Mrs. Hosea. The list goes on and on.

But I digress.

Time for an update to an old story. Don asked me about this the other day, so I decided to do some digging. Remember, way back in an early episode we talked about a documentary called Audience of One? Well, I don't either, since it was back in the bad old days when our show notes were woefully incomplete. Anyway, the documentary screened at South by Southwest, and I heard about it on an NPR feature about the documentary.

Summary: Pastor Richard Gazowsky of Voice of Pentacost Church in San Francisco, recieved a "mission from God" to make a film. Not just any film, but a several hundred million dollar science fiction epic retelling the story of Joseph. Entitled The Shadow of Joseph, the church raised enough money to film for a short time in Italy. Apparently the money ran a bit short, but that hasn't dulled Gazowsky's vision.

Here is what we know: Filming began, but stopped at an unknown point. Pastor Gazowsky is still very enthuastic about it and is pursuing the project passionatly. That's about it.

I think buried somewhere in this story is a lesson about why a church like Sherwood Baptist can produce 3 films in 4 years(Flywheel(2003), Facing the Giants(2006), Fireproof(2008?) and Voice of Pentacost hasn't finished one. Not to fault them for having ambition, but Sherwood Baptist perhaps realized that starting with small, character-based dramas would be a bit easier than a hundred million dollar futuristic epic.

But I am really dying to see that hundred million dollar epic. Don't give up the dream!

I sent an email to Gazowsky's film company, WYSIWY Films, which also runs a Christian film festival(hmm, I may have to submit something to them). I'll update if and when I get a response. What I can say now is that the visuals that you can see in the trailer for Audience of One are impressive, and unique. The shots have a very Star Wars, 1977 in Tunsia feel to them, which is good. I'm dying to see this, and I hope that Audience of One documents only a bump in the road, and doesn't become the Lost in La Mancha of Christian cinema.

BTW, if you haven't seen Lost in La Mancha you must, since it is a fascinating look at the tenuous line that low budget productions walk between success and total collapse. Lost in La Mancha documents Terry Gilliam(12 Monkeys, Time Bandits) and Johnny Depp as they begin filming a new version of Don Quixote. They are almost at once beset with problems, and their financers pull out after just 2 weeks of shooting. The visuals they do get are heartbreaking since they show tremendous potential, but the project was apparently doomed from the start, as the documentary reveals.

Links about Audience of One and The Shadow of Joseph:

The NPR feature that first got me excited.

A follow up interview with Gazowsky by NPR.

The MySpace page for Audience of One, which lists screenings and has the trailer. It seems that the film still hasn't found distribution, but here's hoping for a DVD release soon.

2005 San Francisco Chronicle Article about Richard Gazowsky and his Church. This article goes into a lot of detail about how they got into filmmaking.

Austin Chronicle write-up of Audience of One from SXSW screening.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Contest (no, not that 'The Contest')

So, we're doing a very simple, straightforward prize giveaway drawing thingy. Basically, all you have to do is either comment on this post with your email address and the title of your favorite film (Christian or otherwise), or email us at with 'Contest' in the subject line, and your favorite film in the text for a chance to win some fabulous (read: okay) prizes!

The prizes include, but are not limited to:
- A Casting Crowns blue 'Altar and the Door' T-shirt, size mens large
- A Casting Crowns offwhite 'debut-era' T-Shirt
- A baby blue Zondervan Manga T-Shirt (it actually looks pretty cool, has some little robots and ninjas on it)
- Eisley - Combinations CD

And I'll even give the first place winner their pick of the prizes. It's free to enter, though I encourage you to not stuff the ballot as duplicate entries will be eliminated. If you win, we'll announce it on our next show (if anyone enters by then) and we'll contact you via email for your shipping info. Contest ends around noon on September 14th.

Easy right? You've got nothing to lose! Basically, this is a bribe to start getting more feedback for the site/show/our pathetic intarweb lives/etc.

Thanks! Get cracking!

- Don

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Taking down Gutenberg!

A few year back I read a review that pretty much inspired by interest in this podcast, and Christian film in general. I actually found that review today, and it comes from Ain't It Cool News. The review is of the film Left Behind, and it offers this tidbit that really touched my heart: "To be blunt, Christians had the market on good art cornered just a few hundred years ago -- and now I have to be GLAD that they've finally made a movie that's RISEN to a Sci-Fi Channel level, with all the inherent logic flaws that implies' THIS from the people who brought you St. Peter's Cathedral!"

The review was very even-handed, generally bemoaning the cheesyness of the plot and characters, and wondering why all the amazing imagery from the Bible didn't merit a bigger budget and actors of higher caliber than Kirk Cameron. To be fair, I think the flaws with the Left Behind movies start with the much larger flaws in the Left Behind books, but I digress.

What about great Christian art? Well, we've seen some good movies on the podcast, but there is a project I read about in this month's Christanity Today that puts them to shame in its beauty and craftsmanship. I'm talking about that page you see at the top of the post, which is from St. John's Bible, a new, completly hand-written and fully illumianted Bible. According to their website, they may be the first hand-illuminated Bible to be produced in over 500 years.

The CT article isn't online yet(but and old one is, from 2000), but it has an interesting point about Christanity completly abandoning the handwritten artform in favor of the printing press. This may have been the correct pragmatic decision in getting the Gospel out to all nations, but losing it also meant that one of the earliest Christian art forms was also lost.

Well, now it's back and it's amazing. The St. John's Bible is still severarl years from completion, but you can see the traveling art exhibtion, or view their website to see examples.

The hand-written Bible will be a one-off production, but there will be prints made. They have a $65 reproduction of the Gospels and Acts which might be in my price range for a Christmas gift. Or, if you're feeling like a big spender, why not buy the Heritage Edition? An excat, full size reproduction of the hand written manuscript, in seven volumes, for only$115,000.

Oh, I just discovered this! It's a bit buried in the website, but they have a flash presentation of the ENTIRE BIBLE SO FAR! Check it out!

This is the kind of art that Christians need to be making. Some of the people working on this project aren't even Christians, merely artists drawn to the amazing project and the history of the art form. This is a uniquely Christian piece of art that celebrates God and has the potential to reach the world through it's beauty.

(from Christanity Today)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

SuperCandid Classic: Episode #8 - Interview with Bill Ewing

A big first for the SuperCandid Podcast! We interview Bill Ewing!

Who is Bill Ewing? He's the President of Every Tribe Entertainment, the company that produced the wonderful End of the Spear(review). He is also the screeenwriter of End of the Spear, and served as one of the producers on the film. We were honored to interview him and talk a bit about End of the Spear, their forthcoming film Blink of an Eye, and about Christian filmmaking in general.

This was the 8th episode of the SuperCandid Podcast, and, in my opinion, one of our best.

If you are interested, Every Tribe Entertainment has recently started their "Tribe Online" community website. You can watch behind the scenes footage on End of the Spear(most of the same footage that is included on the promotional DVD Every Tribe graciously sent to the Podcast), and basically do all the same things that you can do on myspace, but here you can connect with people changing the world for Christ. You can check out the SuperCandid Podcast profile on the "Tribe Online". If you join, be sure to add us as a friend!

You can download this show from our archives if you subscribe through iTunes or another podcather, or download it directly by clicking here.

EDIT: Sorry about the double post. This client I'm using is a bit iffy at times.

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