“Of Note” Resources

Please join in the conversations on the resource you want to discuss by going to the pages linked below.

Periodically we select an article, book, movie and a media resource that we think will be beneficial to you. Take a look around, and come back — we’re always adding more! You can also visit our Discussion Guide page for short pieces on films, plays, novels, and non-fiction books.

Everybody Loves at Least One Critic
Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth (New York: Penguin Press, 2016)
by A.O. Scott
A.O. Scott, the chief film critic for The New York Times, had a problem. He had written a negative review of the famous Avengers movie of several years ago, a movie which proceeded to make $1.5B at the box office worldwide. Shortly after the review came out, Samuel L. Jackson, one of the stars of the film tweeted, “AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!” Now, neither the box office bonanza—which Scott predicted by the way in his review—nor a tweet by Samuel L. Jackson, one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood, was going to threaten the job of arguably the most respected film critic in America.
I love that the IMDb plot outline entry for this picture is a simple sentence: “A mob hitman recalls his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa.” Like most simple sentences (that are true anyway), it hides a plethora of facts, thoughts, and meanings that could fill several books.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
“On the Need for Erasure”, The Hedgehog Review, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring, 2015)
by Wilfrid M. McClay
In this brief essay, Bill McClay, current occupant of the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, takes on just one of the many issues of the permanence and accessibility of information published on the internet today. He raises three concerns.
Christians go to the movies for a number of different reasons. Most, if not all, of us go, like everybody else, to be entertained. We want to escape the drudgery or the sameness (or both) of our lives into worlds we don’t normally inhabit, worlds of superheroes or space travel, of cowboys or battlefields, of pageantry or plainness, but worlds that are filled with characters and stories we don’t know or experience in our own daily lives. Sometimes we go to be surprised. We don’t know anything about a film, and a friend invites us, and we go. Sometimes we go, expecting to be challenged by the sadness of a story, or by its hilarity, or by its social or political message.

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