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JoelBuursma

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About JoelBuursma

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  • Gender
    Male

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Software Developer
  • Favorite movies
    Hero; Lord of the Rings trilogy; Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon; BBC Pride & Prejudice series; Chariots of Fire; old B&W Welles & Hitchcock movies
  • Favorite music
    Classical (J.S. Bach, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, Verdi, Rachmaninoff, Arvo Part, John Tavener), Jazz (Miles Davis, Ella & Louie, Dave Brubeck), Choral music, Orthodox chant
  • Favorite creative writing
    Literature (Anton Chekov, GK Chesterton)
  • Favorite visual art
    Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Kandinsky
  1. Interesting. Well, apparently there is reason to hope. Now Chinese officials appear to be dismissing the accusation of a ban! I guess the proof will be in the pudding.
  2. According to this news site: The article mentions a number of well-known Western groups that had to cancel or alter performances. This will also affect this non-profit Christian arts group, which has sponsored such performances in the past.
  3. I'm guessing (a Rez fan could perhaps confirm) that he or someone close to him struggled with addiction & doesn't realize that some people don't -- the whole Romans 14 thing. If Jesus were in a restaurant with an alcoholic, I'm guessing he would not imbibe.
  4. What I got from listening to Jethro Tull in high school is that the singer was deeply bitter about his religious upbringing and the authority figures of his youth and deeply skeptical of religion. It makes you wonder what happened to him to cause this (ideas occur to me, but I would hesitate to mention them). But I'm glad someone found something in his words that moved them closer to God (eventually)!
  5. Does "A Living Prayer" by Alison Krauss count? It's an explicitly Christian song on an album that is not otherwise explicitly Christian (and is, in fact, depressing in many places). "The Golden Road" by The Resurrection Band (second album, I think) is one of my all-time favorites. I'm surprised to hear that Thin Lizzy has Christian songs, but not surprised that they flow from struggles with addiction. I always felt that his picture of human existence was a troubled one.
  6. "Imposing"? That sounds so top down. In reality, we are dealing with missionaries who are trying to spread Christianity and attract followers. I don't see how the word "imposing" relates to this. I don't think Endo uses that language. I think he uses a metaphor of transplanting a beautiful tree into a swamp -- will it grow there? By contrast, Scorsese's language seems much more ham-fisted to me. That raises my concern level for this movie. BTW, Scorsese's comment reminded me of Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible book. However, Endo's book goes far beyond that into questions of the nature of apostasy and how God responds to human suffering.
  7. I saw your recent post on Tavener at Jeffrey's blog, Alan, & I came over here & am glad I found this discussion. Thanks much for the links! Earlier in this thread you mention The Veil of the Temple. I recently listened to that & it raised red flags for me. There were a number of things I would (admittedly ungraciously) refer to as "Gnostic garbage" in the words & the commentary. It got me wondering somewhat incredulously... has this guy been reading The Da Vinci Code??? (Using the climactic section of a major work to... criticize the Knights Templar? Who's next on Tavener's radar screen... Opus Dei and their alleged monks?) There are also comments about all religious practices being idolatry, to be progressed beyond (which is what he & his buddy are trying to do). That seems unorthodox virtually by definition. But I have to say, I actually laughed when I read the conductor's note that quoted performance notes (quoting from memory here) from Tavener, without any obvious relevance to the work, in which he "noted that Mary Magdalene embraced sacred nudity." Okaaaaaay. I guess they had to fit that in somehow, however awkwardly. So I was disappointed, although some of the music was wonderful. BTW, one of his earlier works had a soprano duet that was I believe an ode of Sappho's, which is a bit off the beaten path as well. I really love his smaller choral pieces, which are often in the Orthodox tradition, for example this. I could elaborate, but I won't unless someone wants me to. :-) But I distrust him these days.
  8. Right -- I was just wondering why they chose Idaho. It seems like a random choice, and I was just constructing this possible train of thought where they may have set it in Utah and then decided to *actually* set it in Idaho because they were Mormons and Utah has Mormon connotations and people might think this was a Mormon movie (see first post in this thread about not calling it "Mormon cinema"), so maybe they changed it to Idaho to avoid the connotations. But, after thinking about it more... this is a "random" movie -- why *not* set it in a random state? I guess the train of thought was more interesting in my head!
  9. This is set in Idaho, which is kind of like Utah, but doesn't have any Mormon connotations. Hmmm... anything to this? I noticed that some people felt it was cruel to laugh at Napoleon & others didn't & said they identified with them. Maybe your reaction depends how much you identified with Napoleon. Which of these characters were YOU in high school?
  10. Here is a Larry King live transcript that mostly focuses on Brokeback Mountain & gay marriage & all the usual stuff. But, one of the four contributors is Chad Allen. There is a lot of interesting (although off-topic) discussion, but at the end there is this: Allen either didn't catch or gracefully ignored what Parshall probably meant as a dig with her "find your own path to God" comment. But I thought this was interesting.
  11. Here is the Chicago Tribune's acerbic review. I'm sure the reviewer has some valid points about the movie, and I can understand trying to be entertaining in the way one writes a review. But the repeated anti-Christian digs in a movie review just seem weird. My wife wondered why she didn't just stick to reviewing the movie. Wow, how big of her to say so! What's with the quotes around "true story"? I can't decide if she's trying to be funny here or not. I assume so, based on other reviews of hers that I've read, but it's really not a funny topic. And part of me hopes that she protesteth too much.
  12. Saw this on DVD and thought it was WONDERFUL. The kid is awesome. We have all been given a great gift here. I also wish there had been another way they could have communicated message of sharing and people working together without reinterpreting one of Jesus' miracles. But some people feel the need to liberate Christianity from things like "contingency upon an actual existance of a theistic God" (some of the same people who think that the social gospel is the only gospel). I think it's just the filmmaker's viewpoint, consistent with other themes of the movie. It's just that things like that will keep me from being able to wholeheartedly recommend it to some people. I thought it was funny how the saints had the same distinctive accents as the actors. Who know St. Pete had such a thick brogue? BTW, as opus mentioned, the Deleted Scenes showed a number of scenes that would have given the movie a more serious tone if included. Seems like they could have gone a couple different ways with this movie. But they sure did the right thing by going with "childlike innocence", didn't they? I also found it refreshing that in the behind-the-scenes interviews they talked about how beautiful the lead actress was. She was pretty, but not in a "plastic surgery Hollywood" way... more in an "I am a real person" way. Thank you, UK, for trying to maintain sanity. (OH NO, HDTV MEANS MORE ROUNDS OF PLASTIC SURGERY FOR EVERYONE! Sorry about that.) This verse seems to sum up Damian for me perfectly: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." One of my favorite (recurring) quotes from the movie: "Are you poor?" [upon hearing the affirmative, scampers away in delight] My wife's favorite quote (approximate wording, said by Damian with great wonder): "Joseph the Worker, first century AD, dates uncertain"
  13. Just saw it for the first time on DVD. Hmm... it hasn't been out that long & Blockbuster has already shifted it to week-long rentals. I thought: - The dolphin song was one of the best parts. My two-year old daughter loved the sing-along DVD special feature. - They didn't explain well enough the planet where you got swatted for having an idea -- it's a very funny concept, but I didn't fully get it until I watched the "making of" DVD special feature. Or was it just me? - Somehow the movie seemed preachier (from an atheist propaganda standpoint) than the books. (Poor Trillian--she thought there was more to life than there really was. But there isn't. Sorry Trill. Meaningless, meaningless.) The books always seem to maintain the slapstick tone & it's hard to take any of the arguments too seriously. Also, they are silly arguments. But it seems like the movie emphasized them more. - I didn't like how they handled the two-heads thing with Zaphod. That's not how I pictured it. - Bill Moore said he liked Marvin. I liked the voice work, but I didn't like his appearance. I pictured his head as more of a dented pail than a large lovely globe. Although, I realize the size is supposed to suggest his powerful intellect. Maybe I'd better re-check the book!
  14. ← Yes, but the priest was a "cool" priest, so maybe he wasn't all about little details. And my but didn't he ? Yet another thing that made radical suspension of belief utterly mandatory for seeing this movie. My forehead hurt because I smacked it too much during the movie. And was a "cool" priest supposed to cancel out the offense of the other religious psycho? Funny story: my wife & I weren't planning on seeing this movie. We were planning on seeing that movie that stars Gwyneth Paltrow and starts with P. We made the decision quickly & hoped we got it right. During the "trivia slides" that preceded the previews, she commented, "Wouldn't it be funny if we were at the wrong movie?" Literally JUST THEN, we saw a trivia slide for the movie Proof. We... were at Prime, which I thought was going to be dumb. Oops. So we snuck over to Zorro instead--big improvement. Nonetheless, I was somewhat entertained by it.
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