Films & music

Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world

Over the last week I have watched the Lord of the Rings film triology for the first time since seeing them at the cinema.  What struck me again was the tiny glimmer of hope which Frodo and his friend Sam carry through the most hopeless of situations. They keep going through relentless violence, temptations, threats and arguments… Continue reading Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world

Films & music, Sport

Ability, vulnerability and mental health: ‘The Edge’ [review]

This week it was World Mental Health Day. I was struck by the number of men I know posting on social media about their struggles with their mental well-being. Even just a few years ago, I doubt people would have been so open. And this weekend, I watched the film The Edge which is a documentary… Continue reading Ability, vulnerability and mental health: ‘The Edge’ [review]

Films & music, Homelessness

A little bit of hope can go a long way – review of ‘Hector’ (15)

Hector is a gritty and moving road-movie about a homeless man travelling from Scotland to London for Christmas. It is tough to watch in parts, but is also heart-warming and brilliantly acted. It avoids sentimentalising the characters or the subject matter. Peter Mullan’s acting is gentle and under-stated in the title-role.  As the film unfolds… Continue reading A little bit of hope can go a long way – review of ‘Hector’ (15)

Films & music

‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ – a film by Peter Jackson [review]

I will never forget talking with an old school friend in the pub after he got back from the first Gulf War in 1991. He had left school at 16 and joined the army just as I went into the Sixth Form.  In the Gulf he served as an officer in a tank regiment. At… Continue reading ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ – a film by Peter Jackson [review]

Films & music, Poverty

The Moorside: Shannon Matthews and the three faces of poverty

Everyone who cares about poverty and community life in the UK should make sure they watch the BBC drama The Moorside.  It is a thoroughly researched and brilliantly acted film about the tragic case of Shannon Matthews, a young girl from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. In 2008, Shannon was reported as missing by her mum, Karen Matthews.… Continue reading The Moorside: Shannon Matthews and the three faces of poverty

Films & music

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ – a review by Corin Pilling

Going to see many films produced by Christians is a bit similar to a visit to McDonald's. You hope that no-one sees you going in and as you indulge yourself, you try to convince yourself that the delivery of such a sugary hit must contain at least some nutrients. Many films marketed to the faith community seem designed… Continue reading Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ – a review by Corin Pilling

Films & music, Poverty

The harrowing reality of UK poverty: ‘I, Daniel Blake’ [Review]

In 1967, Ken Loach's film Cathy Come Home was a seminal moment in the national consciousness about homelessness. The film led directly to the formation of the national housing charity Shelter. I, Daniel Blake is a Cathy Come Home for our times.  Loach has once again shone an unflinching spotlight on poverty in the UK today.  Its a film… Continue reading The harrowing reality of UK poverty: ‘I, Daniel Blake’ [Review]