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]

Films & music

‘It’s All About Me’: spiritual music to nourish the soul

I am really excited by this album of Christian worship songs that I have just discovered - check out this promotional video. It helps me focus on what is truly important - I would recommend it for anyone, but especially bloggers. Surely nothing could be a better in the week approaching Easter... Note: for those reading… Continue reading ‘It’s All About Me’: spiritual music to nourish the soul

Films & music

Fifty Shades: Testing our Grey matter – by Mandy Marshall

By now you may be a bit sick of hearing all the news and views about Fifty Shades of Grey. Is it erotic mummy porn? Is it abusive? Is bondage domination sadism and masochism (BDSM) compatible with a healthy relationship? The film based on the books is being released tomorrow - Valentine's Day – but,… Continue reading Fifty Shades: Testing our Grey matter – by Mandy Marshall

Films & music

The personal cost of injustice: review of ‘Selma’ (12A)

Few people have integrated activism, theology and personal commitment in such an inspiring way as Martin Luther King. ‘Selma’ is the first major feature film made about King.  It focuses on his campaign in Selma, Alabama in 1965, where the restrictions and obstacles enforced on black people meant that, despite having a constitutional right to vote, hardly… Continue reading The personal cost of injustice: review of ‘Selma’ (12A)

Films & music

Three reasons why everyone should watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ this Christmas

Grace + Truth

In my view,It’s a Wonderful Lifeis not the best Christmas film ever. It is simply the best film ever, full stop.

Released in 1946, the film focuses on the life of a man called George Bailey (James Stewart) who lives in the small town of Bedford Falls. George intends to ‘shake off the dust of this crumby little town’ and get away to see the world and achieve great things. Yet through tragedy and his own sense of responsibility, he ends up spending his entire life in Bedford Falls running the building cooperative that his late father established.

He sacrifices a lot. He ends up giving the college money he has saved to his younger brother so he can go to university instead of him. During the depression he and his new wife give their honeymoon funds to keep the ‘Building & Loan’ going. All the…

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Films & music, Theology & Church

When the church leaves the building…

This is my favourite scene from the Oscar-winning 1954 film On the Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando.  One of the key characters is a priest who is encouraging the dock workers to stand up against the corruption of the Union bosses.  One docker, Kayo Dougan, is prepared to testify in court against the violence and extortion. But the day… Continue reading When the church leaves the building…

Book reviews, Films & music

Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

"It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma... You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put… Continue reading Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

Films & music

What age should you let your child watch or play a ‘12’ rated film or game?

This week my sons came home from primary school with a letter for parents and guardians which reminded us about the recommended ages that children should be before they use various social media and games.  As well as referring to the 13 year old threshold for using facebook and Instagram they also felt they needed… Continue reading What age should you let your child watch or play a ‘12’ rated film or game?