spirits that speak


Take the long way around the sea

It's a little late for this, but it's a movie right? Timeless in it's appeal...?

The Nativity Story is pretty much what the title indicates. It begins with Mary, the woman who would be mother to Jesus, and the setting she comes from. We then see Joseph, the carpenter who falls in love with her. That's pretty much all I'm going to say about the story itself, if you're unfamiliar read the book of Matthew.

What I wanted to write about here was how I felt about the movie. I came out of the theater with a feeling about Christmas like I've never felt before. It reminded me of a feeling I've had before though...what was that? Why does this feel so familiar?...Oh, that's right, this is how I felt walking out of having seen The Passion of the Christ. As far as perspective goes, and meaning, this movie did for Christmas for me what Passion did for Easter. It brings things to life. It brings a humanity to the story that I never saw and still leaves the divinity in it.

Cinematically, I really had no complaints. The aspect that I thought was particularly well done was pacing. Not a single scene or aspect of the story felt either rushed or dragging. They address the whole story, beginning to end, and really don't leave out anything important. Since a few friends have seen it, they have pointed out a few things that were left out, but nothing that was crucial.

The cast is fantastic too. All of them seem like they have roots in the Middle East and are familiar with the mindset of those who spent their entire lives there. They are who they claim to be...at least for the 90 minutes the film runs.

What made the film most effective was most likely the spirit with which it was made. The whole thing really feels like there was love in it. There's a sincerity, authenticity, and definitely a reverence.

Like Passion, I will buy this DVD when it comes out and I will watch it once a year when the season comes. It reminds me that I believe in something real and yet very mysterious.

For everyone who likes Christmas (not "the holidays", not "the Season", but Christmas), go see this movie. I don't believe you'll be disappointed.


thoughts on leading a double life

so i saw the departed again this weekend. it's still just as great.

but there's a thought that keeps recurring the more i think about the movie. it occured to me after the first time i saw it and still makes me think.

both leonardo dicaprio and matt damon do the same thing in the movie, but from the opposite perspective. damon is working for the mob and gets a job as a police officer supervising undercover work, while dicaprio is dedicated to his job as an undercover police officer and goes to work for the mob. they both lead a double life and seem to have to work equally hard on both fronts to make their performances for both the police and the mob believable.

this made me think about my life the way i'm currently living it. of course, i'm not a cop or tied to the mob in any way. but i am a Christian working in a place of employment where that's the least popular thing to be. as a result, i have endeavored to be true to my beliefs but at the same time be real with people and not "out" myself to too many. when i do "out" myself, i make sure that i do it in a such a way that doesn't antagonize people.

but as is the case with damon and dicaprio (and another example would be johnny depp in donnie brasco), the lines start to blur after a while. i've been trying so hard to maintain my "cover" while at the same time making sure my alter ego doesn't eat the real me alive.

if i had to defend this approach, i will admit i would have a hard time. but, i have come to the conclusion that, at the place where i work, this approach is best at the moment. those of you who believe in prayer are welcome to pray that i am doing the right thing and that I will not allow my faith to fade.

up next, i'm working on a review of the movie that's most recently impacted my life after i saw it for the first time. i'll have that ready soon...it's my review of the nativity story.