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Jim’s Eighth Favorite Film

9 Jul


Let’s all do ourselves a solid and pretend that it hasn’t been seven months since I wrote my last entry into my Top Ten Favorites, shall we?  Good.

I was forthcoming at the outset of this blog series that subjectivity, as is the case with any Top Ten list, would play a key role in its formation.  Despite the fact that this list is still in its infancy we’ve come to the entry in which, more so than any of the other films before or after, the immeasurable, personal factors – nostalgia, mood, time, place – play a significant role in the reverence I hold for it.


Jim’s Ninth Favorite Film

4 Dec


9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Mark 10:9

The ninth verse of the tenth chapter or Mark’s gospel is the go-to citation for anyone trying to Biblically justify the forbidding of divorce.  At its heart the verse makes a lot of sense.  As Christians we believe, to one extent or the other, that many of the significant turning points in our lives – choice of college, career path, marriage, etc. – are willed by God, individual breaks deliberately constructed into a path that is meant to lead to the fruition of His will for us.  But removed from context, this verse has also been cited to induce shame, to bully weak minds and weaker hearts into submission and to ultimately justify greater evils, such as the acceptance of emotional and/or physical abuse, over lesser.

So, what happens when the words in that verse are flipped – “Therefore what God has put asunder, let no man put together”?


Jim’s Tenth Favorite Film

1 Nov

Blutgericht in Texas

10. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

First and foremost allow me to apologize for the incongruity between my introduction, with its implications of a list soon to follow, and the disappointing realization of what turned out to be a long delay. A recent move across state lines has occupied both my physical and mental energies for an extended period that has only recently come to cessation, but luckily the dust has settled just in time for Halloween, which makes for an unintended but serendipitous segue into the first entry into my Top Ten Favorite Films list, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.


“Top” Ten, by Jim Rohner

25 Sep


There’s something inherently and immediately enjoyable about lists.  People are more inclined to spend the time to read a list with its easily digestible bites than they are an article with its in-depth eloquence and deliberate structure.  While lists of the Top Ten Best This’s or Top Ten Worst That’s may have once been considered novelties or reserved for special occasions on websites in the past, internet lists are so often read that there are now entire websites dedicated to making lists.  So, when Tyler asked the MTOL contributors if anyone wanted to tackle a Top Ten list inspired by his and Josh’s current stretch of minisodes, I jumped at the chance.  But almost as soon as I agreed to write it, I began to wonder if I was capable of writing a worthwhile list.


Oscars 2013, by Jim Rohner

22 Jan


I experienced something this year after reading the Oscar nominees that I haven’t experienced since I don’t remember when: concurrence.  For as long as I’ve been (perhaps foolishly) watching the Oscars, I can’t remember a year in which my response was so even-keeled, so contemplative and – dare I say  it? – so agreeable with what the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had arbitrarily decreed as the highest quality cinema to have been released in 2012.


A Christ-less Story? by Jim Rohner

22 Dec


Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I’m the guy who has the radio in his car set to the station that plays Christmas carols 24/7, the guy who enjoys stringing up half-burnt out multicolor bulbs in 20 degree weather, the guy who devotes more care to dressing up the presents he bought than he does to dressing himself.  Yes, if Christmas were a drink, I’d proceed to get blackout drunk as soon as Santa closed out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24th and wallow in holiday delirium tremens all day December 26th.


A Sheepish Shepherd, by Jim Rohner

9 Jul

In an event to curtail Netflix’s dominance over streaming services, Hulu has in recent years begun to adopt all sorts of motley programming into the fold, adding international obscurities and surefire major network pariahs to an already impressive array of successful syndicated TV titles.  When it comes to regular, dedicated viewing though, audiences still turn to the major networks for their comedies (The Office, Modern Family, Two and a Half Men (for some reason)) and the minor networks for their intelligent dramas (Breaking Bad, Justified, Game of Thrones).


By Our Love? by Jim Rohner

8 Apr

A few weeks ago I was talking to my Queue The Day podcast co-host about all the recent TV we had been watching and I mentioned how I was watching GCB for More Than One Lesson blogging purposes.  We asked for my thoughts on the show, I responded with the knee jerk, “it’s the least offensive attack on Christianity I’ve ever seen.”  At that point, I had only watched the pilot and seeing as one episode is never enough exposure to make any judgments about a theoretically long-running series (unless it’s Breaking Bad), my comment was more the result of a combination of the relatively unflattering picture that the mainstream media has historically painted of Christianity and GCB’s general lack of acerbity throughout its roughly 44-minute running time.


My Problem of Pain, by Jim Rohner

1 Sep

What follows is a tale of love and loss, of wooing and woe, and of the God that has yet to speak on how He fits into it all.  It is long, intimate, melodramatic and at times, rambling, written, I suppose, as a type of catharsis for myself or for any other believer who, when it comes to the topic of romantic love, finds some truth and relation in the words of C.S. Lewis when he said:

“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11

On July 6th of this year, I was laid off from my job.  I’ll always remember that day because, contrary to the wisdom bestowed upon us by Office Space, I was let go on a Wednesday and told that my dismissal was immediate.  Without any job prospects, any real idea of what I wanted to do next, and without even an updated resume, any normal person in my situation would’ve probably been concerned with the situation.  I was now forced into facing the unenviable task of job searching without so much as the slightest inkling of career goals or a plan of attack to achieve them. […]

Rage, by Jim Rohner

22 Aug

I realized halfway through watching Inside Job, Charles Ferguson’s Oscar-winning documentary that I didn’t understand half of what I was hearing.  Despite the concise writing and editing of Chad Beck and Adam Bolt, the explanatory voiceover of Matt Damon and the supplemental motion graphics from Bigstar, I still don’t understand what CDOs are nor how they can be bought and sold, I still have no idea what makes subprime mortgages so destructive and overall, I largely still have an unclear picture on the multitude of factors that led to the $20 trillion global financial crisis of 2008.  Despite my unwilling ignorance, I understood enough of the horrific portrait Ferguson was painting to feel something I’ve rarely experienced while watching movies: rage.