By Sara Zarr Essay

I’M AT A LAKE IN WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia. At least I think it’s a lake. It could be a sound, or an inlet, or a bay. In any case, it’s a body of water, and with the evergreens and sizable rocks lining the shore and covering the smaller land masses across from us, against…

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The Spiritual Frontiers of Film

By Ron Austin Essay

An Introduction by Guest Editor Scott Teems The first issue of Image I read was Issue 31, in the summer of 2001; it was the first in a subscription gifted me by the Act One screenwriting program in Los Angeles, which I had just completed. Initially, I was intimidated by the journal’s focus on fine…

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The Many-Voiced God

By Tyler McCabe Essay

THE FAMILY-ROOM TELEVISION came to us through fire and smoke like in the old miracles. It was the mid-aughts, and my father was working at a building restoration company, which is one way to say he waded through disaster for a living. Fire, smoke, water—the words emblazoned on the side of his car read like…

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Love Letters

By Lee Isaac Chung Essay

The Forgotten War MY MOTHER INHERITED her father’s war letters before immigrating to America, and by the time she passed them on to me, after my daughter was born, much of the text was illegible, a language lost to a fragile medium, pencil marks on paper the weight of ash. The disintegration had begun at…

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To the Wonder

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

Terrence Malick (2012) THE FILMS OF TARENCE MALICK, or at least his most recent ones, are perhaps more admired than loved. I’ve struggled through the longueurs of late Malick, but at the same time I’m aware that my brain has been conditioned by Hollywood conventions. Malick takes running leaps off the high dive and sometimes…

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Sullivan’s Travels

By J. Smith-Cameron Essay

Preston Sturges (1941) ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT 2016, a truly punishing year, I sat in my brother’s living room. I was house- and dog-sitting and most importantly keeping Christmas with our elderly mom, who otherwise would have been alone with her nurse. My husband and I sat in front of a dying fire, dogs in sleepy…

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By Susan Isaacs Essay

Danny Boyle (2004) IF FILMS CAN INSPIRE US to live better, you’d think that for people of faith, the most inspiring movies would be Christmas movies. Oh, my child, if only it were so. There’s The Nativity Story, but there’s also Kirk Cameron Saves Christmas (yes, that happened). I used to love It’s a Wonderful…

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Le Silence de la Mer

By Kenneth R. Morefield Essay

Jean-Pierre Melville (1949) IN ONE OF THE GREATEST DEFENSES of poetry ever written, Percy Shelley wrote that “The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.” Shelley defined love as a “going out of our own nature and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own.”…

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The White Ribbon

By Andrew Brotzman Essay

Michael Haneke (2009) ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND IS ASSASSINATED. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Germany follows suit three days later, turning on Russia first, and then on France the following Monday. An unnamed tailor from the fictitious village of Eichwald, Germany, presents these facts in simple, direct voiceover during the final minutes of Michael Haneke’s The…

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Do the Right Thing

By Michael Dunaway Essay

Spike Lee (1989) WHAT FILM HELPS YOU LIVE BETTER? It’s an impossible question. Something by Francis Ford Coppola? Terrence Malick? Richard Linklater? A documentary by Steve James, Ondi Timoner, Barbara Kopple, the Maysles Brothers, or D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus? Yes to all. But just as Chris Rock says about music, I think there is…

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