Category Archives: morality

Star Wars: the ambiguity of religion

There is something compelling about the Star Wars saga (I’m only referring to the original films 1977-1983). It manages to be original whilst being heavily plagiarised (from 1940s war movies and 1950s B-movies to pirates and Robin Hood movies, mixed … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Empire Strikes Back, faith, fantasy/supernatural, gender, good & evil, humility, masculinity, monasticism, morality, myth, religion, sexuality, Star Wars, The Return of the Jedi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calvary – Justice and Compassion

A good priest is threatened to be killed by someone who has suffered abuse from priests when he was a child. Father James (Brendan Gleeson) sees through the shit of people with irony and the occasional confrontation; yet he is … Continue reading

Posted in Calvary, Catholic Church, Christianity, compassion, emotions, Enlightenment, faith, good & evil, institutions, justice, love, morality, personhood, power, reason/rationality, religion, sexuality, society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside Out – No emotions, only feelings

Inside Out seeks to hide its lack of originality behind clever ingenuity. It tells the story of a young girl through her ‘emotions’, except these are nothing more than instinctual reactions. Instead of depicting the different sides of one person, … Continue reading

Posted in America, consciousness, emotions, family, good & evil, individualism, Inside Out, love, morality, personhood, reason/rationality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Better Call Saul: Moral Agency and the American Dream

Better Call Saul goes back in time to reconstruct how Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) became Saul Goodman, the criminal lawyer (with a stress on criminal) of Breaking Bad. In Breaking Bad, Saul employs his cunning mind and wicked charm in … Continue reading

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Good Women, Bad Women, and Witches – Hocus Pocus, The Craft, Practical Magic

Hocus Pocus is fun. It is for children so the evil witches are more fun than scary. Yet, they follow the traditional cinematic construct of the evil witch as a bad woman, a woman who does not adhere to the … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', body, family, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, good & evil, Hocus Pocus, love, magic, morality, nature, patriarchy, Practical Magic, sexuality, The Craft, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breaking Bad – The Puritan American Dream & the Family

Breaking Bad is one of those rare series that understands character development. The series is about Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher, who discovers he has cancer and starts making top-notch meth. This is initially to cover his health … Continue reading

Posted in America, American dream, authenticity, Breaking Bad, capitalism, Christianity, entertainment, family, good & evil, individualism, morality, Protestantism, Uncategorized, western | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chef – Food, Class, and Salvation in America

Chef is an insipid comedy stuffed with movie stars but no bite. Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is the head chef at a posh restaurant in California. He’s frustrated by the restaurant owner’s imposition of classical dishes, which stifles his creativity. … Continue reading

Posted in America, authenticity, autonomy, capitalism, Chef, class, consumerism, family, food, freedom, individualism, morality, nation, personhood, Protestantism, religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trick ‘r Treat (part 1): Tradition and Ritual

The reason why I like horror is that it reverses the order of things. Those who fit society, be they conventional types or ‘alpha men and women’, are ridiculed, tortured, and killed. Horror is not just about our subconscious or … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', entertainment, fairytales, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, Halloween, horror, morality, myth, purity, ritual, tradition, Trick 'r Treat, Victor Turner | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Francis of Assisi (part 2) – Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon

In Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972), Franco Zeffirelli’s Francis (Graham Faulkner) is a romantic rebellious youth. He echoes the ‘Jesus freaks’ of the sixties. Zeffirelli’s Francis rejects the other-wordly divine, the representations of heaven and hell, to emphasise creation in an almost … Continue reading

Posted in Brother Sun, Francis of Assisi, freedom, humanity, humility, innocence, institutions, morality, nature, poverty, power, purity, religion, Sister Moon, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Francis of Assisi (part 1) – Rossellini’s The Flowers of St. Francis

Francis of Assisi was a complex character, who has been too often imagined as the sweet and gentle fool delighting in the singing of birds. In reality, he was a radical and uncompromising figure, and yet also compassionate and pragmatic. … Continue reading

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