Boyhood – a film of genius


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Just returned from seeing this lengthy film at the DCA. It is a work of genius! I have no idea how Richard Linklater was able to bankroll something which took him at least twelve years to make. He takes a group of actors and comes back each year to film them at another stage of the film. As a result the young boy (played by a six year old Ellar Coltrane) grows into an 18 year old young man (played by an 18 year old Ellar Coltrane)…likewise with the other characters. And that is basically the plot. If action movies, weird plots etc are your thing, this is not the film for you. On the other hand if you are interested in brilliant film making, cinematography, great music and above all humanity this is your film. Even at two hours 40 minutes!

It evoked a whole range of emotions in me. Anger, love, frustration, pity, joy, tears..
When the teenage boy meets his fathers new in laws and they give him a bible, and then take him to church, I wanted to shout – thats what you need to make sense of this meaningless life. When his mother at the end of the film broke down at him leaving for college and wondered why life was so meaningless, when he himself asked ‘what is the point?’, I kept thinking read Ecclesiastes. The desire to be free and outwith the control of others I could totally empathise and I kept thinking ‘know the truth and the truth will set you free’.

A totally brilliant film. Please be aware it is a ’15’ – but then so is much of real life and this is one of the most real life films I have ever seen.

“Boyhood is an act of communion, lovely and enriching and ultimately sublime” VAnity Fair

“An achievement of a lifetime” – The Daily Telegraph.

“There is hardly a better or more noble thing a film can do than inspire love…. I love this film more than I can say” – The Guardian

Commonwealth, Disney, Eurovision, Brigadoon – reflections on the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games


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I suspect this one is not going to win me many friends. Whilst there was much that was good about the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games – overall it left me ashamed of Scotland – or at least how we are portrayed – and how we now portray ourselves – as a dumbed down, tartanised, branded, Godless nation. In this piece on ChristianToday we look at some of the things we learnt about modern Scotland – and indeed modern Western society….enjoy and feel free to comment.

Janet Parshall show – 21st July 2014


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It now seems as though I am doing a monthly radio show with Janet Parshall on Moody Radio. I very much enjoy talking with her and find her a stimulating and encouraging host….here is the latest show (on evil – my theme of the moment!)…which was broadcast live last night….the next one has been booked for the 21st of August…

The Apologetic of Evil (1)

This is part one of a three part summary of my talk given to the Keswick convention on the 16th of July. It is not the actual talk itself but rather notes and a summary but you get the main gist. You can get the link here.

You can get the original here audio here -

Bad News for the Good News – A response to Steve Chalke’s ‘redefined’ evangelicalism


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This one is going to hurt.  I wrote it out of a pained heart and know that even writing it will result in condemnation and abuse. I am not even sure that I should have written it.  Who am I?    If I deserve the brickbats it so be it…but rather than reduce this to personalities lets focus on the message.  Its not about me, or Steve Chalke – its about Jesus.  In my view the teaching of the ‘redefined’ evangelicalism is far more dangerous than the teaching of the New Atheism.  Let me know what you think.

I am referring to my latest article on Christian Today – if you think it it worthwhile please feel free to pass it on.  If you are in the US then for Steve Chalke read Brian McClaren or any others of the ‘new evangelicals’.   You can read the whole article here


Why England lost the World Cup


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This world cup has so far been one of the most enjoyable I have seen – the exuberance of Columbia, brilliance of Messi, flair of the Dutch, sheer class of Germany and some of the ‘Scotland’ teams (the minnows like Costa Rica) doing really well.  It has also been strange for me – I have experienced a ‘conversion’.  I no longer want England to lose every match.  In fact I am saddened that they, along with Spain and Italy, are not in the last 16.  I reflect on this in my latest article for Christian Today.  You can read it here.



The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet – A Review


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I knew nothing about this film when I went to see it with Annabel last Friday. Only the fact that it was on at the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) and that the director was Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) was reason enough for us to go at our usual Friday 6pm time. Right from the beginning I loved it. The 3D was fabulous – proving to me that 3D could be used from something other than action movies and cheap thrills. The cinematography was superb, catching the idea of the wide open spaces of Montana and Alberta. The acting was realistic, the story quirky and the messages within the film life affirming without being too smaltzy. Helena Bonham Carter was superb but the real star was TS played by Kyle Catlett. I loved the speech to the scientists at the end and the mockery of the sadly all too typical shallow talk show host. I loved the dynamics of the family and the clear difficulties they were having in coming to terms with the death of T’S’s twin brother. This film manages to be comic, artistic, realistic and profound all in one. If you get the chance go and see it – you will not regret it. Just make sure you see it in 3D – well worth the extra cost.


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