Archives October 2013

Why "Human Traffic" is possibly my favourite film of all-time.

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“It’s an insane world, but I’m proud to be a part of it”

Bill Hicks

There are better films ever made: Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction, Der Himmel über Berlin, but for sheer enjoyment, joi d’vive and a film which I can watch endlessly with memorable dialogue, vivid cut scenes and pure Zeitgeist, I can’t better 1999’s Human Traffic directed by Justin Kerrigan

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It was Kerrigan’s first film, and this shows in its many vignettes and in-jokes that he had clearly been nursing for many years to this point.

However, it is this narrative which combines a (minimalist as it is) story arc about a bunch of mates who go out on a weekend and two of them get off with each other intersperced with fantasy inserts which are so seemless as to match the flow of consciousness that is seen only in Joyce’s Ulysses or a Tarantino Movie (imagine a Pulp Fiction without violence, and setting it in Cardiff).
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Another reason why I love it is that it speaks to ME: drugs, pubs and parties in my (foul, witty, irreverent but ultimately grounded) language.

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Performances are hugely varied and many of the young cast went on to loads of other things: John Simm, Shaun Parks and Danny Dyer all rock, whereas I always thought the character of Nina (Nicola Reynolds) was simply rubbish and one-dimensional.

The reason I watch it over and over again is not for any perceived spiritual meaning other than to be reminded that “err… Life is great!” (John 10:10 in action if ever I saw it). It affirms humanity and God’s creation through the simple love of being and the desire to connect with others, through music, drugs, sex and in the end through friendship; which is frankly the best we can get.

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The soundtrack is amazing, although it really does speak to about 5 years after my own club life; and its ambivalence towards recreational drug use “party prescriptions” speak of the world and culture I inhabited back then: been there, done that and had far too many regrets over that: I love this film because I understand it.

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The pre-night-out monologue “The weekend has landed” is one of the best in cinema and ends with a classic bit of Bill Hicks. All of those Danny Dyer “Moff” dialogues (even the weird one about Taxi Driver and Peter Andre) are brilliant: simply brilliant and have entered into my inner dialogue.

However, I have been to Cardiff on the beer – a party town like few others and which look a scene from Hyronymous Bosch come to life. My key question is where are all the welsh people in this film? Almost all the main characters are not locals (and not at the Uni either which is what draws most non-Welsh people to Cardiff) It’s like a Ghost Town: packed but devoid almost of Welsh accents.

However, this is my film. It’s the one I watch on long train journeys and the one which goes through my head on replay. You must have a film like that of your own. I’ve shared mine, now you tell me yours….

(recently written after a long journey home and only just typed up from my notebook)


Evening Prayer for Christ the King in Prezi

Yet another little experiment with Prezi, the awesome presentation tool.

Probably best viewed directly on the Prezi site via this link: http://prezi.com/9wmcnz5eaaus/evening-prayer-for-christ-the-king/

in case this embedded version doesn’t work…

[gigya src=”http://prezi.com/bin/preziloader.swf” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”550″ height=”400″ bgcolor=”#ffffff” flashvars=”prezi_id=9wmcnz5eaaus&lock_to_path=0&color=ffffff&autoplay=no&autohide_ctrls=0″

You can download and reuse this, so if you want to remove the Diocesan Logos, change the Psalmody etc, you can. No worries.


Why are we here?

recently found on an old backup disk, and not seen for many years. Now in the wild.

They come for entertainment
or to meet up with their friends
a cup of tea, a little sing
but please
– not too much of that religion though –
it makes one uncomfort-able
And even in these hard, hard pews
the one thing we will not do
is be challenged
or led to the place we will. not. go.

One comes to the Church (our beautiful church!)
to escape the world
to be sheltered from the storm outside
to feel… reassured
by melodies well known
and passages repeated from Sunday School to dinner table
of ages past
from where we will. not. grow.

And yet the Gospel will not be silenced
will not be shut out
no matter how loudly you sing the psalm
The Gospel cannot be ignored,
especially if that priest keeps mentioning it.

We will mutter under our breath
and protest under cover of darkness
and threatened to take our envelopes,
our custom elsewhere
for this is how we like it
now and forever more.

 

January 2005


Collective Worship: Francis of Assisi – a riches to rags story

 

 

You have to excuse the odd layout of these slides, but the projector doesn’t fit on the whole screen in this school.

The powerpoint is hereL S Francis 04 Oct 2013, so you can make it normal again. You make up the words, you know the story and you can make this your own…

Slide1

Gathering Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2svZhZT6Pro

Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide7 Slide8 Slide9 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13 Slide14 Slide15Francis was a rich young man, who wasted his days playing at soldiers and being a bit of a bad lad

Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW21mEhfePM

From “Francis of Assisi”, 1961

Slide17

He turn away from his rich life, and lived life as poor as you could be: relying on God for everything. He had a vision where he heard God tell him to “rebuild his church”

Clip 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjjOOl72euE

and he thought he meant a physical church – the ruined Church of San Damiano, but he soon realised God meant the actual church, rebuilt with faithSlide19

 

Francis loved Jesus with all his heart and spent his whole life simply spreading the good news of Jesus. He invented what we now know as the Christmas Crib scene.

Francis also had a special place for nature, for all God’s creation. It was said he preached to the birds and the animals as well as the people.

Slide20

He worked with the poor and those whom society turned away from. Even day, the monks who try to live the simple life of Jesus as Francis taught – the Franciscans – serve the poor, work with the very ill, love those whom no else loves, with no possessions and a very simple life of prayer and service – just as Jesus taught,Slide21Francis wrote many beautiful prayers, such as this one:

Clip 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdwe09TAxKY

Let us sing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFyDpc4r2zY

Slide24

{your own intercessions here}
Slide25 Slide26 Slide27

Clip 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiNIL8v1264

Slide29 Slide30

Recessional: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikk0xfbtVKM


Halloween: Trick or Treat

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There are some in the Church who are terrified of Halloween – running alternative “Light” Parties to try and distract the kids, many of whom then go straight out Trick or Treating. But that springs, it seems to me, to have no confidence in the power of Christ, who on the Cross defeated sin and death and won a victory for us all.

It is true that the world might seem a dark and a dismal place: all that violence and terror on the TV screens or in the newspapers, but into this darkness, Jesus said he was the Light of the World, and just as the Paschal Candle brings light into a darkened Church just before the beginning of Easter, and spreads its little light so far, so too does the light of Christ illume the whole world. There is no corner of the world so dark, no corner of our hearts so distant that the light of Christ cannot reach: and the darkness ALWAYS flees from the light. Christ wins.

(from a part of my Baptism talk as I light the baptism candle from the Paschal Candle)

Let ’em have their fun on Halloween, because the forces of evil can never win. Or don’t you really believe in the power of Christ?

This video is excellent, and I am clearly going to use it in my Collective Worship at the end of October. However, I’ve had a look at the website of 10ofthose.com: it believes worship be about just singing songs, and puts Mark Driscoll and Penal Substitution at the heart of its book choices. It is not, regrettably, a place for objective Bible Commentary, so I’m afraid I cannot recommend it.