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Contact, pt 4: The search for meaning

The X-Files told us that The Truth Is Out There. The search for meaning is one of humanity’s defining features. As far back as we can trace, human societies have in this sense been essentially religious. Prehistoric burials and ancestor worship indicate our grappling with life and death from the […]

Contact, pt 3: Which god?

One of the main themes that Contact deals with is religion. Through the extremist preacher Joseph (right), the film shows that religion can be a very destructive force. Yet we also see a benign expression of religion that is knowledgeable and sophisticated. Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey, below) is Contact‘s poster-boy for […]

Contact, pt 1: A big conversation

Are we alone in the universe? This question is the starting point for the film Contact (1997), starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. Ellie Arroway (Foster) is a woman driven by her thirst for answers. As a SETI scientist she scans radio transmissions, seeking intelligent signals from across the galaxy. […]

Elvis, eaten

During our weekend away, Tamie and I watched the film Ray, recounting the life of musician Ray Charles.  It’s a biopic similar to another we saw recently, Walk the Line, telling the story of musician Johnny Cash.  Both men experience a rags-to-riches rise into stardom, transcending socioeconomic lowliness, the traumatic […]