Book Reviews

Sculpting in Time

I’ve never read another book like Sculpting in Time. In it Tarkovsky speaks as eloquently about art as he does faith and philosophy, and does so in a remarkably kind, concerned voice.

Feb 22, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words

Sculpting in Time (1987)

I’ve never read another book like Sculpting in Time. In it Tarkovsky speaks as eloquently about art as he does faith and philosophy, and does so in a remarkably kind, concerned voice. To him, his subject —the unique ability of the cinematic image to touch the soul and inspire spiritual improvement — is quite literally a matter of life and death.

Feb 7, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words

New Seeds of Contemplation (1961)

Like “Making Peace,” the Denise Levertov poem that inspired this site, Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation is concerned with the destructive influences of greed, superficiality, and passivity on our hectic, disjointed lives.

Feb 5, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Words

The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue (1994)

Johnson’s and Petrie’s study is that extremely rare beast: an academic study that is informative, objective (or as close as anyone can get), and readable.

Feb 3, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words

Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski (1999)

Insdorf sets out with the right questions in mind: How was Kieslowski’s body of work shaped by personal experience, particularly by his life under Communism? What other directors, artists, and thinkers shaped his aesthetic? What preoccupations, both ideological and stylistic, form the backbone of his work? What precipitated his move from documentary to narrative film, and how did each influence the other? Unfortunately, in attempting to answer all of these questions (and in only 180 pages), she fails to address any of them adequately.

Feb 1, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Film, Words

July’s People (1981)

Note: The following was written for a graduate seminar on Postcolonial literature, but, aside from the first few paragraphs, it is a fairly straight-forward reading of what might just be my favorite novel.

Jan 14, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Words

In the Time of Butterflies (1994)

“Why, they inevitably ask in one form or another, why are you the one who survived?” (page 5). Before meeting the sisters of In the Time of Butterflies, before even learning their names, we know that they have lived lives and died deaths worth telling.

Jan 2, 2000
Category: Book Reviews, Words