I’ve been away for a couple of days, preparing for my presentation at Seattle Pacific University University’s UR (University Relations) Staff Retreat.

The retreat was yesterday, and I had the incredible privilege of talking to about 75 SPU staff members about my history as a moviegoer, the development of Looking Closer; the changing dialogue within Christian communities on the subject of film, Christian liberty, and conscience; the different ways in which we watch and should watch movies; the different ways in which film manipulates our feelings about characters and ideas; the severe neglect in America of foreign and art films; how to watch an art film; etc.

We watched clips from various films, and then enjoyed Kryzysztof Kieslowski’s Bleu in its entirety. The discussion afterward was revelatory. It was the most encouraging event I’ve had the privilege to participate in. The group was attentive and really engaged with the clips and the movie. What a difference from 10 years ago, where talking to a similar group of Christians about movies was like starting a bar brawl.

And now, folks, I need a break from the Internet.

And, it just so happens that Anne and I will be participating in a week-long writer’s workshop next week, as well as enjoying visits with family members and meeting up with my agent and the publishers who have determined to change our lives. So it’ll be a week full of activity and creativity.

I’ll dive back into blogging during the second week of August. And, I may discover an opportunity here or there during the workshop to post an update, but I’m not sure that’ll be possible.

Until then, here are today’s specials (most of them coming from Coming Soon):

  • The trailer for Julianne Moore’s next film. (Once again, she’s a period-piece housewife. This stereotyping makes me very, very sad. Moore’s so talented and so versatile. Remember Lebowski? And this trailer gives me the creeps, with the way it toes the line of belittling the dignity of housewives. I’m worried about what this film is going to try to “say.”)
  • What’s down the hatch? Lost is coming back!
  • For those of you still sticking with ABC’s Alias, Sidney Bristow is pregnant! What bothers me about this report is the idea that, since Bristow’s pregnant, she needs a sexy new apprentice in order to keep the show “sexy.” What… just because Bristow’s pregnant immediately disqualifies her from the category of “attractive”? Jeeez.

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