A new Scott Cairns poem is posted at the Denver Literary Examiner, one of several included in the new issue of Poetry. Cairns also has new poems in the new 20th anniversary issue of Image.

Did the recent movie Fireproof inspire you or change your life?

Have you been waiting for me to publish a review of it?

If so, forgive me. I missed a lot of movies in 2008, and that was one of them.

I was recently informed that, since I write reviews for Christian readers, Christian readers will “justifiably be expecting [me] to make an informed decision” on Fireproof — moreso than, say, Wendy and Lucy — because Fireproof is a movie “squarely” in a Christian moviegoer “demographic.”

I replied that I had very little moviegoing time these days (with my long-overdue novel on my desk), and if I did have a couple of hours I would probably make it a priority to see something from the top of the list of the year’s most acclaimed films, I was informed that I was “showing signs of elitism and film critic snobbery.”

My goodness, I hope not. I apologize if I’ve come across as snobbish for prioritizing Rachel Getting Married over Fireproof. I haven’t taken the time to catch up with that film yet. (Nor have I had time for many of the films that are regularly appearing in the top ten lists of other film critics, Christian or otherwise.)

To help make up part of my debt to those expectant Christian moviegoers, I’m opening the phones here. I have no desire whatsoever to turn up my nose against Fireproof, or against Christian filmmakers, or against anything that might have “a positive impact.” I’m happy to provide a platform for people to sing this movie’s praises, and to talk about how it has impressed them or changed their life. I haven’t seen the film, so I cannot, and should not, make any presumptuous judgments.

So… I pass you the megaphone. If Fireproof is one of 2008’s most inspiring films, let the world know here. And forgive me for neglecting it or spreading any kind of “snobbish” or “elitist” vibes…

And while we’re at it:

What were the most inspiring and uplifting films you saw this year?

For me, a film’s “message” isn’t enough to make it inspiring. I need beauty. Excellence. Poetry. Truth. Something real, crafted with integrity. Blatant messages accompanied by sentimental music or close-ups of tear-stained faces don’t inspire me. Might as well send me a Hallmark card. No… I’m hungry for something real, something that lets me discover meaning, rather than something that shovels meaning upon me.

(And by the way, have you seen Flight of the Red Balloon? It’s as buoyant as the subject of its title. Or Silent Light? If there was any film this year that inspiringly portrayed the beautiful scandal of Divine Intervention, well…)

I’m hope I find a good opportunity to see Fireproof. If and when that happens, believe me: I’ll share my thoughts without holding back.

At Image, A.G. Harmon considers The Day the Earth Stood Still

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