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In 2013, Walt Disney began releasing new Mickey Mouse shorts. It all started with the Mouse. Mickey came into being in the late 1920’s and started in some brilliant animated shorts for years. The animation of these new Mickey Mouse shorts are nothing like the originals though, and take a little bit of getting used to, at least for me it was. The animation is similar to what you might find on Cartoon Network, for better or for worse.
In the short below, Mickey and Minnie are having a romantic evening out, and plan to place a lock on the bridge, like so many others, as a symbol of their love for one another.
This is the sermon I preached at Peakland United Methodist on the first Sunday of Advent. The text was Luke 21:25-28. You can listen on the Podcast app by subscribing here.
I was on my iPhone, causally scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I realized that there were a lot of things being said about Paris. I turned the news on, and saw the reports of what would be multiple attacks across the city, killing hundreds. I like many have been in a state of shock over the events. To the point that my journaling was just a list of words or phrases, no complete sentences, reflecting the impossibility of complete thoughts forming.
Today, I attempted to form that list of words and phrases into a prayer:
Serge Gainsbourg, born Lucien Ginsburg in Paris in 1928 to Russian-Jewish emigrants, was possibly the greatest European cultural icon of the twentieth century, most widely known (and celebrated) for the songs he wrote for beautiful female singers. Not to mention the affairs he had with each of them. This French film follows the life and career of this cultural icon, including his troubled relationships, bouts with depression, and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Just as celebrated in France is the writer-director Joann Sfar who is a comic book artist and musician. The animated opening of the film is all the work of Sfar. Throughout the film an animated version of Gainsbourg might pop up here and there. When we consider Sfar’s artistic inclinations, it becomes clear that he is the perfect candidate to explore Gainsbourg’s roller-coaster of a life and career.
Hart Crane was an early 20th century modernist poet. His poetry was difficult to understand, it was highly stylized, and very ambitious. James Franco, as writer, director, and actor, brings to us the complicated life of the mustachioed gay romantic living mostly in his own head in The Broken Tower. As complicated as Crane’s life and poetry was, so is this biopic based on Paul Mariani’s biography of the same title. Shot in black-and-white video, Franco’s film uses repetitive, stop-and-start-like cuts that are very chaotic and could simply mirror Crane’s life, that of a man who ended his own life by jumping from the steamship SS Orizaba at the age of 32.
Franco tells the narrative of Crane’s life using a chapter-based structure (not unlike a technique used by director Lars von Trier). These chapters are called “Voyages,” which is the title of a series of erotic poems written by Crane. The Voyages help guide the film through Crane’s narrative, moving us from his early years in Cleveland, to the streets of New York, to trips to Paris and Mexico.