Christ and Pop Culture

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson wrap their Never Seen series with a thorough discussion of Titanic—a film on Hannah’s Never Seen list and one that Erin saw on the big screen almost 22 years ago. They offer gut reactions and hot takes as they peel apart this story that oozes with class divides and stereotypes. Class divisions were much more sturdy in 1912, when first-class society didn’t mix and mingle with those outside the fold.

Direct download: 170_Titanic.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm EST

Whether you prefer your doomsdays to involve zombies or thermonuclear weapons, Seeing & Believing has you covered this week. First up is The Dead Don’t Die, directed by Jim Jarmusch, who returns to movies about the undead after his vampire riff Only Lovers Left Alive to tell a story about a zombie apocalypse in a sleepy rural town. Bill Murray and Adam Driver star as two police officers who have a pretty good idea of how everything is going to end. Wade and Kevin also continue their “Summer of Stan” series with Stanley Kubrick’s famed Cold War satire, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Over half a century after it first came out, the guys explore how well Kubrick’s vision of bomb-riding cowboys and fluid-obsessed military maniacs holds up. And that’s not all, anticipation of the Toy Story 4 review next week, Wade sits down with Pixar production coordinator Dana Frankoff to talk about the studio’s creative process!

Direct download: 205_The_Dead_Dont_Die_and_Dr._Strangelove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EST

Seeing & Believing kicks off its first-ever series surrounding a famous director this week! The "Summer of Stan" begins with a deep dive into Stanley Kubrick's early picture about World War I, Paths of Glory, with Wade and Kevin exploring Kubrick's pessimism, stylistic signatures, and unique take on the Western Front. The guys also finally get around to offering a review of David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lakeóa weird, entirely unmarketable film about wealth, pop culture, Hollywood sleaze, and humanity's search for meaning. This one may be headed for cult-film status in a couple of years ... or it might sink entirely into obscurity.

Direct download: 204_Silver_Lake__Paths_of_Glory.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm EST

Erin and Hannah discuss Chariots of Fire. Erin was familiar with the film due to her background in running, while Hannah knew of it from the faith community angle. Both were surprised by its gentle, quiet retelling of two amazingly talented runners vying for Olympic Gold in 1924. Eric Liddell is a Christian whose faith frames his quest as part of his life goal of serving God. Harold Abrahams is Jewish, driven to prove his worth through his running feats.

Direct download: 169_Chariots_of_Fire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49am EST

Two major figures: Godzilla and Elton John duked it out this week to see which one of them would be king of the multiplex, but which of them will be king of Seeing & Believing’s heart? Wade and Kevin had plenty of affection for the 2014 Godzilla reboot, but is the latest film a worthy successor or a mere pretender to the throne? Meanwhile, musical biopics haven’t been getting much love from the show lately, despite Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Oscars. The guys dig in to see whether Dexter Fletcher’s whirlwind trip through Elton John’s early career fares any better.

Music interlude by Busker & Co, “Red Is the Rose.” Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Theme music by Alexander Osborn and Lindsey Mysse. Used under Creative Commons license 3.0.

Direct download: 203_Godzilla__King_of_Monsters_and_Rocketman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm EST

Erin and Hannah pack the Persuasion house with two guests to discuss The Breakfast Club: Wade Bearden and Kevin McLenithan, who host the Christ and Pop Culture film podcast Seeing and Believing. Only Erin had seen The Breakfast Club before, so this was a Never Seen for Hannah, Wade, and Kevin. After watching this iconic film for the first time, the trio gives their gut reactions as Erin explains why this film became such a definitive part of her high school and college experience.

Direct download: 168_The_Breakfast_Club.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am EST