KevinB on the role of criticism in LDS film

Back in February, I linked to Randy Astle’s excellent essay on LDS film and criticism. Now KevinB has taken up the subject at AMV’s sister blog LDS Cinema Online. Part 1, which provides an overview of film criticism and reviewing, is interesting, but part 2 is where things really take off as Kevin brings things in to the sphere of LDS arts and culture. It will come as no surprise that he comes to the same conclusion as Randy, one that’s also been discussed several times over the years here at AMV and elsewhere — that LDS art, and LDS film in particular, needs a stronger culture of criticism. What’s interesting about Kevin’s approach is that he frames it in a gospel context: that of repentance. And illustrates it with, what seems to be an intractable problem — or not so much a problem as a byproduct of certain aspects of LDS culture — that is, the often lack of quality teaching in LDS gospel doctrine classes.

There’s a lot to like in his analysis so head on over and check it out. I especially look forward to part 3, where Kevin is going to talk specifically about film reviews and what’s fair criticism and what isn’t.

A bunch of links: post-July 4th edition

It’s time to highlight some things that have come across my transom lately with a heavy slant towards those associated with AMV in some capacity or another.

LDS Cinema Online and the new Prop. 8 documentary

Kevin has posted an in-depth review of “8: The Mormon Proposition” that actually finds a few things to like among all the preaching to the choir.

Earth day musings from Patricia

And they’re not quite what you think they would be. But you still get the fantastic writing and insightful commentaries on how we use language and relate to difference and the natural world that one has come to expect from Patricia.

Jonathan Langford at King’s English July 13

Jonathan will be reading from his novel No Going Back at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, as part of the King’s English Bookstore’s local author showcase. The bookstore is located at 1511 South 1500 East Salt Lake City, UT 84105.

Mormon criticism of a non-LDS film

Theric recently sent to me this link to a column by Davey Morrison that does a Mormon reading of “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Davey summarizes the field of Mormon criticism and then takes the approach that “Mormon film is any film as seen by a Mormon” and attempts to prove it. The result is quite interesting.

Zarahemla Books new releases two-fer

Hopefully you’ve already read my interview with Stephen Carter about his new collection of personal essays. But that’s not the only Zarahemla Books summer title. Chris has also published a collection of short stories by Darin Cozzens. Currently you can (35% savings off of the cover price).

Ask Mormon Girl on the Great Mormon Novel

Joanna Brooks takes on the whole Great Mormon Novel question. Note that the discussion takes place both at Mormon Matters and the Ask Mormon Girl blog. See Wm get all snippy and whiny! See the same attitudes play out all over again! But anyway, Joanna makes a great point about how the discussion often ignores female authors (although, you know, the Shakespeares and Miltons come up with Whitney for a specific reason, which I’ve already discussed. Short answer: they are the founding geniuses of English language literature. When authors to emulate gets brought up in all seriousness it’s almost always Chaim Potok and Flannery O’Connor. And as I mention, many of the most celebrated and widely read authors of Mormon-themed literary fiction are Margaret Young and Angela Hallstrom. But I digress) and makes the claim for Terry Tempest Williams.

Announcing: LDS Cinema Online

I’m pleased to announce that LDS Cinema Online has joined the AMV family. This new blog features reviews and criticism from Kevin B (also known as the Baron of Deseret, whose reviews previously were published at The Waters of Mormon) and Adam Figueira of Towards an LDS Cinema. By combining forces, they will, I’m sure, provide the best LDS-oriented film criticism around. Please welcome them by clicking on over and saying hello and subscribing to their RSS feed. For those who are so inclined, you can also follow them on twitter: @ldscinema.

If you are interested in contributing to the blog, e-mail ldscinema AT motleyvision DOT org. This does not mean that AMV proper is abandoning cinema, but we’ll focus on posting reviews and film-centric criticism over there.