My essay-review is up at CT. www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/july-web-only/deliver-us-from-evil.html
A SEPARATION begins with photocopied passports and the problems of communication as a separation is in the midst of occurring; THE PAST begins at an airport and the problems of communication are suggested by a glass window separating a couple who has already separated.
Hamid Naficy concludes his social history of Iranian cinema with the question: "A cinema of displacement or a displaced cinema?" The answer, of course, is yes. Farhadi's is a domestic (melo)drama that is apolitical and universal…
For me, the really interesting thing about this film--among many notable conversation points--is the sense in which it is about the complex facets of communication with God, and the significance of myths which are passed along from one generation to the next. Tubal-Cain demands that God speak to him; Noah receives visions from God, but then wrestles with what God wants him to do. What's more, there's a strong sense in this film in which barrenness connects with the chaos…
In his 2013 biography of Henson, Brian Jay Jones notes that from the early days Kermit "was the sun around which the entire Muppet solar system revolved," and (quoting head writer Jerry Juhl) goes on to say, "More important, [the other Muppets] have to relate to him. Without Kermit, they don't work. Nothing could happen without him. The other characters do not have what it takes to hold things together."
I would argue that MUPPETS MOST WANTED is about this. More at CT: www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/muppets-most-wanted.html?start=1