Monday, October 23, 2006

Virtual Mail Bag #1: Demons, Fearless, Prison

From Paul, in (possibly) Boston;

Subject: curse of the demon
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 08:20:09 -0700 (PDT)

I was sorry to note that you do not allow comments on
your blog, especially on the curse of the demon. It's
true that the demon shows up right away, but in a way,
the slower development that follows in the film almost
makes you doubt your senses. By which I mean I found
myself wondering if it had been 'real' at all. Until,
of course, the end of the film. It still belongs in my
list of favorite horror films, in which none of the
Freddy type movies has any place at all.

"It's a good thing I'm all alone when I'm by myself."
- something actually said by Paul Maybury Jr.

Thanks for your note, Paul Jr.

I know what you mean about comments. I do love a good movie chat. Thing is, visiting other people's blogs, a lot of times people post real junk. I didn't want to spend a lot of time scrubbing graffiti off the bathroom walls. Eternal vigilance has its place.

Downside is, we miss out when good people actually have something good to say. So I'm starting me a mail bag, like Bob Dylan's got on his show, like they used to have on Safety Roundup at lunch time. If it's good enough for Mr Zimmerman and the Safety Patrol, it's good enough for me.

Thanks for your comments, Paul. I like your take on CURSE - I can see how the "fantasticness" of the effect itself could lead to your experience of the film. Nice.

And thanks for taking the time to email, and for inspiring “Virtual Mail Bag.” Now we're all just a little less alone. Even if we are by ourselves.



Robert “Little Tramp” Whalley of Melbourne, Downunder writes…

Subject: Fearless Review
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 08:14:41 +1000


I came across your review of Fearless and liked it a lot. I am
currently teaching an online course on "Media As Spirituality" at
the theological school, Trinity College, University of Melbourne,
and using Peter Weir's films as a template. May I quote - with
appropriate citations - your essay on the the film as part of my
online lecture? The course is in its last component, has 8 current
students, will likely run again in two years, and I would ask
permission if I were to use your work in any future work (which
isn't in my plans at this time) outside this course.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rob Whalley

PS - For a bit about me,check out my own blog at, I do tertiary chaplaincy and adult education here in Melbourne.

Greetings, Robert.

Sorry to be slow replying. I'd forgotten that I'd given my hotmail address for the blog, and don't visit there very often.

Yes, by all means, feel free to use the Fearless piece (or any of my other film writing) in your course. It's so gratifying that you find it useful.

I'll check out your blog!


P.S. Shouldn’t that be “chaplainesque”?...


And this just in (well, I got to it within a month) from sunny Winterpeg…

From: Gordon Matties
Subject: Bless you prison
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 17:39:37 -0500


I own a copy of Bless You, Prison, which I received from the Director.

You can order it from Christian Cinema (this film was not made as “Christian
cinema,” by the way) or cd universe.

I saw the film in Montreal, when I served on the Ecumenical Jury there. We
awarded it the Ecumenical Prize that year.

I’m looking forward to seeing your book! All the best.

Gordon Matties, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies
Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, MB Canada
Seeing is Believing: CMU's Film Series
Movie Theology Web Page

Thanks, Gordon! I'll track me down a copy.

Ecumenical jury. Sounds fun, if ominous. Better than "ecumenical posse". Or "ecumenical lynch mob" Still, if you've got to be part of a lynch mob, good to be ecumenical about it.

Must check out those websites.

And say, your name's familiar: did you used to be a Vancouverite? Or maybe I met you on a long-ago arts thingamabob in Vancouver: I seem to recall a reading of "The Zeal Of Thy House" and a Catholic church shaped like a seashell. Or maybe I just dreamt it.


To which Doc Matties re-replies;


I was a regent student in the late 70s. You came to Winnipeg to do a
lecture/presentation series at Mennonite Brethren Bible College (a precursor to Concord College and CMU) in the 80s, I think. And maybe you presented something at a Catholic church here, but it that church is shaped on the outside like an oil can. Maybe it looks like a sea shell on the inside!


Well met, fellow alum! And yup, that was the gig: maybe '85 or '86. I know it was snowy.

And as for the church, yes, I think "oil can" is probably what the architects were going for, now that you mention it. Something about Aaron's beard.

Yours biblically,


Keep those ecards and eletters comin' in!

And from now on, how about all you scribes send your cinematic scribbles to - that way I'll get around to reading them much quicker! But if it bounces back to you, feel free to use

No comments: