Silence (Martin Scorcese, 2016)


The silence beyond all enduring I read Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence a few years after it was first published in English in 1969. I…

Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)


A Discussion Guide Backstory: the Creation of Wonder Woman Wonder Woman was originally the brainchild of Dr. William Moulon Marston (1893-1947), a Harvard educated…

Light in a Darkened Room

Books / Movies

When I teach on film and have the chance to recommend books I always include the ones written by Roy Anker. In fact, I…

Ex Machina


The Real Test “To be or not to be—that is the question.” [Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1] Things were changing when Mortimer Adler published…

Dr. Strange (Scott Derrickson, 2016)


When battles are within and without Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant neurosurgeon with a worldwide reputation and an ego that…

Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)


A gift from beyond the horizons of time The plot of this movie is relatively simple: twelve massive spaceships suddenly appear at various points…

The Reluctant Fundamentalist
(Mira Nair, 2013)


In our globalized and pluralistic world, opposing views of life and reality can collide, resulting in distrust, and even, sadly, violence. How I see…

Into the Wild
(Sean Penn, 2007)


Some movies are like cotton candy, others like granola. Some are sweet but vacuous; others more demanding but more nutritious. Sean Penn’s cinematic adaptation…

The Barbarian Invasions
(Denys Arcand, 2004)


This Academy Award winning film (Best Foreign Language, 2004) is quirky, surprising, well-crafted, and designed to prompt discussion, if not sharp debate. The story…