This year has been quite a doozy in the film world with an equal portion of fresh and rotten films. But, let’s look on the bright side and look at the best movies of the year. Before I do, I’ll briefly mention that these are my top ten and, of course, my opinion. Also, I haven’t seen quite a big chunk of movies in 2016 yet. So if your movie didn’t make it on this list, don’t take it personally. I probably just haven’t seen it yet. This list is not in any particular order. Okay, let’s do this…
The Chess Elf
by Jason Ingolfsland
All Rights Reserved.
The fire roared inside the stone fireplace, dimly lighting the beautifully adorned den with two red chairs, a coffee table, and a thick and soft rug in the middle. An old brown piece of parchment paper stretched and coiled like a snake past the coffee table and underneath the red chair while a medium sized elf, dressed in a brown tunic and evergreen pants, read through a massive list of boys and girls begging Saint Nicholas for toys.
Too often Hollywood gets itself into a rut. The moment one studio finds a winning formula, genre, or theme, the others are soon to follow and they all copy each other so much it becomes cliche and boring. It’s only natural. If you see success in front of you, why not do the same thing and recreate it? The other issue is listening to focus groups or conventional wisdom as a compass for all your stories. It’s easy to pay strict adherence to story conventions and practices as if breaking them is forbidden and a one way trip to failure-town. One of these rules is: Don’t kill off your main characters.
If you somehow didn’t manage to read the title before looking at this article, let me make it abundantly clear – SPOILERS AHEAD.
Rogue One has many ‘firsts’ for the Star Wars franchise. It’s the first Star Wars film to not have a text crawl in the beginning. The first to not have John Williams as the composer (No, the Ewok movies don’t count). It’s also the first to not have any Jedi. It stands apart on many different levels, making it a unique story within the Star Wars mythos.
After watching Rogue One for the first time, I thought I’d list off a bunch of my thoughts. And again it’s a minefield of spoilers, so don’t proceed if you don’t want to be spoiled.
I had been reading The Song of Susannah by Stephen King when my wife brought home two copies of the book Silence by Shusaku Endo from the library. She wanted to read them together and discuss. Though I generally love reading Stephen King, The Song of Susannah just wasn’t doing it for me (I still need to finish it). Silence pulled me in quickly. The prose flowed well, though some of the translation was sloppy, and the compelling, yet simple, story kept me engaged. So, it was goodbye, King, and hello, Endo. He explores many themes, but of all of them I’m only going to focus on the idea of Christian love and faith, and how the two could potentially be in conflict under certain circumstances.
It took me roughly a week and a half to finish Silence. Examining the literature from an English standpoint is difficult. I can only imagine what might be lost in translation, and frankly the translation by William Johnston was less than impressive. Either way, I’m only assuming that overall Endo’s subtext and themes come across fine within the English translation.