MOVIES AND MORE MOVIES

WOMEN’S PRISON MOVIES: Caged (1950) Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead. “She’ll be back.” Don’t miss the scene where butch sadistic prison matron steps out for her Saturday night date, lording it over and leaving the love-starved inmates to twist and turn. Turn the Key Softly (1953), dir. Jack Lee; British drama starring Yvonne Mitchell, Joan Collins (surprise) as a prostitute, Kathleen Harrison and Terence Morgan. Three women from different backgrounds are released from prison over the course of 24 hours each face a struggle to avoid returning to her criminal ways.

ROBERT MACFARLANE’S LOST WORDS

His capacity to conjure landscape is alone astounding. Add to that an astonishingly wide-ranging grasp of geography, geology, natural history, cartography, and literature. Throw in the fact that he’s no mere scholar or armchair philosopher: every book is grounded in his willingness to take on the physical hardship of mountain climbing, hiking, camping, sailing, and tramping. But what makes Macfarlane sublime is the aching longing for a lost Eden that sounds like a bass note beneath all his work.

RELIGION AROUND BILLIE HOLIDAY

Holiday was no poster child for political correctness. She frequently chose—in fact, sought out—men who abused her physically and emotionally. She was notoriously profligate with money, food, and space, sharing her apartment at times with pimps, prostitutes, addicts. Her fondest wish was to have kids, open a home for orphaned children, and have her own little supper club, maybe 200 seats, where she could feed people and sing.

Instead, she was “existentially correct”….

THE ONE ULTIMATELY IRRESISTIBLE PERSON

I think people who have not been huge desperate sinners perhaps don’t understand those of us who are drawn to Christ. Always I carry the wound of my sins. I have to believe, I do believe, I’ve been forgiven. It gives no glory to a Savior who came precisely to reconcile us to God in spite of the blackness of our consciences, to hold ourselves to a higher standard than he does.

THE FEMININE GENIUS OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: A few weeks ago, I attempted to make an appointment for an intake session with a therapist. My co-pay would be zero, I’ve never availed myself of such help, and especially after this past year of COVID, wildfires, political unrest, I thought—Why not? I had to […]