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Film festivals! How to Blow up a Pipeline! Bruce Campbell!!!
Like all of us, I contain multitudes. For instance, as much as I love routine, structure and clear expectations, I’m also a big fan of spontaneity and positive chaos. March, as it turns out, was a big month for both planned and spur-of-the-moment excitement.
This month started with my annual visit to the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Mo., where I shared a delightfully full Air BnB with friends, and saw some exciting documentaries (for highlights, check out the features list below).
As it happened, the day I headed to Columbia was also the day I got to live my long time dream of interviewing iconic cult actor Bruce Campbell. In order to make it to town in time to get my press credentials and drop off my stuff, I had to do that interview from a public library, constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure a librarian wasn’t about to come over to shush me, only to see I was speaking to Ash Williams.
Shortly after getting home from True/False, I wrote a feature on the upcoming (very good) movie How to Blow up a Pipeline and its composer, Gavin Brivik, a KC native, in advance of the movie’s hometown premiere on April 14. The feature is below. If you’re in the area and want to come see the film, the premiere will be at the Glenwood Arts. Gavin will be there, and I’ll be helping facilitate the Q&A.
Links to all that and more work are below. It’s probably reflective (but hopefully not too reflective) of a very busy month of traveling and writing.
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My March work:
Avoiding capture in a web of misogyny (Sojourners)
I’m wrapping up work on my All Souls’ Day chapter and preparing (appropriately for April) to start work on the Easter chapter. One of the highlights of last month was digging into Ronald Rolheiser’s book Sacred Fire, which became the key to an essay for the All Souls’ chapter on Kirsten Johnson’s documentary Dick Johnson is Dead.
Rolheiser’s book explores ideas of Christian maturity, basically looking at the stages of a faith journey and how we can develop, and help others develop, into more thoughtful, self-actualized people of faith. Something I found particularly interesting — both as it relates to Dick Johnson is Dead and to life as a whole — was Rolheiser’s observation that many of us are “insufficiently blessed.” That is, through one circumstance or another, we end up encountering more criticism or lack of acknowledgement in our lives than affirmation, a truth which can lead to some pretty depressing and self-defeating places in our later lives.
Rolheiser suggests one way we can combat those feelings in ourselves is by being generous with words of blessing toward other people, finding ways to uplift each other and celebrate victories large and small. It’s a practice I’d like to incorporate more in my own life, and I’m grateful to have been exposed to that perspective. It seems pretty obvious, but I feel like some of the most effective ideas often are.
Music I’m writing to:
Secret Stratosphere - William Tyler
I love William Tyler’s ambient western music, and his new album (like, BRAND new! Out today!) has a full backing band, which is even more beautiful. Looking forward to listening to this one on repeat.
Fish Bowl - Kate Davis
Another recent discovery. Solid, propulsive indie rock that reminds me a little of Caroline Rose (in sound and concept) and Liz Phair (in attitude).
Pretty standard afternoon writing support positioning over here. They’re all right, these two.