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Trigger warning: this episode contains opinions about Christmas movies that may upset your nostalgia and sentimentality!

Objectively speaking, Christmas movies are the worst. Yeah, I said it. Released at any other time of the year, It’s a Wonderful Life would have been forgotten as an average movie. A Christmas Story is just awful. There’s a reason that Holiday-themed movies never win awards: artistically, cinematically, creatively… they’re just not good. They’re unrealistic, overly sentimental, shallow, and focus on some strange traditions (have you ever really stopped to think about Santa Claus and wonder why we still teach our kids this?)

And yet, we love to watch them every year. And yet, I watch them even while criticizing them, and actually enjoy many of them. What gives?

This week on Everyday Liminality Br. Tito and I discuss what attracts us to these sorts of movies, while also imagining what could make them a lot better for us as Christians.

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Sometimes movies get the cast exactly right. Sometimes… we wonder how a movie would be different with a reimagined cast. This week on Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I discuss some near catastrophes in movie casting, while also coming up with some of our own changes.

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Who doesn’t love Law and Order? You are set up with an interesting case, find clues, and within the course of an hour, you find out who did it. Open-and-shut case.

The fact of the matter is that we love closure. We like things that are complete. It gives us a sense of control, a sense that things are right with the world.

But what happens when there is no closure? What happens when we are set up for a mystery but receive a tragedy? That’s what happened to me last week reading a book. I thought I was reading one thing and had the floor taken our from under me.

In this week’s episode of Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I discuss the merits of such works and how we deal with the fact that not every mystery has a happy ending.

 

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Long-time readers/listeners/watchers will know that I am always up for a journey. I absolutely love road trips, hopping on a plane, visiting new places. Wanderlust is real, and I suffer from it.

Of course, one need not actually leave their house to go on a journey. With art and entertainment, we can be transported to anywhere in the world, living vicariously through the protagonist of an epic adventure. It is for this reason that the motif of “quests” or “journeys” are so popular.

This week on Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I discuss our favorite journeys in movies, offering our take on why they are so popular and what they can teach us.

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“Do you like scary movies?” This was the question of the masked murderer just before he killed Drew Barrymore’s character in the movie Scream. It’s a classic Halloween movie: a touch of mystery, only a bit of blood, and a lot of scary moments.

For some, the idea of watching scary movies doesn’t make sense. “Why would you watch things that make you afraid? Why waste time on such demented things?” For some, it is a bizarre fascination.

For others, scary movies are the only movies worth watching. The thrill of being scared, of feeling terror, brings a feeling like no other. They seek out the things that go bump in the night, get excited for this time of year.

This week on Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I discuss the topic of fear in movies and why it is such a popular medium.