Summary: Technicolor Jesus is a podcast about movies and ministry for pastors, preachers, and Sunday school teachers. Hosts Matt Gaventa and Adam Hearlson choose movies from across the history of film and discuss how these movies might connect to the coming Sunday scripture from the Revised Common Lectionary. Technicolor Jesus is a podcast for those who recognize the power of film to inspire our theological imaginations.
On this week’s episode of Technicolor Jesus, Adam and Matt welcome Steve Bragaw, visiting professor of politics at Washington and Lee, to talk about mystery, politics, inheritance and the film, All the President’s Men. In the first segment, Justification by Faith, Steve leads a conversation about the political history of the movie and how its most important questions remain unanswered. The group also talks about the power of words and the waning power of institutions. In the second segment, Preaching to the Choir, the group discusses the last Sunday in Epiphany (February 11), Transfiguration Sunday, and it’s connections to All the President’s Men. Mark’s version of the incarnation and Elijah’s ride on a chariot of fire provide solid foundation for conversations about the slow work of change and the double portion of courage needed to do the work of justice. Finally, in the last segment, Postludes, Adam rambles on about Eugene O’Neill and Matt talks about the Academy Award nominated film, Loving Vincent. So, count to ten. Are you still there? Great, because it is time for another week of Technicolor Jesus.
And… We’re back! After a short holiday break, Matt and Adam are back for the spring season of Technicolor Jesus. On this episode, the two go mano y mano to talk about growth, broken myths, and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. In the first segment, Justification by Faith, Matt and Adam discuss their impressions of The Last Jedi and it's theological themes. In the second segment, Preaching to the Choir, the two turn their attention to the lectionary texts for January 2, the fourth Sunday in Epiphany. Matt thinks about how Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth has to do with the light side and the dark side of the force, while Adam thinks about the role of astonishment in Mark. In the final segment, postludes, Matt discusses preaching, Amy Sherman Pallidino and stand up comedy, while Adam talks about his favorite movies of 2017. So jump in your X-wing, it’s time to blow stuff up, it’s time for another episode of Technicolor Jesus.
On this special edition of Technicolor Jesus, Adam and Matt welcome back Eric Barreto, Jessica Mesman Griffith, and Laurel Koepf Taylor to talk about their favorite Christmas movie scenes. In the first segment, Adam and Matt discuss feelings and Christmas. Next Eric Barreto thinks about Trading Places and the place of justice during Christmas, Jessica Mesman Griffith evangelizes on behalf of a rare Jim Henson movie, and Laurel Koepf Taylor examines a deleted scene and why Christmas needs more lament. So as you go over the river and through the woods this Christmas, let Technicolor Jesus be your soundtrack!
On this week's episode of Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam talk about the 2007 hit movie Juno with writer, speaker and pastor, Carol Howard Merrit. Juno is the story of Juno McGuff, a high school junior who discovers she’s pregnant. Juno eventually decides to carry the baby to term and find adoptive parents. Directed by Jason Reitman’s and written by Diablo Cody, the movie touches on the typical high school movie themes of maturity, identity, and finding love, but it is something more. Juno is not just a high school romantic comedy, but a bit more hard-nosed, a bit more honest, and a bit more surprising than most of its peers. In the first segment, the group discusses how Juno helps make sense of the advent season and Mary's role as a parent. In the second segment, the group examines the lectionary passages for the fourth Sunday in Advent, Year B, and how a young pregnant woman has a unique vantage to understand the world. Finally, in the last segment, Matt finds hope in a new children's book, and Adam marvels at breath control. So friends, the time is drawing nigh. so while you wrap presents, catch up on another episode of Technicolor Jesus.
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam talk with Brian Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary about the 1996 Nora Ephron movie, Michael. From the heart of the mid-90’s post-Pulp-Fiction renaissance of John Travolta, this I-guess-we-call-it-a-romantic-comedy is about three tabloid reporters who track down Michael the archangel in an out of the way town in Iowa. William Hurt plays Frank Quinlan, a somewhat broken soul, who is looking for a quick buck when he meets Michael, a very bawdy and very worldly angel played by Travolta. Frank convinces Michael to road-trip back to Chicago with him so that they can get some good pictures and cash in on his story. Along the way Michael works on Frank’s heart, and opens it to one of their traveling companions, played by Andie McDowell. In the first segment, Brian leads a conversation about the value of the unexpected in Advent and how the terrestrial nature of the incarnation subverts our visions of God’s action and person. In our second segment, the group examines the Advent 2 texts for year B and how Isaiah and Mark’s vision for the coming of Christ disrupts our understandings of time and space. Finally, in our final segment Adam and Matt talk discuss Christmas music and cooking battles. So, friends, stay awake! The glory is breaking forth soon, in the meantime, while you are waiting, pass the time with another episode of Technicolor Jesus.
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome Kenda Creasy Dean, The Mary Synott Chair of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, to talk about adventure, aging, home and the movie UP. Part of Pixar’s run at the height of its powers (2007 Ratatouille, 2008 Wall-E, 2009 UP, and 2010 Toy Story 3), UP signals Pixar’s willingness to turn from some of the kid-focused stories of its early days (Toy Story, Bug’s Life) to stories that feel more grown-up in nature. UP is a movie about a man named Karl who is in the last chapter of his life. After the death of his beloved wife Ellie, Karl decides literally to fly his house to South America in search of the adventure they had never managed to take together. All sorts of hijinx ensue while Karl travels with Russell, a faithful boy scout who helps redeem Karl along the way and Carl, the lovable dog. Even underneath the hijinx, this movie never stops being a film about aging, grief, empty houses, and letting go. In the first segment, the conversation turns to questions of adventure, church and ministry. Kenda asks how can the church fully embody its call to adventure. In our second segment, the movie provides helpful guidance for thinking about Jesus’ admonition in Matthew’s gospel to serve “the least of these.” Finally, in the final segment, Matt and Adam shares some poems that have been inspiring them this week. So grab you balloons, find a beloved friend and prepare for an adventure because it is another week of Technicolor Jesus!
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Adam and Matt welcome Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary to talk about the perils of modernism, post-war Europe, Amos’ Day of the Lord and the 1950’ classic The Third Man. Set in post-war Vienna, The Third Man follows the naive and earnest Holly Martins as he tries to unravel the mysterious death of his friend Harry Lime. Written by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed, and scored by Anton Karas and his famous Austrian zither, The Third Man feels as fresh as ever. It’s ideas about diplomacy, international collusion, American exceptionalism, and the curse of the past are still relevant. In our first segment, Brennan leads a discussion about how American tropes and grand narratives fail to make sense of the post-war Vienna and how tempted the church is to impose pre-built narratives onto foreign stories. In the second segment, Adam and Matt talk with Brennan about the week’s lectionary passages. The discussion touches on Amos’ understanding of the day of the Lord, the craven moral justifications of Harry Lime, and Joshua’s covenant as a paradigm for communal living in the wake of fractured optimism. Finally, Adam looks to some hasidic brothers for guidance, and Matt learns a history lesson from Thor: Ragnorok. So this week, we invite you out of the shadows to proclaim your love for the cuckoo clock, it’s time for another Technicolor Jesus.
On this week's Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome Jeff Chu, journalist and author of the book Does Jesus Really Love Me, to talk about the 2000 new cult classic, Bring it On. Bring it On is the story of a successful white San Diego cheerleading squad (5x national champs!) who need to rebuild their identity after it comes to light that they have been stealing their routines from the black and latinx squad from East Compton High School. This movie is part of the late 90's early 2000's run of teen romances but stands out for its treatment of themes of cultural appropriation and privilege. The cheerleading movie is deeper than the subject matter would have you think. In our initial discussion, Jeff leads us through a discussion of insiders and outsider, the white savior complex, and the American history of commodifying the goods of people of color. In our lectionary discussion, we talk about Psalm 90 and the power of perseverance. We also chat about Leviticus 19 and what it might mean to profit from someone else's blood. Finally, in our postludes, Matt loves his new subscription and Adam gets to watch basketball again. So give me your best spirit fingers, it is time for another episode of Technicolor Jesus.
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Minister for Mission at Wayne Presbyterian Church and the organizing pastor at the Common Place in Southwest Philadelphia, to talk about the little known but incredibly prescient movie, The Last Supper. The Last Supper, directed by Stacy Title, takes place among a group of liberal Iowa grad students kill their neo-nazi dinner guest. After the initial shock of the murder wears off, the group eventually decides that they’ve done the world a favor. So begins a scheme wherein every week they invite some radically conservative activist into their home for dinner and murder before burying them in the backyard underneath the tomatoes. The Last Supper provides the backdrop for a lively conversation about the failure of political binaries, the dangerous call to follow Christ’s model, and the ways in which the pursuit of redemptive violence harms the perpetrator before it changes the world. In response to this week’s lectionary passages, the crew spends time debating the idolatry of the Israelites and takes turns trying to discern Jesus’ difficult parable about the wedding banquet. So, this week, pull up a chair at our dinner table The food is delicious, the conversation scintillating, and we promise not to poison you.
On this week’s episode of Technicolor Jesus, we welcome Elizabeth Dias, a TIME correspondent covering religion and politics, to discuss the movie Spotlight. The 2015 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Spotlight details the Boston Globe’s reporting on the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church in Boston. Elizabeth leads us in a timely discussion about the press, the search for truth, and the complicity of everyone who fails to protect the innocent. In our lectionary discussion, we discuss Moses’ water miracle as a story of accountability and Psalm 78 as a hymn of dangerous memory. Finally, in our postludes, Matt loves The Big Sick and Adam tells a story about music, warfare and citizens arrests. So assume your finest Bahston Acksent, get out your reporter’s notepad, and join us for another week of Technicolor Jesus.
On this week's episode of Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome Josh Larsen, cohost of Film Spotting and editor of ThinkChristian.com, to talk about obedience, fathers, and and the 1989 classic, Field of Dreams. Berkeley radical turned Iowan farmer, Ray Kinsella hears a voice in the cornfield instructing him, "If you build it they will come." Josh helps us understand Field of Dreams as a prayer of obedience while Adam and Matt wrestle with how heaven gets commodified. They then turn their attention to this week's lectionary passage (9/17) and discuss the exodus communities struggles to obey, Joseph's vision of providence, and Paul's discussion of what actually counts as the ties that bind. So wade through the corn, find your seat upon the bleachers, it's time for another week of Technicolor Jesus.
Matt and Adam are back for a new season of Technicolor Jesus. On this week’s episode, Bromleigh McCleneghan, author of Good Christian Sex, joins the conversation to talk about the 2004 movie Saved! A sweet send-up of evangelical purity culture, Saved! is asking bigger questions than it might appear. The discussion about Saved! ranges from talk about sex, education and young people, to how to build a community for those who never quite fit in. The show then turns its attention to the coming Sunday’s lectionary passages (9/3) to discuss how Jesus’ admonition, “Get behind me Satan” might be read in light of our film. Finally, Adam and Matt talk counter-insurgency and marginalia. So renew your membership to the Christian Skateboarders Association it’s time for another week of Technicolor Jesus. Our Guest: Bromleigh McCleneghan Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option-And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex- https://www.amazon.com/Good-Christian-Sex-Chastity-Option/dp/0062428594 Bromleigh's writing at The Christian Century: https://www.christiancentury.org/contributor/bromleigh-mccleneghan Show Schedule: 0:00-32:00 Justification by Faith- Saved!, theology, and ministry. 32:19-49:00 Preaching to the Choir- Saved! and Ordinary 22 Year A 49:08- Postlude: War Machine and Selected Works of T.S Spivet
After a winter hiatus, Matt and Adam are back for an emergency recap of the Oscars. They discuss this year's Academy Awards show, the gaff that ended the show and the preaching potential for this year's nominated films. They also provide an update on their future whereabouts and the schedule for next season of Technicolor Jesus. Intro: 20th Century Fox Fail: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNrKAzHsp0g Outro: King Harvest, Dancing in the Moonlight
On the eve of Christmas, Adam and Matt welcome Amy Merrill Willis to talk about the Christmas merits of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1). Did you bring your camping tent, your hiking shoes, and a teenage dose of angst? Good. Then you are ready to discuss the penultimate installment in the Harry Potter movie series. Amy leads us in a wide ranging discussion about the moral formation of young people, the dark times of Christmas, and how the thing we want to destroy can actually poison our relationships. This is not your typical Christmas podcast, but it might be the one you need to hear this season. So dust off your magic wand, polish your Hogwarts diploma, and tune in to another week of Technicolor Jesus. Intro: 20th Century Fox Fail: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNrKAzHsp0g Outro: Okee Dokee Brothers, "A Thousand Star Hotel"
Get your eggnog ready, on this week's episode of Technicolor Jesus we talk Christmas movies! Rather than focus on one Christmas movie, Matt and Adam each choose four Christmas movies and talk about their merits for people in ministry. What does Gonzo's apearance as Charles Dickens mean for our Christmas vocabularies? How does Buddy the Elf help us understand the genealogies in Matthew and Luke? How is Rocky an agent of reconciliation? Also, stay for Adam's rant for why It's a Wonderful Life is the real war on Christmas. It's all here, folks. Your one stop shop for Christmas movie and ministry frivolity. Intro: 20th Century Fox Fail: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNrKAzHsp0g Outro: Christmas in Hollis- Run DMC