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, Matt and Adam talk with Kathryn Reklis, Fordham University Professor and The Christian Century media critic about Billy Wilder’s 1944 noir classic, Double Indemnity. In our first segment, “Justification by Faith,” the group talks about depravity, confession, and illusions of control. In our second segment, “Preaching to the Choir,” the group discusses the intersection of Double Indemnity and the lectionary texts for May 20th, 2018, Pentecost Sunday. Focusing on Pentecost text, the group discusses how Peter’s sermon can be a sign of hope in the midst of a broken world. Finally, in the last segment, “Postludes,” Adam copies Matt and Matt goes to Mars.
On this week’s episode Matt and Adam talk with pastor, writer, and speaker MaryAnn McKibben Dana about stories, improv, and the 2006 comedy, Stranger than Fiction. In our first segment, “Justification by Faith,” the group talks about authors, the impact of our stories, and the sacrifice that counts as love. In our second segment, “Preaching to the Choir,” the group discusses the intersection of Stranger than Fiction and the lectionary texts for May 6th, 2018, Easter 6. The conversation centers mainly on Peter’s baptism in Acts as a moment of improvisation of God’s story. Finally, in the last segment, “Postludes,” Adam digs up an old story on ambition and Matt learns a thing or two from Mike Birbiglia.
On this special episode of Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam talk with Tim Hughes Williams, pastor of Light Street Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, about the live television performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. With mounting acclaim, the live performance of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, starring John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon has become a favorite topic of internet conversation. So Matt and Adam jumped on the line with friend of the show Tim Hughes Williams to talk about the musical, this performance, and the live TV musical phenomenon. Tim was also kind enough to stick around and join in the postlude fun.
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome Margaret Aymer, The First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Professor of New Testament Studies at Austin Theological Seminary, to talk about water, call, Easter and Moana. In our first segment, Justification by Faith, the group talks about how Moana helps us understand Christian narratives of call and formation. In the second segment, Preaching to the Choir, the group discusses the intersection of Moana and the lectionary passages for Easter Sunday, Year B. Engaging the resurrection accounts in Mark and John, the group explores themes of redemption, restoration and gardening. Finally, in the last segment, Postludes, Adam lifts up an old sermon and Matt finds insight in amazing houses.
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome Jill Duffield, editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, to talk about outcasts, the circus, Palm Sunday and The Greatest Showman. In our first segment, Justification by Faith, the group discusses The Greatest Showman and its themes of family, ambition, and the making of true community. The group also discusses the role of hagiography in our corpus of sacred stories. In the second segment, Preaching to the Choir, the group discusses the intersection of The Greatest Showman and the lectionary passages for the Palm Sunday, Year B. Intrigued by Jesus’ journey into the temple, the group discusses the role of crowds in the Palm Sunday story and the ways in which our expectations need retuning. Finally, in the last segment, Postludes, Matt tells us all about his great south by southwest discovery and Adam extols the virtures of the great Pina Bausch.
On this week’s Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam welcome friend of the show Charles Howard, University Chaplain at The University of Pennsylvania, to talk about reconstruction, ancestors and the power of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. In our first segment, Justification by Faith, the group talks about how Black Panther tries to reconstruct the center to make room for marginalized experience. Specifically, the conversation wrestles with the figure of Erik Killmonger and the tragedy of his story. In the second segment, Preaching to the Choir, the group discusses the intersection of Black Panther and the lectionary passages for the fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B. Intrigued by the serpent in the wilderness, the group discusses the power and dangers of symbols. Additionally, the conversation turns to John’s exegesis and the lessons of reading old texts. Finally, in the last segment, Postludes, Matt retcons early Marvel canon and Adam learns about the magic of role playing games.
Adam and Matt are back for a brief episode breaking down the 2018 Academy Awards and the movies of 2017.
On this week’s episode of Technicolor Jesus, Matt and Adam talk with Derrick Weston, minister, community organizer and podcast host, about horror, race, and Jordan Peele’s 2017 movie, Get Out. In the first segment, Justification by Faith, the group talks about the horror genre, the sunken place and the difficulty in staying vigilant. In the second segment, Preaching to the Choir, the group examines the lectionary passages for the second sunday in Lent, Year B. The conversation probes Jesus’ command to “Get behind me, Satan,” and what it might mean for the work of advocacy and ministry in a racist world. Finally, in the last segment, Postludes, Adam talks about church boats and Matt is left cold by The Darkest Hour. So open your eyes but avoid the tea, it is time for another episode of Technicolor Jesus.
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.