We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


The life force

When two violent criminals show up at Tom Stall’s diner, he is forced to take action. He overcomes the assailants, obtains their gun and kills them. Widespread news coverage tells the story of this peaceful family man who halted the killers and their spree of violence.

Man in black

Director Sidney Lumet once lampooned the “rubber ducky” school of drama: “Someone once took his rubber ducky away from him, and that’s why he’s a deranged killer.” In telling the story of singer Johnny Cash and his tumultuous reckoning with fame—including a first marriage that crashed in divorce (though a union that produced Rosanne Cash can hardly be characterized a failure); an addiction to pill

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Chanticleer brings its usual polish, balance and tonal beauty to these intimate sacred songs. The rich harmonies are powerful as the melodic lines crunch against one another. Has anyone ever been better at such writing than Henry Purcell?

Boy soldiers

If Vietnam, with its baffling, Venus-flytrap landscape, is the perfect dramatic background for an existential drama, the Gulf War would appear to be an ideal setting for an existential comedy: so many servicemen all suited up but with nowhere to go and nothing to do. That’s how David O. Russell’s great 1999 film Three Kings began.

Two Ways

Phenomenology, a cruel creed,
Preaches its faith in omnipresent ways:
“One world alone” is all the creed we need,
Empiricism controls all our ways.
And so we build our barns and get and store,
Laughing at those who sing noumenal songs,
Ignoring those who say, “No, there is more,”
Scorning an ethic built on “Right” and “Wrong.”
In stark contrast, the Galilean Jew,
Who used his stories to affirm his creed,
Out-Kanting Kant on what we ought to do,
Sounded a warning every person needs:
“Do not forget, you fool, all bills come due,
This night your soul will be required of you.”*

*Luke 12:20