"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."
A verse from Phillippians that I think can is a good guide for how I as a Christian should approach both viewing and creating films. Sometimes it's easy to see a well-made film and say it's great without stopping to think if it contradicts any of the values listed above. Just something I try to keep reminding myself. Now onto some films...
Das Leben Der Anderen - A brilliant and beautiful look at how involving yourself in the lives of other allows you to be changed in ways that are otherwise not possible. This film tells the story of a lonely German Stasi police officer who's job of spying on a suspicious playwright is really an attempt at finding intimacy. The nature of the story allows from some truly exciting and intense moments, as well as some touching and heart-rendering ones. Although it is paced a little slowly at points, especially the third act, it is a wonderful story about the value of human relationships.
Dan-o-Meter: 9 out of 10
El laberinto del fauno - Otherwise known as Pan's Labyrinth, it tells the story of a young girl, Ofelia, and how she copes with the horrors of the Spanish Civil War by entering into an alternate "fairy-tale" world throughout the story. Masterfully directed by Guillmero del Toro with gorgeous cinematography and an awe-inspiring score, this film highlights the importance of imagination and child-like faith. Del Toro makes his point in brutal and powerful fashion, showing that despite the film being a fairy-tale, it's message is definitely not confined to children.
Dan-o-Meter: 10 out of 10