Author Archives: Usher

First Reformed

The film stars Ethan Hawke, with Amanda Seyfried and Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ Antonio Kyles, and is written and directed by Paul Schrader who has a lengthy filmography but is well know for his screenplays directed by Martin Scorsese – Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ. Hope, despair, forgiveness – deep issues at the […]

Blade Runner 2049

This 2017 sequel to the 1982 original won Academy Awards for Achievement in Cinematography and in Visual Effects, but is much more than a great looking science fiction film. Like the original, it wrestles with questions of identity, the definition of humanity and personal agency – all relevant to today’s real world issues. My guest […]

Novitiate

Writer/Director Maggie Betts won the Breakthrough Director Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival for her feature debut. The compelling story focuses on a group of young women training to become nuns and the challenges they and the Catholic Church face at the advent of Vatican II reforms in 1964/1965. My guest Dominic Laing and I […]

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Two Oscar winning performances by Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell with another nomination for Woody Harrelson made this film a must see if you love acting. That this story is set in a small Southern town resonated for my friend and guest Steve Reid, who comes from similar roots. We discuss small town culture and […]

The Shape of Water

In this episode I speak with Karen and Dave Robinson, good friends of mine and leaders of Creative Interfaces, an organization which facilitates personal, spiritual, and creative development through arts-related forums, presentations, workshops, retreats, and conferences. The Shape of Water was awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, Director, Score and Production Design, and received nine nominations […]

Lady Bird

Welcome to the debut blog post for the debut episode of the CineSoul podcast! Our subject is Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s fantastic directorial debut (these debuts abound). I speak with Sara Matson about family dynamics, mother/daughter issues and more. Lady Bird was a real pleasure to watch, with great humor and realistic characters whose interactions were […]