Teaching religious diversity using “The Faith Project”

In a spectacular TED talk, explorer Wade Davis reflected on the world’s cultures saying, “These myriad voices of humanity are not failed attempts at being modern. They’re unique facets of the human imagination. They’re unique answers to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive?” We’ve captured just a few of those myriad voices and unique answers in The Faith Project, an interactive documentary exploring the religious diversity of Canada.

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Open call for stories: How do you pray?

I admit it: I struggle with prayer. The month of Ramadan is coming up in the Islamic calendar, which means I’ll be fasting from sunrise to sunset everyday for 30 days. (If you’re counting, that’s no food or drink from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

It’s a time of introspection and prayer. Yet when I’m deprived of a good night’s sleep and regular food, I tend to space out. A few years ago, after my pre-dawn meal and morning prayers, I returned to bed for a few more hours of sleep before the start of the day. In a state of half-sleep during this holy month, I imagined I was in the Emperor’s throne room in a musical version of Return of the Jedi. The old guy can dance, let me tell you.

Yet despite the difficulty (and the show tunes), Ramadan is an essential part of my spiritual life. So is daily prayer; there are times in my life where prayer actually helped me survive. These practices help me cultivate a sense of gratitude and even optimism about my life. So, creating a space for that practice is important to me. Read more

The Backwater Gospel

Francis Ford Coppola on Risk, Money, Craft & Collaboration

Thought-provoking interview with Coppola at The 99 Percent blog.

The Rise of Self-Awareness in Cinema: Is Film Doomed to Become a Mockery of Itself?

Fascinating thought-piece on Slashfilm about the self-reflexive nature of contemporary Hollywood film.

Cinema has entered a new dawn. It arrived a while ago, actually, and you may not have even noticed. I’m not referring to the recent surfeit of remakes, sequels and adaptations, or the rebirth and subsequent profusion of superhero movies, or even the resurgence of 3D. No, I’m talking about the evolution of a burgeoning subgenre in cinema: meta films, aka movies about movies. Whether you’ve seen it or not, these self-reflective satires, parodies and homages have become a recurring staple of the aughts, and slowly but surely, the landscape of modern cinema is changing because of them.