The Call Collective

Exploring God's presence and call within the culture.

Tag: Aleteia

Our Delight with Disaster

The recent film The Disaster Artist portrays how the oracular Tommy Wiseau achieved his dream of writing, directing, and starring in the cult-classic and enigmatic move The RoomThe Disaster Artist has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews, and James Franco demonstrates his talent with a masterful portrayal of Wiseau, a character who remains ageless and placeless.

The story is certainly intriguing: Wiseau, a man who claims to be from the Big Easy despite his heavy Slavic accent, uses his vast financial resources from occult origins to produce “the best worst movie that was ever made.” Though The Room was released in 2003, it still plays in theaters all over the world. Wiseau originally paid to have The Room screened in theaters for two weeks, so that it would be eligible for award contention. While the original film didn’t acquire any nominations, The Disaster Artist may give Wiseau a ticket to the Academy Awards, after all.

While the film sets out to depict Wiseau semi-sympathetically, I remained slightly uncomfortable throughout my viewing. In college I had no qualms about mocking the original film to the delight (and acceptance) of my friends. But today, being a bit older and more mature, I have to ask: what was motivating my desire to see a movie about a man with no artistic talent waste millions of dollars on a terrible film?

You can read the rest of the article at Aleteia.

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Algorithms That Rob Us of Our Dignity

Has the gift of broadened technology begun to narrow us?

It sounds almost apocalyptic, but as I read an article in The Atlantic titled “What Tinder and Halo Have in Common,” I began reflecting on the dark sides of the modern convenience of being spoon-fed our shopping, news and entertainment choices.

The article explores the surprising similarities between the complex algorithms used by Halo to match a video game player with an online opponent and those used by Tinder to pair a person with a potential date.

The author of the article, Michelle Ehrhardt, voices a distinct wariness to a mechanism used to match individuals based on culled data. But while she questions the overall effectiveness of such a process, the article is suggestive of a potentially larger issue.

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“A Very Murray Christmas” Has Heart but Misses the Soul

Earlier this month Netflix began streaming its very own Christmas special, A Very Murray Christmas—a short musical comedy written by Bill Murray, Mitch Glazer and Sofia Coppola. In it, we’re introduced to a rueful Bill Murray playing himself—steeped in an aching loneliness that’s so raw and unadulterated that it’s, well, funny. To a point.

Murray’s character is all set to host a Christmas special in New York City, but an encroaching blizzard has kept all of the show’s other stars from attending. Despite his self-deprecating pleas, the show is scheduled to go on. And it does—kind of—but the power goes out just as Murray and Chris Rock are droning out one of the most unsettling yet disturbingly captivating renditions of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Murray, having nothing else to do on Christmas Eve, does what you would fully expect and saunters to the Carlyle Hotel’s bar. Continue reading

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