We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


Cold Souls

The idea of bartering or battling with the devil for one’s soul is an old one. Cold Souls, a low-budget independent film written and directed by Sophie Barthes, is the first tale I have encountered that deals with soul “storage”—the idea that souls can be removed, stored and transplanted.


                —after Czeslaw Milosz

A morning so still.
Rain ended while I slept.
Light in the east awakened me.
A Carolina wren began his “Teakettle” song.
By my study window I drank tea, and read.
The first Beatitude spoke to me,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit” being everything
                                               I need to know.
There was nothing on earth I could not let go.
Solitude held and sustained me,
Emptiness a companion I walk beside.
Looking out, I see the clearing sky.


Sin Nombre

In his first feature film, Cary Fukunaga delivers a beautiful and powerful depiction of the lives of Central Americans crossing through Mexico to the United States border. Sin Nombre (Without Name) unfolds mostly on top of trains, and it’s enriched by years of painstaking research, including Fukunaga’s own rides atop Mexican boxcars.

Funny people

After two likable hit comedies, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, writer-director Judd Apatow goes the serious route with Funny People. The results are disastrous.