In the vault

The Film Year Book 1983 by Al Clark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A year’s worth of short film reviews from films released in Great Britain between July 1 1981 and June 30 1982. If one is expecting films from 1983, the 1983 in the book’s title is misleading, but convenient for publishing purposes as the 1983 coincides more or less with its publishing date.
The first of a series of books critiquing films during the 1980’s, there are a number of contributors who offer in the way of cutting-edge criticism which can be helpful in assessing the film’s worth. Entertaining bites of criticism that do well in summoning the film to accountability and should provide guidance for the reader. Not so much on the informative side although in each review there are the usual credits and technical details.
Now that the book is forty years old, it is more useful for film buffs interested in that time or want to discover what films were made then. I discovered that the films then were pretty much a Hollywood Babylon with sex, violence, and unsavory subjects, but with the more interesting ones among the mix such as Mephisto, the generally more palatable ones such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and the suitable ones (The Mouse and his Child).
Comes with extended and very well-written reviews of the best films of the year as well as the turkeys and articles about film industry issues then, including pirating of films, the making of the doomed Heaven’s Gate, and a trivia-style article on what the credits in a film mean, among others.
A worthy book of distinguished critical voice that plies out a film’s undercurrents in the longer articles making for a more than interesting read while the shorter reviews are gems. Plentiful mainly black and white photos, some color, and articles of interest to film buffs, which include “faces of the year” and obituaries in warm tributes.




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Afterwards

The Road to Hell: Everlasting Torment or Annihilation? by David Pawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Road to Hell ends with the words, “on which sober note we conclude our study”, referring to the author’s statement that those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will suffer torment with the fallen angels in hell, quoting the book of Revelation from the Bible. David Pawson’s The Road to Hell does have that kind of tone at times: a shot to the heart. Yet, The Road to Hell is other things as well. Challenging one out of complacent thinking and living so to avoid the dangers of hell as well as comforting one with thoughts of heaven and grace. Pawson is adamant, however. Getting to heaven is not by ‘cheap grace’ where one can do as they please while still being under God’s grace, but by continuing in the faith in Jesus, not disowning him, and renouncing one’s sins. Hell is a step away with complacency, but Pawson in his gentle manner encourages due diligence in the faith, although a small few of his statements may seem blunt if not preachy, however, one gets the impression in that there are not as many words to always deliver eloquently such an urgent message to Christians and non-believers.

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Saved!

Salvation is one of the perennial themes of my life especially ripe so many years ago when I should have read David Pawson’s Once Saved, Always Saved? (note the question mark) but it had not been written yet. Such a dread and fear of hell led to me to find out if I was indeed saved from hell when I die so a book directing my thoughts towards the subject in a productive way were welcome.

Anyhow, the theme of being saved or salvation has stayed with me that recently my reading has encompassed books with titles The Road to Hell and Once Saved Always Saved? both by David Pawson, who was a Bible teacher. I absorbed much of these books that I barely could fault them. Pawson, in Once Saved Always Saved? clarified much of my thinking, which had been lying dormant there, but that Pawson brought out in his gentle wordsmithing as I read and kept on saying, yeah, I agree! Not that those earlier issues I had over being saved from hell were not dealt to, or else I would have been a cot-case for a good on twenty years. As I am doing Pawson’s short Bible reflections in The Road to Hell, I find I am recapturing much of what I originally believed about some Bible verses and dare I say am wondering why Pawson did not see it the way I did, but on a technicality though.

Hard

I really felt blah reading the Bible this morning. But I give it time and tonight get on top of it, if that is the right expression when one reads the Bible. The prophets are especially hard to read in the morning. But never give up is what I think.