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New reviews: The Film Forum Review of The Passion of the Christ...
Also: Touching The Void at The Matthew's House Project.
Coming reviews: Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music In The World.

Stef will be showcasing his special brand of Beat Poetry at Up/Rootedís Art NightÖ Christ Church of Oak Brook (IL), Friday June 4 beginning at 6:30 pm.

NOTES FROM STEF

June 2004
Aside from The Cubs and the occasional news, I donít watch much television, and hereís why: a few weeks ago I flipped on the boob tube Ė canít at this point remember exactly why I made that awful choice in the first place Ė and found a delightful little show called ďThe Swan.Ē This is a show in which women who suffer from a negative self-image are thrust into the overhaul of plastic surgery -- including liposuction, bone restructuring and complete fashion makeover -- and then, they compete against other women who have gone through the same barbaric events in a beauty contest. It is a new low in reality drama, as we watch people in the throes of an identity crisis get worked on in order to be approved by society... And perhaps, to finally be able to approve of their own self worth... And still, in the end, someone has to lose this contest. I canít think of anything more painful than to look in the mirror, basically being told, ďThis is the best you will ever look,Ē after years of hating the way that you look, and still lose a beauty contest to another contestant...

And the winner isnít much better off, either, for the winner is instantly accepted in the group of doctors and loved ones present, almost as if theyíve finally arrived at a point in life where they are worthy of acceptance. The message is that you are only accepted if you are perfect looking and beautiful. Anything else is unwanted. This is a sick, sick program that our youth are eating up, and it makes me want to weep at the way we isolate women for their appearances, and the unattainable perfection that society callously demands.

Interesting that in the same period of time I watched Terry Gilliamís Brazil. It's worth pointing out that the movie was made something like twenty years ago, and yet it propheticlly contains plastic surgery scenes that are now quite scary, everyday realities. Shows like "The Swan" now capitalize on what was, in this film, just a great, sad gimmick. And American culture, at least how it's perceived and projected in the media, has come to the point where many have mindsets that are exactly like the two old ladies in Brazil -- they continue to destroy their faces in search of their youth.

The perfect makeover, it would seem, would be that of the inner workings of the heart. Bonoís words from ďWar,Ē many years ago, come to mind: ďA new heart is what I need. God, make it bleed.Ē

Though the lyrics transcend time, truer words could not be found for today.

-s.

May 2004
Stef-dot-com has been like a ghost town lately! I am so sorry about that! Iíve even received a few emails asking whether or not Iím still alive. LOL! The truth is that Iíve been busier than ever before, Period. I know thatís a lame excuse, but itís the truth.

I do want to make a renewed commitment to keeping up with things online. Therefore, I will be making journal entries here in the Notes section of the site at the beginning of each month. To start out with this month, hereís a little more detail as to whatís been going on lately in my life:

School. I have caved in and officially gone back to school, and so far I must admit,
it's been the most rewarding and invigorating experience of my life. I love learning, and I have a deep desire to be the best I can be in my studies. This is quite a difference from the last time I was in school (over 15 years ago! Gosh, do I feel old!)... But these days I feel constantly driven to do whatever it takes to accomplish the highest grade possible. Weíll see just how well I can do.

The Matthew's House Project. I will happily be writing two reviews a month for this awesome website! I am so honored to work with such an outstanding site and look forward to our trailblazing journey together. Things will be kicking off this month with Guy Maddinís The Saddest Music in the World, and a capsuled biopic of the Maddin oeuvre. Watch for this sometime around May 20. Most of the future reviews themselves will be gathered from screenings at The Music Box Theater in Chicago.

JDís Last Dance. It will be done this year! There have been numerous holdups along the way, but the foundation tracks are near completion, which means vocals and mixing are the bulk of whatís left. There may be a surprise as the project unfolds, but weíll keep you postedÖ

Life in general has been better than ever. I honestly feel that Iím coming to a new place in life where I am more at ease with my place in this world than ever before.
I can feel The Spirit working in me on a daily basis, shaping me and guiding my steps as I seek wisdom from on high. Dave Johnsonís ongoing series on ďThe Heart of David,Ē has been a real encouragement to me, too. I am grateful for technology that allows me to be in touch with a speaker like Dave. His insight is always compelling.

Kara and Genesis and I have been growing and learning together. They have both been my greatest sources of strength in the day-to-day grind of life. I am richly blessed.

Finally, in all of the craziness Iíve still found time to engage and discuss art. This, to me, is the most important aspect of life: getting in touch with your Creator through the very act of creation. Weíve made trips to The Art Institute of Chicago, to the musical Godspell, and to numerous films, made both domestically and abroad. Iíve also been reading more than ever. Check out the paradox in the double feature Iím currently working on: Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad) and A New Kind of Christian (Brian McLaren). These two works have been very influential on my thought life as of late, and I look forward to many more great readings on down the roadÖ

Thanks for hanging in there with me in this transitional period of life! Your prayers are always appreciated, as we press on toward the high calling weíve been given.

Peace.

-s.

Year 2003 Film Stuff: Stef has written an article about his love for film, complete with a list of his favorite movies from film history. It's called Why Film?
His Top 10 from 2003 has been added to the archives,
and his Film Journal from 2003 has been posted.

February, 2004
I have been listening to an incredibly invigorating, week by week CD-sermon series by one of my favorite speakers, Dave Johnson. Dave is the Pastor at Church of the Open Door in Minneapolis, and his insight into scripture is astounding. I had the privilege of being a weekly attendee at this church when I lived in Minneapolis in Ď95, and it was a time when I grew and learned more spiritually than ever before. Through Dave I have learned that my thoughts, ideas, images, perceptions and emotions have been shaped by everything I acknowledge and understand, but whether or not my understanding of reality lines up with the truth as revealed through scripture may be another matter altogether.

In his series from May and June of 2003, Dave speaks about the strongholds of the mind, the barriers we have placed on ourselves, revealed to us by how we think of ourselves determined from years of being lied to (from various sources, perhaps too many to go into here). The underlying motivation for the series is The Lordís prayer, specifically the words ďThy Kingdom come,Ē which Dave understands as the Kingdom of God coming to the mind, for renewal, transformation and restoration, right here and right now. He describes what life might be like if we were to understand and live according to the concept that the Kingdom is present and is daily shaping our minds, exposing the strongholds that have weighed us down, and eventually freeing us from the slave-like system that we have been entangled in. He even draws a comparison between the strongholds that drive people's day-to-day existence, to the dominant system that overpowers those it has taken captive in the infamous Wachowski brothers film The Matrix. Several sermons allude to themes from this movie, from the need to identify reality, to the intentionality it takes to get yourself free from this system of lies. It works as a great metaphor, and the leadership of the church seems to enjoy recognizing it as such.

This has been a life-altering series for me, one which has helped me to identify certain notions that are just plain wrong about the very nature of God, life and myself. I have actually listened to a few of the sermons two or three times each (I get to the end of the disc and restart it, searching out any morsels I may have missed). The greatest thing Iíve learned is this: it has taken close to 34 years to come to many wrong conclusions I have concerning my thoughts, ideas, images, perceptions and emotions that revolve around the nature of Godís character and life on earth. It may take another 34 years to straighten out some of that wrong thinking. But I am going to intentionally set a course in the right direction.

If youíd like to hear one of the greatest series spoken on The Lordís Prayer and the breaking down of the mindís strongholds, call 1-800-618-7186 and ask for Dawn Wood. Tell her you want to fully understand the awesome power of The Kingdom of God coming to earth, right here, and right now.

-s.

December 27, 2003
Last night I was able to take a part of my Christmas holiday time and head down to Facets Multimedea, where I saw Vera, a hallucinogenic film in Spanish, directed by Francisco Athiť. I have not seen anything before that engaged my eyes in such a fascinating way; the film brings new meaning to the word "visceral." Overlapping a montage of blended, super-imposed pictures, it can't be compared to anything in mainstream cinema, except perhaps to Lynch on the basis of some of the imagery alone. But it leaps higher than anything Lynch has ever shot at, choosing to provide a structure for its abstract scenes, invoking quite real (or believed in) spirits of wind and rain (Alux and Lady Balam), as well as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, just to make sure all the bases are covered.

An old man from a Mexican villiage has an accident in a local mine, and in his final moments he receives a visit from an androgynous Mayan fairy, who helps him to challenge his oncoming demise -- he is not ready to accept this fate. Although the thrust of the plot pretty much ends there, this is where the director's magnetic energy sweeps over all of the visual aspects. Every moment of the film is mystical, and every frame magical, from the lighting of the cave walls, to the ripened, bursting collage of color in clouds that constantly follow the old man's spiritual steps. Phantom faces appear from nowhere, memories mix with religious innuendo; he is lying on his back, near-dead in a cave, breathing his last breath, yet he is everywhere, past present and future, experiencing all that is hidden from our eyes in the natural way we view life.

To say that the film is a colossal drug experience without the drugs (as did a reviewer at IMDb) could be a valid point. But I am persuaded that it symbolically (and beautifully) speaks to the way many cultures view life and the afterlife. Regardless, whatever its themes represent, it is no doubt a story built with raw imagination and projected with stunning flair. I'd like to go back this week and see it once again, and to be honest that might be my only chance...

[Chicago crowd, listen up]

Before the screening there was an announcement that this was perhaps the only time anyone in the U.S. would see this motion picture. It turns out that Vera has no American distribution, that there are no other theaters or festivals playing it, and it looks like there are no plans for a DVD release. This is sad news indeed. Whether or not one "likes" a film like this is really not the point; this is inspired artistic filmmaking, something solely lacking in many of the bland mainstream releases this year. I haven't a clue how a movie like this is missed by the powers-that-be. It deserves to be written about, and it deserves proper distribution -- the beating heart of a determined artist's endeavor is found here. I wonder if the same companies that have passed up distributing Vera would have also ignored someone like Dali. You'd hope thier mistake will be discovered at some point.

I am spending this weekend calling all of my film buddies from other states and convincing them that they need to visit Chicago -- this week. A more proper review is forthcoming.
-s.

December 15, 2003
The lyrics to the 1995 miscellaneous recording entitled
She Walks Alone With Me have finally been added here.

November 24, 2003
Itís the most wonderful time of the year!!

As Thanksgiving rolls in this year I am fortunate to have quality time to spend with both of my families (in Chicago and in Minnesota), as well as with the community of youth and adults Kara and I weekly work with. Hobson Road Community Churchís youth annually present the Ground Zero Feast, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite events of the year. Stuffing 40 or more students into one Downers Grove home and engulfing a huge dinner, as well as having a powerful time of reflection and prayer, is a daunting task to yearly put together, but has the greatest spiritual blessing in this season. Iím thankful for the students and the adult workers who are constantly contributing to an awesome youth community.

As far as art in the season of thanks goes, Pieces of April is still playing at Sony Piperís Alley, and it is the most perfect Thanksgiving film I may have ever encountered. It made my Unfinished Top 10 Movies of 2003 List, at least so farÖ (Return of the King and In America are still on the horizon for December.) Check out the review by my friend Jeffrey Overstreet Ė I encourage you to take this one in before itís gone from the Chicago area. Itís as worth a viewing as any seasonal film you will encounter.

Blessings, thanks, and peace to all.

-s.

November 4, 2003
My friend Jeremy and I were able to get over to the Siskel Film Center late last month to catch two films from this yearís Iranian Film Showcase.

The first of our double feature, Tehran 7:00 A.M., is promoted as "a cyclical tale in which each open-ended story veers off eerily into the next." The film throws together a traffic cop, an actress, a runaway wife, a construction worker and a few doctors who mandate strict adherence to urine sample collections (including speeches about the danger of addiction as they watch over your shoulder while you give them your sample). It aims to be like 13 Conversations About One Thing or Magnolia, in which it picks from a crowd of people on a busy Tehran street corner and follows them throughout their day, seeing how they are going to meet and affect each other's daily walk. It uses a roving accordion player to mesh the scenes together and if thereís anything you know when you leave the theater, you know the theme to the waltz he's been playing for the last 100 minutes.

The film has its moments, especially in regard to the Afghan construction worker who is gorgeously pictured from below as he figuratively dances around, working on the beams of the building being erected during a grand Iranian sunset. But ultimately the film struggles, at least in translating it's narrative structure to an American audience. The subtitles had to be the worst I've seen (Dreyer's Vampyr on VHS aside). In fact, afterwards, there were fellows in the restroom loudly complaining about their inability to follow the film without understanding Farsi. This was a valid complaint -- there were times when the Farsi speaking people would be laughing or reacting to the film's elements, while the rest of us just didn't get what was going on.

Still, I don't think it would have been greater than a 5 out of 10 (the Siskel's requested report card scale) even if Iíd understood the language. It failed to dig deeper in the places where a better director would have weaved the fabric of the characters better together, to make us think a little harder about the "bumping pinball human effect" of our day-to-day lives with our neighbors. Poor subtitles taken into consideration, I gave it a 4 out of 10.

Abadan, on the other hand, was something very different for Iranian cinema. No doubt my enthusiasm was heightened in learning that tonight was the World Premier for the film, and that director Mani Haghighi was in-house for discussion following the screening. Abadan centers around a senile old man who has gone out searching for his long dead friend and the people he meets along the way. His daughter sends her ex-husband out to look for the old man, and while he is out hunting the city for him, his new girlfriend that he is on shaky ground with comes over for a visit, only to find his ex there waiting. There are themes of the need to escape to freedom represented in the crazy old man's quest. Some of that can translate to the need of an Iranian director to conform to the standards that have been put in place by a government that doesnít necessarily want to censor or ban his film.

It is a restless film that contains a lot more swearing than your average Iranian film, and thereís a bedroom scene (no, it's not what you think, but it's still controversial in Iran)... Overall, itís uncharacteristic of anything that's come from that country to date. Shot on DV, with a dogme feel except for an added soundtrack, I was able to ask Haghighi a little about his picture at the end of the screening. I mentioned that some of the unconventionality felt like Godard, and that what he was doing was breaking down certain codes and constraints that Iranian film already manifests; that people around the world have come to expect something very specific when they see a film from Iran, and that he is very much parting from those rules. In that liberation I was reminded of the whole French new wave, which took very seriously a realism in its characters, and a busting out of the movie-mold that was in place in that time. I also noted that much of the way it was shot reminded me of dogme, and asked him if he cared to share any of his influences or had any of these ideas in mind when making the film.

His response to this was so much fun. First he noted that when he saw The Idiots it changed everything for him. At that point he realized that he could create something very close to this in Iran, not necessarily a dogme film (he believes that movement has run its course), but perhaps he could take the dogme style to its next natural level. HE wanted to make something more rough looking, with quicker edits; something that didn't cast a child or a grandfather in the lead role, like other typical Iranian films do. He noted that those films were good, but that there was a younger generation of filmmakers that were frustrated with these long static shots and only rural settings with children and/or wise old men. They were tired of having to come up with a poetic allegory or a moral lesson, and they were looking to do something a little different.

He then noted my comment about Godard, and though I could tell he was quite proud to hear himself compared to the master filmmaker, he commented,
ďWell, what filmmaker hasnít been influenced by Godard?!Ē

Abadan is a different kind of Iranian movie, and I don't know if that means it will be successful, but it's worth a consideration in your film queue. It currently has no distribution, and Mr. Haghighi has to go back and work out with Iranian authorities what scenes are going to stay and what will be cut. That may take a few months. But keep it in mind as something very different from Iran.

-s.

October 2003
The Divinity School Film Series, in its mission statement, says,
ďFilm truly is the global language of the information age. Any responsible understanding of culture must be well versed in its grammarÖĒ
This month in the Chicagoland area there is opportunity to engage several brilliant works of art, representing great chances to gaze into countless other cultures, learning about other people, their struggles and their faiths...

As a part of the Sundance Traveling Film Series, Piperís Alley is hosting
In This World
, which has been in rotation there for several weeks.
This informative masterpiece acts more like a stirring documentary than a film made for entertainment, but itís the story itself that captures attention. Speaking to the world crisis regarding refugees, the narrative closely follows two Afghan boys on a dangerous road tip that begins in Pakistan and hopes to make it all the way to a new home in wealthy and free London. The thrust of the camerawork is pointed and edgy, mindfully capturing all of the possibilities weíd hope for in the newer arena of digital film. I canít praise In This World enough, and I highly recommend the review by my friend Jrobert Parks. Make time for this one before itís gone.

The Chicago International Film Festival kicked off on October 2 at
The Chicago Theater with The Human Stain, starring Anthony Hopkins, who was present for the event. Along with Mr. Hopkins was Gary Sinise, who spoke (with Cubs baseball cap firmly on head) before the presentation, and director Robert Benton, who was given an award for outstanding achievement from the Festival crew. The Human Stain is just one of many outstanding films that will play at a festival that is proud to support artistic endeavors from all over the world, giving audiences and directors an opportunity to mingle and learn and interact with each other.

Jonathon Rosenbaumís festival pick was Manoel de Oliveiraís
Benilde ou a Virgem M„e (1975), which I was present for, and a review is forthcoming. This is a puzzler of a story about an 18 year old girl, Benilde, who discovers that she is pregnant and claims to have known no man. An added bonus to the film was the attendance of Rosenbaum himself, and afterward we had a great discussion in which I was able to bring up my admiration for Carl Theodor Dreyer, and how Benilde resembled Ordet in more ways than one. While Rosenbaum didnít fully agree with me, I still learned of his full appreciation for Ordet, and I left having spoken with one of my all-time favorite film critics.

There is a huge number of films worthy of being talked about at the Chicago Film Festival this year, but I have to say that the one I am looking forward to the most is Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, the latest from Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (Italian For Beginners). There will be a review posted at Matthews House Project for that film as well.

Finally, if you still aren't satisfied, even after all the greatness thatís already come to town, October is also the month that represents
The 14th Annual Festival of Films From Iran taking place at the
Gene Siskel Film Center, right after the Chicago International Film Festival ends:

Quoting from the Siskel monthly paper: ďThe Gene Siskel Film Center has been among the pioneers in presenting Iranian cinema in the west, and each year it seems that we launch our festival into a different world. As international politics shift and shift again in relation to the Middle East, the brilliant, edifying, insightful work of Iranian filmmakers continues to provide us with a window on one of the great cultures of the Middle East. This year's festival presents the Chicago premiere of eleven new films: eight fiction features, many of them prize-winners, one unusual docudrama, and two documentaries...Ē

There are, no doubt, films here that we will be talking about years from now. The question is "Which ones?" Iran being the current hotbed of great filmmaking, perhaps all of them...
I know that I will be in attendance on Saturday, October 25, and would love to make it out to even more dates than this. But time will tell, and the month has already been stuffed chock full of outstanding, brilliant works of art. Iíll just have to take things one day at a time.

Abadan* Saturday Oct. 25
Dancing In The Dust
Deep Breath
From Iran to the World -- The Visibility of Iranian Cinema
The Fifth Reaction
Gypsy
The Ladies'
The Mourners
Letters in the Wind
Report Card Day
Tehran 7:00 AM
* Saturday Oct. 25
The Twilight

Until we meet again, happy viewing, with pleasure in learning being at the forefront of our actions.

July/Aug.
Even the crickets cry out...
Summer is the time of year when you might not be able to find me. There are too many things on the plate, and all of them are for the glory of FUN itself. Many times I get so caught up in the business of life that I forget to suck the sap out of the one shot at living that I get. Therefore, I have pledged that this summer, in honor of the celebration of the one life I have, I will: Go canoeing; roller blade at high speed, and often; attend MUCHO-many rockin' concerts (most notable thus far are Nick Cave, Anathallo, and the Detholz); have the greatest Minnesota family reunion we've ever had; skydive from 13,000 feet; go white water rafting and take a three day excursion primitive camping in the glorious mountains of Colorado; have water wars with the Ground Zero student ministry of Downers Grove; play laser tag and not come in last place; go to Great America; go to North Ave. beach and burn my pale white body as many times as possible; and finally, read at least three novels (already selected are: "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, "Morvern Callar" by Alan Warner, and
"The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides.) I am convinced, now more than ever, that these are things I must do Right Here, Right now, and in all of this I will challenge the natural and the spiritual to have communion one with another. In this process I will seek out a holistic kind of faith in all I do and say.

Our C-stone time in Bushnell was extremely challenging this year. Under the thousands of stars every night I was reminded over and over that God has given me gifts, and that I am on earth to continue working in the talents He has blessed me with. I'm thinking here of the gifts I have in the arts, and while they do not currently sustain me, nevertheless, my participation in them causes my spirit to flourish. I was created uniquely, and have rediscovered this uniqueness and look forward to continuing to put my existence into motion thru art. Many of us exist, but without this sustaining motion; there are those who deny their true callings and live for security, far from the danger of what truly moves them, and finding life unrewarding outside of financial gain. While I need financial gain like everyone else, I do not wish to lose myself in the process.

One night in Bushnell we heard a cricket chirping, and we were reminded of the song that his creator has given him to sing. He was a loud reminder of a melody that is placed inside of every one of us, and we felt that his singing was his highest calling in praise before his creator. You might disagree and say, "No -- that cricket was chirping because it rubs its wings together in a process called stridulation.... He lifts his front wings, then drags a file-like ridge on the upper wing across the sharp edge of the lower wing. Membranes on the wing amplify the sound, just like when a bow is pulled across the strings of a violin, and the reason he does this is either: A.) To attract or woo a female, or B.)To tell other virile males to stay away -- or else." And while this is a correct scientific explanation, all that is identified is the natural workings of a cricket in its environment. My point is: Who was the environment created by, and why was the cricket given that particular sound? In other words, while the scientific approach is correct in describing nature, how narrow minded is it to only describe the physical? It misses an entire dimension, and that is the spiritual realm which is so closely related to the natural. The cricket was made to sing, and if it didn't, perhaps the very rocks would cry out.

I hope this summer in all of your fun and frolic under the sun that you can take a moment to remember that you, too, were given a sound! Just like space that constantly hums like the angels, just like monkeys and elephants in the jungle, just like the wind that howls and the thunder that scares us and all of the things that make noise in our natural universe... You were given a sound that your Creator longs to hear you make, and when you finally let loose and make that noise it is as worship unto the one who created you for the same purpose. He's not some egomaniac sitting up in the sky that only wants to hear you say "Praise Him, Praise Him" like you're taught to do on Sunday mornings.
Instead, He receives praise when you seek out the purpose He fashioned you for and function in the way He thought best when He formed you! What could be more exciting to a Creator but to see His creation functioning properly?

I will, of course, be finishing up my latest recording, "JD's Last Dance" this summer, and I will be working on various other recordings throughout this year and into next. It's what I was created to do, and here in the white house, we're getting better and better at it all the time. Keep your ear to the ground, and we'll hope to get something out for ya soon... In the meantime, enjoy your summer. And suck the sap out of life.

-s.

May '03

IT'S ABOUT TIME!...
We have finally started putting up links to many of Stef's film reviews,
as well as the lyrics to his most recent CDs...
Check out the EXTRAS page for all of that.
In the near future, expect reviews for Lynne Ramsay's
Ratcatcher & Morvern Callar, as well as lyrics to some of Stef's older miscellaneous recordings,
All Good Weeds Grow Up & She Walks Alone With Me.

April '03

Some fun news just in...
VELVET BLUE MUSIC has asked for Stef's song MOONSTRUCK to be a part of their new indie-artists disc, entiteld "The New Land." Watch for this CD later in the year...

March '03
FIVE RUSHED ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM STEF FOR MARCH!

1. First of all, thank you to all who made our February Concert Series at the Coffee House a success! Each and every one of those Sunday nights I had more fun than a human being should be allowed to have! I especially remember the night of the Grammys, I was dancing with my newborn to the tunes of Ticklepenny Corner, and I can honestly say that we had better music in Lisle, Illinois than anyone at home watching their boob tubes. It was a joy to see folks from the Downers Grove area having fun, getting to know each other and enjoying the art of music in progress. Let's do it again soon.

2. There will not be any gigs planned for March. I will be taking time off to enjoy Genesis Elise, as well as hitting the studio hard and forming the foundation tracks for my 2003 solo CD. Upcoming gigs to keep in mind: April 5 - Long Grove, IL - warming up for Ticklepenny Corner (full band and semi-plugged); April 11 at the Oakbrook Borders Bookstore (only Ryan and I, completely acoustic); and May 4 at Bethel A/G in Elmhurst (full band, plugged, and a sort of homecoming reception in the building I grew up in!)... Keep these dates in mind, I'd love to see you out there...

3. Speaking of the Grammys, I'm looking forward in March to the Oscars. Having seen all five of the nominated films for "Best Picture" this year, I'm having a hard time deciding which should win. Three of the five are completely deserving, and I would be very satisfied if the makers of "The Two Towers," "The Pianist" or "Chicago" take home the trophy. These motion pictures have proven that great artistic pieces are still being made in the 21st Century -- if you haven't seen them yet, I highly recommend still getting to the theater to catch them on the big screen.

4. Speaking of great art, the best from the fringe culture is just around the corner -- i'm talking about Cornerstone 2003! I'm looking forward to seeing many of you there and catching up on where time has gone. Also of particular interest are some great acts: Sleeping At Last, Woven Hand, a Prayer Chain reunion and the return of Steve Taylor! I just about fainted when I saw those last two... Hope you can make it this year, it's going to be an unforgettable time.

5. Thank you to all in the community that have taken such great care of Kara and me over the past few months -- the Wests, Kelly, Kim, my parents and sister, Julie Frederickson, the Ground Zero Student Body and more and more (you all know who you are!)... The meals, the helps, the attention, the gifts, the care... Kara and I are very new at this and we couldn't have done it without you. Your love and generosity has been so appreciated, so again -- THANKS!

I do not know how people function in life when they are not plugged into a community of believers who are unafraid to let their hands and feet be the living tenderness and movement of a very real God. It makes me feel an even greater burden for those who have not found certain truths in life yet -- truths that change and sculpt me daily.... So thanks be to God who gives us the victory...

More in April, the month that always includes my favorite holiday... :)
stef

What's in Stef's 5 Disc Boom Box this week?
  1. Tosca
    Suzuki
  2. Kruder & Dorfmeister
    The K&D; Sessions
  3. Apt.core2
  4. Total Lounge
    A Complete Audio and Video Experience
  5. Nick Cave/Mick Harvey/Ed Clayton-Jones
    And The Ass Saw The Angel
film
STEF'S LATEST RELEASE
Lamentations
Hobson Road Records ∑ The White House
All Rights Reserved ∑ Copyright 2002 Stef Loy