BY J. RYAN PARKER
Fury is one of the most brutal, grueling war films since 1998’s Saving Private Ryan. It centers on a WWII tank unit lead by Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt). Actors Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, John Bernthal and Logan Lerman fill out the tank named FURY.
Though the film is a technical marvel with painstaking attention to detail and authenticity, the focus of writer/director David Ayer’s film, like his other films, Training Day and End of Watch, are the responsibilities and the psychological, emotional and spiritual traumas that, as Ayer puts it, “those who are franchised to exercise force on our behalf” endure. In our conversation with the director, Ayer delves into the spiritual/religious elements that lie at the heart of his latest film.
Let’s start with the overt religious elements in the film, which feel supremely authentic and work incredibly well.
In war films, you’ll often see a person of faith, but the way they’re depicted often feels caricatured. It doesn’t feel like a grounded faith or a living faith. It was important to me to show how someone can lean on Scripture and their relationship with Christ in an environment where they’re seeing this much inhumanity and destruction. […There’s] a strength and a power in that, and I wanted to depict that, so I wrote this character ["Bible," played by Shia LaBeouf]. And it’s interesting because the guys he works with don’t share his same views. They don’t have the faith he does, yet they respect it.
It’s a tribute to both Shia [LaBeouf’s] performance and your direction of him in that role that he never feels like a caricature.
It’s interesting because Shia had to depict this. He had to go and learn Scripture. He actually shadowed a U.S. Army Chaplain who’s in the reserves, and embedded himself with a National Guard Unit. He shadowed Captain Yates as he would minister to the troops and go to his services. [Captain Yates] also has a ministry outside Los Angeles, and Shia would go down there and spend time to understand how ministry works. He brought a lot of that to the film.
In terms of the Scriptures you used, were they foundational in the script or were they added or improvised later in production? I find it interesting that you used the verse from Isaiah: “Here am I, send me.”
They were in the script. Yeah, [Bible’s] a guy who accepts where he is and what he’s doing. It’s fascinating that, because of his faith, he’s not unafraid of dying, but he’s able to accept it and doesn’t see it as the end of the road. That moment [where Bible quotes Isaiah], it’s one of my favorite moments of the film and an incredible performance. It’s hard to bring Scripture to life in a realistic and impactful way in film. The faith he’s portraying resonates with the other crew in the tank and gives meaning to what they’re about to endure.
It also gets to this notion of calling. We hear ads for military service that speak of “answering the call.” At the same time, people who go into ministry speak of being called by God. The people who answer these calls often find themselves set apart from the rest of society. They’re either held to a higher standard or put on a pedestal. The themes of separation and subsequent attempts to assimilate back are important themes in Fury.
Having served in the military, I’ve always been interested in law enforcement, the military and those people who serve society, especially those people who are franchised to exercise force on our behalf. It’s a huge responsibility and it takes an incredible amount of judgment to do that. The people who go down range and fight for us and confront the enemy so we can sleep safely in our beds ... that separates them. That creates a brotherhood and a sisterhood and separates them from the society they protect.
"I’m a big believer that, no matter who you are, there’s redemption for you, and there is forgiveness."
But you see another separation between Bible and the tank crew when the boys go and carouse once they take the town. He sits down and studies Scripture. There’s a moment where he’s going to have a drink, and it’s a shock that he’s going to drink. He’s apart from the crew, yet he’s the heart of the crew at the same time. We always saw his character as the conscience of this tank crew, and so that idea of separation out of calling, responsibility or duty is very much a part of how the movie’s structured.
The people who answer these callings and stand apart from the rest of society also, in a way, police boundaries between good and evil. WWII is often looked at as a “good” or at least “just” war. Yet, as you show in the film, even some of the American soldiers begin to flirt with these boundaries.
That’s the thing. People are drawn to WWII because it was a contest of good and evil. It’s very black and white. This enemy—with no concept of human rights—threw the rule book out on fighting, and our soldiers had to face that. It was a different world back then. It was a tougher generation. Our men who fought did a lot of things that are pretty edgy, pretty tough. All of the things in the movie are things that happened.
The question then becomes, how do you maintain your humanity—your moral center—as a soldier when you do have permission to cross the line sometimes? How do you not cross that line and maintain who you are? I can’t answer those questions, because I think the answer is in your own heart. And that’s something that fascinates me. How do you not lose yourself? How do you not lose your morality? How do you not lose your faith? You can only answer those questions yourself.
It’s not hard to see that the characters in this film have lost something of themselves to both what they have experienced and what they have done. Is redemption possible for them?
It seems like they might locate it in that moment where they have the opportunity to run for safety or to stay, fight and face almost certain death.
"No one’s going to tell you more loudly and more clearly that war is a horrible thing than military personnel. They know it and they deal with it."
Absolutely. That’s quite a bit of Wardaddy’s journey in that, standing up and fighting for something that’s good. The hard thing is to do it if there’s no reward in it or if you can lose your life in the process. [To] have that faith to plow ahead and do the right thing no matter how painful is noble. I wanted to show some of that nobility. One of the tankers that came to meet with the actors was saved after the war and became a pastor. He made his life about ministry and spreading the good news because I think he saw and experienced so much and may have done some things himself that didn’t sit right in his heart. He came out of that war a transformed man and spread something good into the world after that. I’m a big believer that, no matter who you are, there’s redemption for you, and there is forgiveness.
As Fury progressed, I began to think about war films like All Quiet on the Western Front and others that might be defined as anti-war war films. There’s something about the filmmakers’ brutally honest depiction of war that makes us question why we continue to walk this destructive path. Was that tension intentional?
That’s the paradox of warfare. I come from a military family who’s served ... for generations. Career military people. And I served. There’s a duty to serve. This country gives us a lot and we have to pay it back. No one who’s ever gone down range, no one who’s ever seen a buddy die, no one who’s had to take a life, no one who’s seen the evil that’s out there firsthand is ever going to say it’s a good thing. It’s a terrible thing, and no one’s going to tell you more loudly and more clearly that war is a horrible thing than military personnel. They know it and they deal with it.
That’s the paradox of it: the nobility of knowing what you’re going to see and expose yourself to and the moral hazards that you’re going to experience in undertaking your duty with honor and with pride. There’s great nobility in that. I don’t know if people understand those things, and I want people to get a little insight into that.
Fury is rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout.
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/film/furys-director-explains-films-theology#Tm8i5F7MGWrvCgKE.99
by Jason Sheeler
Jason Kennedy, E! News anchor (and Hollywood Bible-study leader!), is leading the way.
Two nights before the Grammys, I step inside a Beverly Hills hotel and file into a ballroom filled with more than 600 of Hollywood's photogenic finest: actors from my favorite TV shows, singers and songwriters of hit pop songs, models, talent agents, and, this being Los Angeles, lots of really hot people who only look famous. They are all here because Jason Kennedy invited them.
Tequila shots? No ma'am, not for E! News anchor Jason Kennedy.
"It's Grammy weekend! Who's here to party?" the 32-year-old cohost of E! News and E! News Weekendbellows into a microphone. Lantern-jawed and Equinoxed, Kennedy gives the crowd a big smile, baring his white-picket-fence teeth. "You know, I was wondering if you guys were going to be at some fancy club tonight," he confesses, looking at his unscuffed Converse Chucks. "Or here with me praising God."
That's right: Kennedy's gathering was not a thumping, Hennessy-soaked bash but a Bible study—and it's one of the hottest tickets in town. When the group started a little more than a year ago, it was just a circle of about 10 people in Kennedy's Hollywood Hills living room. As word spread, the numbers grew, and it became a weekly, standing-room-only event whose guests have reportedly included Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Justin Bieber. (Kennedy asked Glamour not to reveal who was there when I attended.)
Kennedy hands the mike to pastor Judah Smith, a rising figure in contemporary ministry and a Hollywood regular, and sits down next to his girlfriend, fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs. (She's the former model who suffered severe injuries after walking into a plane propeller two years ago—and who wrote a memoir, Still LoLo, about her recovery.) Smith is one dope man of God: Wearing ripped black jeans, a leather T-shirt, aviator glasses, and a beanie, he looks more like a French DJ than a preacher. He starts sermonizing about the constant "positioning" in L.A. to get ahead and how to cope when confronted with pornography. (Answer: Pray hard.) The crowd affirms, "Right, right!" after nearly every word.
"This is where I come to survive Hollywood," Kennedy whispers to me. "Being here reminds me of who I want to be—just a better man." He glances at Scruggs and says, "It makes me a better boyfriend too."
Look at men in Hollywood and across the country and you'll see something has changed: Bad boys are over. Today's hottest actors are devoted dads like Channing Tatum, avowedly sober leading men like Bradley Cooper, or just plain nice guys like Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, the actor who actually greets the tourist van that parks in front of his house. Total dick moves like posting an ex-girlfriend's sex tape online are starting to feel as dated as The Situation's abs. The message is clear: The most bankable, most wanted stars are good boys.
"I gue-e-ess I'm nice," Kennedy tells me after Bible study ends. His way of speaking—goofy yet authoritative, confessional yet cautious—is the lingua franca of legendary good guys like Tom Hanks. "And you know, when I sit down to interview the biggest actors in Hollywood, the true A-list guys like Matt Damon or a George Clooney"—he pauses to heymangoodgood a singer who's passing by—"the most successful ones seem to be the nicest. I've met a lot of famous people, and douchebags out here are a dime a dozen. But those guys, they understand that being nice pays off. And I think that's starting to spread."
Jane Buckingham, founder of trend-forecasting firm Trendera, believes the nice-guy movement is taking hold outside Hollywood too. "It's time for the good boy," she says. "Anytime society is in certain turmoil—recession, terrorism, earthquakes, and hurricanes—we look for stability in every aspect of our lives. Who wants a bad boy when the world is going crazy?"
For a long time, though, bad boys seemed like the only option, Buckingham says. There was Jude Law (caught with the nanny), Hugh Grant (caught with the prostitute), and, more recently, John Mayer (caught with, well, everyone). More alarmingly, "there are the Chris Browns, the guys who haven't treated women the way they should," she adds. "On the other end of the spectrum, it was about Zach Galifianakis and Seth Rogen characters—unemployed and not standing up for themselves, let alone women."
But these good boys, "they're the kind of guys women want to date now," Buckingham says. "It's partly why there have been so many superhero movies—we want the guy who will get a decent job, get married, not be that doofus paying for strippers. Look at Justin Timberlake, how he said Jessica Biel taught him how to load the dishwasher. Look at how Jay-Z dotes on Beyoncé. Sure, there isn't a Superman out there, but it would be nice to have a super guy."
And Buckingham, who's made a career out of studying generational shifts, sees young women demanding better behavior. As women, "we have our act together, so we want men to be as strong as we are," she says. "We're tired of the bad behavior, the men who cheat, the guys who go out and get drunk all the time—we want guys to feel stable and strong. If we get the flu, we want them to be there for us. We want guys who make our lives better, not guys who are going to make our lives more chaotic."
Even Hollywood is growing tired of bad boys, says Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton, who's covered the industry for 20 years. These days, she says, the men getting the jobs are the ones grown-up enough to work. "You can only be hungover so many mornings," she says with a laugh. "You can't keep a set waiting at 9:00 A.M., because the studio loses money. So guys like Bradley Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris—they get hired because they are known to want to work. They haven't let their lifestyle get in the way. They don't keep people waiting, and they know everyone's name, down to the gaffers and the boom mike guy."
As the crowd at the hotel thins out, Scruggs, who is moving from Dallas to Los Angeles to be closer to Kennedy, tells me about their first date—and why he was different from the guys she was with before. "Jason went on a hike with me and my mom," she says. "And I guess any guy who will do that—especially since my mom is a marriage counselor—well, that says a lot." Scruggs and Kennedy share the same faith, and the 25-year-old Texan likes how comfortable she feels around his friends. "When we all go out, I just think about the girls that I can fix up with them. And a lot of times I'm the only girl there, and they are all so respectful and polite." She sees me notice her prosthetic hand, a result of her accident. "I have to say, Jason's helped me feel beautiful again," she says. "This was a big insecurity for me. And really, it's like he doesn't even see my insecurities."
Kennedy walks up and puts his arm around Scruggs. He's got to get home—early workout the next day. "I'll admit it, being a so-called good boy has paid off for me," he says. "I've got my dream job. And I've found my dream girl."
Kennedy has been chasing those dreams for a while. As a middle schooler, he built a mock anchor desk in his South Florida home and took cabs to crime scenes, his camcorder in hand for the nightly "newscast" he'd air to his parents.
When he first moved to Hollywood to pursue a broadcast career, he folded T-shirts at Diesel, babysat for his manager, and dreamed of being Matt Lauer. But he didn't feel at home. "It was a lonely first year," Kennedy tells me the next morning at breakfast. "I had a hard time fitting in to the 2:00 A.M. party scene. I wanted to succeed, but I didn't want to sacrifice the kind of man I wanted to be." So he adopted a work-hard-play-nice mantra and formed a tight circle of like-minded agents, producers, models, and actors. "My friends all have the same values. And they call me out if I start getting too Hollywood," he says. Nights out are typically bowling or dinner parties. His crew even practices some good-boy evangelism on Sunset Boulevard: "When we're hanging out and we see some guy revving his Porsche or rolling in with three girlfriends, it's 'HGLT.'" He smirks. "Hate Guys Like That."
How real is Kennedy's clean-cut cred? He doesn't drink too much, because he doesn't want to regret anything. He doesn't smoke. He calls his dad his idol. And L.A.'s strip clubs, he says, are "not my scene." (His IV-drug use? Weekly B12 infusions.) But he's still one of the biggest entertainment journalists in town (he's a contributor to the Today show on top of his E! gig), and his iPhone constantly chimes with updates of the day's headlines he will read later on E! News Weekend. On the day I visit, those headlines include Teen Mom scandals (Chelsea's baby-daddy!), Khloé Kardashian's wild single life (hanging with Lil Twist!), and Katy Perry's prayers (big boobs!).
Many of these stories feature women behaving badly, but Kennedy doesn't think men should follow suit. "Whether it's Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, or Lady Gaga, when they do outrageous things, they seem to get more famous," Kennedy says. "When Miley did the VMAs, I was like, 'Man, what's going to happen to her after this?' And now she's on top. I don't think that necessarily works for guys." I ask about Bieber, who is making headlines that very day with an alleged $75,000 trip to a strip club. "Yeah...if you look at guys who are trying to be, say, outrageous—I don't think Justin Bieber is trying to be outrageous, but he's going through a struggle—[the antics] don't seem to help them," says Kennedy. "I don't think it pays off being the jerk anymore. Women, at least in my life, are getting tired of that. You can't get away with that stuff today. Everyone's paparazzi, and everyone's on Twitter."
So what was his last bad-boy moment? "The last time I was an a-hole," Kennedy tells me—he also doesn't curse—"was probably when I first started at E! eight years ago. I was in Miami, and we couldn't get into this club. Everyone wants to get in somewhere. The door guy was being really rude. And I may or may not have said under my breath, 'You know, E! is on the air in 120 countries.' "
Perhaps a little douche-y, but back-talking a bouncer is no DWI conviction or caught-on-TMZ meltdown. Yet Kennedy seems genuinely horrified. The memory of that moment, he says, "mortifies me. Oh, and I didn't get in." To this day his coanchor, Catt Sadler, who was with him that night, will still sometimes lean over during commercial breaks and whisper, "You know, we're on the air in 120 countries."
In those early days it was harder for him to blaze his own trail than it is now. "When I was first on the air, E! was sending me to, like, the Playboy Mansion all the time," he says. "I went there for a luncheon celebrating Playmate of the Year—a lunch—and there were poster-size naked pictures of this girl everywhere. And she was there with her parents and her brother. It was not for me." Eventually, as he became the interviewer of choice for stars like Julia Roberts, Kennedy worked his way off the beat.
And now he can stand up for his values. Later that day I listen in at a news meeting, where Kennedy reads over the evening show's script with his coworkers and tells the producers he won't say tit on the air. "That's just disrespectful to women," he says earnestly. "And my mom's going to be watching!"
I believed he cared, but the exchange did make me wonder: Is his good-boy thing too much? I ask Kennedy whether he's at all concerned that his churchgoing, Boy Scout image could actually ding him professionally. Is he ever worried he'll seem uncool (a quality known to be almost radioactive in Hollywood) or, even worse, self-righteous? Ultimately, Anne Hathaway's sweetness begat Hatha-hate. Does he fear his do-good dogma could backfire, the way it did for Tim Tebow? "Not at all," he says without hesitation. "Never entered my mind. I've never heard someone say, 'He's too nice. I don't want to be around him.' I mean, look at Tom Hanks. He's like the male Oprah. Everybody loves Tom. He's still going strong. Then think about reality shows, like Jon Gosselin or whatever, think of the Jersey Shore days and that craziness on TV. People were fascinated by it. But I think we have moved on to a new era."
And with that, Kennedy kicks back some Vitamin D pills ("for energy, man"), walks out of his office, and heads to yet another meeting. A muted television hanging from the ceiling is playing Keeping Up With the Kardashians reruns, and star Scott Disick is ranting. The subtitles spell out, "Hey Bruce, maybe we should go get an X-ray on our balls."
Kennedy shrugs at the TV. "Look, I'm no role model," he says. "But guys need better influences today. And girls—if I've learned anything—want good guys." He stops and furrows his brow. "What if we could get people to talk about guys for doing the right thing, for being gentlemen?" Which is, after all, why people are talking about him.
(CNN) -- A body found along a river in suburban Seattle is that of "August: Osage County" actress Misty Upham, a Washington coroner said late Friday.
The cause of her death is still under investigation, the King County Medical Examiner's Office said.
Photos: People we lost in 2014
According to the medical examiner's office, the 32-year old actress died October 5.
A member of Upham's family found her body during a search for the actress, according to police in Auburn, Washington. It lay at the bottom of a steep embankment near the White River.
Even before her body was identified, a purse containing Upham's ID had been found with the remains, police said.
Upham, 32, was last seen October 5 walking from her sister's apartment in Muckleshoot, Washington, according to a statement sent to media outlets by her father, Charles Upham. She was reported missing the following day.
Actress' disappearance baffles family
Her father said she had bipolar disorder and bouts of depression and anxiety, but he didn't think she was suicidal.
"The truth is Misty is not stressed over money or career. Her career is going great," he wrote Sunday. "As her father I do not fear she committed suicide. I feel that she has been hurt by accident or someone has put her in harm's way."
Upham had small roles in "Django Unchained" and "August: Osage County," and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in 2008's "Frozen River." She's also had roles in the TV series "Big Love" and the TV movie "Skinwalkers."
She was currently shooting a film called "Crawlspace," according to the Internet Movie Database.
Jamie and Mandy Rauch are hosting a red carpet event/fundraiser at "Malick Media" in Langley BC November 22nd 7pm. They need 300 people to attend to make the event fruitful in costs and releasing into the ministry purposes.
Invite people you know who are kingdom-minded to this free event and help Jamie and Mandy be released into the full-time ministry.
Everyone MUST rsvp: https://www.facebook.com/events/1495051517423597/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming or lightinfilm.org/events
I am a missionary to Canada and more specifically the "Entertainment Industry" in Canada. Since January of 2014 God has called me to be an advocate to Entertainment Industry. Throughout this year I have found myself defending people in the film industry more than ever. The sad part is, that I'm defending them from Christians...what? It's true. Example: the director of the movie "Noah" staring Russell Crowe was directed by Darren Aronofsky, an atheist. Every day for about two months I heard christians making fun of him, cursing him and running him down like he's some evil demon who's going to bring down all world religion through 1 movie.
We (christians) were making Darren Aronofsky more atheist by the minute everyday. It would not stop! He needs Jesus! Not bad-mouthing Jesus Freaks with rocks in their hands!
So there I am with my best friend a professional actor at a Vision Night with this "Light in Film" ministry. We are in a prayer circle as we were getting prayed for. Suddenly, my spiritual mother begins to pray then looks my friend in the eyes and starts to ask for forgiveness and apologize on behalf of the church body for all the years of verbal abuse from christians. All the condemning words and criticism spoken. Finally someone stepped up and stood in the gap on behalf of the actors across the world! The heavens are stirring!
"Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. When they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the laws commanded us that such should be stoned! What do you say Jesus?”
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger as though He didn’t hear them…So He is officially ignoring them…when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first!”
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience went out one by one beginning with the oldest even until the last, Jesus was left alone and the woman standing in the midst…Jesus raised Himself up, saw no one but the woman.
He said to her “women, where are those accuser of your? Has no one condemned you?” She says, “no one Lord!” Jesus said to her, (no doubt with a smile) “neither do I charge you with an offence, go and sin no more.”
I think Jesus for us exemplifies the attitude, heart and the spirit of an advocate. Notice they said, “Jesus! She’s caught in adultery!” And they proudly declare “We caught her in the very act!” And they say, “what do you say Jesus!” And the quote the law accurately, “what do you say Jesus? What do you say?” Notice that He says nothing. Which tells me that a spirit of an advocate is slow to speak.
If we’re all honest…it’s pretty easy to let the attitude of an accuser windle it’s way into your life. I think if we were all honest we’ve had a rock or two in our hands. It’s easy for us to go “oh, I’m not an accuser.” But, it’s in our attitude it’s in our spirit.
Accusers have levels of lawsness, have you noticed this? I’ve noticed this in my own life. I define levels, perticully in industries that are in the forefront of our entertainment and music…we easily throw rocks at actors and actresses and artists “I can’t believe their lyrics, I can’t believe their music, I can’t believe the movie they did! Oh my God it’s so bad!” I hear Christians making fun of promenade figures in entertainment and on television, because we can take cheap shots at them, because we think we’ll never know them! But some of them are my friends and I’m trying to pastor them, love them and yet I hear Christians making fun of them!
They need a church too! They need a pastor too! They need someone who will show them the love of Jesus too! Is our gospel big enough to welcome everybody in our church? Are we big enough for actors and actresses and artist? Are we big enough to say “come on, you’re welcome here. This is your family, this is your home, we’ll love you.”
Jesus is the great leveller. Even the physical posture of Jesus preaches the message of grace to us. For Jesus, posture is down in the dirt. While the religious, pompous, arrogant leaders of today stand in their arrogance with rocks in their hands!
These postures even demonstrate the attitude of an accuser and the attitude of an advocate. Oh they stand so tall and proud. But with the words of Jesus He levels the playing field and he says “oh pastor, reverend, bishop you’re the same as this woman. You’re no different!”
We don’t need anymore churches standing in their arrogance with rocks in their hands and their pockets. We need churches that are in the dirt with people that are broken and hurting and need the love of God.
That’s got to be the church. We run towards the messes, we run towards the broken, we run towards the hurting. We don’t turn away, we run towards them! We’re there to hold them, love them, defend them, think well of them, speak well of them, believe the best!
That’s the spirit of our savior! What if we had a whole church that was thousands, then tens of thousand and hundreds of thousands in the same region. And all of us carried the attitude of an advocate. The attitude of compassion, the attitude of mercy, grace and love towards hurting broken lost people.
And at the end of this story, Jesus tells this sinful woman. “I don’t come to bring you accusation,” He says “now go and sin no more.” Do you know why? Because she just encountered grace and faith erupted in her heart and now she can finally live the life she could have only dreamed of.
Because its grace that sets people free from sin, not law, not legalism, not customs, not traditions, not do’s and don’ts, but the grace of God!"
“Jesus is Our Advocate”
From: Jesus is Music Project
Shia LaBeouf 'Became a Christian Man' While Filming 'Fury'; Says Co-Star Brad Pitt Was 'Instrumental' in 'Guiding' Him
Actor Shia LaBeouf has said that he found God while working on his latest film, "Fury," and is now a saved and changed man, thanks to co-star Brad Pitt.
"I found God doing 'Fury,'" LaBeouf told Interview magazine. "I became a Christian man … in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page, but it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can't identify unless you're really going through it. It's a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control."
LaBeouf's change of heart comes after months of speculation about his behavior. He was involved in a feud with Alec Baldwin during rehearsals for the play "Orphans" and later was found to have plagiarized his apology for plagiarizing a graphic novelist. He was also arrested for disturbing the production of "Cabaret," but said that he was trying to do performance art. He insists that he is a changed man, haven taken control of his life.
"I've been a runner my whole life, running from myself. Whether to movies or drinking and drugging … or whatever it is, I've always been running. I'm a dude who loves delusion. It's why I love being an actor—I never have to actually look at myself or be faced with my [expletive] or take responsibility," the actor explained.
"Fury" helped him find himself and find God at the same time. It forced him to look inside and make an important decision—to give his life to Christ. He credits Pitt with sharing his faith.
"Brad was really instrumental in guiding my head through this. Brad comes from a hyper-religious, very deeply Christian, Bible Belt life, and he rejected it and moved toward an unnamed spirituality. He looked at religion like the people's opium, almost like a Marxist view on religion," LaBeouf said. "Whereas ['Fury' writer-director] David Ayers is a full subscriber to Christianity."
LaBeouf decided to give his heart to Christ and says he is done with his existential crisis
Christian Media: Who’s Doing it Right
From time to time I’m asked “Is anyone doing Christian media well?” It’s a good question, since so many are doing it badly. I often joke that I want to create a Museum of Bad Christian Media, but I can’t find a building big enough. But the truth is, many are doing it right. So from time to time on this blog I’m going to highlight media leaders and organizations that are making a difference. This list isn’t about theological persuasion or doctrinal differences. It’s about people who are making a significant difference through media. Here’s a handful we can start with:
Brian Houston – Pastor, Hillsong Church in Sydney. When it comes to legacy, Brian will have built a pretty serious one, and a significant part of that is media. Hillsong Church created a worship music platform before many knew what worship music was, and from Darlene Zschech to Hillsong United, they’re changing the way the church worships. He’s built a team that’s not only launched churches around the world, but used television, short films, social media, and now feature films to share a message about Jesus. Hillsong NYC’s “No Other Name” campaign in Time Square was seen throughout the world, and the feature film “Let Hope Rise” featuring Hillsong United will be released the week of April 1, 2015 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
Jack Graham / PowerPoint Ministries. As a leader, Jack has probably inspired more ministries and business launches than anyone I know. Somehow, just listening to Jack’s messages motivates people to go out and accomplish great things for God. And his TV facility is a great thing indeed. State of the art in every way, his team – led by Executive Director Scott Seal and COO Jason Graham – is effective through broadcast TV, social media, publishing, and live events. TV director Tim Kelley has built a great crew and to see a treat, watch the production of the Prestonwood Christmas program – it’s as big a production as you’ll see anywhere in Hollywood. And for the record, through it all, Jack has never comprised his message or taken a shortcut to reach an audience.
Joel Osteen Ministries. Joel Osteen’s television program is second to none in quality, production values, and reach. It may be because Joel started as a TV producer and director himself, but reaching millions through television has always been a priority. Now, Jon Swearingen, his Director of Media has pushed his team to the very limits of what TV technology can do. From purely a technical perspective, watching his team record a Sunday service is not that different from watching the Emmy or Oscar broadcasts.
Joyce Meyer Ministries. From the earliest days of her ministry, Joyce understood the power of television, and now she has a remarkable worldwide audience. Years ago, Dan Meyer, COO of the ministry took her to an early Hillsong Conference where she caught of glimpse of reaching the next generation through media, and she’s never looked back. Ginger Stache leads her media team, and today they use state of the art equipment to create a ministry that’s seen throughout the world. And it’s not just her teaching through TV that connects with people. They’ve built a remarkable creative team that’s doing amazing work through commercials, promos, short features, and documentaries.
YouVersion.com. There’s not much left to say about Bobby Gruenewald’s team at YouVersion. 155 million+ installs on mobile devices, 1037 Bible versions – and it’s only the beginning. This team is one of the most innovative and creative in the country, which is probably why he was named one of the “Top 100 Creative Leaders” by Fast Company magazine. One of the most interesting things about Bobby and digerati leader Terry Storch is that they are church leaders first. Both are also leading the digital team at LifeChurch.TV in Oklahoma.
YesHeIs.com. Created by the global team at Christian Vision, Yes He Is, is one of the most sophisticated methods for sharing short films about faith online. Early on, they understood the evangelistic power of sharing your faith through video, and designed a brilliant site that not only helps you share short films about Jesus, but helps walk that person through the salvation experience. With offices in 22 countries on 6 continents, not only producing short films in multiple languages, but they’re creating radio content, and exploring new ways to reach people in today’s digital age. That content averages more than 50,000 unique visitors a day, and delivers radio contact to 460 FM Affiliates in 25 countries. They’re also passionate about using YesHeIs.com to help the local church.
SAVN.com. The first “Digital Street Corner” for the Salvation Army, the Salvation Army Vision Network is dedicated to telling the Salvation Army story online, and linking it’s 77,000 employees worldwide. It’s not just about short films, but SAVN is pioneering online recovery, Bible study, and other groups as well as offering online TV channels to outside groups as well. Plus, led by Executive Producer Guy Noland, they just completed production of a feature length documentary called “Hard Corps” which exposes the connection between pornography and global human trafficking.
IAmSecond.com. You know you’ve made an impression when hundreds of other producers copy your distinctive look. Using the iconic “white chair” they’ve done in-depth interviews with major celebrities, sports stars, and other leaders and produced national TV commercial, billboard, and online campaigns. A brilliantly creative idea, it’s all about the surprise that people who have accomplished so much, give all the credit to someone else – God.
You are invited to spend an evening with Light in Film, Hollywood celebrities, local celebrities and more! There will be live music from world renown record label VMG Records, desserts, hot beverages, funny stories, amazing stories and compelling tales that'll bring you to tears. You will experience a taste of the Hollywood life in one jam packed evening! Together we will generously partner with "Light in Film" into the Kingdom of God.
SAVE THE DATE,
November 22nd 2014,
7pm Location is TBA (Langley BC).
You must RSVP at: lightinfilm.org/events
The Oscar-winning director took his own life Tuesday night.
Shock, disbelief and great sadness were the reactions of the Swedish — and international — film community following the news of the death by suicide of 36-year-old Malik Bendjelloul, the director of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man.
Journalist Johar Bendjelloul said his younger brother had killed himself after struggling with depression for a short period of time.
The filmmaker rose to international fame in 2013 when his debut feature film, Searching for Sugar Man, won an Oscar for best documentary. The film tells the story of how singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who had flopped in the United States, became a superstar in apartheid-era South Africa without knowing about it.
STORY: 'Searching for Sugar Man' Director Malik Bendjelloul Committed Suicide
“We woke up crying,” Mikael Svensson, a film commissioner at the Swedish Film Commission, toldTHR. “He was such a talent, brought such a focus on Sweden and the Swedish industry. He was 36, he made one film, won an Oscar and then died. It's horrible.”
"It's a very tragic affair and he was a wonderful filmmaker,” said Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn at the jury press conference in Cannes on Wednesday. “I feel very sorry for what is left behind him. Life is a beautiful gift."
Fellow Cannes jury member Gael Garcia Bernal, who met him "briefly at the Oscars last year," said at the jury press conference: "I am very sad that it happens like that."
In addition to winning a trophy case of awards — including a BAFTA for best documentary — Searching for Sugar Man also became a box-office hit, earning some $3.7 million in the U.S. for distributor Sony Pictures Classics. In Sweden, the film grossed more than $1.7 million, making it the most successful Swedish documentary of all time. It also revived Rodriquez's career.
REVIEW: 'Searching for Sugar Man'
Sixto Rodriguez's agent, Christian Bernhardt, told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that Bendjelloul “was an extraordinary and talented filmmaker who, through his film, gave Rodriguez a second chance.”
In 2006, Bendjelloul quit his job and took off with a camera to go backpacking around Africa, looking for stories around which he might make a film of his own. It was in Cape Town that he came across Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, who told him about his quest to find out what happened to Rodriguez.
It took Bendjelloul four years to finance and make the film, using up all his savings and borrowing from friends and family. When the film was nearly complete, a major backer pulled out, nearly capsizing the project. But at the 2013 Academy Awards, Bendjelloul and co-producer Simon Chinn accepted the Oscar for best feature documentary.
"We first met Malik at the Sundance Film Festival for Searching for Sugar Man,” Tom Bernard andMichael Barker, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics, told THR in a statement. “Much like Rodriguez himself, Malik was a genuine person who chased the world for stories to tell. He didn't chase fame, fortune or awards, although those accolades still found him as many others recognized his storytelling."
Before his death, Malik had reportedly been working on a new documentary about conservationist, author and “elephant whisperer” Lawrence Anthony.
Watch Malik Bendjelloul's visit to the THR studio in February 2013 below.
9:56 AM PST 05/14/2014 by Scott Roxborough
New book set to be available by the end of October 2014. This book will be free to those who meet Jamie and cost very little online.
The Purpose Of this Book
“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5 ESV
When my wife and I were called to the full-time ministry to the entertainment world, I was told that I would have to raise my own support as if it were a negative thing. You know, eyebrow raised, voice changed and a slow star at my throat looking for an Adam’s Apple to dance up and down, with the full anticipation my an answer that goes something like this “Oh?” “Really?” But rather my reaction was “Okay.”
You see, when God has called you to His work and not your own, you know that it doesn’t matter about how the money comes in, what matters is how soon can I “GO” into the world and fulfill God’s call on my life. In other words, it’s about other people and how Jesus sees them, not how painful is it going to be to pan out MY dreams.
It was September 18th 2013, God called Mandy my wife and I to help and serve the people of the entertainment world and film industry across Canada and beyond. It crazy to look back on the years past and see what God has prepared for you as you’re about to go out in obedience to love on His people.
After two years of bible college back in 2000, God had called me into the fulltime film industry. Not as a ministry but simply as a job and passion that had been stirred up in my life since I was 14 years old. Throughout the years of working in the film industry you begin to learn that film as a byproduct on the screen is awesome. But as a byproduct to the personal lives of others was majority lead by destruction, pain and even death.
Was this a shock to me? Absolutely it was. Even to this day I hear stories about some of the astounding destruction that happens behind the scenes of film that brings me to my knees.
In this book I will tell you some true stories that have happened right here in Canada and some stories that are still happening right now as we speak. These stories are raw, heartbreaking and extremely vulgar at times. Please understand that these are true stories and these are some of my friends that are going through hell. In fact a lot of these people are searching for a better hell. But we know it doesn’t work like that.
It is my prayer that as you read this book that you’ll be compelled to want to see change in the entertainment world. I literally have friends that are so close to death as a result of sin birthing more sin, ultimately leading to death.
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:5 ESV
The purpose of this book is simply to raise awareness of what really goes on in the entertainment world and film industry. Thus, the subtitle to this book is well suiting “Revealing The Darkness Behind The Glamour.”
Jamie has been in FILM since 1994, and is a full time minister of Jesus Christ to the FILM INDUSTRY