Heartbreakingly Beautiful

I am not a huge Wizard of Oz fan, by any means. I find the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” sung by Judy Garland and others as dreamy, somewhat wistful, and somewhat sappy all at once. I find the medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World” sung by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole heartbreakingly beautiful. It weighs my heart with sad joy and makes it soar all at once. It has been used with several movies and commercials, and I can completely understand why, as it would lend its qualities to whatever it is coupled with. I first heard it during the credits of the film Finding Forrester, which I enjoyed quite a bit on its own, and stood in the half-lit theater while the credits rolled, soaking it in.
You can hear it on Youtube here over a montage of images of Iz’s life and the spreading of his ashes at sea. Sadly, unchecked obesity led to a short life of 38, though from afar they seem like a happy 38. If you want to hear a cleaner copy of the song, click here. Rhapsody will give you something like 25 free listens when you sign up. While your there, check out Iz’s Hawaiian version of John Denver’s “Country Roads.” Nice.
I have done a Melancholdy/Beautiful post before about songs that make me ache. Do you know the feeling? Do you have a song?
And how nice is the ukulele.

C. S. Lewis Film Online

This is not the the Lewis biography I referenced in a recent blog entry. That one is in the latest box set of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie from Disney. It has an interesting style, with a group of children reading from the books in various places. It is really quite good, and I am very open and eager to loan it out.
The links below are to a video you can view online for free. It is a documentary which I think originally appeared on the Hallmark channel.
You can screen it online for free, after signing in to the site, and they don’t send you any emails either. It involves dramatization of Lewis’ life by actors along with commentaries by Lewis scholars, and is really quite good.
There are other religiously themed videos available to screen online as well.

Erasing Hate Seminar and the L’Abri Conference

The Matthews House Project, the same people who produced Narnia on Tour, in 2005 and evidently again in 2008, are doing a series this year which looks worthwhile. Moreover, the St. Louis session is by Jerram Barrs, so it promises to be engaging, thoughtful, and challenging. Not in St. Louis? Here are some other cities the tour is visiting.

I attended this conference last year and it was very good. The aforementioned Jerram Barrs will be speaking on “Because He is There and Not Silent,” “Speaking Prophetically Into the Political Arena,” and “Creation and Fall in Perelandra.” This lecture alone is why I am going to this conference. Richard Winter from Covenant Seminary is also speaking on “Sex, Body and Bible: A Conversation About Sexuality.” I have always found his talks to be excellent. Luke Bobo, also from the seminary, will be talking on “Race: Why Are We Still Talking About It.” There are many other excellent talks. Check it out.