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The End of Time (National Film Board of Canada)

WATCH LIST: December 2012

Have you read or watched anything on this list? Would you recommend it to others?

By Observer Staff

The End of Time
DIRECTED BY PETER METTLER (National Film Board of Canada)

Beginning with archival footage of a pilot parachuting from 100,000 feet in the air, The End of Time entrances viewers with dramatic images from around the globe. From smashing protons to flowing lava and a grasshopper being carried by ants, Canadian director and cinematographer Peter Mettler explores the links between mysticism and science as he tests our understanding of time. Dec. 12

The Holy or the Broken
BY ALAN LIGHT (Simon & Schuster)

“How did one obscure song become an international anthem for triumph and tragedy?” asks music journalist Alan Light in this in-depth investigation into the unlikely history of Leonard Cohen’s iconic ballad Hallelujah. The song, released by artist Jeff Buckley 10 years after it was originally rejected by Cohen’s record label, emerged from the shadows to become the familiar underdog hymn heard in churches and concert halls worldwide. Dec. 4

The Blue Sapphire of
the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology
By Douglas E. Christie
(Oxford University Press)

Invoking early Christian monasticism and ecological pioneers, theological scholar Douglas E. Christie proposes a contemplative reimagining of our relationship to the natural world. Our response to the ecological crisis demands a new and more attentive way of seeing, he proposes: what might the world be like if we imagine its sacredness as our own? Dec. 15

Dickens at Christmas
BY CHARLES DICKENS (Vintage Classics)

Although A Christmas Carol steals the spotlight as one of the world’s most enduring holiday tales, Charles Dickens wrote a number of special seasonal stories that have been collected for this anthology, which also includes excerpts from his hilarious serial novel The Pickwick Papers. Underlying Dickens’s snowy rooftops, steaming punch and plum puddings are the social critic’s sly observations of Victorian society at Christmas — well worth another read. Dec. 25

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