Dr. Josh Matthews

Seeking a Christian Perspective on the Arts

"Art reveals ordinances of creation which neither science, nor politics, nor religious life, nor even revelation can bring to light." -- Abraham Kuyper

Josh Matthews teaches English at Dordt University. He specializes in American literature and science fiction; he also teaches an introduction to film class and enjoys writing film criticism. His other regular gigs include professional editing and leading students on tours of Florence, Italy for a team-taught class on the Italian Renaissance.

Video Essays

Groundhog Day and Algorithms

A lot of people have claimed that "Groundhog Day" is one of the greatest movies ever, including philosophers and theologians. But is it? In this video, I'll give interpretations of the movie. I'll argue that the movie couldn't exist without the premise and medium of…
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January 9, 2020
movie educationVideo Essays

What Camera Zooms Mean

Why do movies use zoom-ins and zoom-outs? Did you know that they usually mean something very important? They manipulate you. How do they do that? This video shows you a couple of common meanings for both zoom-ins and zoom-outs. I'll show you examples from Stagecoach,…
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December 26, 2019
movie education

Character Positioning in Movies, Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8janO4DUe0&feature=youtu.be In this video, I'll show you how massively significant it is how characters are turned toward you or away from you. These character turns create emotions, in you and on behalf of the characters. Essentially, how you position a character on the screen--turned toward…
Video Essays

What Makes This Movie Great? — Decalogue 10

The final film of Kieslowski's Decalogue series, Decalogue 10 is the funniest entry. It's about two Polish brothers who get inadvertently involved in the world of stamp collecting. The movie showcases various problems centered on the tenth commandment, "thou shalt not covet thy neighbors' goods."…
Video Essays

The Dark Knight — Shot for Shot Analysis of the Opening

Why do people love "The Dark Knight"? Maybe it's because of the crafted sequence that opens the movie. I'll show you how that opening sequence works. This video analyzes the opening of The Dark Knight shot for shot. It's a sequence designed to reveal the…
Video Essays
Groundhog Day and Algorithms
movie education
A Close Look at “Star Wars: A New Hope” — Analysis of the Opening Sequence
movie education
What Camera Zooms Mean
Best Movies
What Makes This Movie Great? — Ep. 6, “Citizen Kane”
movie education
Werner Herzog’s Ten Best Movies
movie education
Some Basics about SOUND in Movies