Thursday, December 1, 2011

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

51 minutes, 2011
Rating: 11/10

You are going to like this. I haven't met anyone yet who has seen this and hasn't been impacted by it.

Now at first look this might seem a pretty random collection of thoughts put to film with moments of poetry, philosophy, biography, musical artistry, and nature documentary.

But there is method to the seeming madness, and one clear overarching thought that unites all the chapters in this film - God is great!

That God is great is hardly a new thought, but getting excited about his greatness is a somewhat recent development. Martin Luther, for example, always knew God was great, but that was a fearsome thought for him in his early years. It was something that filled him with dread as he considered how great God was and what a wretched man he was. God’s greatness left Luther despairing of what he could do to ever earn a place before his Creator.

After the Reformation, when we relearned that faith was a gift, that our great, holy, awesome God, was also loving, merciful, and willing to humble Himself to become like us, to save us, well, his greatness is still fearsome, but now it is also something for us to explore – we can come near. He has invited us to enjoy Him forever.

In this film Nate Wilson teaches us to see again this greatness of God. Today we so often overlook the wonder around us - we think it unremarkable that we are sitting here, on a lump of spinning dirt, hurtling through space at an unimaginable rate of speed. Wilson, more in tune with the wonderous nature of our frentic journey round the Sun, will, on a semi-regular basis, fall to the ground and get a solid grip on the grass just to ensure he doesn't go hurtling off into space.

This film is about making us see the wonder that is really there, but which we have grown too cynical to see. Occasionally an "ordinary" miracles still impact us - parents, watching their child be born, will be awe-struck, even though this is an event much like has happened literally billions of times before in the history of Man. Our awe is rekindled. In Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl Wilson helps us understand - helps us feel again - the wonder of God's creative genius. God is great! And while trembling remains an appropriate response, wonder is certainly another.

What are others saying?

One reviewer compared this to Rob Bell’s Nooma videos as its "closest cousin in terms of genre" but noted that "there are more original insights in any given 90 seconds of Tilt-a-Whirl than in the entire Nooma series."