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Catholic Media

Catholic Media




May 31st, 2009

is there any interest in keeping this community or getting it rolling again? the original community creator and maintainer has been long gone and i appear to have the keys to the proverbial kingdom. if there is interest, i'll be glad to post something once a week related to Catholic literature, film, or art and invite all of you to share your own experience of finding God in all things.

if there's no interest, i can close the community.

March 6th, 2008

Interested in the interdisciplinary study of Theology and Film?
Join the discussion at THEO+CINEMA: http://tonsison.livejournal.com/

July 25th, 2007

New Community

Hey all. I just wanted to let you guys know about my new community, because I heard from a friend that it's similar to this one. The community's called image_of_god. It's basically a place for all Christians who consider themselves creative or interested in the arts--this could be traditional or digital artwork, writing, photography, crafts, music, or a number of other things. Please check it out if you have a chance :)


July 10th, 2006

just thought i would pause to announce a couple of projects by Catholic writers which some of you may be interested in tagging along with.

geckobird has started a friends-only writing journal at elivera, chronicalling her world-building process for a fantasy series currently in progress. fun stuff ~ check it out and comment to be friended.

also, i have my own feed for my online work Reconstruction which will be infrequent drips and dribbles about my own process working on the series (which is currently undergoing massive overhaul). you can friend that feed at recon_construct.

if you have or know of any other writing and/or art blogs by Catholic writers or artists, please post them! building a complete support network would be awesome!

: D

May 1st, 2006

(this is a spoiler-free review)

the wachowski brothers' adaptation of alan moore's graphic novel does not disappoint as a stand-alone film (i haven't read the novel, but will now). though i understand moore didn't care for what was done with his story, the premise of the rise of an imperialist state in england following a civil war which renders the "former" united states a leper colony, is a timely cautionary parable. but this movie isn't about america, so the intended parallels of a government controling its people through fear generated by the media may be lost on the very people the producers are trying to edify. either way, moore's nightmares of fascist dystopia are as relevent today as they were 20 years ago when he wrote them.

this is one powerful movie that raises hard questions about the lengths to which a person should go to restore justice to a corrupt government and when terrorism (or perhaps in this case it should be described as counter-terrorism) becomes a necessary part of a dissenting faction's agenda.

psychologically frightening, the film does well not to overindulge in the glorification of the terrorist's acts and the character of V is nicely complex: he's human, but monstrous, and ultimately must take responsibility for his own monstrosity. though we never see actor hugo weaving's face, he does a great job making the character physcially interesting, charismatic, and sympathetic, but also deadly and uncompromising (no small task since he wears a mask throughout the entire movie). natalie portman is extraordinary as young Evey, who gets caught up in the terrorist agenda when she is rescued by the title character from corrupt "police" and finds herself unwittingly drawn into V's all-new gunpowder plot.

the film is beautifully shot and V's fawkes mask is appropriately disturbing (a la carnivale). no spoilers here, but for those of you anticipating a comic-book-style hero are in for some wonderful surprises. batman as an avenger and vigilante has nothing but a lot of cool bat-gizmos compared to V's commanding presence. and while the film only has a handful of violent scenes, i would say on the whole it's relatively restrained and places the emphasis on its message without being overbearing or sacrificing pacing or action.

a Catholic connection in this film that is never really stated can be found in the opening exposition about the 5th of november and the gunpowder plot ~ an interesting bit of british (and Catholic history) in which guy fawkes (and a band of others) plotted to blow up parliament and kill the royal family so as to overthrow the monarchy and bring an end to the Catholic oppression in england. can't say i would necessarily approve of such a thing (and neither did many who knew of it), but desperation brings men to desperate acts. unfortunately for fawkes, once the plot was uncovered and the parties drawn and quartered, it meant another 200 years of oppression for Catholics who were then not only treated as non-persons, but openly persecuted as "traitors". much martyrdom later, england would get more civilized and ecumenical, but it's still a subject on which feelings can run high. that, in and of itself, is an interesting springboard for discussion. if guy fawkes had succeeded would he be considered a hero or a villain today? it's the question Evey must struggle with when she's burdened with hard choices. "Why blow up parliament?" she asks. "It's just a building." "Because blowing up a building can change the world," V replies ~ something americans surely can relate to from the other side of the pond.

i thought what the Wachowski brothers did to From Hell (also alan moore's work) was appalling and unforgiveable. but i think this film vindicates them for me. one reviewer wrote:
V for Vendetta isn't the type of film that you watch again and again, nor is it a film for everyone, it's the type of polarizing experience that most people will either love or hate.
i don't entirely agree except that i do think people ought to see it for themselves to determine how it will speak to them. it's not a movie easily encapsulated or categorized. it's both Beauty and the Beast and The Matrix (but better). it's not a perfect movie, but whatever small shortcomings it may have in production (including natalie portman's painfully thin physique), it makes up for in its broader palette. it's a film about ideas and about how ideas can alter the course of history when there is action put behind them. whatever conclusions we may draw as to the morality of the terrorism, there are fundamental truths here well worth examining.

a view from the other side of the bridge ~
where the terrorists are the good guys

if you have seen this movie, share your thoughts!

: D

April 22nd, 2006

(no subject)

Did anyone see this movie: Karol: The Man Who Would Become Pope last year? Was it good? I missed it at the time and have been thinking about renting, but I was curious if it was done well and would really be worth seeing. Any opinions?

April 2nd, 2006

Movie Review

(this review is spoiler-free)

The Confessor (a.k.a. The Good Shepherd) ~

this movie was originally released in 2004 with the title The Good Shepherd. i can only guess it’s some marketing thing to repackage it and put it on the shelf (and i guess it worked ‘cause i rented it). being that it’s a canadian production, i’m guessing that an american distribution might have meant they were trying to avoid confusion with a hollywood film of the same title (starring angelina jolie of all people).

anyway, with trailers for Saint Ralph and Emily Rose at the start up of the disc, i was hopeful that this wouldn’t be another pack of lame clichés and relativism and i was mostly not disappointed (though Gordon Pinsent is fast becoming type-cast as a bitchy clerical administrator).

i’ve always liked Christian Slater in spite of his bad reputation and what most people call his “jack nicholson” imitation. still, i laughed at the fervor of this german review at Filmkritik:
Nein, nein und nochmals nein! Christian Slater ist kein Priester, und auch kein Pater, nicht einmal ein Ministrant. Er erweist sich in dieser Rolle als vollkommene Fehlbesetzung.
it basically says: no no and again no! Christian Slater isn’t a priest, and he’s not a Father, not even a minister. He is completely miscast and it shows.

personally. i thought slater was nicely understated in this as father daniel clemens (oh what a bad name). it’s funny to see slater dressed as a priest, but i got over that; which speaks to the degree at which he was not playing the usual scenery-chewing malcontent.

stephen rea (another of my favorite actors) was also in this as a financial lawyer for the diocese. unfortunately, he didn’t get nearly enough screentime (which is actually very problematic for the plot since he ought to). molly parker (best known for her role in Deadwood as the widow Garrett) rounds out the cast as a non-love-interest for generic relationship tension.

the story tries hard to be a lot of things, particularly a murder mystery (a priest is accused of killing a 19 year-old male prostitute), and a story of transformation (father clemens goes from being a greasy fundraising lapdog of the bishop to a humble parish priest). unfortunately, the script is so badly written and the production so riddled with inconsistencies that neither story is told very effectively and we’re left making huge leaps of assumptions just to tie bits and pieces together. it’s a shame too because it could have been all that much better.

the film has the usual lame plot angles: pleading the seal of confession, grouchy underhanded shenanegins and snottiness in the bishop’s house (remind me to write a story some time about a kindly, good bishop who doesn’t act like a used-car-salesman or a smarmy politician), male prostitutes, and a failed romance between the priest and a woman who now must help him solve the case. but in spite of all that, it was relatively inoffensive and i watched it without flinching or yawning (no Nietzsche-spouting rogue priests running amuck and it was at least mildly engaging). but there was nothing here that was terribly new and so many plot holes and leaps in logic (and unexplained loose ends) that i would definitely rank this on the take it or leave it list.

if you like slater and rea and molly you may enjoy this. if nothing else, it’s something to watch if there’s nothing else available. in spite of the lurid-sounding subject matter, it’s a pg-13 effort (like Emily Rose) with a relatively positive attitude toward the Church. it’s frustrating that we can’t seem to get better writers. some elbow grease and polish would have made a big difference in this production.

one of the many variations on the poster for this film ~
i really dig the black and white and red!

i must have come across five different posters while looking for a picture to post (in fact, I couldn’t find the film at all listed under the new title yet ~ not even at imdb.com). clearly, the company was having trouble marketing it, which raises a lot of interesting conundrums. Emily Rose was sort of sold as a horror film (even though it really wasn’t). this was was sold as a murder mystery, but it’s so unshocking (even banal) that the spin on the packaging is actually pretty gratuitous (all that blood and penitence going on there!).

hard to market a Christian film these days without trying to sell it into a genre. that’s pretty yuck if you ask me, but it seems to be the way of the world.

: o p

thoughts and comments are welcome. if you’ve seen this film (in any of its incarnations), or have ideas about the "Christian" market feel free to add your own considerations!

link x-posted to neosaints

March 25th, 2006

(no subject)

This community has been hibernating for a bit. It's time to get it started again. I was curious about people's opinions about what makes Christian media Christian? How should a Christian artist approach his work?

I know that there are many books that are written with too many restraints to be Christian and they wind up being horrible while others that are more free-spirited and not necessarily concretely "Christian" tend to have firmer footing of acceptance among Christians.

So, what really makes a good Christian novel? And how would you define a Christian novel? (other than, say, one that is based as a quasi-bible story sort of a novel). And, finally, how should one approach writing "Christian media"?

(P.S.--Madeline L'Engle's "Walking on Water" is an excellent read on this topic)

February 16th, 2006

(no subject)

*waves* Hi! I'm Jen, and I'm new to this community.

For anyone who's interested, the Therese movie is finally available to order on DVD here, as well as on amazon and a different site. I haven't seen Therese yet (didn't come to a theater anywhere near me), but I've heard that's a really good movie.

Also, I've heard (but I don't know if it's true) that Luke Films is making a new movie called "Maximilian", about the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
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