RIP: Annette Funicello, Catholic

Sad news, with word that the most famous Mouseketeer of all died today after a long battle with MS. The photo here shows her with first husband Jack Gilardi, leaving St. Cyril’s Roman Catholic Church in Encino, Calif., on Jan. 9, 1965, following their wedding ceremony. Annette spoke of her faith some years back, and how [Read More...]

“I’m A god…not THE God…”

Happy Groundhog Day. This movie, meantime, is still and forever one of the greatest cinematic parables about conversion and redemption ever created. And: egad. Has it really been 20 years since this was released? [Read more...]

Wow: “Toy Story” remade, shot by shot, with live actors

These guys clearly had too much time on their hands. The Facebook page for this notes: The Live Action Pixar Toy Story movie, shot-for-shot, with real people and real toys. “TS Project” started production in late June 2010 by Jonason Pauley, (then 17), and Jesse Perrotta (18). The Daily Mail actually talked to this dynamic duo, [Read More...]

One Take More…and another and another: Shooting “Les Mis” and seeing songs as prayers

Director Tom Hooper discusses the work that went into his interpretation of the musical, and offers this interesting insight:  He said that he had consulted Australian director Baz Luhrmann who pointed out that moving between singing and talking can be difficult for an audience: “He said unless you can make some kind of contract with [Read More...]

“Les Mis”: it’s all about the bishop

There’s a lovely remembrance of first encountering “Les Miserables” — the musical and the book — by Rev. Charles Klamut, in this week’s issue of AMERICA—and he concludes with this poignant epiphany: I read Les Misérables in a week. It was the perfect book at the perfect time, with soul-shaking impact. For a long time afterward, I [Read More...]

Bring him home: Hugh Jackman talks about modeling Jean Valjean on his own father’s conversion

And, perhaps fittingly, the star is literally a son of Grace. Details:  His performance is both a tribute and a thank you to his father Chris, who brought him up after his mother walked out of the family home in Australia when Hugh was just eight years old. Both parents are English-born, but settled in [Read More...]

How targeting “Les Mis” to Christians paid off

Though some were shocked, simply shocked to see fleeting moments of sexual congress (one involving a guy in a Santa suit), other Christians have embraced the movie’s message. From CNN:    “Les Miserables” is booming at the box office, and that financial success can in part be traced to a group of its biggest boosters: [Read More...]

A feminist who is miserable about “Les Miserables”

Author Stacy Wolf looks at “Les Mis” through a feminist lens in the Washington Post, and isn’t impressed: In 1987, when “Les Miz” opened on Broadway, it was part of a cultural moment that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi labeled the “anti-feminist backlash.” Its popularity at the time wasn’t surprising: The late 1980s weren’t kind [Read More...]

“I have saved your soul for God”: say, isn’t the bishop in “Les Mis” wearing a dalmatic?

The part is played by the great Colm Wilkinson, who originated the role of Jean Valjean in London in 1985.  In the film, the bishop is a character around which much of the plot pivots. A sharp-eyed reader writes: I’m not too much up on my pre-V2 vestments (and neither it would seem was the [Read More...]

Victor Hugo: miserable Catholic?

As I mentioned, the movie of “Les Miserables” is teeming with Catholic references.  It lead me to wonder about the background of the novel’s author, Victor Hugo. From Wikipedia:  Hugo’s religious views changed radically over the course of his life. In his youth, he identified himself as a Catholic and professed respect for Church hierarchy [Read More...]


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