A Hanukkah Song from the Indigo Girls

I didn't even know this song existed until last week, but it's a welcome addition to the small-but-growing Hanukkah music canon. … [Read more...]

Angelina Jolie’s Directorial Debut Is About Interfaith Romance

Actress Angelina Jolie has moved behind the camera to direct her first film, In the Land of Blood and Honey. The movie is set during the war in Bosnia, and the main characters are a Bosnian Muslim woman and a Serbian Christian man who fall in love amidst the chaos and gore: she's a prisoner of war, and he's one of the soldiers guarding her camp. Here's the first trailer for the film, which is due out next month. … [Read more...]

Jewelry Brand Tries to Use Religion to Sell Products

The Norway-based jewelry line Bjorg has been featured in magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Nylon, but it doesn't have household name recognition the way that, say, Alexis Bittar does. So the brand relied on a time-honored way to get attention: openly courting religious controversy. The ad for their new line features two models doing things like posing angelically in front of a wooden stake and one pouring water on the other's head.Though the ad is entitled "Heresy," I don't really see what it … [Read more...]

I Am Thankful That I Got to See ‘Book of Mormon’ This Year

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Obama and Hugh Hefner Both Screen Movie About Cult Escapee

What do President Barack Obama and Hugh Hefner have in common? Apparently, they both really wanted to see the new movie Martha Marcy May Marlene, where Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman who has escaped from an abusive cult. Hefner hosted a screening of the movie at the Playboy Mansion, while Obama requested a print of the film to watch at the White House. The movie has been generating positive buzz and is catapulting Olsen (the sister of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen) into stardom.  … [Read more...]

Martin Sheen Gets Spiritual In New Film ‘The Way’

While Charlie Sheen is off #winning, his father and brother are promoting their new film The Way. The movie, directed by Emilio Estevez, is about an American man (Martin Sheen) who goes to the Pyrenees to retrieve the body of his son, who died walking the Camino de Santiago. Also known as The Way of St. James, the Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage route that goes through part of France and Spain and ends at the cathedral where St. James' remains are believed to be buried. Sheen is a … [Read more...]

Shalom Auslander and Ira Glass Discuss the Holocaust in Book Trailer

Shalom Auslander has never shied from controversial topics. His book Foreskin's Lament was a humorous look at the Jewish ritual of circumcision, and his new book Hope: A Tragedy covers sadly familiar territory: the Holocaust. Here's a description: The rural town of Stockton, New York, is famous for nothing: No one was born there, no one died there, nothing of any historical import at all has ever happened there, which is why Solomon Kugel, like other urbanites fleeing their pasts and … [Read more...]