The Good Samaritan: Stories from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker on Skid Row

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BOOK REVIEWTHE GOOD SAMARITAN: STORIES FROM THE LOS ANGELES CATHOLIC WORKER ON SKID ROW By Jeff Dietrich Published by Marymount Institute Press, $19.95 When I reviewed Catholic Worker Jeff Dietrich's 2011 book Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles' Skid Row, I wrote, "To read Broken and Shared, you need intentionality and the willingness to step into Jeff Dietrich's shoes and see the world, church, government -- indeed, the institutions of power wherever they exist … [Read more...]

‘METALHEAD’ is a Good Friday film with an Easter ending

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Out of Iceland comes an extraordinary story of grief and understanding, violence and forgiveness, isolation and community, family and church, despair and hope, art and grace. Hera Karlsdottir is about twelve years old and is outside playing with her friends when her mother, Droplaug, calls to her to come in for dinner and to summon her older brother, Baldur, to come in as well. Baldur is about seventeen and is on the tractor, harvesting hay for their dairy cows. He motions to Hera but keeps on … [Read more...]

‘Killing Jesus’ is remarkable but doesn’t give the whole picture

Haaz Sleiman, center, in "Killing Jesus" (CNS/Courtesy National Geographic Channels/Kent Eanes)

8 p.m./7 p.m. Central, Sunday, March 29 National Geographic Channel  "Killing Jesus" airs Sunday on the National Geographic Channel. It is written by Oscar- and Emmy-winner Walon Green and based on Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard's 2013 bestseller of the same title.The title is somewhat misleading, however. By the title, you might expect something like Jim Bishop's 1957 book and 1980 TV movie The Day Christ Died. Instead, this television movie (like the … [Read more...]

‘The True Cross’ airs this Sunday in “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” and tune in for ‘Mary Magdalene’ on Easter

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“The True Cross” airs this Sunday in “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” The latest episode in CNN’s “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” is a fairly interesting examination of purported relics of the True Cross that St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, is said to have brought back from her two-year visit to Jerusalem in 328 CE. According to the show, the Empress Helena, who was a Christian, set out to Jerusalem to find the true cross of Jesus, becoming the … [Read more...]

‘White God’ an unorthodox fable to discuss serious issues

Zsofia Psotta in "White God" (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

 Taking his cue from a 1999 novella by South African writer J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals, Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo's "White God" brings us a cautionary, surreal vision of a "once and future" Eastern European society where the superior few rule the others, and the others rise up in rebellion. Coetzee explores the idea of animal rights in his book of essays..After reading Coetzee's novella, Mundruczo, who also co-wrote the script for "White God," wondered … [Read more...]

The imprudence of a martyr

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I am pleased to post this story from John Donaghy's blog "I Walk the Way." John is a Jesuit-educated associate of the Dubuque-based Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family."The imprudence of a martyr" is about the Spanish-born Fr. Luis Espinal, SJ (1932 - 1980):"Luis Espinal was a print and television journalist, as well as a movie critic. His work revealed the oppression and injustice at the root of the Bolivian political and social system of his day."CLICK HERE to continue reading at … [Read more...]

‘Do You Believe?’ is mainstream … Sunday school

Delroy Lindo in "Do You Believe?" (Courtesy of Pure Flix)

Following up on their success with last year's triumphalist "God's Not Dead," screenwriters Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon have written "Do You Believe?", an interconnected drama for Christians that features 12 lives colliding in a life-changing event.It is nighttime in downtown Detroit. A man, Malachi (Delroy Lindo), is carrying a large cross when he confronts a man in a car at an intersection. He asks: "Do you believe in the cross of Christ?" The man, Matthew (Ted McGinley), says he is a … [Read more...]

‘Jerusalem’ 3D in IMAX and Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition open in LA

Jerusalem’s iconic Citadel (now the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem) is a fortress with archaeological findings spanning over 2,000 years. Dustin Farrell/ Jerusalem US LP.

The California Science Center at Exposition Park near downtown Los Angeles is hosting interconnected multimedia events: the new 45-minute IMAX film “Jerusalem” and an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls contextualized by historic and remarkably preserved artifacts from the Holy Land.The film, narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch, is a soaring examination of the beauty of the Old City of Jerusalem and its importance for half of the world’s population: Jews, Christians and Musl … [Read more...]

Movies that foster reflection, spiritual growth for Lent’s journey

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On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, Pope Francis outlined a program for Lent in his homily, using for his inspiration the readings of the day from Book of Joel, Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, and the Gospel of Matthew. Some of the themes correlate well with films that tell stories that foster reflection, conversation and spiritual growth.Lent is a journey that calls for prayer, fasting and confessing of sin. Emilio Estevez's 2010 film "The Way" tells about Tom (Martin Sheen), who walks the … [Read more...]

Cerulean blue makes a comeback in ‘Cinderella’

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OK, so I got distracted. Remember the brilliant scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" when fashion editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) gives a lecture to fashion magazine newcomer Andy (Anne Hathaway) about the pile of stuff that her lumpy take-yourself-too-seriously-to-care-what-you-put-on-your-back cerulean blue seater came from? Here's the clip if you don't recall:Anyway, was I was watching these stunningly colorful previews from Disney and director Kenneth Branagh's new "Cinderella" … [Read more...]


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