‘Journey to the Planet Earth: Extreme Realities’ premieres on PBS tonight Dec. 15, 2014

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A new episode of "Journey to Planet Earth" narrated by Oscar-winner Matt Damon, premieres tonight on PBS and takes a cold, hard look at climate change, especially global warming: the "Extreme Realities" of climate change.But it’s not just the melting of the polar ice cap and the rising of ocean levels and temperatures that concerns scientists. In “Journey to Planet Earth: Extreme Realities” the filmmakers examine the potential – and real - geo-political security threat caused by climate chang … [Read more...]

Hollywood’s hidden Christmas gems

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 What makes a compelling Christmas movie—the season, the music, the characters? Maybe it is something else entirely.The question of what makes a movie ideal for Christmas, the day we commemorate and celebrate Jesus’ birth, is subjective. It often depends completely on the audience—among my Facebook friends, for instance, the 1988 thriller Die Hard came out as an unlikely favorite when I recently posted this question. But come to think of it, John McTiernan’s action movie starrin … [Read more...]

‘The Good Lie’ and the true story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

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 Catholic moral theology teaches that it is never acceptable to lie. It also teaches that there is no such thing as a “good lie,” so the title of the film is unfortunate. But it is in literary reference to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, as the film demonstrates. During the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005), thousands of boys and girls were orphaned when their parents were killed. Some of them were recruited to be child soldiers; others marched hundreds of miles to a refugee camp in Ke … [Read more...]

‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Michael Harney on playing ‘bad’ guys but keeping God close

From over at Fox411 (Fox News) on Facebook comes an encouraging interview with the actor Michael Harney:By Sasha BogurskyPublished September 24, 2014FoxNews.comActor Michael Harney plays prison counselor Sam Healy in "Orange Is the New Black." (Bryony Shermur)Michael Harney is best known for his roles on "Deadwood" as the drunkard Steve Fields and Det. Mike Roberts on "NYPD Blue." He now stars in "Orange Is the New Black" on Netflix as corrections officer Sam Healy.The veteran … [Read more...]

My acceptance speech “Sr. Rose Pacatte Receives 2014 Dane Kane Award”

The Daniel J. Kane Award 2014 University of Dayton

  It's been some time now since I received the Daniel J. Kane Award from the University of Dayton - March 6, 2014, to be exact. I've had photos ready to post but I just discovered last week that the video of the presentation and my acceptance "speech" was posted on YouTube. You can see it below along with some photos of the very lovely event. I continue to feel humbled and grateful for this recognition.     … [Read more...]

Cesar Chavez’ last fast frames new documentary

Ethel Kennedy gives Communion to Cesar Chavez as he ends the 36 day fast that frames the documentary "Cesar's Last Fast"

If you ask director and filmmaker Richard Ray Perez if the story of Cesar Chavez chose him or if he chose to tell Chavez's story, he would say both.Following the screening of his new film, "Cesar's Last Fast," at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film Showcase March 14, he told the audience that when he was 5 years old in the late 1960s, he first became aware of the table grape boycott while eating lunch at Head Start.Perez came from a family of migrant workers, but it was a … [Read more...]

“Heaven is for Real” is a compelling story, not a canned sermon

Connor Corum in "Heaven Is For Real" (CNS/Sony)

By now, most people know that I am not a fan of the "Christian" movie genre when these films are more about teaching than storytelling and making sure audiences get "the message" rather than trusting them to use their own moral and religious imagination to savor the story. These films might be movies, but they are certainly not art. In response to the film "God's Not Dead," I wrote an essay called "How movies can save people," and I make the distinction between "Christian" genre films that are … [Read more...]

“Small Change” Lenten Film Series 7th Episode – perfect for Holy Week

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 A small but loving gesture from one sibling to another brings hope to a struggling family. This is the last episode in our Lenten Film Series and we hope you have enjoyed it!Here is my interview with Australian director Anna McGrath where she speaks about her inspiration for the film.Click here to access the entire Lenten Film Series and the questions for reflection and conversation … [Read more...]

How movies can “save” people

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You know, there is something about all these new faith-based movies that bothers me. While they are well intended (and looking to make good box office just like regular Hollywood movies), they aren't really art. They are created to give, promote, propagate the "Christian message" to people who, for the most part, already believe and are willing to forgive the sermon-like confessional (apologetic) nature of the movie. These message movies (e.g. "God's Not Dead") differ from movies that tell … [Read more...]

Cesar Chavez – my on camera review

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Here's my online video review of "Cesar Chavez" along with insights and excellent comments by the director Diego Luna and Cesar Chavez' son Paul Chavez. This goes along well with my written review from The Tidings last week. Click here for the print review    … [Read more...]


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