“Blade Runner” old notes show that studio execs hated the movie at first

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On Facebook today the great American film critic Roger Ebert posted a link to this story about what some fans believe is the greatest science fiction movie ever -"Blade Runner" and I'm sharing the REDDIT Salon story here.One executive's comment said, "The movie gets worse with every screening."Click here to see the actual notes."Blade Runner" (1982) was directed by Ridley Scott starring Harrison Ford is loosely based on the 1968 sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) "Do Androids … [Read more...]

More Oscar picks and an interview on Faith and Film for the Odyssey Network

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2012 was an excellent year for cinema. However, three films about aging that I liked were not even nominated, such as Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet," Jake Schreier's "Robot & Frank" or John Madden's "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Instead, Michael Haneke's accomplished and artistic yet bleak French-language film "Amour," about an aging couple in Paris, received four nominations. Please note that Dame Maggie Smith appears in both "Quartet" and "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which makes home viewing … [Read more...]

Catholic Christian criteria for awarding films

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 SIGNIS and INTERFILM Criteria for Juries I have had the privilege of serving on Catholic and Ecumenical Juries at Berlin (2004), Venice (2000, 2010), and Locarno (2006). Here are the criteria that SIGNIS, the World Catholic Organization for Communication, and INTERFILM (the International Interchurch Film Organization), have developed to inform and guide jury members as they discern winning films:The Ecumenical Jury makes awards to films and to filmmakers according to the c … [Read more...]

Want to be a film critic?

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When I watch films for review I am attracted by two elements: relationships and mystery. Relationships between people, communities, or nations in this universe and beyond, or a mixture of any and all. The conflicts that provide the drama and drive the action can be resolved in so many ways but I am always looking at the human struggle and the human and Gospel values that underpin the resolution of the conflict or the denouement.I am always looking for grace – for the characters and for m … [Read more...]

“Apocalyptic themes in movies”: 12/21/12 and the end of the world … again

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According to the Mayan Calendar the end of the world is to happen on December 21, 2012: 12/21/12.But it did not happen on all the other dates that have foretold this terrible, cataclysmic event. It is already 12/12/12  and so far, so good. We’re still here.Earlier this year I was invited to give a presentation at a local parish on “Apocalyptic Themes in Cinema”.  I wondered why people are so fascinated by the end of the world and posed the question on Facebook. Angelene Shewfelt, an under … [Read more...]

Best Thanksgiving Movies (aka Sister Rose’s favorite Thanksgiving movies)

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 These are my all time favorite Thanksgiving movies. I will add comments as to why as soon as I can but I wanted to put up the list in case you were looking for a movie to see today or tomorrow. "Pieces of April", "Planes, Trains & Automobiles", and "What's Cooking" are for more mature viewers; "The New World" is more contemplative in scope and may require more attention that kids can give.Pieces of April - click on the title for my brief review; I love this movie where the … [Read more...]

Scare yourself thin: horror movies help burn calories study finds

The axe kin diet … Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) loses about half a stone in The Shining. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Warner Bros

Watching scary movies can help you burn the calorific equivalent of a small chocolate bar, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Westminster.Those who watched a 90-minute horror film were likely to burn up to 113 calories ....Click here to continue reading this article from The Guardian (UK). … [Read more...]

The Writer’s Speech: Frank Cortrell Boyce

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When Oscar nominee, Colin Firth was asked to guest-edit the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, he wanted to look at the sometimes complex relationship between faith and film. Who better to talk about this than renowned screenwriter, Frank Cottrell Boyce? The writer of several films, including Hilary and Jackie and Welcome to Sarajevo, describes what it is like to be a Catholic in the film industry:Cinema and religion are completely – in fact, architecturally – tangled up in my head. That’s large … [Read more...]

“Babette’s Feast” and the Goodness of God (celebrating 25 years)

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In 1995 I returned from two years of graduate study at the University of London's Institute of Education, MA in tow. I proposed that my community begin the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Boston with a good media library. At that time the budget was healthy and almost every Sunday after mass I went to the Barnes & Noble store at Chestnut Hill to savor a great cup of coffee as I browsed their excellent collection. On my second visit I met T.J., a student at Boston College who went on to … [Read more...]

Henry Herx, Catholic film critic, scholar and head of US Bishops’ film office – obituary

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I wrote a blog post for the National Catholic Reporter today noting the death of Henry Herx. Click here to access the story.As soon as I sent that off I received an email from James Wall in Chicago. Jim is a contributing editor to The Christian Century magazine and from 1972 - 1999 was the editor of the magazine. I met Jim at the City of Angels Film Festival in 2000 at a screening of John Ford's The Searchers. I did not realize that Jim was a greater fan of the film that I was. Since then we … [Read more...]


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