Three-part PBS documentary shines spotlight on key abolitionists

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 "The Abolitionists" American Experience, PBS 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central, Jan. 8, Jan. 15 and Jan. 22Tonight, a three-part documentary premieres on PBS that tells the story of the abolitionists and the movement they created in the United States to end slavery. The series comes at the right moment by providing the historical context, biographies and background to the passage of the 13th Amendment as shown in the Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," now in theaters. Yet Abraham Lincoln's … [Read more...]

‘Les Misérables’ a fusion of heaven and earth, sight and sound

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway star as Jean Valjean and Fantine, respectively, in "Les Miserables," the big-screen adaptation of the long-running stage show. (Universal Studios)

 Millions of people have seen the musical "Les Misérables" since the English version premiered in London in 1985 and New York in 1987. Countless others have read the original 1862 novel by Victor Hugo or seen the more than 70 film adaptations in 15 languages. (My personal favorites are the 1978 British telefilm starring Richard Jordan and the 1998 feature film with Liam Neeson, both playing Jean Valjean.)The tale of the suffering poor of France in the years following the French … [Read more...]

“The Bible” trailer released today

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  Here is the trailer for the new television series on The Bible from producers Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel) and Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice) comes THE BIBLE, an epic ten part mini-series that will debut on The History Channel on March 3, 2013.This new epic 10-part miniseries will premiere on The History Channel on March 3, 2013 (just two weeks or so into Lent!) It is produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice) and Roma Downey … [Read more...]

‘The Rise of the Guardians’ an inspiring fantasy mash-up

North (Alec Baldwin) welcomes Jack Frost (Chris Pine) in this scene from the animated movie "Rise of the Guardians." (CNS/DreamWorks Animation)

Although it took me some time to figure out what was going on and what Dreamworks' handsome, over-long film was trying to say, it became apparent about halfway through that I could easily make connections between the imaginative narrative and Christian beliefs. Seeing "Guardians" bears out the saying "You get out of a film what you bring to it" because you make meaning according to your own lens.The story opens with Jack Frost (the voice of Chris Pine) telling us how he came to be the spirit … [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...]

Pianist brings mother’s Holocaust experiences to life

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Live theater is always fresh even when the story breaks your heart. The actors pour themselves into the feat of becoming another and convincing us that their pain, joy, dilemmas, tragedy and triumph are real.Through the kindness of friends, Daughter of St. Paul Sr. Marie Hunt and I were able to experience "The Pianist of Willesden Lane" at the Geffen Playhouse at UCLA.The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater within the playhouse is intimate at only 115 seats, or parlor armchairs, arranged on … [Read more...]

“Weaving Life” “Where Do We Go Now?” and a “Girl with a Book” Images of peacemaking in the Middle East

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In the last month or so, a narrative film, a documentary and a poster on Facebook came across my desk. The films were sent for review, but the Facebook poster (or image) arrived in my newsfeed this morning, unbidden, a "share" from my youngest sister."Weaving Life" a documentary on The Life and Death of Peacemaker Dan Terry - is a film from MennoMedia that will air on participating ABC stations beginning Oct. 21 (check local listings). It is the story of Dan Terry, one of 10 humanitarian w … [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...]

Listening to Flannery O’Connor

I was chatting with an acquaintance recently about Flannery O’Connor (1925 – 1964) when he told me about a recent find and that it is available on the Internet.In January 2012 “Deep South” online magazine  editor Erin Z. Bass wrote: “Professor of English with a focus on Southern lit and women’s studies at UL Lafayette, Dr. Mary Ann Wilson was cleaning out her office and came across an old audio reel labeled ‘Flannery O’Connor.’ It turned out to be a recording of the author’s 1962 lecture at the … [Read more...]


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