“Censoring the Silver Screen” a History of the Legion of Decency

This paper was written by Sister Nancy Usselmann, FSP in 2013 as a Church History project. It's a good overview of the history of the Legion of Decency in view of the upcoming series on TCM "Condemned" that I will be hosting (all the Thursdays of March, 2016).HISTORY OF MOVIE CENSORSHIP IN THE UNITED STATESLong before the Catholic Church became officially involved in rating the morality in films, the Motion Picture Industry itself had developed it’s own form of self- censorship due to … [Read more...]

‘Eddie the Eagle’ — The other 1988 Olympic story

While most people know the story of the Jamaican bobsled team through the film "Cool Runnings" (1993), anyone who watched the 1988 Winter Olympics will remember the story of an even more unlikely Olympian, Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards, the one and only member of the British ski jumping team. His herculean efforts to train and qualify for and compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics are now told in a movie filled with heart, humor and charm.Eddie (Taron Egerton) was born with knee problems that … [Read more...]

TCM Announces Programming Event Featuring Movies Condemned By The Catholic Church hosted by Sr. Rose Pacatte

Hi everyone,Just wanted to share this news with you so you can program your DVR. This is a fascinating look at older films and why they were condemned or found offensive and objectionable by the Legion of Decency. I am the host for about 17 or 18 of the films, usually the first 3-4 of the evening (each Thursday during March.) My approach is cinematic, historical and educational. Some of the films once deemed "condemned" were revisited years later and reclassified by the National Catholic … [Read more...]

This is your brain on God – NatGeo “Brain Games” new season

Tomorrow night, Sunday, February 21, "The God Brain" premieres on the National Geographic Channel. It's fascinating.The energetic host, Jason Silva, travels to Jerusalem to test how deeply people believe. He first asks them their favorite color, for example, and then offers to pay them to change it. They all do - for cash! But none of the believers, regardless of their faith, would take any amount of money to say they no longer believed in God.Once the brain believes something, how easy … [Read more...]

‘Risen’ is a moving contribution to the canon of biblical movies

This new biblical epic is focused on the resurrection and billed as "the most important manhunt in human history." It is a simple yet majestic telling of the Easter story. It's grand yet intimate. Seen through the eyes of one man, it is set in Palestine in the weeks following Jesus' crucifixion in the year 33 A.D. It features a battle-weary Roman military tribune named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) who has served in the Roman army for 25 years. In the confusion following rumors of the resurrection of … [Read more...]

‘Bad Hurt’ reveals pain and grace

 It's 1999. The Kendall family lives its dysfunctional existence on Staten Island: Vietnam War vet dad Ed (Michael Harney), mom Elaine (Karen Allen), Gulf War vet eldest son Kent (Johnny Whitworth), New York cop wannabe second son Todd (Theo Rossi) and mentally challenged DeeDee (Iris Gilad), who works at a factory in Brooklyn.An official selection at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, "Bad Hurt" opens in U.S. theaters today, Feb. 12.The Kendalls struggle through each day. Elaine, … [Read more...]

‘Love Finds You in Valentine’ just in time for Valentines Day

 Kennedy Blaine (Michaela McManus) is 25 years old and about to take the California Bar Exam, when she inherits a ranch in rural Nebraska. Part of the stipulation of the will is that she visit the ranch before she sells it, which everyone expects her to do, including the ranch’s long-time accountant. Her mother had eloped with her father years before and Gabriel Morgan (Ed Asner) has never forgiven his daughter, even though she is now deceased.  Gabriel treats his granddaughter Kennedy r … [Read more...]

“Jesus and the Bullies” Sr. Rose talks about the new film “The Young Messiah”

The Young Messiah is a new film directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-written by Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh and Nowrasteh. It's based on the Anne Rice novel "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt."   Adam Greaves-Neal, Sean Bean, David Bradley, Lee Boardman, Jonathan Bailey, and David Burke all star in the film and I was lucky enough to visit the set at CineCitta' in Rome in November 2014 during the filming.This is the story about the first seven years of Jesus' life, from the flight into Egypt to the Holy … [Read more...]

‘The Choice’ film is a positive contribution to the culture

One summer in Georgia coastal Low Country, a young medical resident, Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer), rents a house next to Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker) who parties late and loud and seems to have girls coming and going. Gabby wants to study and is not impressed; irritated by all the noise, she confronts Travis. Travis, with his lazy smile, is an inveterate flirt, but no amount of sweet-talk seems to get through to Gabby. At first.When her boyfriend, Dr. Ryan McCarthy (Tom Welling) goes out … [Read more...]

“No Más Bebés” (no more babies) a must-see in an election year

"No Más Bebés" (no more babies) tells a little-known but powerful story about a group of Latina women who banned together in a class-action lawsuit in 1975, Madrigal v. Quilligan, over their forced sterilizations at the Los Angeles County General Hospital in the 1960s and '70s. It airs Feb. 1 on PBS.However, limiting poor and ethnic populations was already a government-supported effort, and there was plenty of federal funding to be had. Walter Cronkite reported the story of how shocked the p … [Read more...]