“Faith-based vs. faith-filled in Hollywood: Is there a difference?” Guest post by Fr. Eddie Siebert, SJ

Barbara Hall Sr Rose

This is a "guest post" x two actually because it is my friend and Catholic media colleague Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert's weekly column for the National Catholic Reporter online and I want to share it here.The article explores faith-based programming and people of faith working in TV and film. Eddie features an interview I had with writer/musician/producer and show creator of such favorites as "Judging Amy," "Joan of Arcadia." and now "Madam Secretary".Enjoy!______"Faith-based vs. … [Read more...]

‘The Roosevelts: An Intimate History’ best TV you may not be watching

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  Last Sunday night, September 14, PBS began airing a 7-part, 14-hour documentary series about two U.S. presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.This is another masterpiece by Ken Burns, that is, if you like interesting and lengthy stories based on extensive research and seamlessly stitched together for our viewing pleasure.All I really want to say here is that if you want to understand much about politics and … [Read more...]

‘The Identical’ a lot of Elvis but a little odd

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"The Identical” is an odd film.The fictional story is that identical twin sons were born to a poor young couple in the rural south in the middle of the Great Depression, William (Brian Geraghty) and Helen Helmsley (Amanda Crew). That night, William attends a tent rally where the preacher, Reece Wade (Ray Liotta), teaches “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Then he asks for prayers for his wife, Louise (Ashley Judd), because she has just miscarried again and the doctor t … [Read more...]

Do Christmas Movies Matter? Survey

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 As I prepare to write a couple of columns for Christmas (deadlines in October), I would like to know if the experience of seeing a Christmas film ever did anything for you. In other words, did a reconciliation scene in a movie ever move you to make peace with someone, to say you're sorry? Did you ever see a Christmas film, or one that takes place at Christmas, that seemed actually "real" to you? Did seeing such a film every move you beyond your box of Kleenex? Help you consider and … [Read more...]

Searching for ‘Anne of Green Gables’ on Prince Edward Island

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It was so nice to see this article pop up on my Facebook newsfeed this morning. I remember the first time I saw Kevin Sullivan's 1985 television movie about the red-haired Canadian orphan. I was immediately captivated by Megan Follow's performance - she was Anne. And Richard Farnsworth's Matthew - he reminded me so much of my grandfather that when he died I thought I had lost  my grandpa all over again - and I admit it, I cried. Here is Ann Mah's  informative account in the New York … [Read more...]

When the Game Stands Tall

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 Football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) leads the De La Salle High School team of Concord, California, that has had an 11- season, 151-game winning streak (1992– 2003). As the team prepares to go up against a formidable opposing team, Coach Ladouceur deals with a heart attack and the growing unhappiness of his wife, Bev (Laura Dern), who says he doesn’t spend enough time with the family. The players face their own family and school challenges as they learn to navigate life. Coach L … [Read more...]

‘The Giver’ what happens when we destroy what makes us human

Jeff Bridges, left, and Brenton Thwaites star in "The Giver" (©The Weinstein Company)

 The word "dystopian" has always intrigued me. The easy definition is that it means "anti-utopian," but it sets up too facile a dichotomy because life never reaches the utopian ideal except in dreams, books and movies. If anything, dystopian means post-apocalyptic, which most often brings us into the realm of science fiction. A once acceptable world, however imperfect, has self-destructed or suffered destruction from outside forces, or a combination of the two. Whatever is left is … [Read more...]

Robin Williams: last comic standing

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There's a meme going around Facebook with Robin Williams in what looks like a hoodie that says: "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." The 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor and comedian died Monday of an "apparent suicide." He is said to have been suffering from a deep depression and has long battled alcohol and drug addiction. As recently as last month, he entered rehab to "fine-tune" his sobriety.Williams was also a husband and father. He was no saint, but he … [Read more...]

Sin and virtue meet in thoroughly Catholic story of ‘Calvary’

From left, Kelly Reilly and Brendan Glesson in "Calvary" (Photos by Fox Searchlight Pictures)

It's present day in County Sligo, Ireland, and Fr. James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is sitting in the confessional waiting for penitents. A man begins speaking, telling about the horrific sexual abuse by a priest that he endured over several years. Lavelle asks him if he's reported the priest. No, he's dead. Are you getting help? You mean therapy so I can move forward with my life? No. Then the man tells Lavelle that he is going to kill him, because what good would it do to kill a bad priest? … [Read more...]


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