Noah and The Lent of Christian Screaming, 2014

noah snakes

How is your Lent going? Are you feeling like you're making some spiritual progress, with the fasting and the alms-giving, and the extra prayer-time?Well, Lent is almost over and if you think you've been working hard on your faith in these forty days, know that the evil one has worked even harder. He always does. Every Lent, it's something; every Lent the evil one exploits a matter, with four reliable effects:It impacts the culture-at-large It foments doubt about precepts of faith It … [Read more...]

Harold Ramis and the Touch of the Mensch

Egon and the Twinkie

Peter Venkman and Ray Stantz might have been the glamor boys of the Ghostbusters, but Egon Spengler was always my favorite. I loved Harold Ramis' dry, geeky delivery, and admired the genius evident in so many of his films. So sorry to read that Ramis has died at age 69, after a long illness.There was a sweetness to Ramis' stuff; his work was smart, insightful and if it could bite, there was an under-note of kindness to it. I've often wondered if Bill Murray (from whom he was estranged) could … [Read more...]

A Most Brilliant “Groundhog Day” Exposition


In a day-late observance of the 21st anniversary of the release of Bill Murray's "Groundhog Day" there are some good pieces floating around the internet, but for my money none come close to the brilliant exposition to be found at "Through a Glass Brightly" blog:And so begins Phil's education as illustrated by very enjoyable self-improvement sequence. He reads voraciously, learns to play the piano and ice sculpt, and goes around town performing random acts of kindness. All of this mortifies … [Read more...]

Jennifer Lawrence is a Class Act


We've been fans of Jennifer Lawrence in this house since Winter's Bone, in which she was just a revelation, but far more important than her prodigious gifts, Lawrence appears to be a really well-grounded young woman, whose head is on straight. Here she is daring to suggest that women like Joan Rivers should grow up:“Shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on things [that don't matter]. They put values in all t … [Read more...]

Look at Me: Elmore Leonard, RIP


"If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it." -- Elmore LeonardElmore Leonard has passed away. The world is a little dimmer and a little dumber, today.One of my favorite writers -- and the source for a few of my favorite films, too. I will have to watch "Get Shorty" tonight in his memory.His "Ten Rules of Writing" are succinct and perfect:Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing1. Never open a book with weather. 2. Avoid prologues. 3. … [Read more...]

Cinescape Very Cool: Editing as “Filmic Poetry”

Elder Son sent this video to me with this note: Matt Shapiro, does a thing every year called Cinescape, where he compiles clips of films from all over that year and strings bits together. It's fast-moving in a way that in any other context you might find jarring, but in this case it feels so seamless that I think you won't mind it. You don't watch it trying to figure out what's happening in each clip, so much as to observe how they fit together. I can't think of a better way to describe it … [Read more...]

Eduardo Verastegui; Respect! – UPDATED


Eduardo Verastegui is doing interviews for the DVD release of For Greater Glory, a film about the Cristeros war that I highly recommend, and so do these Carmelite sisters whose order survived those days of peril.I give Verastegui respect, for several reasons: because people who have met him have told me he is a particularly sweet man whose success seems to have made him more, not less humble, and because promotional tours are challenges to humility and also personally wearying. Being … [Read more...]

Paul Ryan, Patheos’ “News and Politics” and “Public Catholic”

Rebbecca Hamilton_large

Deacon Greg is probably one of the least "political" writers at Patheos, but he is still a newsman and his Catholic perspective has him rounding up articles on Paul Ryan and also culling specific Ryan/Catholic issues from the headlines, like this one: Ryan's Budget a "Quandary" for some Catholics"Meanwhile, just in time for the electoral season (and destined to live beyond it), Patheos has created a sort of one-stop landing page for all of your "mixing my faith with my politics" needs, … [Read more...]

“We are what we eat, and what we worship”


Joseph Susanka touches on the issue of idolatry through a cinematic reference:In The Fallen Idol, Phillipe is more than simply fascinated by and drawn to Baines; he is transformed by him. The servant's innocuous tall tales, harmlessly rooted in his desire for affection and attention, prove to be his undoing when Phillipe, so thoroughly steeped in the romantic persona his friend has created, is no longer capable of recognizing Baines' true (and innocent) character. The young boy's … [Read more...]

When Films Touch Real Life

mother luisa

Over at the Patheos Movie Club (you didn't know we had one of those?) and also on the Catholic Landing Page, we have, along with many other interesting pieces, this fascinating article that about 75 Carmelite Sisters who saw For Greater Glory and a piece of their own history:We have read about the Cristeros, researched the elements of the persecution in Mexico, and a few times we've given talks on the beginnings of our community. Some of our first sisters were put in jail. We heard about … [Read more...]