Friday, April 27, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

Greek myth inspires thriller

The French theory of “auteurism” has proved a valuable way to view and analyse films. Though it originated in France as far back as the late 1940s, it has...

Fans of Jesuit author will find surprises in collection of...

JAMES MARTIN: Essential Writings, selected and with an introduction by James T. Keane. Orbis Books (Maryknoll, New York, 2017). 245 pp., US$22. Reviewed by MITCH FINLEY (CNS) No matter...

Monk’s mission at summit

The global political agenda each year is studded with summits of world leaders. Some are more interesting than others, depending on which issues are topical at the time. The meetings...

The Internet’s real capacity to help form communion

FRIENDING GOD by Fr Antonio Spadaro, SJ. Crossroad Publishing Co. (New York, 2016). 90 pp., US$12.95. Reviewed by DAVID GIBSON (CNS) What hath technology wrought? With the Internet’s creation a...

Hostage standoff unfolds in 6 Days

It is taken for granted that virtually all major news events will be seen instantly around the world through 24-hour live coverage. Natural disasters such as the devastating hurricanes in...

Al Gore’s climate apocalypse

New Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has declared climate change is her generation’s “nuclear-free moment”. She may be right. The antinuclear movement was launched amid fears of an apocalyptic end to...

Fission limit before critical mass point

Last month, around the anniversary of the sinking in 1985 of the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior and the death of crewmember Fernando Pereira, many New Zealand publications carried...

Women’s lives before feminism

It’s difficult to turn great works of literature into great films. But that doesn’t stop many from trying, particularly when themes still resonate in modern times. One is the subordination...

Life behind the Iron Curtain

Living behind the Iron Curtain is distant history to those born after 1990. That includes a large proportion of cinema audiences and is perhaps the reason for a swag...

The Catholic Voices approach to defending the Faith

HOW TO DEFEND THE FAITH WITHOUT RAISING YOUR VOICE by Austen Ivereigh and Kathryn Jean Lopez (Our Sunday Visitor, 2015). 192pp. Reviewed by PAT McCARTHY. It’s a situation we’ve...

Human-ape saga reaches climax

When French science fiction writer Pierre Boule’s Planet of the Apes was first filmed in 1968, it tapped into a widespread concern that civilisation was endangered by racial and...

A work of extraordinary tenderness

THE GIFT OF GRIEF — One son’s story following the death of his father by Andrew Stringfellow (Redemptorist Publications, 2015, Supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $25.00; reviewed by DELIA...

Ireland’s unlikely peace trip

Sectarian politics in Northern Ireland were so extreme that when travelling overseas it was customary for politicians from opposing factions to accompany each other to ensure their mutual safety. That...

France’s first black clown

A few years ago, the lack of non-white faces in the Hollywood Oscar nominations was a matter of major controversy. This year, a film with only black faces, Moonlight, was the winner.African-American themes also featured...

An intimate look at Churchill

The rewriting of history by filmmakers is an occupational hazard for audiences. Most aren’t as egregious as some of Hollywood’s biggest distortions, such as Mel Gibson’s William Wallace in...

A measure of respect in the questions

“Jesus, Jesus, I’m still looking for answers / Though I know that I won’t find them here tonight / But Jesus, Jesus, could you call me if you have...

Life is messy, yet God is present

MARY’S WAY — the power of entrusting your child to God, by Judy Landrieu Klein, (Ave Maria Press, 2016, Supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $36.99. Reviewed by SHANNON ROBERTS Mary’s...

View of Catholicism locked in pre-conciliar past

THE INVISIBLE BESTSELLER: Searching for the Bible in America by Kenneth A. Briggs. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2016). 239 pp., US$25. Reviewed by EUGENE J. FISHER...

Beatty wants to be a billionaire

It’s hard to believe Warren Beatty has been one of Hollywood’s fixtures for nearly six decades since he first appeared opposite Natalie Wood in Splendour in the Grass (1961). Just...

Walk in the shoes of Jesus’ first followers

AROUND THE TABLE: Retelling the Story of the Eucharist Through the Eyes of Jesus’ First Followers by R. Scott Hurd. (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 2017). 160 pp.,...

Last days of Imperial India

The Partition of India in 1947 rates as one of the momentous events of the 20th century. The figures alone show the scale: 14 million displaced and one million...

There’s nothing like a live concert

The first live band my oldest child experienced was Avalanche City at Parachute Festival some years ago. She was fresh into the world and we stood in the back...

Holocaust denial case revisited

Courtroom dramas demand a full quota of theatrics and two compelling sides of an argument. The defamation case brought in 1996 by British author David Irving against an American academic,...

Poetry and beauty in both lyric and music

“Man, you’re like a Dave Dobbyn evangelist,” said a friend to me some years ago as I raved to him about Dobbyn’s just-released album Available Light. Well, I’ve loved...

Bishops publish new policy booklet on Christian funerals

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference has published a new booklet on liturgical policy for Christian funerals and guidelines for tangihana. The 36-page booklet is entitled For Those Who Believe:...

Celebrating 150 years of the icon of love

FOUNTAIN OF GRACE – celebrating 150 years of the Icon of Love by Jim McManus, CSsR, (Redemptorist Publications, 2015, Supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $27.50. Reviewed by Fr MERVYN...

Convent drama tests beliefs

Poland, nuns and winter are a surefire mix of ingredients for an excellent film, if recent experience is any guide. A couple of years ago, Ida proved a big hit...

Fuelled by the good music we love

“This music makes me sad: can you put something else on?” asked the sous chef.  Funny how the same piece of music can produce different responses in different people. I was head waiter in...

When doubts go unanswered

Ever since Japanese Catholic writer Shusaku Endo published his 1966 novel Silence, film-makers and others have been fascinated by its themes of religious doubt, martyrdom and apostasy. Although set in...

A journey through the theological life of the retired pope

Reviewed by BRIAN WELTER (CNS)  Peter Seewald’s interview of Pope Benedict, which follows from previous interviews and works including Salt of the Earth, offers readers a journey through the theological life of the retired pope. This...