Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

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...

The most impressive film of the year

When the annual awards season comes around, the question of too few films made by women usually arises. A lack of ethnic diversity in the movie industry is another complaint.  The recent Oscars show these criticisms,...

What to do with fading resolutions

“Raise your glass and we’ll have a cheer / My dear acquaintance, a happy new year,” sings Peggy Lee on her Winter Wonderland collection. In writing this piece I was surprised to discover so...

Remember the needy and vulnerable

“Christmas . . . all the treasure and the trash,” sings Australian musical icon Paul Kelly in his song How to Make Gravy. Go and look it up online now,...

Music that values craft and soul

“I remember all of it … Let me take you back,” said musician and producer John Simon at the start of the Last Waltz 40th Anniversary Concert at the...

Aliens dialogue with linguist

The more challenging end of the science fiction spectrum should offer as much reward for the mind as for the senses.  In the past few years, some of the most creative work...

The untold story of married Catholic priests

In Keeping the Vow, author Fr D. Paul Sullins, a sociologist and a former Episcopal priest, presents his research on a tiny but fascinating subcategory of American Catholic priests — married Catholic priests who...

Mother’s loss turns to discovery

Most film productions have their share of drama behind the scenes. Often these are bigger than what finally appears on the screen. For obvious reasons, the big studios go out of their way...

Reflection and prayers from Auckland church ‘legend’

by Pat Lythe On the Saturday of Labour weekend, an assembly of people, mainly Catholics, gathered at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Herne Bay, Auckland, to witness the launch of Jocelyn Franklin’s...

Anti-heroes of the lone star state

Few  would argue that the big open skies and arid landscapes of Texas have produced some of the best classic and modern westerns. As far back as the 1950s and...

Live a life lit up by love’s splendour

On our fridge sits a daily desk calendar with quotes from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Retired prayerfully and peacefully to a former convent in a corner of the Vatican with his books, piano and...

Burton burnishes macabre vision

Few directors have built up as consistent a body of work as Tim Burton. In a career that spans nearly 30 years, he has created 16 features that celebrate the macabre, with one or two exceptions.  But...

Highlighting those on the lower rungs

In autumn 2009, I loaded up my old Mitsubishi van with all my worldly possessions and hit the road. I’d finished a degree and was ready for a change of scene. And there...

25 years as a Catholic apologist sees empathy grow

Apologetics is that branch of theology that defends the faith with reasoned arguments. St Stephen was doing apologetics before Christians were even called Christians and St Paul seems to savour his intellectual jousts with...

Flawed female characters to the fore

The Sundance film festival at the beginning of each year is a leading indicator for independent productions which deserve to reach a wider audience. Increasingly, the changing nature of the business means...

Featured News

Faith, Fatima and family focus at Tawa

by PATRICIA SISON To commemorate the centenary of the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima (1917-2017), the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF) organised events to rediscover the message of...