Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

Twenty One Pilots open hearts and minds

Last issue I discussed Twenty One Pilots’ excellent recent show in Auckland: easily as good as anything I’ve seen in 25 years of live concerts.  Their latest record is something of a concept album that...

Time to act on the words of this wonderful encyclical

LAUDATO SI’ — An Encyclical Letter on Ecology and Climate by Pope Francis (St Paul’s Publications, Australia, 2015); $14.99. Reviewed by SUSAN SMITH. Recently I was talking with a parishioner...

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...

American drug drama puts action above morality

by NEVIL GIBSON Like heaven and Earth or black and white, the borderlands between the United States and Mexico depict opposites — the contrast between the rule of law and the...

Too much of a good thing?

by NEVIL GIBSON The British magazine Sight & Sound reported this month that cinemas and their audiences are becoming overwhelmed by too many films. A couple of decades ago, a typical...

Festivals lighten winter gloom

Quality films dry up in the northern hemisphere summer so the mid-winter film festivals here are a welcome alternative.The task of choosing from up to 155 features is daunting and it’s hit or miss...

Leigh’s superb portrait of the artist

by NEVIL GIBSON Traditional Christmas fare has disappeared from cinemas and moved to television, where Sky TV for one is reprising many favourites of former years in “pop up” channels. Instead,...

World War I’s ‘lost generation’

by NEVIL GIBSON The trenches and field hospitals of World War I have already occupied much TV and cinema screen time this year. TV has shown two similar series of young women...

Ethics crash as camera hits gutter

by NEVIL GIBSON The salacious side of the news media has long been fodder for the film industry. Since the 1930s, with the emergence of radio broadcasting and, later, television,...

Broadway drama sizzles on screen

by NEVIL GIBSON The “golden years” of age seem no barrier to quality filmmaking. The number of directors working well past most people’s retirement is steadily growing. Just in the...

Odd pair solve maths theory

The movies’ fascination with gadgets and those who invent them has not overlooked the importance of theory and ideas. Back in 2001, the success of A Beautiful Mind, in which Russell Crowe was cast as...

Damon’s rogue agent returns

The North American summer blockbuster season is running out and looks like being the most disappointing ever, in commercial terms. The reason is not hard to find –  too many sequels and not...

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...

Churchill at his finest

From his role as British naval secretary during the ill-fated Gallipoli landings, his leadership in World War II to the partition of India in 1947, Sir Winston Churchill has...

Dictionary good but has a hard road

A to Z — A Basic Catholic Dictionary by Daniel L. Lowery, Revised and Edited by Mary M. McGlone (Ligouri: Ligouri Missouri, 2012, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $16.99. Reviewed...

Business trip leads three astray

by NEVIL GIBSON A top 10 list of the best films about business is unlikely to have any from the past year or so. In fact, such a list of...

Massive Attack an interesting destination for a brief trip

by SAMUEL HARRIS English group Massive Attack enjoy a place in popular music as pioneers of and flagbearers for a genre that arose in the 90s and is sometimes labelled...

A worthy gift from father to child

“Six top pop-rock songs for a top son": that was the working title for this piece (my wife detested it). It’s been kicking around in my head since my boy was born several weeks...

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...

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...

Teens’ performances ring true

by NEVIL GIBSON The Harry Potter series was credited with turning on a new generation of readers. But other “young adult” books may have a bigger impact on raising real-life...

Helping our youth: a good place to start

STAND BY ME — Helping Your Teen Through Tough Times by John Kirwan, with Elliot Bell and Kirsty Louden-Bell (Penguin Books, 2014); $40. Reviewed by TIM O’SULLIVAN. John Kirwan,...

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...

Worship: A wonderful testament to our nation’s faith

WORSHIP — A History of New Zealand Church Design by Bill McKay (photography by Jane Ussher) (Penguin, Random House, 2015); $85. Reviewed by TERESA WACKROW. In September this year...

Jean Aunty has spent herself for children

by PETER GRACE New Zealand author Jean Watson was in her 50s when she started a life in India, helping orphans. She and New Zealand author Joy Cowley travelled together to India...

Kiwi band gets on with stuff

“Seems to me that the musicians  responsible for the soundtrack to filmmaker Taika Waititi’s recent triumph Hunt for the Wilderpeople played no small part in its success. The band goes by the name...

Story of Maori missionary is fascinating

HENARE WIREMU TARATOA — Noble Warrior by Patricia Brooks (Published by the author, available from 4 Briannell Valley Rd, Pyes Pa (patriciabrooks@xtra.co.nz)); $15 (including postage). Reviewed by GEMMA SINNOTT. is a...

Sky-high choices get better

by NEVIL GIBSON Nearly 800,000 long-distance trips were made by New Zealanders last year. They travelled to Asia, Europe and across the Pacific on flights lasting at least nine hours. In-flight entertainment (IFE) systems have become a...

The complex truth about Hitchens’ faith explored

by NANCY ROBERTS When Christopher Hitchens died of esophageal cancer at the age of 62 in 2011, he was famous as a left-wing polemicist who argued passionately for atheism. Author...

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...

Featured News

Top old boy was child refugee from Poland

by GERARD DUIGNAN The St Patrick’s College Old Boys’ Association’s Old Boy of the Year for 2018 is Jan Roy-Wojciechowski (aka John Roy). Mr Roy-Wojciechowski is a Member of The New...