Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

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...

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...

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:...

When Te Reo conquered world

The mid-1980s were a time of major change politically, economically and culturally. For some it was a time of upheaval, disruption and a lost past. For others it was a fresh opening to the world...

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...

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...

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...

Allen lightens winter gloom

by NEVIL GIBSON The mid-winter international film festival is certainly the year’s highlight for serious filmgoers, but the fare can often be heavy going. So a new Woody Allen film comes...

Solid version of the Hardy classic

by JOSEPH MCALEER NEW YORK (CNS) — Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel about romantic entanglements in the English countryside returns to the big screen in Far from the Madding Crowd (Fox). In...

Documentary drives to extremes

by NEVIL GIBSON Brazilian racing car driver Ayrton Senna sought perfection in challenging the world’s best Formula 1 circuits — and publicly linked his success with his closeness to God. "If...

Lorde’s lyrics a timely reminder to keep it real

by SAMUEL HARRIS Singer Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known by her stage name Lorde, was in the news recently for her purchase of a flash house on a flash street in a...

Cult, family clash in science fiction thriller

The use of parallel universes, sometimes known as alternative reality, is a common feature in science fiction and its movie spinoffs. A couple of good recent examples were Another Earth and Source Code, both released in 2011. The latest, Midnight Special...

Faith in letters and memories

VALLEY OF FAITH — Sisters of Mercy in Pawarenga 1927–1990 (Available at St Mary’s Convent, New Street, Auckland, ph. 360 8009); $25. Reviewed by BEATE MATTHIES. The cover picture Tangiwai...

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...

Space saga sets new heights

by NEVIL GIBSON It’s hard to believe premium space adventures just keep getting better — not just in their technical quality, but in their story ideas. Most blockbusters of the comic...

A crowd-pleaser despite its flaws

by NEVIL GIBSON Only a handful of sports-themed Hollywood productions break through the barrier that Americans’ favourite codes do not have universal appeal. Baseball, gridiron football and basketball are minority sports...

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...

Oscar hopefuls aren’t all the best

The nine nominations for best motion picture in the Hollywood Academy Awards don’t tell the full story of last year’s viewing. The same applies to the Baftas, the British...

Old-fashioned heroes triumph

by NEVIL GIBSON As winter approaches, the movie year moves into blockbuster season to coincide with the Northern Hemisphere summer. Blockbusters are large budget films loaded with special effects and are aimed...

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...

Conversation gives a fuller picture of who the Pope is

Faith, Hope and the Church in a Time of Change with Antonio Spadaro (Bloomsbury Acad & Prof 2013 (Allen & Unwin Auckland (09) 377 3800)); $36.99. Reviewed by PETER...

History creates Oscar bait

Movies “based on actual events” are often sure bets in the annual Hollywood awards season. Dunkirk set the pace with a midyear release, while many think leaving that as late as possible creates a fresher...

Radicals spur right to vote movement

by NEVIL GIBSON The best based-on-fact historical recreations are those that reveal new insights into episodes that are framed with faded notions of the past. The beginnings of the British...

A fascinating read of the early Church

STORIES OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY — Creative Retellings of Faith and History by van Thanh Nguyen, SVD (Liguori Publications, 2013, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $25.50. Reviewed by ANNA-MARIE BARRETT. Stories of...

Sink or swim in the murky waters of politics

by MICHAEL MORRISSEY Although America may be the world’s most powerful enforcer of “democracy”, both world policeman and world bully, it is the internal power institutions such as the FBI and the...

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...

For those with a desire to be affected by music:...

One place I go looking for ideas for this column is the several boxes of CDs which have survived recent downsizing efforts in our house and are now residing...

Late priest has written well about 20 great mystics

AN INNER MUSIC — Living a life in God by Craig Larkin, SM (Fitzbeck Publishing, 2016; available from good bookshops, or the Society of Mary); $35. Reviewed by LYNDSAY FREER.  In this most...

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...

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...

Featured News

Walking with fellow pilgrims on mission

Auckland diocese’s Religious Education Team recently launched Mentoring for Mission, a two-day workshop aimed at providing parishioners with skills and confidence to “walk alongside fellow pilgrims in their mission” as baptised Catholics. RE team leader Sr...