Saturday, January 19, 2019

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

Pixar delves into the mind

by NEVIL GIBSON The phenomenal creative and financial success of the Pixar Animation Studios was never guaranteed. In the early days, co-founder Ed Catmur recounts in his book Creativity Inc,...

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...

The good, the average and the awful a TV hit

by MICHAEL MORRISSEY What do Britain’s Got Talent, American Idol, The Voice Australia, and The X Factor have in common? No prizes for guessing the answer — the gruelling selection of...

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...

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...

Songs that are measured, honest and true

“This collection of songs came out of a hard time, including loss and relocation,” singersongwriter Grant-Lee Phillips told music site Noisetrade, talking about his latest album The Narrows. That “hard time” has produced a...

Movies could help your marriage

by NEVIL GIBSON Recent university research in the United States has studied the use of Hollywood movies in marriage counselling. The University of Rochester study found that couples who watched and...

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...

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...

Spiritual answers that lead to beneficial reflection

ANSWERS — Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions by Fr John Bartunek (Servant Books, 2014, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $29.99. Reviewed by PETER GRACE. After getting his degree in history,...

Movie Review: Son of God

By John Mulderig Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- As the first wide-release film in nearly 50 years to focus on the life of Jesus as a whole, "Son of...

Dozen of the best at yearly festival

by NEVIL GIBSON Whittling down this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival into a dozen picks, sight unseen, may seem foolhardy, given there’s a choice of more than 140 different offerings. Even the...

Special effects elevate Ape sequel

by JOHN MULDERIG, CNS Those super-sentient simians are back in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Fox). Though it’s not a film for kids, this latest addition to a franchise...

Moralities clash in Cold War drama

by NEVIL GIBSON One of the most educative roles for movies is to bring history to life. Although Hollywood has treated some historical events egregiously, those usually deal with events...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Plot that could have stopped WWII

by NEVIL GIBSON Seven decades on, World War II continues to throw up historical footnotes that provide interesting material for film-makers. Last year, the search for stolen artworks produced The Monuments...

An upbeat, positive perspective

BEING ON FIRE — The Top Ten Essentials of Catholic Faith by Richard G. Malloy (Orbis Books 2014, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $29.99. Reviewed by PAT LYTHE. Richard Malloy,...

Crusader puts children first

by NEVIL GIBSON Like many small countries, Ireland has a thriving film industry. In recent months it has also displayed global ambitions, most noticeably with One Thousand Times Goodnight (reviewed Jan....

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...

An enlightening and inspiring focus on prayer

by Delia Ruane I found this book by Richard Leonard, a Jesuit priest, the director of the Australian Catholic Film Office, consultant to the Australian Bishop’s Media Committee, film critic and international...

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...