Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

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...

Herzog investigates the Internet

Few film-makers can look back on a career as varied as German director Werner Herzog. Now 73, he had early arthouse hits such as Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970), Fata Morgana (1971) and Aguirre, the...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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,...

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...

Protecting children from pornography

EVERY PARENT’S BATTLE: A Family Guide to Resisting Pornography by Dan S. Spencer III. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing (Huntington, Indiana, 2017). 175 pp., $14.95. Reviewed by DANIEL MULHALL. Once...

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...

Featured News

Many cultures celebrated by parish

Every fifth Sunday of the month, Our Lady of Assumption parish in Onehunga, Auckland celebrates diversity by having a multicultural Mass.  Parish priest Fr Andrew Atonio, MF (Missionaries of Faith) started this tradition around...