Sunday, September 23, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

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...

The Internet’s real capacity to help form communion

FRIENDING GOD by Fr Antonio Spadaro, SJ. Crossroad Publishing Co. (New York, 2016). 90 pp., US$12.95. Reviewed by DAVID GIBSON (CNS) What hath technology wrought? With the Internet’s creation a...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Memory loss creates memorable role

by NEVIL GIBSON Eight films have been nominated for the best film in the 2015 Academy Awards. Only two, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood, were released for New Zealand audiences...

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...

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,...

Drone drama flies on moral dilemmas

War films typically come in two kinds: straightforward action shows that depict heroism or have a satisfactory outcome, and those where conflicting motives produce uncertain outcomes.  History also judges specific wars  into those that had...

Revisiting Rome’s dolce vita

by NEVIL GIBSON The annual best foreign language film award in the Oscars is considered a hangover from the days when world cinema needed special recognition amid the dominance of Hollywood. But like...

Italian films reflect social crisis

by NEVIL GIBSON The former glories of Italian cinema were on grand display in La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) earlier this year. Other glimpses are among the 18 features in this...

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...

Best year ever for Kiwi movies

by NEVIL GIBSON The New Zealand feature film industry can take a bow for its best year ever. Not just for the number released — at least 10 had decent cinema...

A romance that takes time

by NEVIL GIBSON All romance films need an element of fantasy, if only to sweeten the realities of everyday life. But too much fantasy can undermine the premise of a good...

Overcoming the cringe factor on TV

by SUSAN FOGARTY There are a couple of channels we’ve started watching that are showing old TV programmes — ones we used to watch way back when. Some of them are...

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...

Alpine setting lifts backstage drama

by NEVIL GIBSON Quality screenplays written with particular actors in mind are relatively rare. Yet that appears to be the case with Clouds of Sils Maria (Pinnacle Films), which is...

Prodigies play for their lives in war drama

by NEVIL GIBSON The best war movies these days are less about the horrors of conflict than the effects on people. Cinema technology has also moved on so that combat is...

Fullbrook’s latest is excellent barbecue time listening

by SAMUEL HARRIS Like any good New Zealander I spent a bit of time last month ensuring my barbecue was char-ready for Waitangi Day. What with one thing and another —...

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,...

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...

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...

Much more than an important pastoral handbook

CANON LAW IN ACTION by Brendan Daly (St Paul’s Publications, 2015); $36 (incl. postage). Reviewed by PATRICIA HANNAN. Msgr Brendan Daly is the principal of Good Shepherd College and a...

A realistic look at family life

by NEVIL GIBSON Life in the movies can’t be much more realistic than using the same cast over a dozen years playing their characters as they age. Documentary makers have used...

A good ‘lead in’ to papal letters

POPE FRANCIS AND OUR CALL TO JOY by Diane M. Houdek (Franciscan Media 2014; supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $18.99. Reviewed by PAT LYTHE. When I received this book to review...

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...

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...

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...

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...