Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

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,...

Another treat from a well-loved author

GOULASH, GARAGE SALES AND GOD by Bernadette McCarver Snyder (Liguori Publications, 2013, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $19.99. Reviewed by ANNA-MARIE BARRETT Goulash, Garage Sales and God is yet another...

Good things from the West Coast

GOD KNOWS WHERE THEY COME FROM! — Four Faith Stories from Hokitika (Craigs Design & Print Limited, Invercargill, 2014; www.craigprint.co.nz); $29.90. Reviewed by Bishop PATRICK DUNN. This is a fascinating...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Annual box office reviews: Quirky humour, wars, spies excel in 2015

by NEVIL GIBSON The annual box office reviews show young adult fantasy and comic-book heroes are still the most popular fare at the cinema. Fast-paced action and real-life dramas are...

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....

Greek myth inspires thriller

The French theory of “auteurism” has proved a valuable way to view and analyse films. Though it originated in France as far back as the late 1940s, it has...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Ukulele, one of music’s humblest but happiest sounds

by SAM HARRIS So, it’s Easter! I hope your heart is joyful and that you are “mak this day a living hymn of praise” as the Divine Office’s intercessions for...

Jobs: too much of a good thing

by NEVIL GIBSON Two films in the past few years about a legendary American businessman Steve Jobs would normally be considered excessive. But Apple Computer cofounder is no ordinary man. He...

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...

Two great minds in a turbulent age

THE DEBATERS by Barth Hoogstraten (Lulu Publishing, rev. June 2015, supplied by Amazon); $29.52. Reviewed by DANIEL J. STOLLENWERK. The late 15th century was a turbulent time in Europe. An...

Fuelled by the good music we love

“This music makes me sad: can you put something else on?” asked the sous chef.  Funny how the same piece of music can produce different responses in different people. I was head waiter in...

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,...

Prayer book useful for leaders and young people

ENGLISH YOUTH PRAYER BOOK, ed. Fr Georg von Lengerke and Dorte Schromges, translated by (Ignatius Press, 2011, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); $34.99. Reviewed by TERESA McNAMARA. As a youth...

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...

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...

Bowie grew through his tough times

by SAM HARRIS “Society,” wrote Pope St John Paul II at the beginning of his 1996 Letter to Artists, “needs artists ... to probe the true nature of man, his...

Encouraging action on ecological issues

Reviewed by PAT LYTHE Living in the Planet Earth, the latest by Accent Publications, speaks right into one of the major issues of our time and challenges those of us who live and worship...

Director’s sensitive look back home

The theatricality of the Catholic liturgy is a natural lure for filmmakers, whether their intentions are honourable or subversive. Greta Gerwig, a rising Hollywood star in front and now behind...

Walk in the shoes of Jesus’ first followers

AROUND THE TABLE: Retelling the Story of the Eucharist Through the Eyes of Jesus’ First Followers by R. Scott Hurd. (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 2017). 160 pp.,...

Featured News

Wgtn priests fast and pray for day following Pope’s call

Priests in Wellington archdiocese committed to prayer and fasting on October 5 following on from Pope Francis’ August request that the People of God pray and fast in order to hear the “hushed pain”...