Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Reviews New Zealand Catholic

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...

Conscripts show army’s underside

by NEVIL GIBSON Like the best wines, many filmmakers improve with age. But it can also have side effects, such as awareness that perfection can never be achieved. In an interview...

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...

Lovely guide to early NZ churches

HISTORIC CHURCHES — A Guide to Over 60 Early New Zealand Churches by Linda Burgess, photography by Robert Burgess (Penguin Random House New Zealand, to be published September 1);...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Too much of a good thing?

by NEVIL GIBSON The British magazine Sight & Sound reported this month that cinemas and their audiences are becoming overwhelmed by too many films. A couple of decades ago, a typical...

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,...

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...

Cameo confl ict sends big message

by NEVIL GIBSON The world’s troublespots have always been a lucrative source for screen drama and, occasionally, sharp comedies. The Balkans and the Middle East are familiar ground to filmgoers in...

Rawness of prose suits topics

ALWAYS A GRUNT by Mike Ledingham (BMS Books, 2014. Available from BMS Books, Rotorua: www.bms.co.nz, or inquire at booksellers); $29.95. Reviewed by PETER GRACE. This 150-page paperback consists of 14...

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....

Rugby ‘doco’ kicks for effect

by NEVIL GIBSON At their best, fly-on-the-wall documentaries reveal more about their subjects than they would admit, while also reinforcing their own self-beliefs. Kiwi husband and wife team Christopher Pryor and Miriam...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

The feminist who made Versailles

by NEVIL GIBSON The Church undergoes its annual renewal during the lenten period and much the same is happening in moviegoing. The feast of Hollywood award winners is over and the...

Money, sport mix in creepy thriller

by NEVIL GIBSON The Du Pont name in American business goes back to the earliest days of the republic, and the estate belonging to one of its richest heirs is...

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...

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...

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...

Civil rights drama delivers plenty

by NEVIL GIBSON Religious belief seldom gains the recognition it deserves in major mainstream movies. Among this year’s Oscar contenders, the life of Olympic athlete and war hero Louis Zamperini is...

Codebreakers raise topical issues

by NEVIL GIBSON Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the gathering of military intelligence has moved from being the difference in victory or defeat to one...

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...

Leigh’s superb portrait of the artist

by NEVIL GIBSON Traditional Christmas fare has disappeared from cinemas and moved to television, where Sky TV for one is reprising many favourites of former years in “pop up” channels. Instead,...

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...

Featured News

Nano Nagle: The ‘power of one’ celebrated

by JEFF DILLON Celebrating anybody’s birthday usually involves some careful preparations and when it involves someone who was born 300 years ago in 1718, then it certainly needs some thought.  So it proved recently...