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Amish Grace: Forgiving Our Enemies

Do I forgive the 9/11 terrorists? It’s a question I can’t remember asking myself before this week after screening the upcoming Lifetime TV movie Amish Grace. Inspired by the nonfiction book of the same name, the film is based on the real-life Amish school shooting in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2006.

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Bedrock Studios: Birds, the Bible and Children’s Books

If the name Bedrock Studios doesn’t sound familiar, you might think it’s because you haven’t watched “The Flintstones” lately … especially since the new production company was co-founded by Cary Granat — not the Hollyrock star, the former CEO of Walden Media — and Ed Stones, er, Jones of Industrial Light & Magic.

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Not Film Related: Speak Up on Health Care and Life

I won’t make a habit of this, I promise.

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Joseph of Nazareth: The Man Closest to Christ

I don’t often discover a new angle on a biblical text from a Bible movie, but Joseph of Nazareth suggests an attractive approach I had never before considered to a deceptively knotty passage in St. Matthew’s Gospel, namely, the passage in Matthew 1 in which Mary has been found to be with child by the Holy Spirit, and Joseph resolves to “divorce her quietly.”

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Three Phases of Pixar History

Peter Chattaway has just posted some thoughts he’s previously shared elsewhere regarding the shape of Pixar’s body of work to date, and I’ve long thought it’s a brilliant theory.

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The End of Fairy-tale Princesses?

Yesterday I wrote about the possible effects of the box-office success of Alice in Wonderland on fairy-tale revisionism in family films to come. The flip side is the box-office disappointment of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, which hit DVD shelves yesterday.

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Fathers For Good

This week Knights of Columbus website Fathers for Good has a short interview with me in their Newsworthy Dads feature.

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Coming at You: More 3D, Fairy-tale Revisionism

It’s a straw in the wind: As the recently restored 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz comes out on Blu-ray today, Warner Bros is giving renewed attention to a pair of new Oz projects in early development, now likelier than ever to come to fruition. The reason: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

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Green Zone: “Kinnear Lied, People Died”

In my last post on Green Zone, I wrote that while I was reasonably pleased with my review, I was sure that “if I were a savvier political thinker it would be a better review.” Now, posting at Arts & Faith, Peter Chattaway has thoughts that would never have occurred to me, darn it.

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Green Zone and Torture

Regular readers know that I usually steer clear of politically themed movies. I’m the same in real life; political discussions usually shut me down, simply because I feel I have nothing to say, and on the rare occasions that I do I often wind up regretting it.

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Katyn: Poland’s Dark Night

Exactly 70 years ago today, on March 5, 1940, Josef Stalin and the entire Soviet Politburo signed an order to massacre tens of thousands of Polish prisoners of war: officers, mostly reservists; doctors, academics, civil servants, clergymen of all faiths—the cream of the Polish intelligentsia.

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The 2010 Arts & Faith Top 100

“Read not the Times, read the eternities,” Thoreau advised. The 2010 Arts & Faith Top 100 Films, just released days ahead of the Academy Awards, won’t make the headlines of the Times — but if you prefer to scrutinize the eternities, you might want to skip the Oscars and check out the Arts & Faith Top 100.

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Miyazaki Week at Decent Films!

Marking this week’s DVD release of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo — as well as new special editions of three of Miyazaki’s most family-friendly films, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky), I’ve posted a new article on “The Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki,” written for this month’s issue of Catholic World Report.

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Bible Films Blog: Color and Symbolism in Bible Films

My friend Matt Page, who blogs Bible Films Blog, has just written an interesting post on color and color symbolism in Bible films.

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2009: Year of Onscreen & Offscreen Infidelity?

A recent story in Variety connects the dots around various real-life and large- and small-screen stories and comes up with a disturbing picture: One way or another, 2009 was a high-profile year for adultery.

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The Return of Decent Films Mail

Too long neglected, Decent Films Mail returns today with two new columns, Mailbag #16 and Mailbag #17. (For the benefit of RSS subscribers, at this writing it looks like the RSS feed hasn’t yet picked up on them. This looks like a glitch; I’ll look into it.)

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Best films of 2009: More lists

A few weeks ago the National Catholic Register ran my 2009 year-end piece with my lists of “top ten” and runner-up films. (An expanded version of the article appeared at Decent Films.) This week, I’d like to catch up with a few other lists from Christian sources worth noting.

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More on Lenten Viewing

My Lenten viewing suggestions prompted a reader to ask: “Would you consider supplementing an English-only list? I love the idea of a Lenten movie night, but I have several children under reading age, and my husband just dislikes reading his movies. LOL. I will have to carve out time on my own during the week to watch the intriguing foreign films you have included.”

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Live Near Phoenix, Arizona?

If so, check out the Emeth Society, billed as “A Book and Film Society Promoting Catholic Culture in the Diocese of Phoenix.” And if you don’t live near Phoenix, check out their website anyway, and ask yourself, “How can I get something like this going in my diocese?”

Into the Desert: Lent and Film POST

Into the Desert: Lent and Film

Many Catholics observe Lent with a discipline of withdrawal, in whole or in part, from mass communications media: movies, television, Internet, radio, music, newspapers. This is an admirable discipline … I find it helpful to make a practice of spiritual viewing during Lent, just as many make a practice of spiritual reading. For those inclined to consider this practice, here are six film suggestions for the six weeks of Lent.