Stop-motion animation — which, unlike computer animation and traditional hand-drawn cel animation, utilizes real objects shot frame by frame, with tiny adjustments made between shots — is a defiantly old-fashioned, niche medium, often used to creepy effect: Henry Selick’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline; Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie; Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
The shadow of September 11, 2001 over Hollywood still lingers.
Mary of Nazareth, now touring North America in isolated screenings hosted by Ignatius Press, is the latest in a number of Gospel films over the last couple of decades focusing in a special way on the role of the Blessed Virgin in the Gospel story.
Picking the top 10 movie dads was both easier and harder than picking the top 10 movie moms. Easier, because there were more candidates to choose from — and harder for the same reason!
It’s spring break, or summer vacation, and the grandkids are visiting. Or you’re looking for a DVD for a birthday present. You want three things: a) something worthwhile (not junk); b) something they’ll enjoy (not just high-minded or educational fare); and, crucially, c) something they haven’t already seen to death.
Have today’s movies lost religion? Not necessarily — but sometimes it helps to know where to look. For instance, mainstream films are more likely to include sympathetic depictions of religious faith in period pieces than in stories set in the present day.
I do take issue, though, with Hollywood’s current obsession with “dark,” “gritty,” “edgy” fare threatening to crush any sense of wonder and fantasy. What a joy, then, that Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror offers a gorgeous, fantastic fairy-tale world bursting with extravagant imagination and splendor.
Fairy tales are everywhere these days, from the small-screen “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” to this year’s duelling Snow White films, Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, opening this week.
It’s still one of the better-kept secrets of family entertainment that the most imaginatively daring and influential animation house in the world isn’t Pixar, but Japan’s Studio Ghibli, best known for co-founder and animation virtuoso Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is revered in animation circles, but Ghibli films haven’t yet become the phenomenon in the States that they are in Japan and around the globe.
…yours truly. As background, the March 2012 issue of Catholic Digest magazine marks a complete reinvention of the magazine under the direction of its new editor-in-chief, Danielle Bean, formerly of Faith & Family magazine.
I like lists better than awards, so I look forward to the Academy Award nominations more than the Oscars ceremony itself. The process of whittling down countless contenders to a handful of nominees is more interesting than the process of picking one nominee as the winner — and this year is no exception.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.