“Christ in Majesty” is the official name of the striking, somewhat controversial mosaic on the apse wall of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, but someone Suz and I once knew jokingly nicknamed it “the Christ of Muscle Beach,” in reference to its half-bared chest and arm, muscular build and intimidating gaze.
Our new arrival, Matthew, is going on a month old, and he’s learning a lot about the world. One of the things he’s learning is that when Papa holds him, it’s not delicious like with Mama —but Papa sings songs, which seems to interest him. Suz says that when he’s not hungry he seems to prefer to be held by Papa, which may have as much to do with my patented rocking hold technique as my crooning, but I like to think the crooning helps too.
Everything is always changing, but August 2012 will go down as a month of particularly momentous milestones for the Greydanus family—some of which will have repercussions on my life and work, including my film review work, for many years to come.
As I write these words Suz and I are listening to the whooshing sounds of our unborn baby’s heartbeat on a fetal monitor. Within a few hours, God willing, we’ll be holding our new baby. This is one reason I’ve had less time for writing reviews than usual, though there are others. If you want to know what I thought of The Bourne Legacy or Total Recall, tune in Friday to the penultimate episode of this summer’s “Reel Faith” season.
Recognition and praise are always appreciated, but this month’s shout-out from Image Journal naming me their Artist of the Month for January 2012 is especially gratifying. They have some thoughtful comments about my film writing, both with respect to craft and content, and the guy they’re describing sounds to me like the guy I try to be. Suz says they nailed me. What do you think?
All Advent long, observant Catholics and other Christians hold the line against premature Christmas, holding off on decking the halls and singing Christmas carols during what is meant to be a time of preparation. Now, as the world is busily dismantling what’s left of its Christmas trappings, it’s time for Christians to double down on the continued celebration of the Christmas season.
Sorry I neglected to mention this earlier: I’m on vacation with the family this week (with only spotty Internet access!), which is why there’s no Cowboys and Aliens review here at Decent Films. I will be on the first hour of “Catholic Answers Live” tonight, though. And of course there will be a new episode of “Reel Faith” tonight on NET. Both are available online (see the homepage Spotlight box for links).
This past Saturday, May 21, a major supernatural event predicted last week by Jimmy Akin occurred around 6:00 PM. Jimmy and I both witnessed it, as did many other people, although Jimmy was right there and got a much better view than I did.
Several weeks ago (but only five updates back) ago I mentioned I would be scarce through all of January, and for most of last month I hoped that life would return to normal by Groundhog Day or so. Alas, my January crunch overran most of February.
2010 was a good year for Decent Films, though there’s room for improvement in 2011.
Some readers may have noticed posting at Decent Films has been a little light. I’ve been more than usually busy lately with various things that have kept me from posting here as often as I’d like … On the plus side, for the benefit of readers in Arizona, I’ll be in Phoenix this Friday, November 5, speaking at Xavier College Preparatory at 7:00 pm on behalf of the Emeth Society.
I’ve been on vacation this week—hence the absence of other new material—but for those who’ve been following my Italian pilgrimage blogging at NCRegister.com, I’ve just posted the final two parts, Update 5 and Update 6.
Tuesday afternoon after the papal Pallium Mass, the itinerary includes the catacombs of St. Callixtus and St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. I missed the catacombs on my first trip to Rome, so I’m really looking forward to this.
It isn’t until I actually see the procession of 38 new metropolitan archbishops walking up the center aisle at Saint Peter’s Basilica at the start of the Pallium Mass a little after 9:30 Tuesday morning, and hear the cheers from pilgrims of the 26 countries represented—Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe—followed by the Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVI, that it really hits me: This is the greatest visible display of the Church’s catholicity that I have ever seen, and perhaps may ever see.
In my first update I mentioned someone comparing Assisi to Minas Tirith, Tolkien’s imaginary tiered city on a hill. What I didn’t know at the time is that unlike Minas Tirith, where the lowest level is the widest circle and the royal house is at the crown, Assisi’s crown is at the bottom: beneath the lower Basilica of St. Francis, in the crypt where Francis’s tomb is situated in the midst of four of his famous followers.
It’s 5am Monday morning in Italy. I’m sitting on a rooftop veranda outside my hotel room in Assisi overlooking the sleeping countryside. The moon is high. Later today we’ll be in Rome.
In a few hours, my daughter Sarah (age 15) and I will be on a plane headed to Rome. Our archdiocese is leading a pilgrimage, and we’re on it.
One of the top questions I’m getting about the new Decent Films is how I’m going to be using the blog. My hope is that the blogging format will allow me to be flexible: to post short movie reviews and commentary, notes on DVD releases, and perhaps occasional personal tidbits of the sort that I have often posted in the past at my friend Jimmy Akin’s blog — though generally, I think, with a film-centric focus here.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.