Art, Film, Faith and Prayer

ImageImage Journal is always an interesting collection of prose, poetry and art, but the summer issue deals with film, specifically life changing, meaningful film

It's not specifically Christian, so there are the usual articles against hierarchical and organized religion, but these are occasional and can usually be avoided easily should the reader choose. 

In the summer film issue, notable writers and directors give their recommendations for must-see films of faith. Even reading the story lines of the recommended movies gives much food for thought.






For Christian reviews and recommendations, check out Josh Larsen's Movies are Prayers or visit a website he edits, Think Christian . Larsen's reviews are insightful and in the spirit of mainstream Christian thinking.

The 13th Day - New DVD on the Marian Apparitions at Fatima

13thday5-1280-960 This just released DVD is a docudrama about the Marian apparitions at Fatima. It will surely stimulate you to read more about Fatima and confront the nature of the Three Secrets of Fatima. Many thought they were left behind after Vatican II, a pre-conciliar, supersitious embarassment. But John Paul II's visit to Fatima and his assertion that it was Mary who saved him from death after his attempted assasination forces us to rethink our opinions on Marian apparitions.

The film depicts the childrens' courage in the face of skepticism from their mother and outright hostility by the local government. The film is mostly black and white, with fleeting glimpses of color during the apparitions. The DVD is published by Ignatius Press and comes with a booklet describing the film, a brochure on how to pray the rosary and even a pair of rosary beads.

Interesting family viewing, though parents should be warned the visions depict (vaguely) hell fire and the assasination attempt on the pope. The films draws its title from the fact that the six apparitions occured on the 13th day of consecutive months.

USCCB on "New Moon" and "2012"

Duo The USCCB has a valuable movie review section from which these reviews are excerpted. The full reviews are helpful for their insight and comments about movie plots and specific scenes:

New Moon

The film contains considerable action violence, a vague sexual reference and at least one mildly crass term. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.


Catholics should be forewarned that Emmerich dispatches the faithful in the Vatican with particular relish, collapsing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel onto praying prelates and dropping the dome of St. Peter's Basilica onto the reverent masses assembled in St. Peter's Square. He also goes out of his way to show Rio de Janeiro's statue of Christ the Redeemer falling down. After all that, it's difficult to feel hopeful -- let alone ennobled -- at the conclusion of "2012."

The film contains considerable crude and crass language, much profanity, a rough gesture and a few instances of sexual innuendo. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

"New Moon" Breaks Midnight Preview Box Office Records

That's not necessarily a good thing. The eerie mixture of eroticism, the occult and death along with the franchise's world-wide popularity has prompted Msgr. Franco Perazzolo of the Pontifical Council of Culture to remark, "The theme of vampires in Twilight combines a mixture of excesses that as ever is aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element. It is once again that age-old trick or ideal formula of using extremes to make an impact at the box office. This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern."

One young teenage girl twittered: "Love knows no boundaries. Edward is a vampire and Bella is a human, and the difference is completely disregarded."