Schindler’s List on HBO April 21: Holocaust Remembrance Day



I received this press release from HBO today and I am pasting it here to get the word out: this will be the first time in 8 years that Schindler’s List has been on television. The story of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute will premiere immediately after. April 21; times below.









            On TUESDAY, APRIL 21 (9:00 p.m.-12:15 a.m. ET), HBO marks Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust remembrance day, with a special presentation of the multiple Academy Award winner SCHINDLER’S LIST.  Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle and Embeth Davidtz star in director Steven Spielberg’s epic drama about Holocaust survivors, their unlikely savior and the indomitable human spirit.  The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.  This is the first time in eight years that SCHINDLER’S LIST has been seen on television.

            Other HBO playdates for SCHINDLER’S LIST include April 26 (2:50 a.m.) and 30 (2:30 a.m.).  HBO2 playdates include May 4 (9:00 a.m., 11:30 p.m.), 10 (10:30 a.m.) and 23 (8:00 p.m.).

            Immediately following the HBO debut of SCHINDLER’S LIST at 12:15 a.m., the ten-minute film IN PERPETUITY:  THE STORY OF THE USC SHOAH FOUNDATION INSTITUTE explores the organization’s history, mission and programmatic work.  Founded by Steven Spielberg, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute holds an archive of nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses, with the mission to overcome prejudice, intolerance, bigotry – and the suffering they cause – through the educational use of the testimonies.

            Other HBO playdates for IN PERPETUITY:  THE STORY OF THE USC SHOAH FOUNDATION INSTITUTE include:  April 28 (7:15 a.m.) and 30 (4:45 p.m., 5:45 a.m.).  HBO2 playdates include May 4 (12:15 p.m., 2:45 a.m.) and 10 (1:45 p.m.).

State of Play the Movie


Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) has pretty much directed a new masterpiece. State of Play, based on the BBC series by Paul Abbott, is a political thriller, a conspiracy that reaches from Congress to the industrial war complex to the conscience of the press and the audience.

It is also a big horray for the endurance – and accountability – of the printed word vis-à-vis the blogosphere.

Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck are excellent.

This is an intelligent film (as all the dailies are saying)  and worth the price of the ticket.

You might figure it out, but then again, you might not.

There’s a lot that is conventional about the film but if you like this genre and the hard-knock issues it presents for viewers to chew on, you’ll feel like you have seen a real film even if you think you may have seen parts of it before. Still, this is original enough.

I liked it.

The Hurt Locker trailer: a film by Kathryn Bigelow about the world’s most dangerous job


The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker

Watch the trailer at


Did you see this movie trailer on The film stars Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. It’s in theaters on June 26, 2009. Watch it and tell me what you think.

Watch now


Here is my review of  Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker that I posted last summer from the Venice Film Festival (where our Catholic Jury -SIGNIS – gave it our Grand Prize). The film opens June 26, 2009 in the U.S. The Hurt Locker stars Jeremy Renner (among others such as Ralph Finnes and David Morse), currently in the new ABC series The Unusuals (full episodes)

The Hurt Locker


This Kathryn Bigelow film will go down in cinema history as part of the Iraqi war film genre. It follows three soldiers through their last month as a team that diffuses roadside bombs. The premise of the film is that war is addictive. It is relentless in its pursuit of getting the audience to experience even a little of what these soldiers, all male, go through and how once one of them gets home, he cannot settle. He has to go back to find meaning on his life. This film will not be commercially viable but in a few years it will be seen as an important investigation into the psyche of soldiering for a war with no reason, and into the banality of the military’s attempt as assuaging the impending tragedy of the lives of these soldiers. Hand-held camera…. Visceral.



Gene Luen Yang on the Catholic Church & Comics

Greg Yang at the Catholic Library Association Meeting on April 16, 2009, Hyatt, Anaheim

Gene Yang at the Catholic Library Association Meeting on April 16, 2009, Hyatt, Anaheim

Talk about an “Ah ha!” moment! Yesterday I attended a workshop at the Catholic Library Assoication’s annual gathering and heard comic genius Gene Luen Yang speak about the Catholic Church and Comics.

Yang gave a fascinating history of comics, the roots of comic book heroes in the Hebrew Bible, the Church’s iffy relationship with and attitude toward comics from the 1930’s on (I know a lot about the Legion of Decency and movies but I had never heard of the “List of Publications Disapproved for Youth” that included comic books – and the pledge that Catholics were urged to take against comic books back in the 1940s. I tried to locate the list online but only found references to a similar list in post-war France.) Even in U.S education, researchers tried to make a link between juvenile delinquency and the reading of comic books.

Gene Yang has an impressive resume and I am very happy to let you know that Pauline Books & Media published a comic book written and illustrated by Greg (we also have a comic book about Padre Pio and John Paul II):

Gene made everyone laugh when he said that it took him so long to finish the 15 mysteries of the Rosary and just when he had finished, Pope John Paul came up with the Luminous mysteries… and it was back to the drawing board – literally.

Check out Gene’s website at Comics in Education. Hearing him speak made me esteem comic books as he defined them: “juxtaposed images in deliberate sequences in order to convey an idea or evoke an aesthetic response”. He made a case for stained glass windows and even the Sistine Chapel as evidence of the Catholic Church’s sacramental understanding of art… and the use of sequential images to tell a story.

Gene makes a solid case for comic books (anime, manga, graphic novels) as … art that can lead to greater literacy and understanding.

In 2007 Yang won the Prinz Award for young adult literature, a first for a graphic novel. (See more on