We Have a Pope – REEL TALK with Stephen Farber special screening and panel April 2 Landmark, Westwood (Los Angeles)


Monday, April 2 at 7pm: WE HAVE A POPE. This wry comic drama from Italian director Nanni Moretti takes us inside the Vatican as the College of Cardinals struggle to elect a new Pope. Unfortunately, the man selected for the post—played by veteran French actor Michel Piccoli—is not at all certain that he wants the job. Guest speakers: Aine O’Healy, professor of Italian and director of the Humanities Program at Loyola Marymount University; Maria Elena de las Carreras, professor of film at UCLA, Cal State Northridge, and the New York Film Academy; Sister Rose Pacatte, Pauline Center for Media Studies; and Scott Young, executive director, University Religious Conference at UCLA.

http://www.landmarktheatres.com/ReelTalk/ReelTalk_Spring2012.htm

Undefeated – best sports film of the year

The nation, indeed the world, is enthralled by Jeremy Lin, the undrafted humble Harvard underdog who has stunned the NBA and the New York Knicks with his performances on the basketball court these last couple of weeks.

But hidden in the deep South, somewhere around the decrepit environs of North Memphis, Tenn., a high school football team struggles to succeed just as it did in 2010 when The Tigers, the school’s football team, for the first time in the school’s 110 year history, made it to the playoffs.

“Undefeated” is an Oscar-nominated feature-length documentary about that team that enthralls from the first two minutes. I admit, I was not enthusiastic about reviewing another sports film, let alone football.

Now I can say that I understand why people see football as a religion — in a good way. Why? Because over the six years that the chubby white volunteer coach Bill Courtney guided this team, they prayed, fought, asked forgiveness, and lived genuine “agape” as a community.

Continue reading here …

The Vow

When I learned that Rachel McAdams was going to play the lead role in what looked to be another tearjerker film about marriage I wondered if the story would be based on a Nicholas Sparks novel such as “The Notebook.” No, this new film is based on a very true story that was told in the 2000 book The Vow: The Kim and Krickitt Carpenter Story by Kim Carpenter.

In 1993, ten weeks after this Mormon couple married, they were injured in a terrible car accident. Krickitt, who was driving, was in a coma and when she woke up had no memory of the previous 18 months or so since she had met and married Kim. When Krickitt recovered enough she decided that if she had liked Kim enough before to marry him, she would date him again to see if the spark could be rekindled. It was, and in 1996 they remarried (renewed their vows) and have since had two children. Krickitt has never recovered her memory of those 18 months though her long-term memory, that is pre-Kim, is in tact.

In “The Vow” the basic story is the same though the details have been changed and more dramatic tension added. And while Kim and Krickitt are a handsome couple, the megawatt looks and chemistry of Rachel McAdams (Paige) and Channing Tatum (Leo) leave just about everyone else in the dust.

Paige and Leo meet by chance at the bank on one fine day in Chicago where they live. Then they meet again at the coffee shop where Paige works, “The Mnemonic”.  Their friendship grows … continue reading here  and watch my video review as well.

 

Scholarship, Religion, Activism Conference at UCLA February 26, 2012

Tree of Life screening in 35mm + panel Jan. 14, 2012, UCLA

Have a Little Faith to air Sunday, November 27 (Hallmark Hall of Fame)

Have a Little Faith (Sunday, November 27, ABC, 9/8) is Mitch Albom‘s fourth book into a made-for-TV movie and the Hallmark Hall of Fame latest holiday offering.

The movie will seem familiar territory for Albom fans at first, then it moves beyond the interview with a beloved mentor, to living the lessons learned. Based on a series of interviews, like “Tuesdays with Morrie”, Albom (Bradley Whitford) visits Rabbi Lewis (Martin Landau) who asks Mitch to write and deliver his eulogy. Mitch accepts but only if he can interview the rabbi, since it has been a long time since they were in touch.

What Mitch learns from Rabbi Lewis opens his eyes to people and stories of faith around him. He learns about the Reverend Covington (Laurence Fishburn), an ex-con and recovering addict, who runs an inner-city Detroit church, with a badly leaking roof, for those in need of help.

As with Albom’s stories, he takes us on a life-changing journey with him. The acting in “Have a Little Faith” is believable, and Martin Landau especially adds other-worldly humanity and humor to the story. Albom makes us ask: who are the people who have made a difference in our lives, who have helped make us who we are today?

 

 

The Cinema of Adoption

 

To go along with National Adoption Month in the US, here is a link to my column On Faith and Media in St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

Some of the movies I talk about are Secrets and Lies, Juno, Heaven on Earth, Daughter of Danang, Superman, etc.

 

 

 

On Faith and Media – my new video blog!

 

 

 

 

On Faith and Media

Here’s my new film review video blog on AmericanCatholic.org! 

Sr. Rose finds seeds of the gospel in today’s film scene. In her reviews of both cinema blockbusters and independent films and documentaries, she shares her passion for the best in today’s popular culture.

The Help, Senna, Rise of the Planet of the Apes Film Reviews

 

 

 

 

Click here and scroll down for my written reviews of The Help and SENNA on American Catholic.org

Here is my short video tape on The Help, SENNA and The Rise of the Planet of the Apes:

 

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