Summer “cinema divina” retreat at home!

My column this month outlines how you can make a retreat from your seat if you are unable to a retreat house.

For Lent this year, the Pauline Center for Media Studies hosted a six-part weekly program using The Way, starring Martin Sheen. In the film written and directed by Sheen’s son, Emilio Estevez, Sheen plays Tom Avery, a widower who travels to France to bring home the body of his son who died in an accident. Tom discovers his son had just set out to make
the 800-kilometer pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James of Compostela and resolves to
take his place on the Camino (see October 2011 St. Anthony Messenger).

Because we wanted to keep the motif of the pilgrimage, even though we met at our center and people arrived by bus or car, our slogan was “If you can’t walk it with your feet, you can do it from your seat!” The same can be said for an annual retreat, which can be made at home if you’re unable to get away to a retreat house. Summertime is ideal to live out Jesus’ invitation to the disciples in Mark 6:31: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted
place and rest a while.”

Narrative films are an ideal way to bridge faith and life, using the format and methodology of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. A Scripture verse that reflects Tom’s reality and journey in The Way is John 9:11.

Continue reading the On Faith and Media column here

Sister Rose’s blog reaches 500,000 hits today

Since I moved my blog to WordPress on October 5, 2008 I never dreamed of 500.000 hits or page views. In this day of YouTube videos getting a million hits in a day or an hour, this half million in three years eight months, an average of 300 hits a day with 2,900 in one day in 2010, does not seem like much in the virtual scheme of things. Yet it provides me with a motive of thanksgiving for the Internet and the gift of communication between God’s people the world over and who knows? Maybe the universe. (We don’t know who might be listening, do we?)

WordPress sent me an analysis of that best day: March 9, 2010

Thank you for your visit, your time, your interest. Be assured of my prayers.

 

Catholic Comedy Night (The Laugh Factory in LA) July 11, 2012

“The Way” Special screening and panel UCLA May 31, 2012

Apocalyptic Themes in Cinema

Click here  to view the presentation I gave last night at St. Monica’s Parish in Santa Monica, CA. The film clips are missing but the list of the films I referenced are in the last slide. (Thanks to Mary Sperry; she’ll know!)

Jesus at the Movies

 

 

 

Movies featuring the life of Jesus have been around almost since the beginning of cinema. The first narrative film about his life was a series of shorts edited by Lucien Nonguet. Historian Charles Keil described these early attempts as a “series of tableaux, autonomous units.” It was up to the viewer to knit the narrative together in his or her imagination.

In his book Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ Figures in Film (1997), Lloyd Baugh makes a distinction between films that depict the life of Jesus and those that include Jesus as a character. Christ-figures are those characters who do as Jesus did, laying down their lives for others or exhibiting traits that reflect Christ.

Baugh divides Jesus films into categories: classic (King of Kings), musical (Jesus Christ Superstar), scandal (The Last Temptation of Christ) and Pasolini’s masterpiece The Gospel According to St. Matthew.

Lent provides the spiritual environment and opportunity to contemplate images of Jesus in cinema. We may be inspired by the filmmaker’s imagining of Christ or challenged about our knowledge of the Jesus of the Gospels.

Most of the following films are available on DVD and may be appearing on television for Holy Week and Easter.

To continue reading Sr. Rose’s column in the April 2012 issue St. Anthony messenger click here

 

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 …