By Sr. Rose Pacatte
A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation
By Ted Williams (with Brett Witter)
Penguin, New York
$26 hard cover
Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and a Son
By Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (with Hope Edelman)
Free Press, New York
$27 hard cover
Two books were released in May about what it means to be a man: a father, a son and a grandfather, too. Both are apologias more than memoirs and both have a strong faith dimension and links to Catholicism and Ohio — and addiction. The men in both books became fathers at a very young age. Their stories are extremely honest and reveal details that will surprise and inspire you, and some that may shock you as well. Both books have dual voices and are easy, swift reads that ask us to admit our humanity. They invite us to walk with these fellow travelers to discover humility and the action of grace in people’s lives that will astonish you
I read Ted William’s story first, the “theater of the mind” man with a voice born for radio. Ted was born in New York in 1957 and adopted by a woman, Julia, who always wanted a child, and her husband, Al, who worked his entire career in the same job for an airline at JFK International Airport. His parents were steady, but Ted was a “pleaser” who wanted to be liked and accepted. He was raised Protestant but began going to the Jehovah Witness Kingdom hall in his teens. He went to Catholic school in Brooklyn for a while, too. From the age of 14, he wanted to become a radio announcer. He and his father never saw eye to eye.
I like Bandslam: see my review at Eye on Entertainment August 2009 St. Anthony Messenger. It’s entertaining and a big vote for the arts in the curriculum.
Then there’s Ponyo click here and scroll down to CAPSULES. I saw it at the Venice International Film Festival last year; this is a longer review: Ponyo click here and scroll down. The TV ads make Ponyo look like a linear tale; it is not according to the English subtitles we saw at the Venice Film Festival. Now that the film is dubbed, the American editors may have been able to weave a narrative together. It’s a beautifully animated film so if it is thin on story, do we really care?
Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler”. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in September, 2009, and opens in theaters in December.
As you may be aware, I have been reviewing films and television for St. Anthony Messenger, a national Catholic magazine, since 2003. My column is called “Eye on Entertainment”. (I also review some films and TV shows for The Tidings, the print and online newspaper for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, www.the-tidings.com). I see six films per month for St. Anthony Messenger and review them: three longer reviews and three capsules (sometimes more depending on how many films I am able to see.) The magazine just posted the December 2008 issue online (not the complete issue; if you would like to subscribe visit www.americancatholic.org and follow the directions). This issue reviews films that were in theaters in October or November.
The December issue leads off with “The Secret Life of Bees” still in theaters. The January 2009 issue will feature “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Doubt”, and other films.
Queen Latifa and Dakota Fanning in the lovely film “The Secret Life of Bees”.
Click here for reviews of the following films:
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL