SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Deal Hudson

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December 19, 2019
I recently read a review by Dan Sanchez of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (Netflix), “Why the Marvel Movies Are Better than Scorsese’s The Irishman.” Sanchez was ticked off by Martin Scorsese’s recent dismissal of Marvel films as “not cinema”. Scorsese may be guilty of exaggeration, but Sanchez makes himself sound silly. Sanchez states, without embarrassment,
September 12, 2019
Audiobook publishing is booming. Last year publishers took in nearly a billion dollars, up 28 per cent from the previous one. The smartphone has made it easy to listen anywhere. But the accessibility of the audiobook accounts for only part of its dramatic growth. There’s a unique power in hearing a good book read well,
July 25, 2019
The documentary-maker Stephen Edwards’s most distinguished musical work is the score for his Requiem for My Mother (2017). The Requiem was premiered in the Vatican, and his award-winning television documentary, based on the premiere, was broadcast on the PBS network. It’s a breathtaking work, reminiscent of Duruflé but original and memorable. Now Edwards, composer of nearly
June 20, 2019
Any film about Luciano Pavarotti must deliver the kind of experience that made him the most admired and recognised singer of his age. Pavarotti, directed by master storyteller Ron Howard, reaches this goal but in a surprising way. The film juxtaposes the singer’s messy personal life with his peerless musical achievement. Given a remarkable level
May 16, 2019
In January 1972, Aretha Franklin travelled to Los Angeles to join her good friend Pastor James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir to record a gospel album. That album, entitled Amazing Grace, went on to become the bestselling gospel recording of all time. Warner Brothers sent director Sydney Pollack to film the recording sessions
April 11, 2019
The conductor Martyn Brabbins and Hyperion have given us the second complete recording of Elgar’s 1898 cantata Caractacus. It’s been more than 25 years since the first recording by Richard Hickox on Chandos (1994). Caractacus is an uneven work but possesses enough moments of raw power and pastoral beauty to make it indispensable to lovers
March 14, 2019
It’s hard to understand why any director making a film about Jesus would ignore the face-off with Lucifer. Cecil B DeMille has his mind elsewhere in his 1927 King of Kings. Himself succumbing to carnal temptation, DeMille opens his film with a barely clad Mary Magdalene, now a prostitute in love with Judas. In his
February 28, 2019
Never Look Away tells kind of the story that invites superlatives and deserves them. Based upon the life of painter Gerhard Richter, it tells the story of an artist who lives through the Nazi horror and the communist stranglehold, then escapes to West Berlin where, after much trial and error, he earns success and recognition.
February 14, 2019
Ali Cavanaugh is a painter in pursuit of the miracle of human existence. A Catholic convert who was received in 2002, she says this of her faith: “The Blessed Mother is my constant and helps me with every step of my journey as a wife, mother and artist.” With that in mind, we should not
February 07, 2019
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, recently condemned the New York Times for using a picture of “a nun in habit standing behind a jail-like façade” to accompany a review of Jacques Rivette’s 1966 film La Religieuse (“The Nun”). Based on a novel by Diderot, it depicts the life of a nun who is
January 24, 2019
In 1971, Paul Schrader, a film student at UCLA, published a book called Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. Although he was only 24 years old, his theory of “transcendental style” – expressed in formal academic language – created a scholarly sensation. He is more famous, however, for writing film scripts that definitely do
August 09, 2016
The Vatican may need to step in and rebuke Hillary Clinton's pro-abortion running mate
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