MOVIES TRULY MOVE US …
INSPIRED BY FILM? In the wake of the Oscars, the world is abuzz about movies this week—especially Spotlight, which won the Best Movie award and was a huge boost to veteran journalists around the world. Perhaps you’re discussing movies you’d like to see right away via disc or streaming. So, this week, our Cover Story is a series of helpful columns about aspects of film that you might not discover without our help.
‘SPOTLIGHT’ ON OUR ROLES—Keeping kids safe everywhere, and especially in our houses of worship, is a goal we all share. ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm writes about next steps you can take after watching Spotlight. If you’re just discovering this thought-provoking movie, you’ll also want to read faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s in-depth movie review.
RODNEY’S BEST—You’re probably thrilled—or frustrated—by some of the Oscar awards this year. Well, you’re not alone. Each year, author Rodney Curtis brings us his own list of Best Films.
& POPULAR CULTURE
ENJOY DISCUSSING MOVIES? Get a copy of faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s new book Jesus Christ, Movie Star—it’s full of thought-provoking reading and questions! AND—enjoy all of the free resources from Ed’s website: www.VisualParables.org
- MUSTANG—You’ll have to search to find this French-produced film set in Turkey (which is nominated for an Oscar)—but it’s worth the effort. (4 stars)
- RACE—If you enjoyed the recent movies about Jackie Robinson, you’ll want to see this movie biography of track star Jessie Owens. Ed gives it 4 out of 5 stars.
- GODS OF EGYPT—Ed says, “Skip it!” It’s a cartoonish collection of ear-splitting sound and special effects. (1 star)
- THEOLOGIANS UNDER HITLER—Ed reaches back to 2005 to recommend this historical documentary about theologians who twisted their faith to comply with Hitler’s crusade. (4 stars)
- 45 YEARS—A wonderfully sophisticated story about questions that surface in a long-time marriage. (5 stars)
- THE GOOD DINOSAUR—It’s a “good” movie, but parents might want to consider whether to take very young children, Ed advises. (3.5 stars)
- SIN NOMBRE—Ed McNulty writes: “I wish every American would see this film” about Honduran refugees. (5 out of 5 stars)
- LADY IN THE VAN—Don’t miss Maggie Smith in this movie, says Ed. (5 stars)
- HATEFUL EIGHT—Yes, it’s a violent and twisted tale, but it’s intriguing as well. (4 stars)
- HAIL CAESAR—The Coen brothers have done it again! This is a funny and thought-provoking look at Hollywood’s obsession with the behavior of its stars from the 1920s through the 1950s. It’s also a star-studded ensemble you won’t want to miss. (4 stars)
- BEASTS OF NO NATION—This film is shocking, but it’s also an important and timely story of child soldiers in Africa. (4.5 stars)
- YOUTH—If you like Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and the thoughtful work of Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, Ed McNulty says: Don’t miss it! (5 out of 5 stars)
PICTURE A CONVERSATION—Two of our authors, Suzy Farbman and Debra Darvick, collaborated on this week’s first creative story—all about a quest by Debra and her photographer husband Martin to kick-start grassroots conversations nationwide. This story is sure to get you thinking about fresh ways to start talking with friends.
GET NEWS FROM THE WHOLE WORLD—Two veteran journalists in Europe are trying to change the way we all “see” religion news around the world. In fact, ReadTheSpirit is actively helping them in this quest. Their first new project is a Twitter feed that will let you glimpse religion and cross-cultural stories that you would never see without their help. Here’s the story—and you can help them get this project rolling.
HOLIDAYS, FESTIVALS AND FOOD
DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.
EAST AND WEST—AND LENT—The majority of the world’s 2 billion Christians follow the Western liturgical calendar; they already have started the Lenten season that leads toward Easter. Stephanie Fenton has that story in our Holidays column. Then, in March, the calendar followed by most Eastern Orthodox Christians also will reach what is known as Great Lent. During this traditional season of reflection, we also recommend Our Lent: Things We Carry, an inspirational book by ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm.
HOLIDAY of the DOLLS
HINAMATSURI—The first scents of cherry blossom are in the air as Japanese families gather to celebrate the centuries-old festival of Hinamatsuri, the Japanese Doll Festival (or Girls’ Day).
MAHA SHIVARATRI—Hindus chant, worship and fast for Lord Shiva before heading into a nighttime vigil of devotion for the auspicious Hindu holiday of Maha Shivaratri. Dates may vary on this festival. Stephanie Fenton has the story.
TASTE OF GREEK-JEWISH CULTURE
FEED THE SPIRIT—Columnist Bobbie Lewis tells the fascinating, tragic and enduring story of Greece’s Jewish community. She also shares an easy-to-prepare and very tasty bean soup recipe from this ancient corner of the world.