Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps”: A Coded Message?

By |2019-09-28T09:49:59-05:00October 4th, 2018|Categories: Film, History, Mystery, StAR, World War II|

The 39 Steps is one of five films that Alfred Hitchcock made in England about espionage in the mid-to-late 1930s. These films capture the growing threat felt in Britain from foreign powers. In their scenarios the nation's security was nowhere more threatened than by spies hiding in plain sight... The Thirty-Nine Steps. A novel. Then a film: The 39 Steps. In the end, that [...]

Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge,” & the Real Hollywood Counter-Culture

By |2019-09-28T09:50:01-05:00August 30th, 2018|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Film, StAR|

In Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson continues to present an alternative world-view to filmgoers. It is one at odds with almost all that emanates from Hollywood, but, nevertheless, is one that finds a welcome reception in the real world, where family and marriage, patriotism and courage, faith and self-sacrifice still form part of the daily lives [...]

The Wages of Sin: Jean-Pierre Melville’s Doomed Universe

By |2019-09-28T09:50:03-05:00July 25th, 2018|Categories: Death, Film, StAR|

In Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Doulos, it is as if there is an existential darkness present throughout. In this world, no matter how cunning the schemes or how fail-safe the get-away plans are, for all concerned there is a retribution coming. In Melville’s cinematic universe the wages of sin are always death… Recently, at London’s British Film [...]

Movies, Myth, and History

By |2019-09-28T09:50:07-05:00April 21st, 2018|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Gospel Reflection, History, Myth, StAR|

What shall we make of filmmakers who twist history for propaganda purposes? In an extreme way, they are doing what all historians do: They are not only recording history, they are also interpreting it—and can history be done without interpreting the facts?… Some time ago I watched a fascinating documentary on the assassination of [...]

Richard Wagner, the Nazis, and Christianity

By |2019-09-28T09:50:12-05:00October 12th, 2017|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Joseph Pearce, Music, Opera, Richard Wagner, StAR|

Richard Wagner’s legacy has been overshadowed, and some would say permanently marred, by the manner in which he became the poster child of Hitler’s grotesque Third Reich. Yet should we condemn his music for this reason?… Nice to see your music selections. But Wagner, your favorite composer! Say it ain’t so, Joe! The above-quoted [...]

The World’s a Stage: The Drama of Faith

By |2019-09-28T09:50:14-05:00September 15th, 2017|Categories: Christianity, Great Books, Joseph Pearce, Senior Contributors, StAR, Theater, William Shakespeare|

Shakespeare shows us that there are none so blind as those who will not see because they prefer the darkness of sin to the light of virtue… All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays [...]

The Shakespeare Scholar Who Crossed Swords with C.S. Lewis

By |2019-09-28T09:50:17-05:00August 30th, 2017|Categories: C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Literature, StAR|

The Shakespeare scholar who crossed swords with C.S. Lewis describes Lewis in the early 1950s, at the height of his fame, as “a red-faced, egg-headed, portly, jolly, middle-aged man, who was (like Old King Cole) fond of his pipe and his glass of beer…” Father Peter Milward Father Peter Milward SJ, who died [...]

Laughter and the Love of Friends

By |2019-11-05T17:19:25-06:00December 26th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Featured, G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Love, Senior Contributors, StAR|

Ultimately the reason we should rejoice in the love of laughter as we rejoice in the love of friends is that laughter, like love, is a gift of God... There’s nothing worth the wear of winning Than laughter and the love for friends. These famous lines by Hilaire Belloc are personal favourites of mine but, [...]

C.S. Lewis & Friends

By |2019-09-28T09:50:23-05:00October 25th, 2016|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Friendship, G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, StAR|

Friendship, or philia, is one of the “loves” that C.S. Lewis elucidates and celebrates in his book, The Four Loves, the others being familial love (storge), sexual love (eros) and Divine love (caritas or agape). Although not the greatest or highest of the loves, Lewis saw friendship as the noble coming together of those [...]

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