US Catholic Faith in Real Life

In ‘Good Omens,’ an uncommon take on the end of days

Could it be that humans are lovable even with all our faults?

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

A demon and an angel, sitting on a park bench, commiserate about imminent Armageddon and agree: The loss of excellent bookshops, neighborhood cafes where they know you, and Mozart is too much for the divine, who have been visiting Earth and working at cross-purposes since the beginning, to bear. 


Why the present is a good time to hear from Gorbachev

A new documentary shows us what might have been.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

German filmmaker Werner Herzog loves Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union. He says so right in the middle of his documentary, Meeting Gorbachev. He brings the diabetic Gorbachev a box of sugar-free chocolates, and later, when they are discussing the unification of East and West Germany, Herzog confesses: “We [Germans] love you. . . . I love you.”


Two documentaries that will change your perspective on the planet

Get down to Earth with ‘Behind the Curve’ and ‘One Strange Rock.’

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

Two documentaries currently trending on Netflix take a look at the planet from decidedly oppositional perspectives—and they might change how you think about the ground you stand on.


The challenging documentary every parent should watch

In ‘Far from the Tree,’ normal gets a new meaning.

By Nick Ripatrazone |
Article Culture

“Loving our own children is an exercise for the imagination,” writes Andrew Solomon, psychologist and author of Far From the Tree, a book recently adapted into a moving and challenging documentary.

“Though many of us take pride in how different we are from our parents,” Solomon explains, “we are endlessly sad at how different our children are from us.”

Solomon’s wisdom from the book carries into the film—a consideration of how several different families live with and love children who have been deemed different.


In ‘Remastered,’ a reminder that the music business can be both empowering and oppressive

The music industry has drawn its lifeblood from the cultural expressions of oppressed people.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

Anyone who has trouble grasping the notion that human nature is simultaneously divine and depraved just doesn’t know enough about the history of the popular music industry. 


For hard truths about violent crime, watch PBS’ ‘Charmed City’

A new film leaves viewers convinced that Baltimore and other cities like it have the ability to heal themselves.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

Baltimore wants so badly to be known for its waterfront and its historic neighborhoods, but instead it is famous for murder, gang wars, and police brutality. Blame it on David Simon, the former Baltimore Sun journalist who from 1993 to 2008 brought the city’s woes into our living rooms in Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire. Then, in this decade, when Baltimore’s reputation was starting to recover, there came the 2015 police killing of Freddie Gray and the brief violent rebellion that followed.


What does Amazon’s Mrs. Maisel really say about women and careers?

Can women really have it all?

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

It’s just so pretty.

Amazon’s knockout series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel swept the Emmys, pocketed two Golden Globe awards, and was just renewed for its third season even before its second debuted in December. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is executive producer along with her husband, Daniel Palladino, the show features their signature rocket-speed dialogue, snappy repartee, and sassy pop culture references, set against technicolor-hued sets and Edith Head-worthy wardrobes. 


Conversion therapy is isn’t helping anyone, two films show

Corners of America still need a reminder that attempting to change same-sex attraction is a harmful endeavor.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

You know there’s something in the air when two movies on the same topic hit the theaters within a few months of each other. That’s what happened last year with two films about gay teenagers whose evangelical Christian parents send them to “conversion therapy” programs to become heterosexual. 


Are women turning to witchcraft in the era of #MeToo?

Women are seeking spiritual practices that respect their wisdom, creativity, and leadership.

By Jessica Mesman |
Article Culture

Christian witches? What’s next? Married bachelors? Square circles?

A combination of disbelief, mockery, and genuine concern for the souls of those who might claim such a label populated a friend’s Facebook thread when he referenced a rise in Christians who also identify as witches.


Is the church’s teaching on labor gaining more ground?

The new film ‘Sorry to Bother You’ is a sign that change may be coming.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

My nomination for the most important movie of 2018 has a plot that doesn’t involve superheroes or space travel, and its production didn’t involve any of the usual Hollywood oligarchs. It’s Sorry to Bother You, an independent feature written and directed by hip-hop artist, activist, and self-identified “communist” Boots Riley. The movie is a sort of magical realist satire built around a union organizing drive at a shady telemarketing company.


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