Monday, April 10, 2006

Bookshelf and popcorn

All right, time for a book 'n movie round-up:

books :

St. Therese of Lisieux, story of a Soul or L'Historie d'Ame , as the French would say...the autobiography of my patron saint, so it's very bizarre that I haven't read this earlier. that's probably due ot the fact that this is a hard book, surprisingly, to find in mainstream bookstores, but I finally found a copy at a local Catholic bookshop that was produced by a Carmelite house here in the U.S.

The book isn't one book, it's actually three manuscripts in one: Manuscript A is the story of her life, as written for Mother Agnes, prioress of the Carmel for a time and Therese's older sister and "little mother" Pauline. Manuscript B talks about her vocation-- "my vocation is love!"-- and was written for her oldest sister, Marie, who was also in Carmel. The final part, Mauscript C, was written on prayer and her "little way" for Mother Marie de Gonzagua, who became prioress again after Pauline. All three together present a vivid portrait of a saint and her "little way", which is, unsurprisingly, filled with the profound spiritual insight that made Pope John Pual II proclaim her a Doctor of the Church in 2000 (I think it was that year, anyway). Definitely, definitely worth reading this.

In conjunction with that, I've also been reading (but haven't finished) St. Therese of Lisieux: Her family, her God, her message by Fr. Bernard Bro, a leading expert in Theresian theology. It's a fascinating look at the forces that shaped her life and her spitirtuality and I'm really enjoying it so far.

Movies :

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now on DVD. If you're a fan, get the two disc set because it's awesome. The film looks great on DVD transfer and is even better than I remember. Read my review in the December archieves if you haven't and then run to Best Buy to get this puppy. It's awesome.

King Kong :Didn't see it in the theater but bought it on DVD. It's good, a little long in parts (I thought that some of the scenes on Skull Island could have been shortened or cut, esp. the ones with the gross bugs), but the acting is pretty good (especially Naomi Watts, who is essentially acting against a green screen the whole time) and some of th CGI effects just take your breath away. I did find the Central Park scene a little hokey (tell me again how Kong is supported on that ice?) but I loved the sunset scene. It's worth watching if you haven't seen it but it's not this great Oscar worthy film that you must see (the idea, if true, that Naomi watts was miffed because she didn't get an Oscar nomination for her role is nuts, because her acting was good, but definitely not Best Actress worthy).

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