Programs and films this week of interest include that '80s flick, "Back to the Future," on AMC, the documentary on pro-life activists "The Sidewalk Chronicles" on EWTN, documentaries on Rachel Carson and Donald Trump on PBS, and the 2015 award-winning film, "Bridge of Spies," on Showtime. Sunday, January 22, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — The moral compass in "20th Century Women" (A24), writer-director Mike Mills' rambling, unfiltered drama — loosely based on his adolescence in 1970s Santa Barbara, California — is President Jimmy Carter. Specifically, the film makes use of Carter's sermon-like "Crisis of Confidence" address, in which he said, "In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption."
NEW YORK (CNS) — "Split" (Universal), the latest psychological thriller from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, posits that victims of childhood sexual abuse are not only prone to dissociative identity disorder — split personalities — but also that each persona can have unique physical characteristics. Friday, January 20, 2017
Holy Cross Father Dick Berg's novel, "Scars," about post-traumatic stress is now a one-act theatrical production, on stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Lakewood Theatre Company. The production is one of dozens of productions offered through the Fertile Ground Event, an 11-day arts festival held at venues around metro Portland. Friday, January 20, 2017
Tickets are still available to hear Venetian treasures for The Ensemble's voices and instruments. Large poly-choral psalms written by the nun Chiara Margarita Cozzolani are interspersed with small ensemble and solo pieces by Claudio Monteverdi, Alessandro Grandi, Giovanni Arrigoni and Dario Castello.
NEWBERG — Portland Musical Theater Company and Chehalem Players Repertory partner to present a world premiere, “The Sensational Sixties,” on Jan. 14 at the Chehalem Cultural Center Black Box Theatre. Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The Archdiocese of Portland is a rich environment for Catholic writers. Here are reviews of several of the best books — by Deacon Chris Anderson, Holy Cross Father Richard Berg, Deacon Owen Cummings, Brian Doyle, Terry Ianora, Randy Traeger and Lillian Whitlow. Tuesday, January 17, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — While "Patriots Day" (Lionsgate) is an effective dramatization of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its violent aftermath, the film is also an unsparing portrayal of those events. Thus it can only be recommended for the sturdiest adult viewers. Monday, January 16, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — There's little chance of catching a quick nap during "Sleepless" (Open Road), a noisy, vulgar, and highly violent police drama.
Based on the 2011 French film "Nuit Blanche" ("Sleepless Night"), this tense thriller, directed by Baran bo Odar, involves a complex game of cat-and-mouse between law enforcement and drug dealers on the mean streets of Las Vegas.
NEW YORK (CNS) — "Don't think it! Don't say it!" Such is the frantic, oft-repeated mantra of the bewitched and bewildered — not to mention generic — characters who populate "The Bye Bye Man" (STX). Their struggle to evade the malevolent specter of the title (Doug Jones) ultimately proves more tiresome than terrifying. Saturday, January 14, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — The glossy crime drama "Live by Night" (Warner Bros.) traces the rise of Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck, who also wrote and directed), a Boston-bred gangster in the Florida of the 1920s and '30s. Though not exactly a hoodlum with a heart of gold, Coughlin is presented as a sympathetic figure in Affleck's serious-minded adaptation of Dennis Lehane's best-selling novel. Friday, January 13, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — The action comedy "Monster Trucks" (Paramount) certainly lives up to its title. It has strange creatures mysteriously propelling utilitarian vehicles in the absence of an internal combustion engine. It also sees to it that some bad guys meet justice, as you might expect. Thursday, January 12, 2017
A spotlight will shine on works of 10 local composers in an evening of new music in Agnes Flanagan Chapel at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Desire for the Sacred is an evening created by Cascadia Composers that features organists Gregory R. Homza, Dan Miller and Cheryl Young and Portland’s Resonance Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon. Wednesday, January 11, 2017
TV fare this week includes "Command and Control," an episode of the series "American Experience" that explores the long-hidden truth behind a deadly 1980 nuclear accident in Arkansas. This chilling nightmare played out in September 1980. A worker accidentally drops a socket, puncturing the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal, an incident which ignites a series of feverish efforts to avoid a deadly disaster. Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Two new anthologies offer a splendid trove of insights about spirituality and Christian community. One is edited by Brian Doyle, editor of Portland magazine. "A Sense of Wonder: The World's Best Writers on the Sacred, the Profane & the Ordinary" collects 37 essays and personal stories from the award-winning university magazine, which has featured the work of writers such as Mary Gordon, Mary Oliver, William Stafford and Pico Iyer, all included in this stunning collection. Tuesday, January 10, 2017
NEW YORK (CNS) — Much in the manner of "Lost" fans, who wondered what exactly was going on in that series, the audience for NBC's drama "Timeless" will increasingly want a definitive answer to the core enigma that drives its action and contributes to its suspense. Monday, January 9, 2017
The Marylhurst Writers Club hosts poet Elizabeth Woody reading her work at the university Friday, Jan. 20. The reading is free and open to the public.
Bloomsbury Review praised her work, writing, “Her poems are like hands and hearts and also like lights: they grip and pulse and illuminate. Like the woman herself, the work is grand and modest and forceful. It will shake you, and move you deeply….”
NEW YORK (CNS) — The first thing to know about "A Monster Calls" (Focus) is that, although it's based on a children's novel, it's definitely not for kids.
Even many adults will find its mawkish treatment of death and its supply of blithe "answers" to life's struggles difficult to handle. While the film is probably acceptable for mature and literate adolescents, "mature" is the vital term here.