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Showing posts from August, 2010

I've missed you!

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At least that's the impression I get from our cat Boomer since I came back to our community after 6 weeks in France. The first evening back she took the earliest opportunity to fall asleep across my wrist, as per usual, whilst I was working at my computer. This can be awkward because it requires me to type one-handed, but I haven't the heart to move her. Bless!




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Gotta have faith: what's your relationship with God at the flicks? | Catherine Shoard

An interesting article here from the Guardian newspaper's film blog:
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Gotta have faith: what's your relationship with God at the flicks? | Catherine Shoard Faith films are burgeoning in the United States, but would you welcome them here in the UK? Or is religious scepticism the key to cinematic excellence?

Feature: Faith films perform a marketing miracle
There is, I think, something really curious happening at the moment, which I explored in a recent feature. A drop-off in conventional funding methods, together with a rise in the United States of devout Christianity and an increasing dislike of Hollywood's baser fixations, has paved the way for a new wave of super-profitable faith-based films. And though they've not washed up on these shores yet, the actions of UK distributors, in tapping church audiences for custom with mainstream releases they feel might strike a chord, suggests there's a hunger over here too. But how far is this true? Ther…

"Inception" soundtrack - love it!

Right now, I can't stop listening to the "Inception" soundtrack. Clever how the composer uses 3 simultaneous musical motives of varying rhythmic speeds to suggest the relative speed of time in the 3 dream layers (normal, slower + slowest - at least that's my theory!). Love the film, by the way. Seen it twice so far, going for a 3rd next week.
I realised today what the final track (12 - Time) reminded me of... a favourite moment from the wonderful "The Thin Red Line" (T. Malick), a sequence which I have used for years in Film Studies A-Level lessons as an tremendous example of the use of sound (sound effects, soundtrack music, voice-over...). First up, they are in the same key, secondly there's the same rate of chord change (with similar-ish chords), thirdly they are roughly the same speed, fourthly they both make use of a 'pulse' motif, fifthly some motivic + orchestration similarities, and sixthly and finally they are both slow burn minimalist c…

My dear children,... come to us, stay with us. We will be the guardian angels of your innocence. (Sermon, VII 2271 - Fr. Jean-Marie De La Mennais)

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The title of this post is a quote from a sermon by the Founder of my congregation, Father Jean-Marie De La Mennais (1780-1860). This is the full quote: "My dear children, whom Jesus, our Saviour, has loved so much, whom he bends down to embrace and bless, come to us, stay with us. We will be the guardian angels of your innocence." (Sermon, VII 2271) It is one of a number of quotes that I had been asked to translate for a forthcoming document from French into English whilst here at our study session. I couldn't help but think what Fr. Jean-Marie would have thought of the actions of those priests and religious who over the years have abused the trust that children (+ adults) have placed in them. "We will be the guardian angels of your innocence." I could cry when I read these words, knowing how passionate our Founder was for the well-being of children. It is our job as Brothers today to be such guardian angels.  Here are some other passages from amongst those I have tr…

Jesus Culture - Light on Your Face

This is rather wonderful. Very powerful song + performance, though it is much more than just a performance. Heartfelt, prayerful + passionate. I'll certainly be looking out for this band from now on.

That Mitchell and Webb Look - Moon Landing Sketch

Oh I just love this!! And it's sooo British! The understatement, the sly satire. And they end up debunking the "fake moon landings" argument probably better than any scientist has until now.


Conception - oh this is sooooooo good!!

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To get the joke you must at least be aware of the current mammoth blockbuster brain-teaser that is "Inception" and its tagline and also have seen "Juno". The link between the two films is through a cast member of both films, the wonderful young Canadian actress Ellen Page. Sorry for the above pedantry, but there might be readers who don't get the joke :-)

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Conception via Chris Curtis by Chris Curtis on 7/31/10





Family Vacation Southern Style - my sister Mo in Louisiana

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This is from one of my sister Mo's blogs (she has about 5 on the go now!) about the Villarrubia clan (her in-laws) summer hols out in Louisiana (Mo has lived in New Orleans for over 30 years). A real tradition for them and shows how close they all are. This bonding has been a really important help for Mo and her family since the suicide of her eldest son at the age of 23 three years ago.


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Family Vacation Southern Style via Only good things by Mona on 8/1/10


Four cabins on a lake, the whole family together for a week, eating, swimming, boating, talking, campfires, and just sitting in the water. Heaven! And we've already started planning for next year, our 20th anniversary.  When we started Grandpa and Honey booked one cabin for all four of their sons and families to share. It was crazy fun. We soon spread to two cabins so we could put the really bad snorers together. The kids just grouped on the floors.

And then as the grandchildren moved…

Spending time with an old friend

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We are into our third week here in our Mother House in Brittany (= study session). This evening, I spent a few hours chatting with a remarkable 87 year-old, Brother Henri Caroff (see photo). I first got to know Bro. Henri 20 years ago when as a young trainee Brother (a "Scholastic") I would come to the training wing of our Mother house here in France for Christmas, Easter and part of the Summer for a few years to be the other young Scholastics.

As I've mentioned before on here he is from the western, most celtic part of Brittany (Finistere) and he learned English (which he speaks wonderfully) as a young boy on journeys by boat to England with his father who was an onion seller. He also speaks fluent Breton, German, Italian and Spanish. He has even taught himself some Russian and Portuguese. Every morning he gets his language books out and notes out and goes through lessons in each language. Whilst here in the Mother House where he lives in community, I ordered him a pres…