There's a been a loud hum in the Catholic blogosphere in recent days surrounding the release of the feature film For Greater Glory, in large part due to its seemingly providential timing: The Catholic Church in the U.S. is under attack by the Obama administration, and we Catholics — actually, all God-fearing citizens — are faced with surrendering at least some of our religious liberty.The Catholic blogsphere, like the World of Warcraft fandom, is usually a peaceable lot, and is only aroused to fury by genuine attacks upon their faith and sacred rights, like the attempt to retcon the Draenei into an offshoot of the eredar, which is morally unacceptable as that would mean that Sargeras corrupted the eredar, and not the other way round!
(In fact, one could argue, as the late Father John Hardon, S.J., did, that we really don't have separation of church and state, but rather subordination of church to state.)I'm sorry, did you say something, Matt? I got distracted by a giggling fit after the words "Father John Hardon."
And if President Obama wins another term — and I fear he will — it may get even worse.The Vatican would become an impotent force in the world, and Matt would have to make do with quotes from Father Jack Flaccid.
In regard to the movie itself, I first have to say that I don't consider myself a very good movie critic. I've seen a number of movies in my time, yet if asked to write several paragraphs on even my most favorite ones, I'd be hard-pressed to do so.Yeah, but that's true of every other thing you've ever written about, too.
Overall, I appreciated For Greater Glory; it's a good movie. The performances of Andy Garcia and Mauricio Kuri are indeed laudable. The costumes and cinematography are top-notch, as is the musical score. And the factual information presented at the end of the movie is nicely done.I always thought Citizen Kane was a good movie, but it could have been a classic if Welles had just included a quiz at the end.
My two minor complaints: I wasn't crazy about the portrayal of Father Christopher (played by Peter O'Toole). To me, his vacuous look came across as a bit creepy.I had no idea Peter O'Toole was such a Method actor.
Also, the movie could have been somewhat shorter, although I concede that I get antsy when having to sit for more than two hours.Well, the movie clocks in at 143 minutes, so I'll listen with careful and open-minded attention to your opinion on the first two hours, and then just assume you spent the final 23 minutes attempting to see how many Milk Duds you could cram into your cheeks like a chipmunk.
At any rate, For Greater Glory is far better than much of what comes out of Hollywood these days, and for that I give thanks.
Well Matt, I may disagree with your critical perspective on cinema, but I applaud you for throwing away your usual crutch, and going an entire column without relying on a cashiered cleric to furnish your opinions for you. My sincerest congratulations.
Father James Farfaglia, of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, loved the movie. He writes (slightly edited):Whoops.
Oh well, fine. I guess it's easier to bleach your hair than it is to bleach the priests out of your prose. Okay, boil it down for me, Padre -- what's the money quote?
Everyone needs to see this movie because there are so many parallels to what is happening in our country. This movie is particularly important for: 1) priests, so that they may be courageous defenders of the Catholic Faith;And like 12-year old boys, priests are an important movie-going demographic. In fact, the two groups are often seen going to movies together; at least on Date Night.
2) for young people, so that they may remain faithful;The one young person the movie focuses on is a 12-year old boy (smart demography, filmmakers!), so I assume he's the character with whom the target market is meant to identify, and has lots of cool adventures with Andy Garcia's ragtag Catholic army as it fights against troops enforcing Mexico's unjust anticlerical laws in the 1926-29 Cristeros Rebellion. Right, Padre?
[T]he scene of the martyrdom of young Jose is really beautiful. He refuses not to say 'Viva Cristo Rey.' He remains faithful, even with the most horrendous tortures, like having the skin of the bottom of his feet cut off and forced to walk a long distance, with bloody feet, to his death. Kids need to see this. A young boy remains faithful.And it'll make a great collectible cup from Hardee's.
3) for the Hispanic people, so that they do not give in to the culture of death and that they remember their Catholic roots.So there you have it, young Hispanic people. Father Farfaglia calls upon you to reject the deadly culture of federal regulations governing insurance coverage for contraceptives and embrace the life-affirming virtues of your traditional faith, like foregoing Middle School in favor of having the soles of your feet flayed, then going on a Bataan Death March to your own execution.
Until then, the Balcony is closed. And full of bloody foot skin.