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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Super 8

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

This sci-fi thriller takes place in rural Ohio in 1979. A group of junior high school students led by Charles (Riley Griffiths) are making a super 8 mm film for a film contest but they are making it up as they go. Zombies are prominent.

Joe (Joel Courtney) makes model trains. He lives with his dad, Deputy Lamb (Kyle Chandler), as his mom has just died. Joe is in charge of make-up and he has a huge crush on Allie (Elle Fanning) who takes her dad Louis’ (Ron Eldard) car to drive the gang to the train station to shoot a zombie scene.

As they begin to shoot Joe notices a pick-up truck drive onto the tracks of an oncoming freight train. There is a spectacular crash and the cars are detailed. The kids are terrified and run off, leaving the camera rolling. It catches secrets the US Air Force, that arrives on the scene very quickly, doesn’t want anyone to know. Strange square objects burst out of the cars, and Joe picks one up to take home.

The kids go back for the camera and in the three days it takes for the film to be developed, all kinds of things happen. We discover that there is great enmity between the two fathers, Louis and Deputy Lamb, and why. We also see that their children are lonely and long for their parents love when they are grieving for different reasons.

There is an alien in their midst, and the kids’ goal is to discover what the alien wants. In some ways we’ve seen this movie before - think E.T., District 9, and a little bit of the Wizard of Oz and the typical fairytale structure of the death of the mother that in its own way motivates the actions. But it is so well made, the performances so engrossing, that the time flew by for me.

It is the perfect film for the Pentecost season. The gifts and fruits of the Spirit are all there: peace, love, joy, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, wisdom, knowledge, reverence and so on. See how many you can find.
Sometimes I think that Steven Spielberg makes the best Christian movies ever. Then J.J. Abrams, who gave us the hit TV series “Lost” doesn’t do such a bad job himself.


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Peter of Alcantara: Peter was a contemporary of well-known 16th-century Spanish saints, including Ignatius of Loyola and John of the Cross. He served as confessor to St. Teresa of Avila. Church reform was a major issue in Peter’s day, and he directed most of his energies toward that end. His death came one year before the Council of Trent ended. 
<p>Born into a noble family (his father was the governor of Alcantara in Spain), Peter studied law at Salamanca University and, at 16, joined the so-called Observant Franciscans (also known as the discalced, or barefoot, friars). While he practiced many penances, he also demonstrated abilities which were soon recognized. He was named the superior of a new house even before his ordination as a priest; at the age of 39, he was elected provincial; he was a very successful preacher. Still, he was not above washing dishes and cutting wood for the friars. He did not seek attention; indeed, he preferred solitude.</p><p>Peter’s penitential side was evident when it came to food and clothing. It is said that he slept only 90 minutes each night. While others talked about Church reform, Peter’s reform began with himself. His patience was so great that a proverb arose: "To bear such an insult one must have the patience of Peter of Alcantara."</p><p>In 1554, Peter, having received permission, formed a group of Franciscans who followed the Rule of St. Francis with even greater rigor. These friars were known as Alcantarines. Some of the Spanish friars who came to North and South America in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were members of this group. At the end of the 19th century, the Alcantarines were joined with other Observant friars to form the Order of Friars Minor.</p><p>As spiritual director to St. Teresa, Peter encouraged her in promoting the Carmelite reform. His preaching brought many people to religious life, especially to the Secular Franciscan Order, the friars and the Poor Clares.</p><p>He was canonized in 1669.</p> American Catholic Blog Remember the widow’s mite. She threw into the treasury of the temple only two small coins, but with them, all her great love…. It is, above all, the interior value of the gift that counts: the readiness to share everything, the readiness to give oneself. —Pope John Paul II

 
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