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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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Bernard of Clairvaux: Man of the century! Woman of the century! You see such terms applied to so many today—“golfer of the century,” “composer of the century,” “right tackle of the century”—that the line no longer has any punch. But Western Europe's “man of the twelfth century,” without doubt or controversy, has to be Bernard of Clairvaux. Adviser of popes, preacher of the Second Crusade, defender of the faith, healer of a schism, reformer of a monastic Order, Scripture scholar, theologian and eloquent preacher: any one of these titles would distinguish an ordinary man. Yet Bernard was all of these—and he still retained a burning desire to return to the hidden monastic life of his younger days. 
<p>In the year 1111, at the age of 20, Bernard left his home to join the monastic community of Citeaux. His five brothers, two uncles and some 30 young friends followed him into the monastery. Within four years a dying community had recovered enough vitality to establish a new house in the nearby valley of Wormwoods, with Bernard as abbot. The zealous young man was quite demanding, though more on himself than others. A slight breakdown of health taught him to be more patient and understanding. The valley was soon renamed Clairvaux, the valley of light. </p><p>His ability as arbitrator and counselor became widely known. More and more he was lured away from the monastery to settle long-standing disputes. On several of these occasions he apparently stepped on some sensitive toes in Rome. Bernard was completely dedicated to the primacy of the Roman See. But to a letter of warning from Rome, he replied that the good fathers in Rome had enough to do to keep the Church in one piece. If any matters arose that warranted their interest, he would be the first to let them know. </p><p>Shortly thereafter it was Bernard who intervened in a full-blown schism and settled it in favor of the Roman pontiff against the antipope. </p><p>The Holy See prevailed on Bernard to preach the Second Crusade throughout Europe. His eloquence was so overwhelming that a great army was assembled and the success of the crusade seemed assured. The ideals of the men and their leaders, however, were not those of Abbot Bernard, and the project ended as a complete military and moral disaster. </p><p>Bernard felt responsible in some way for the degenerative effects of the crusade. This heavy burden possibly hastened his death, which came August 20, 1153.</p> American Catholic Blog One of the things that we need to remember is that we’re preaching Jesus, not the institutional Church. It’s easy to get caught up in the rules and regulations of the institution and forget that we are saved not by the Church but by the person of Jesus or the Church as the body of Christ.

 
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