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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Black Dahlia, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Adaptation of James Ellroy's novel built around the never-solved, true-life case of a young Hollywood hopeful (Mia Kirshner) -- whose mutilated body was found in a vacant lot in 1947 -- focusing on two L.A. cops (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) who are involved in the case. The Hartnett character finds himself in a platonic menage with his partner and the latter's longtime girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson), then falls under the sway of a seductive rich girl (Hilary Swank) who resembles the murder victim. Brian DePalma's film-noir homage is uneven as drama (with its overly complex script), despite his customary stylish flourishes and good, if occasionally over-the-top, performances, but the pileup of sordid revelations, though expected in the noir genre, and sundry other lurid plot elements preclude recommendation. Rough and crude language, general decadence, sexual situations and innuendo, much violence, a couple of brutal boxing matches, some grisly imagery, a re-creation of the lesbian underworld, pornography, adultery, incest, rear nudity, murder, suicide and drug use. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Ludovico of Casoria: Born in Casoria (near Naples), Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years. 
<p>In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence and Assisi. He once said, "Christ’s love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.
</p><p>To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.
</p><p>Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico’s death. He was beatified in 1993.</p> American Catholic Blog Father, there are so many times when I attempt to do something good, and disturbing situations arise, as if someone or some power is trying to stop me. Give me the grace never to be afraid or avoid doing good for fear of Satan. In Jesus's name, Father, I ask for this grace, Amen.


 
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