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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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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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