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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Black Snake Moan

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Extremely lurid, but ultimately redemptive, melodrama set in rural Tennessee about an aging blues singer (Samuel L. Jackson) who nurses a badly beaten nymphomaniac (Christina Ricci) back to health, and gets her to overcome her drug and sexual addictions, conquering his own inner demons in the process. Writer-director Craig Brewer pulls out the stops with an intentionally florid style, while the impressive performances of the leads -- as well as those of John Cothran as a benevolent preacher, S. Epatha Merkerson as an empathetic friend and Justin Timberlake as an emotionally damaged soldier who loves the young woman -- overcome the more outrageous plot elements, The high quotient of sex, violence and foul language -- which walks the finest of lines between morally objectionable and dramatically valid -- will seriously limit the film's appeal to audiences, Catholic and otherwise. Pervasive rough and crude language and profanity, racial epithets, strong sexuality including a couple of graphic encounters without nudity, premarital situations, upper female nudity elsewhere, violence and drug use. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Joseph of Cupertino: Joseph is most famous for levitating at prayer.
<p>Already as a child, Joseph showed a fondness for prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventuals. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood. Though studies were very difficult for him, Joseph gained a great deal of knowledge from prayer. He was ordained in 1628.
</p><p>Joseph’s tendency to levitate during prayer was sometimes a cross; some people came to see this much as they might have gone to a circus sideshow. Joseph’s gift led him to be humble, patient and obedient, even though at times he was greatly tempted and felt forsaken by God. He fasted and wore iron chains for much of his life.
</p><p>The friars transferred Joseph several times for his own good and for the good of the rest of the community. He was reported to and investigated by the Inquisition; the examiners exonerated him.
</p><p>Joseph was canonized in 1767. In the investigation preceding the canonization, 70 incidents of levitation are recorded.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you. –Cardinal Newman

 
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