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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Beowulf & Grendel

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Source: Catholic News Service

Grim and tepid, if earnest and ruggedly beautiful, retelling of the eighth-century Anglo-Saxon saga of the Norse hero Beowulf (Gerard Butler) who leads a troop of warriors across the sea to help the long-suffering Danish king Hrothgar (Stellan Skarsgard) rid his lands of a murderous troll, Grendel (Ingvar Sigurdsson), who is exacting revenge on Danes for an earlier wrong. Stripping the epic of both its fantasy and Christian elements while remaining faithful to its outline, director Sturla Gunnarsson does a good job at establishing the dark, dank and brutish world of the poem, breaking up the overall broodiness with savage swordplay and severed limbs, but what the film gains in pathos by humanizing the monster, and a contemporary feel by modernizing the dialogue (including frequent use of the f-word), it loses in mythic luster. Assorted bloody violence, including dismemberment, some gruesome images, a rape flashback, an implied sexual encounter, a crass scene of urination, and recurring rough and crude language. 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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Mark: Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. (When Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark's mother.) 
<p>Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident, from Paul's refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite Barnabas's insistence, that Mark had displeased Paul. Because Paul later asks Mark to visit him in prison, we may assume the trouble did not last long. </p><p>The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' rejection by humanity while being God's triumphant envoy. Probably written for Gentile converts in Rome—after the death of Peter and Paul sometime between A.D. 60 and 70—Mark's Gospel is the gradual manifestation of a "scandal": a crucified Messiah. </p><p>Evidently a friend of Mark (Peter called him "my son"), Peter is only one of the Gospel sources, others being the Church in Jerusalem (Jewish roots) and the Church at Antioch (largely Gentile). </p><p>Like one other Gospel writer, Luke, Mark was not one of the 12 apostles. We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally. Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane: "Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked" (Mark 14:51-52). </p><p>Others hold Mark to be the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Venice, famous for the Piazza San Marco, claims Mark as its patron saint; the large basilica there is believed to contain his remains. </p><p>A winged lion is Mark's symbol. The lion derives from Mark's description of John the Baptist as a "voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3), which artists compared to a roaring lion. The wings come from the application of Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures (Ezekiel, chapter one) to the evangelists.</p> American Catholic Blog Our Father’s love can be summed up in one word: Jesus! Throughout history, God has reached out to His people with unconditional love. This love reached its climax when He sent His Son to become our redeemer.


 
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