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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Pirate Radio

By

Source: Catholic News Service

"Pirate Radio" (Focus) is an energetic but sexually freewheeling ensemble comedy set in mid-1960s Britain. As written and directed by Richard Curtis, this fact-based frolic's potentially buoyant celebration of music and camaraderie is torpedoed by its implicit acceptance of all manner of bedroom shenanigans.

After being expelled from school, rebellious teen Carl (Tom Sturridge) is sent by his glamorous mother, Elenore (January Jones), to live with Quentin (Bill Nighy), a friend from her past who has converted an oil tanker anchored in the North Sea into an offshore radio station broadcasting the rock 'n' roll music that the government-sponsored BBC will not.
(While Quentin's operation is fictional, several such facilities did exist at the time.)

As Quentin's staff of eccentric disc jockeys—including, most prominently, a shaggy-haired American expatriate known as the Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his celebrated native rival Gavin (Rhys Ifans)—battles uptight bureaucrat Dormandy's (Kenneth Branagh) efforts to shut them down, Carl wins the record spinners' acceptance and pursues romance with fetching shipboard visitor Marianne (Talulah Riley).

With characters slipping into and out of each other's cabins, and boatloads of groupies being brought from shore on a regular basis for casual sex, physical combinations range from the premarital—Carl's determination to lose his virginity is aided and applauded by his new friends -- to the multiple, as we see one DJ happily slipping off with two enthusiastic female fans.

Even the ship's lesbian cook, Felicity (Katherine Parkinson), eventually finds a partner, much to her fellow characters' delight.

The film contains a benign view of casual, group and gay sex and of drug and condom use, brief rear nudity, a pornographic image, some irreverent and sexual humor, a couple of profanities and at least 20 uses of the F-word. 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.

*****
Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.




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Hilary of Arles: It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint. 
<p>Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles. </p><p>The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing. </p><p>That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers. </p><p>Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.</p> American Catholic Blog True freedom lies in the ability to align one’s actions freely with the truth, so as to achieve authentic human happiness both now and in the life to come. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32).

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