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Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Everywhere I go, people ask me for recommendations of movies and TV shows. "What's good out there that we should see?" This blog will be serve hopefully as a more pastoral response than my stock response: "Someday, I'm going to make a list..."

I am indebted to one of my Act One students, Sean Domachowski, for getting sick of hearing me promise to make a list, and creating this blog for me. (Yes, I abandoned the sola-yellow version. Now, we know, Sean, why, as Emily Dickinson noted, "God uses yellow sparingly." What's good enough for God....)

The second purpose of this blog will be to rant with gleefully unmediated vigor, against all dreadful movies and TV shows which are out there. As a movie reviewer for Liguorian and Christian Single, and the National Catholic Register , I have to see pretty much everything. And most of it is too horrible to ever really waste a column writing about. Besides, the magazines mostly want happy, positive things to recommend, and don't want to give even negative publicity to the truly insidious and nasty things lurking on screens. So, this will also be a place in which, because of the bonds of charity that unite us to one another in the Church, I will hopefully spare you from seeing some of the visual sewage that I have sat through. Of course, if the impulse to want to flush your brain is something you enjoy, than look here for heads-up about many future hours of twisted pleasure.

Finally, I find that we, in the Church, tend to like or pan movies based strictly on the story. If the bad guy ends up in jail at the end, we're happy. There's so much more to the art form than just the story. Granted, the story is the spine upon which everything else hangs, but we can look at movies on many other levels. If we're ever going to enter into any kind of real dialogue with the entertainment industry, we have to be a little more adept at reading the art form than we are now. As this is also beyond the scope of the magazine aarticles I write, I'll indulge my passion for the screen art form here. My hope is to permanently ruin your enjoyment of movies as a mere fan, and show you "heights you never saw" (Emily Dickinson again) through a filmmaker's eye.

In doing this, I will attempt to only quote Emily Dickinson once during each post. (A rule I have already violated in this the premiere post. I'm weak...) Welcome!