April 4, 2000
volume 11, no. 67

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INTRODUCTION     In order to provide the reader more than just a rehash of what a movie or video is all about which really only serves to promote a film or program despite the rating, we have decided to bring you a more in-depth feature by enlisting Michael Vincent Boyer, editor and publisher of the excellent monthly tabloid magazine "Goodbye Hollywood". Like fellow columnist Pat Ludwa, Michael also hails from northern Ohio but for the past twenty plus years has lived in the deep south. Yet, because of his intrinsic inside work with the Hollywood establishment as Director of the Alabama Film Commission, he is well aware of the state of the industry and most of what he has seen is not compatable with the teachings of the Church. For that reason he began his monthly publication and has begun writing a regular in-depth, thought-provoking, sometimes shocking column for the DailyCATHOLIC.

   Because we will be dealing with how all this affects Catholics we are calling the column: "HOLY WOULD HELP HOLLYWOOD" with the subtitles: "MOVIES & MORALS"..."VIDEOS & VIRTUES;" and, keeping in mind that television can be the "tabernacle of satan" and how we need to keep in mind the great cardinal virtue of Temperance to guard and guide us in our viewing - we also subtitle it: "TELEVISION & TEMPERANCE." Therefore, all three subtitles are appropriate to effectively convey the topics we'll be covering. Presently, because of other commitments Michael has suspended publication of his paper "Goodbye Hollywood" and because of that, we'll not have the time to continue submitting his excellent articles. In its stead we will bring you articles he has already written, but begin today with a short article on last week's Oscar Presentation and Vatican Radio's take on the outcome.

   For past columns by Michael Vincent Boyer, see HOW HOLY WOULD HELP HOLLYWOOD Archives.    If you want to send him ideas or feedback, you can reach him at mboyer@goodbye-hollywood.com


Lack of Religious Films in Jubilee Year

        From Zenit we have the following story on Vatican Radio's take on the Oscars. As happens every year, screams of joy and pleased and disappointed looks, characterized the 72nd edition of the Academy Awards, held in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium last Sunday. "American Beauty" won 5 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Sam Mendes), Best Actor (Kevin Spacey), Best Original Script, and Best Photography.

        The other favorite, "The Cider House Rules," was recognized for Michael Caine's performance with a Best Supporting Actor award, and for John Irving's Best Adapted Script. Several protests were lodged against this film for its blatant endorsement of abortion. A group of California young people, the Survivors (so called because they were born after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the U.S.) staged a protest outside the auditorium.

        Vatican Radio believes that this Oscar ceremony will go down in history as one of war between two great film companies: Miramax, which lost with its "The Cider House Rules," and Dreamworks, the big winner. It could be said that "American Beauty's" triumph was a given, as it was supported by an impressive press campaign, Vatican Radio commented.

        According to Andre Piersanti, president of the Italian Catholic "Entertainment Organization," the great battle in the cinematographic industry contrasts with the absence of really interesting films, especially of a religious nature, especially notable for the Jubilee Year. "This is the only year that the media throughout the world are giving positive news, repeatedly, every day, involving the interest of the public, especially the Pope's pastoral effort in the Holy Land, where he has made an enormous effort to promote peace between religious cultures that up until recently have done nothing but fight in that bit of land. On the night of the Oscars, there wasn't a trace of all this, and of the great anxiety over religion and faith in God manifested in humanity, especially in Western humanity, represented in a certain sense by Hollywood."

        Piersanti said over Vatican Radio that it seemed as though the Academy wished to redeem itself of its superficiality when it handed a prize to Polish film director Andrzej Wajda, "a man very much loved by the film critics around the world and, as was reflected in the applause on the night of the Oscars, by the whole film world. With this distinction, Hollywood has not only awarded a director but a whole life of moral integrity and civil and social commitment, destined to build a healthier and more beautiful world."

        As regards the Best Foreign Film, "All on My Mother," by Pedro Almodovar, Andrea Piersanti believes that the Spanish director has performed a "very curious operation": "with his well-known style, he has addressed the topic of the family. However, he has done so with personages who are far from the common family: transvestites, prostitutes and other persons wounded by life. It is as though one wishes to address a certain topic and demonstrate with fact, especially with one's own testimony, something totally different."

        Almodovar himself described the film as "a grotesque, absurd, baroque drama with exaggerated personages."

        For the film critic, the big absence on the night of the Oscars was "The Green Mile," a film by Frank Darabont with Tom Hanks in the lead role. It addresses the problem of the death penalty, especially thorny for the American public. "I was hoping that a film that has been very successful with the public in that country and that has won the attention of spectators for its argument, would have received official recognition on the night of the Oscars. This wasn't the case, and it is not a good sign." ZE00032804


April 4, 2000
volume 11, no. 67

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