46 episodes

A film club podcast devoted to works of high artistic caliber and Catholic interest, exploring the Vatican film list and beyond. Hosted by Thomas V. Mirus and actor James T. Majewski, with special guests.

Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast CatholicCulture.org

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.5 • 23 Ratings

A film club podcast devoted to works of high artistic caliber and Catholic interest, exploring the Vatican film list and beyond. Hosted by Thomas V. Mirus and actor James T. Majewski, with special guests.

    Love and Sex Separated—Dekalog: Nine (1988)

    Love and Sex Separated—Dekalog: Nine (1988)

    After being diagnosed with permanent impotence, a husband begins to suspect his wife is having an affair. This is the ninth installment of Kieslowski's Dekalog, a Polish film series inspired by the Ten Commandments.
    The writers of this series yet again return to the theme of weak husbands and fathers failing to claim their rights and therefore to fulfil their duties - in this case, a husband who does not protect the exclusive fidelity of the marriage bond.
    But central to the episode is the question of whether love and sex can be separated in marriage - as well as sex and procreation. It suggests that when a married couple chooses not to have children, the door is opened to other kinds of selfishness as well.
    Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/S8tuHErUFeQ
    Links
    Dekalog 50% off at Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dvd-dekalog/35930490?ean=0715515185615
    Pius XI, Casti Connubii audiobook https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/pope-pius-xi-casti-connubii-on-christian-marriage-pt-1/
    Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
    This podcast is a production of CatholicCulture.org. If you like the show, please consider supporting us! http://catholicculture.org/donate/audio

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Dune: Part One with Fr. Brendon Laroche

    Dune: Part One with Fr. Brendon Laroche

    Fr. Brendon Laroche joins Thomas to review Denis Villeneuve's film Dune: Part One. Fr. Brendon, who knows the original novel by Frank Herbert well, gives his thoughts on how the film fares as an adaptation, and on what Catholics ought to make of the religious elements of Herbert's novel.
    Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8wB7-jPIHPM
    Links
    Discussion of Catholic sci-fi author Gene Wolfe with Fr. Brendon https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/ep-77-gene-wolfe-catholic-sci-fi-legend-sandra-miesel-fr-brendon-laroche/
    Fr. Brendon on Twitter https://twitter.com/padrebrendon
    Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
    This podcast is a production of CatholicCulture.org. If you like the show, please consider supporting us! http://catholicculture.org/donate/audio

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Hollywood’s infamous birth: Birth of a Nation and Intolerance

    Hollywood’s infamous birth: Birth of a Nation and Intolerance

    D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation is a landmark of world cinema and arguably gave birth to Hollywood on an economic level. A technical masterpiece said to have established the grammar of cinema, it is also an astonishingly racist film (and was considered so even in 1915), portraying black people as subhuman and the Ku Klux Klan as civilization-saving heroes.
    Griffith’s follow-up, Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Through the Ages, was even more ambitious, telling four stories in four different time periods: the fall of Babylon, the life and passion of Christ, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and a modern love story. While the film condemns intolerance, it is not Griffith’s apology for Birth of a Nation, but rather his self-defense against his critics.
    In this episode James and Thomas discuss both films, trying to understand what sort of artist Griffith was and what his Founding Father status in Hollywood history might tell us about cinema as a medium of entertainment and emotional manipulation.
    The Birth of a Nation is an exceedingly well-crafted but fundamentally immoral work which offers some food for thought about the power of cinematic rhetoric. Intolerance is included in the Values category of the Vatican film list, but James and Thomas find it to be an incoherent, empty spectacle whose attempt to attribute all of human tragedy to the single vice of “intolerance” falls laughably flat. (And it also has its immoral side, if less fundamentally.)
    We hate to say it, but the earlier film is the superior one on the level of storytelling craft. If you don’t want to choose between racist and incoherent, though, watch Griffith’s later melodrama Broken Blossoms, which unlike Intolerance, actually does contradict the racism of his most famous film.
    Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/JawFbn-b7B0
    Links
    The Birth of a Nation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN_o3zeD81g
    Intolerance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIMpKXR83pg
    Broken Blossoms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQXb89LXuJo
    Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
    This podcast is a production of CatholicCulture.org. If you like the show, please consider supporting us! http://catholicculture.org/donate/audio

    • 1 hr 21 min
    The Chosen, Season 2: characters and controversies

    The Chosen, Season 2: characters and controversies

    Oratorian brother and visual artist Joshua Vargas joins Thomas and James to discuss Season 2 of The Chosen. The series continues to set a high imaginative standard in its portrayal of the Twelve Apostles, each of whom has a distinctive personality and several of whom have beautifully fleshed-out backstories (the calling of Nathanael being one of the standout episodes of this season). Jonathan Roumie continues to shine in his performance as Jesus, and we also find the filmmakers stretching their cinematic chops and experimenting with various methods of storytelling.
    The Protestant-written show also ventured into more problematic theological territory this season, so a review would be incomplete without an evaluation of its controversial treatment of the Virgin Mary and of Jesus' human knowledge. While falling short of a Catholic view, these allow for some nuance; but the portrayal of John the Baptist is purely disappointing.
    Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iREGf8C6_tM
    Links
    The Chosen, Season 1 discussion https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/chosen-education-in-meditation/
    Thomas’s interview with Jonathan Roumie on the Catholic Culture Podcast https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/ep-76-playing-jesus-on-chosen-jonathan-roumie/
    Buy Brother Joshua’s work on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtbyJoshuaVargas
    Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
    This podcast is a production of CatholicCulture.org. If you like the show, please consider supporting us! http://catholicculture.org/donate/audio

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Mental Preservation - Dekalog: Eight (1988)

    Mental Preservation - Dekalog: Eight (1988)

    In 1943 Warsaw, a little Jewish girl is brought to the home of a Catholic woman who has offered to provide her a fake baptismal certificate so she could be safely settled with a Catholic family. Upon her arrival, though, the woman turns her away, saying it is against the principles of her religion to lie.
    This scenario sets up the events of Kieslowski's 1988 film Dekalog: Eight, in which decades later, that little girl, who had escaped to America and survived, returns to Warsaw to confront the woman in order to make sense of what happened to her. What ensues is an exploration of what it really means to bear false witness.
    We see a variety of ways in which Polish people learned to cope with the trauma of the years of Nazi occupation and Communist rule, and to reconcile with themselves and others after making various moral and psychological compromises to survive.
    Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8aFQcgmUvzo
    Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
    This podcast is a production of CatholicCulture.org. If you like the show, please consider supporting us! http://catholicculture.org/donate/audio

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Drama of Holiness: Monsieur Vincent (1947) w/ Steven Greydanus

    Drama of Holiness: Monsieur Vincent (1947) w/ Steven Greydanus

    Film critic and deacon Steven Greydanus joins the show to discuss one of the best movies about a saint ever made, Monsieur Vincent. The film depicts St. Vincent de Paul's invention of the organized charity we take for granted today, and his struggle to stay personally close to the poor despite the practical need to court the favor of the rich to support his work.
    This isn't a film about a man conflicted about his basic identity or goal in life, nor is does it culminate in the beginning of a conversion—rather, it shows the continual deepening and conversion characteristic of the life of holiness. That is a very rare thing: a compelling drama about a soul already advanced in the spiritual life.
    This outstanding piece of narrative filmmaking won the Oscar 1948 for best foreign film, yet it is underappreciated, underseen and underdiscussed; this is the only discussion of the film in English you’ll find on YouTube.
    Greydanus suggests that Monsieur Vincent, of all the films on the Vatican’s list, may do the best job of uniting truth, goodness and beauty, and thus in a sense belongs in each of the list’s three categories: Religion, Values, and Art.
    Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5SrmmqNQgkc
    Links
    Steven Greydanus's writing at www.DecentFilms.com
    Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
    This podcast is a production of CatholicCulture.org. If you like the show, please consider supporting us! http://catholicculture.org/donate/audio

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Elso232 ,

Excellent

I listen to many podcasts and the quality of this one is nearly astonishing. You need not be Catholic or particularly interested in film to enjoy these extremely intelligent, multi-faceted examinations. If you are Catholic, you will appreciate that aspect as well, as both hosts are extremely well-versed in the faith.

The Dekalog episodes are especially insightful. The films provoke contemplation and their thoughtful analysis by the hosts enhances each even further. The Gone With The Wind episode was also thorough and smart - as long as the listener is not burdened by a childish or “progressive” mindset that disallows the consideration of the human dimension in every story.

This podcast is excellent and it is purposeful beyond mere entertainment or film criticism. Thank you and please continue to produce it.

F. Vigil ,

Great

Very much enjoy the podcast.

RCS34567 ,

Great New Podcast

Criteria is one of several great offerings in Catholic Culture.org’s Podcast department. As someone who is newer to viewing films with an artistic eye, instead of just for entertainment, it is really enjoyable to listen to and learn from the two host’s journey through the Vatican film list. Their camaraderie is evident and they keep the discussions jovial, but also insightful both artistically and theologically. Definitely one to check out if you are interested in Catholicism, Film and Art and how they intersect!

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