ENTIRE NATIONS have now banned the film Noah. In the United States, Christians are unhappy with a Hollywood movie that substitutes, for the all-knowing and all-mighty LORD God Almighty, a distant, Pagan deity known vaguely as “the Creator.” Aronofsky’s Noah, an emo environmentalist with a too-voguish commitment to veganism and animal rights, is widely denounced, as is the film’s non-biblical (if not anti-biblical) theme – that human sin is against Mother Earth, not God, and that redemption must be found through earth-friendly living.
WHAT’S TRENDY and current and cool? What’s everyone watching and doing and talking and thinking and listening to right now. Do you know, and do you care?
WE ARE INFORMED by the Oxford English Dictionary that the word “ghoul” derives from an Arabic root whose meaning is to seize. More specific, the term refers to an evil spirit said in Muslim countries to prey on human corpses exhumed from graves. In this case however the seizing and the devouring of human beings are crimes of a Christian character and constitute the explicit subjects of Jeff Barnaby’s first full-length feature, Rhymes for Young Ghouls, which at eighty-eight minutes — short by today’s standard — is an economical and engaging story.
“Martha and Mary Magdalene”
IF MICHELANGELO Merisi da Caravaggio, known today simply as Caravaggio, were our contemporary, he would be often in the news. Violent, captious, cruel, and reckless, he was notorious even by the standards of late 16th-Century Rome. A good source on the Italian capital circa 1600 is John L. Varriano’s “Caravaggio: the art of realism,” which catalogues “a level of sadism that would be shocking in any age.” But to give you an idea of the sort of man Caravaggio was, I can think of nothing better than to cite his flirtation with the Knights of Malta, who soon having deemed the painter “foul and rotten” expelled him from their ranks.
Continue reading “Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome”