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Dialogue and Dance: Seeking Understanding and Friendship in ‘The Two Popes’

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – Adapted from the play The Pope by writer Anthony McCarten, Netflix’s awards season gem about an imagined meeting between Pope Benedict and the future Pope Francis actually begins with a third pope: the deceased Pope John Paul II. The bells toll mournfully over St. Peter’s Square, as news of the pontiff’s passing quickly spreads. The …

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Marriage Story: Finding Life in Suffering

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – Religious or not, a broken marriage may be one of life’s most painful tragedies. Each circumstance is different of course, but actor William Shatner might not have been far off when he said, “Divorce is probably as painful as death.” You will find a sea of quotes on the topic, if you go searching: inspirational …

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‘Modern Love’: An Examination Into Relationships of Today

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – If you’ve seen any of the advertising for Amazon’s new anthology series Modern Love, what likely first struck you was the impressive casting. Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey, Sophia Boutella, John Slattery… the list of powerhouse performers who star in their own individual episode goes on. Ed Sheeran even drops by for a scene! …

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7 Great Films for Catholics To Watch This Halloween

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – If you’re a horror junkie or lover of supernatural stories, October must be your hayday: blustering weather, leafless trees, dark dusks…  So if you’re staying in tonight and are in the mood for something scary and substantial, here are seven Halloween movies with strong spiritual themes!  Spirited Away (2001) A beautiful, soaring reflection on themes of …

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“Shootable” Shows: 6 High-Quality, Low Budget Projects To Inspire Indie Filmmakers

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – Recently, I re-listened to the 2015 South By Southwest Keynote address given by Mark Duplass, in which he laid out what may still be the greatest way for filmmakers to jumpstart their careers. He advocated for low budget solutions, reliable resources, and simple sets. And for those of us just beginning on this lifelong journey …

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Deadwood: A Case Study on How to Execute a Masterful Opening Scene

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – On May 31st, in a mere few hours, HBO’s critically acclaimed Deadwood will revive itself for one final shootout, in its culminating feature film of the same name. One final time, we viewers will set foot on the muddy thoroughfare of that the seedy mining town, seeking our fortune with the unfortunates. Though universally praised …

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Putting the Lion Before the Horse: Screenwriting Lessons From “The Long Night”

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – Spoilers Below for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 The battle is over. Melisandre sheds her necklace. Drained, worn, haggered, she walks out into the bitter snow… and dies. CUT TO BLACK. First, extreme gratitude to the cast and crew of Game of Thrones. They probably felt like Melisandre after all was said and …

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7 Overlooked (But Excellent!) Christmas Movies

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – We all have them, those films we watch this time of year, every year. It’s A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, Die Hard… (insert your own personal or family favorites). But, because the Christmas season lasts until the Feast of the Baptism …

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4 Ways to Make Prydain Great Again

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– By Matthew Sawczyn – In case you missed it, like most of humanity, Disney (somewhat) recently reacquired the film rights to the award winning children fantasy series, Chronicles of Prydain. Written by Lloyd Alexander from 1964 to 1968, the Chronicles of Prydain is a wonderful coming of age story, concerning a humble peasant boy with dreams of being a …