Busted Halo
Features : Entertainment & Lifestyle
 
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September 11th, 2009
The legendary artist who influenced generations of musicians talks about God and country (music)

One of country music’s great survivors, Charlie Louvin has a career that reads like a Southern gothic novel. He grew up singing sacred harp music — a harmonically complex form of Southern congregational music — with his brother Ira, and the duo would help lay the foundation for the country-rock movement with their close harmonies and stark tales of faith, family, and death. Among their early fans were a young Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Both would later open for the brothers, and carry their influence around the world.
The Louvin Brothers’ story was soon shrouded in the same kind of tragedy that hung around the corners of their songs when, after years of alcoholism and erratic behavior, Ira…

August 20th, 2009
Finding the right fit isn't always easy

Often it’s the things that don’t turn out the way we’d planned that teach us the most about ourselves and what’s important. A more philosophical way of putting it—experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
Patti started out at small women’s college. She made some great friends right off the bat but found the small college environment a little too… small. Erin was the classic ‘so good at everything’ student. She had to make a choice and dive in so she could find out what was right for her. She ended up finding out what WASN’T right for her.
At some point during freshman year nearly every student asks the question “Is this where I belong?” Sometimes it’s because he or she is simply

August 18th, 2009
In feeding the media beast am I killing my soul?

I knew I was in trouble the day I wrote a headline about Michael Jackson being a gay crossdresser. He wasn’t even in the ground yet, his dear family was mourning, and here I was exposing an intimate speculation about his life for the whole world and their grandma to read.
This was Michael Jackson. I spent all of 1984 kissing the cover of the Thriller album, and 25 years later here I was throwing him under the bus for… traffic…?
My work as a showbiz reporter for a popular website often leads to a dichotomy of values. My position can be positive or straight-up provocative; exciting or, sometimes, brutal. I hunt like a fox for updates on the Gosselin divorce, but then worry that their children are traumatized. My

August 17th, 2009
Busted Halo talks with the jazz pianist-composer-vocalist about music and faith

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August 13th, 2009
Inglorious Basterds and the new wave of "tough Jews" in movies

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you hadn’t taken that job, or gone to that school, or moved to that neighborhood?
In other words: what if you were living in an alternative reality?
Alternative history is a genre with a long pedigree, especially in the realm of science fiction. After all, who can resist wondering, “What if…?”
The epic saga of the Second World War, with its action, tragedy and larger than life heroes, has inspired many “alternative histories,” from the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode of the original Star Trek, to the 1992 novel-turned-miniseries Fatherland…, which depicts a world in which the Nazis defeat the Allies. The

June 28th, 2009
Reality show rubbernecking

Recently, I’ve been tuning in to Jon & Kate Plus Eight at the gym. I watch on the sly like I’d rubberneck on the highway: The crash is too gory to view directly, but I can’t take my eyes off the drama. Some research suggests viewers watch reality TV because deep down they believe, someday, they too might be a star. I’d argue it’s even more basic than that: Reality television plays on our ugly, but very human, need to take someone else — especially the rich, attractive or famous — down a peg.
Call it the “Can you imagine?” factor: When Playboy… Playmate Kendra hands her soon-to-be parents-in-law a signed copy of her nude centerfold, the at-home viewers can screech

June 24th, 2009
A conversation on faith and his career -- from the Brat Pack movies to The Dead Zone

Anthony Michael Hall got his big break as an actor when he was cast as Rusty in the family road trip movie Vacation, followed closely by three seminal films from the 80s: 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. He was then the youngest cast member ever on Saturday Night Live. He also bullied Johnny Depp around in Edward Scissorhands and he was part of the Emmy-nominated made-for-TV movie where he played Bill Gates in The Pirates of Silicon Valley. More recently he starred in the sci-fi thriller TV show, The Dead Zone, which he also helped co-produce, and played TV reporter Mike Engel in last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight…. The actor stopped by the Busted Halo show on Sirius XM Radio to talk about

June 24th, 2009
Year One and the dawning of a new age in Jewish comedy

Sunday school just got a lot more interesting. The new movie Year One is an Old Testament version of the classic Monty Python comedy The Life of Brian.
Now, for some people, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Not everybody approved of the Pythons’ outrageous spoof of Biblical epics, which featured something to offend everyone. Yet, thus far Year One hasn’t generated anything like the controversy the latter did decades ago. Why not?
The answer may lie in the fact that Year One…‘s irreverence fits in well with the Jewish intellectual tradition of wrestling with higher authorities, and questioning moral and religious issues. This sensibility has been at the core of the Jewish identity

June 18th, 2009
Busted Halo speaks with the movie's star, director and producer

In the few days since we published our interview with Jim Caviezel, events surrounding the election in Iran have added special resonance to his new film, The Stoning of Soraya M. (opens June 26).  In the movie, based on an actual event that occurred in Iran in 1986, an Iranian woman is the lone voice protesting the stoning of her niece under Sha’ria law.
In the following interviews, the film’s star, Shohreh Aghdashloo, director Cyrus Nowrasteh and producer Stephen McEveety (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) discuss what compelled them to make this powerful and disturbing film. As Iranian-Americans, Aghdashloo—who is familiar to American audiences for her Oscar nominated performance in …House

June 15th, 2009
The star of The Passion of the Christ discusses faith, Hollywood and his new film The Stoning of Soraya M.

Being at the center of one of the highest grossing movies of all time can be both a blessing and a curse for an actor. The world now recognizes their name and face, but a role can be so iconic that they’ll have trouble breaking free of it in audiences’ minds (Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, for example.) If the role in question happens to be Jesus of Nazareth, that effect can be magnified many times over. It is a predicament that Jim Caviezel knows all too well. When Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ… was released in 2004, Caviezel, a devout Catholic, went from being a Hollywood actor who worked steadily to being the star of one of the most controversial — and profitable — films in movie history.

May 20th, 2009
Uproar over this summer action flick is wasted breath

In the gospel according to Ron Howard, absolutely everything is ominous when it’s undertaken at the Vatican. Whether it’s a member of the curia strolling down a dark hallway of the Holy See, or somebody steeping tea in the papal breakfast nook, the director who has brought Dan Brown’s novels to the cineplex loads down the moment with portent and peril. It’s a world in which you can’t help but imagine that even the gift shops are flooded with gloomy light.
Howard’s first adaptation of a Brown bestseller, The DaVinci Code, was a purgatorial mess. His second stab, Angels and Demons, ratchets up the excitement, cuts back on some of DaVinci…‘s convoluted anti-Catholicism,

May 17th, 2009
Daniel Smith on his numerous musical projects, former bandmate Sufjan Stevens and being a Christian artist who doesn’t connect with Christian culture

Though he’d never want to take credit for it, the extent to which there is a Christian presence in indie rock — a scene generally suspicious of and cynical toward expressions of faith — is largely due to the presence of Daniel Smith. More than any other artist in the post-punk era, he has redefined what it means to camp out at the idiosyncratic crossroads of faith and art. On the avant-garde edges of both cultures, his series of visionary albums have proved he is beholden to neither. With Trying Hartz, a two-disc retrospective spanning the first ten years of his career, Smith offers one-stop shopping for the curious and confounded.
With 1994′s A Prayer for Every Hour…, a series of songs designed to accompany

May 7th, 2009
The star of Irena's Vow on Broadway visits the Busted Halo show on Sirius XM Radio

[Use the audio player above to listen to this interview.]
Tony- and Emmy-nominated actress Tovah Feldshuh is well known for her recurring role as Danielle Melnik on TV’s Law & Order, but when she visited the Busted Halo Radio Show on Sirius XM recently, it was to talk about her starring role in the new Broadway play Irena’s Vow at the Walter Kerr Theater. Irena’s Vow… is the uplifting true story of a courageous World War II heroine, a young Polish Catholic woman who helped a dozen Jews survive the Holocaust. The show recently ended a record-breaking sold out engagement off-Broadway; and its move to Broadway marks Tovah Feldshuh’s first appearance to the Broadway stage since she played

March 12th, 2009
The creator of NBC's new series Kings discusses how he's brought a modern aesthetic to the Old Testament story of King David

Interview and introduction by Bill McGarvey …
Since breaking into television writing back in 1998, Michael Green has worked on a number of network and cable television shows, including Sex and the City and Smallville. Most recently, he was a writer and co-executive producer on NBC’s Emmy-nominated Heroes. NBC’s new drama series, Kings (two-hour premiere on Sunday March 15 at 8pm on NBC), marks Green’s first opportunity to work on a series he created himself. The modern retelling of the Biblical story of King David stars Golden Globe winner Ian McShane (Deadwood) as King Silas Benjamin who worries that David Shepherd (played by Chris Egan) will supplant him as king of the fictional kingdom

March 6th, 2009
BH on NPR...SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS!

Our Fast, Pray, Give calendar is getting some big time attention! National Public Radio’s website, npr.org, asked BustdHalo’s editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey to write a commentary on alternative Lenten fasting practices. They’ve asked us our readers to visit their site and add their comments. The more comments/discussion the piece generates the greater the chance it has of being picked up for NPR radio’s All Things Considered. So click through to here and leave a comment…remember, keep it clean!…
——
First it was chocolate. Then came foul language. And, finally, there was the earnest commitment to abstain from any “off-color” humor. The litany

February 17th, 2009
Busted Halo vs. America Magazine..."and the WINNER is"

As if last’s year’s drubbing on their Oscar podcast wasn’t enough, America magazine—the national Catholic weekly run by the Jesuits—asked to go head to head once again with BustedHalo.com’s editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey on this year’s Oscar race. America‘s resident Oscar snot-noses, Fr. Jim Martin SJ and associate editor Tim Reidy, tried valiantly to keep up with McGarvey in their discussion of this year’s Best Picture nominees: Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire….
It should come as no surprise, however, that the twerps from 56th Street and Carnegie Hall were no match for the boy genius from Hell’s

February 17th, 2009
Legendary lead vocalist from The Staple Singers on Dr. King, Barack Obama and being wrapped up in the Lord's arms

Lost among the hoopla of the Inauguration of Barack Obama — among the celebrity sightings, the musical guests, and the soaring rhetoric — was the conspicuous absence of one civil rights icon. Where was Mavis Staples, the woman whose soulful baritone led the legendary Staple Singers? With her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples and her siblings, Mavis had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, and had provided the musical rallying cry for the movement that paved the way for Obama’s election. She had performed at the inaugurations of Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, too, so she knew the routine. She was even from Chicago, same as the new President. But as the afternoon wore on, it became apparent…

February 16th, 2009
Christians grapple with the messages in this teen generation's defining book

“He grinned his crooked smile at me, stopping my breath and my heart. I couldn’t imagine how an angel could be any more glorious.”
Bella never had a chance. The protagonist of the breakout bestselling young adult novel Twilight falls in love under the gray, rain-soaked skies of Washington State unthinkingly and unerringly.
It’s just too bad her love is a 108-year-old vampire.
Twilight… is the first of a four-part series by Stephanie Meyer and has spawned a blockbuster movie and millions of swooning fans; the movie grossed over $35 million its first day in the theaters and more than $300 million worldwide over the course of its run. Much to the delight of fans, producers are currently casting

January 28th, 2009
The SNL alum talks about her new movie with Renée Zellweger and how her faith influences the roles she takes

Whether it’s been in blockbusters like Men In Black and Forrest Gump, or indie films such as Dancer in the Dark and Dogville, Siobhan Fallon is a character actress whose face is memorable even if her name might not be.
In the romantic comedy, New in Town…, starring Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., Fallon, a Saturday Night Live alum plays Blanche Gunderson, a Minnesota woman who befriends her new boss, Zellweger, when she arrives to take over the local factory.
Fallon, a devout Catholic, discusses the new film and why her faith and a desire to set a good example for her young daughters has meant turning down a number of lucrative acting opportunities.

BustedHalo: You’ve told me in the past

January 15th, 2009
My Motown lesson in Martin Luther King, Jr.

[EDITOR'S NOTE — While MLK Day is celebrated next Monday, January 15 is Dr. King's birthday. He would have been 80 today. This article was originally published in Busted Halo on January 15, 2007.]…
The record spins. The needle hits the vinyl. A rhythmic tune bursts out from the speakers and penetrates my soul. At the same time, the emotional lyrics capture my young imagination. As I stare at the record sleeve, I’m transported to a time I have never known, a place far from home, and a struggle of monstrous proportions. While most kids today learn about the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their elementary school classes, I first heard about this great champion of civil rights from a Motown record. And from

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