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November 13th, 2009
The Sound of Music at 50

For Christmas one year, when I was in high school, my grandpa gave me the video of The Sound of Music. I was thrilled: my favorite movie, the one I’d loved since childhood, was mine to watch at will.
My cousin Mark, in his early twenties at the time, regarded my new tape with good-natured disdain. “That’s such a corny movie,” he said.
I froze in horror. “It is not… corny!” I answered vehemently. Not my finest comeback, but outrage was making me inarticulate. We went a few rounds. Neither of us conceded any turf, so we left it at that. It was Christmas, after all.
But here’s the thing: in some deep secret part of myself, I knew that Mark was right. And now, twenty years later, I will

October 27th, 2009
A conversation on celebrity, race, pedophilia and the Church sex abuse scandal

The sudden death of Michael Jackson this past summer took the world by surprise and led to spontaneous fan tributes around the globe and countless conversations about the King of Pop’s place in popular culture. Many of those conversations are bound to be revisited with the release this week of This Is It…, a film that promises behind the scenes footage of Jackson’s final days as he was preparing for sold out London concerts. While many of the discussions sparked by his passing have dealt with his enormous talent (and his equally enormous strangeness), his ever-shifting appearance, the charges of pedophilia and the issue of race, we are fairly certain that the conversation that erupted in the Busted

October 20th, 2009
LeBron James' childhood coach and mentor discusses family, faith and why basketball is truly More Than a Game

In the white-hot glare of worldwide celebrity there are no shadows, there are only outsized figures of triumph or scorn. They are presented to us as fully formed creations, media amplified surfaces without depth who occupy our fantasies until something else inevitably takes their place. This strange and rare sort of fame — which basketball phenom LeBron James enjoys — generally obscures the flesh and blood reality behind the image. A great deal of the power behind Kristopher Belman’s documentary More Than a Game… comes from its ability to trace James’ career back to the time when he was an 11-year-old AAU basketball player, back to the Salvation Army gym in Akron, Ohio, where he befriended

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

July 10th, 2009
The Borat star once again pushes the limits of comedy (and comfort)

“What’s up?” you ask. For one thing, the new movie, Brüno.
The swishy, semi-fascist fashionista Brüno is the imaginary Austrian TV personality created by the very real British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
In 2006, Baron Cohen broke box office records (and probably a couple of laws) with his movie Borat…, about another foreign fictional reporter’s adventures in America. With their microphones in hand and their cameramen at their heels, both characters give the British comedian the unique ability, in our media-crazed age, to access people and places few “real” people could get close to. The results are hilarious or offensive–sometimes both–depending on your point of view.
As with

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

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

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.

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