A Spotlight on Culture

Through reviews and longer articles, ArteFact keeps a finger on the pulse of how our culture is reflecting on itself.

Review Film

Show Me the Magic

Self-indulgent. Uneven. Disjointed. Meandering. These are just a few of the choice words from viewer reviews about Paul Mazursky’s Tempest (1982) on the Internet Movie Database. But here are a few more: Masterpiece. Gem. Classic. Given those diametrically opposed views, I have no idea what you, dear reader, would make of this film. As they say on the internet these days, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Review Film

Finding Hope in the Face of Horror

A sci-fi horror flick, released to critical acclaim, containing a profound message about the dignity of human life that resonates deeply with Catholic social teaching? It doesn’t seem likely, but I think this is exactly what the film A Quiet Place, released last year, achieves.

Article Film

Stranger Things: The Deeper Meaning Behind a Netflix Sensation

The award-winning original Netflix series, Stranger Things, recently had fans glued to their laptops when all eight episodes of Season 3 were released online on the Fourth of July 2019. It has to be said, the series is not for the faint of heart.

Review Fiction

Eva in Paradise

In Paula Huston’s novel A Land Without Sin, it is 1993 in the war-torn jungles of Central America, and Eva Kovic is looking for her lost brother. 

Article Fiction

Seeking Certainty in Uncertain Times: Two Historical Novels

Lucy Beckett’s novel The Time Before You Die: A Novel of the Reformation effectively conveys a queasy, uncomfortable immediacy to the whiplash-inducing movements of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and subsequent backlash against the Counter-Reformation, in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. Several centuries later, Philip Trower’s A Danger to the State depicts the consequences of the Reformation in the full bloom of the Enlightenment - one of which is that religious truths increasingly serve politically expedient realities.

Review Fiction

Revelation for a Time of Crisis

Morris West, The Devil’s Advocate (William Morrow & Co, 1959). 

Article Theatre

Favorite Fictional Characters: Hamlet

'To be or not to be, that is the question' voices an even more universal problem than King Lear's: not so much about identity, as being.

Article Fiction

Favorite Fictional Characters: Edmund Pevensie

In nostalgic conversations among friends over favorite childhood literary characters, I inevitably propose Edmund Pevensie from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Much enthusiasm meets this choice. We all agree that as much as we admire the older Peter, Edmund is more interesting. 

Article Fiction

Favorite Fictional Characters: Lord Peter Wimsey

At first sight, Dorothy L. Sayers’ character Lord Peter Wimsey, does not strike one as a particularly Christian gentleman... And yet, he displays virtues that only caritas and humility can bring to flower. 

Article Fiction

Favorite Fictional Characters: John Wemmick

Wemmick is a man divided. Divided between work and Walworth, where he lives out an idyllic denial of all that is dehumanising about his workaday existence.