Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

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Melodious monks. New Camaldoli Hermitage, a community of Roman Catholic monks in California’s Big Sur, will release their album O Day of Resurrection on Tuesday, November 4th. From Jade Music, the CD is a 27-track recording of the monks’ beautiful chants of the Liturgy of the Hours, a community prayer with songs and readings at specified times during the day and night, according to the rule of St. Benedict. In addition to the Mass, the principal “hours” or “offices” are Vespers, Vigils and Lauds. The album was recorded in the chapel of the New Camaldoli Hermitage, and is available now for preorder at Amazon.

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Romance is making a comeback. Old Fashioned is the title of an upcoming indie faith-based film that will look at the challenges of finding true love in an age of hooking up. Due to open on Valentine’s weekend 2015. The co-announcement was made by Bill Reeves of Working Title Agency, producer Nathan Nazario and Freestyle Releasing Co-President Mark Borde who will distribute the movie in a platform theatrical release.

The romantic drama centers on former frat boy Clay Walsh and free-spirited Amber Hewson who together attempt to accomplish the seemingly impossible: an “old-fashioned” courtship in contemporary America. Interestingly, the film will open the same weekend as highly-hyped and decidedly steamy Fifty Shades of Grey.

“The timing of it all definitely provides a stark contrast—and that’s the point,” says Old Fashioned writer/director/star Rik Swartzwelder. “The conversation should be pushed. Not all fantasy is harmless and not all paths lead to true and lasting love. We have two movies here, both about people with troubled pasts . . . but both taking very different approaches to getting romance right.”

Swartzwelder adds “Opening the same weekend as Fifty Shades, there’s definitely a David v. Goliath comparison…They will have more screens, more money, more hype…but we’re hopeful that we are not alone in our belief that there are others out there who desire more from love–and the movies–than objectification or domination.  That being the case, we simply want to offer an alternative view on the topic of romance; and, perhaps even dare to suggest that there is a more beautiful way to which we all can aspire.”

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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