Thomas Hibbs
Thomas Hibbs
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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An evening with a monk of Norcia and the author of "The Benedict Option"

June 12, 2017  •  Catholic World Report

During his recent talk in Dallas at a dinner for the Benedictine monks of Norcia, Italy, Rod Dreher, author of the much-debated book The Benedict Option, said,

I believe with all my heart that the Church of the future is being born right now in the ruins of Norcia, in the community of men who have given their lives to the service of Christ, following the rule of St. Benedict.... If you go there, you want what they have: above all, the peace of Christ.

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review of T2: Trainspotting

April 1, 2017  •  National Review Online

In one of the many reunion scenes in T2: Trainspotting, the sequel to the 1996 indie hit film Trainspotting, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) tells his old friend Simon, a.k.a. Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), that after a heart attack, he had a stent inserted that will ensure that he lives 30 more years. He then laments his longevity. He would know what to do with two or three years, but he has no idea what to do with 30. "I'm 46 years old," he moans, "and I'm f****d!" As with all the major characters in the Trainspotting universe, Renton's experience is framed by the emptiness of time in a world where meaning has been reduced to arbitrary consumer choice, a world in which, as Renton boldly proclaimed in his famous "choose life" speech in the original, it makes as much sense to be on heroin as not to.

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review of Silence

February 25, 2017  •  National Review Online

Decades in the making, Martin Scorsese's Silence, based on Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel, about 17th-century Jesuit missionaries to Japan, is ambitious and alternately gorgeous and horrifying. It is surprising that a film of this magnitude would be all but completely snubbed for Oscar nominations, particularly in the now-expanded category of Best Picture, where the competition is soft indeed. Silence's sole Oscar nomination is for cinematography, and that is well deserved. With its focus on valleys and mountains shrouded in fog, the film often has the look of the movies of the great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa.

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William Peter Blatty, Between Time and Eternity

January 14, 2017  •  National Review Online

"Every Halloween I'm dragged out of my burrow like some demonic Punxsatawney Phil. And if I don't see my shadow, the horror box office is going to be great." That's how William Peter Blatty, who died Thursday at the age of 89 from complications from a form of blood cancer, often described his odd, late-in-life celebrity as the author of the novel The Exorcist and the screenplay of its 1973 film version. Alongside wistful tweets from his longtime friend (and collaborator on the film), the director William Friedkin, Stephen King tweeted, "RIP William Peter Blatty, who wrote the great horror novel of our time. So long, old Bill."

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Late Bergman: The Lived Experience of the Absence of God in Faithless and Saraband

December 15, 2016  •  MDPI Religions

Of the mid-century work of the Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut stated in 1973, "there is no body of work of the caliber and integrity of Bergman's since the war" ([1], p. 34). Acclaimed as one of the great filmmakers of the 20th century, Ingmar Bergman is for many an arch-modernist, whose work is characterized by a high degree of self-conscious artistry and by dark, even nihilistic themes. Bergman seems increasingly to be identified as a kind of philosopher of the human condition, especially of the dislocations and misery of the modern human condition [2,3,4,5].1 In this, his work reflects the philosophical dilemmas of nihilism. As with many European filmmakers of the last century, he is quite self-conscious about his own artistry; indeed, such self-consciousness seems obligatory in those who aspire to artistic greatness. However, Bergman's films are not embodiments of philosophical theories, nor do they include explicit discussions of theory. Instead, he attends to the concrete lived experience of those who, on the one hand, suffer from doubt, dislocation, and self-hatred and, on the other, long for confession and communion. In the middle of his career, especially in his famous faith trilogy of the early 1960s, Bergman investigated the lived experience of the absence of God. It is commonly thought that after this period, the question of God disappeared. However, in his last two films, Faithless [6] and Saraband [7], Bergman explores the lived experience of the absence of God. Indeed, he moves beyond a simple negation to explore the complex interplay of absence. He even illustrates the possibility of a kind of communion for which so many of his characters—early, middle and late—long. After a brief examination of Bergman and nihilism, we will turn to these two, final films in Bergman's corpus.

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Books by Thomas Hibbs

Cover of Rouault-Fujimura: Soliloquies Cover of Arts of Darkness Cover of Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion Cover of Virtue's Splendor Cover of Shows About Nothing Cover of Dialectic Narrative In Aquinas

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