Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Future Casting

If ever someone makes a movie about the founding of Britain's Special Operations Executive, Joan Bright Astley, who was a secretary at one of SOE's precedessor agencies, should be played by Carey Mulligan. The resemblance is striking.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Feast of St. Thomas More!

St. Thomas More is everything I aspire to be: husband, father, scholar, statesman, saint. He was a man of courage and zeal but also self-deprecating humor. At his trial, all his virtues were on display. He showed himself to be a master of the law, forcing his opponents to use perjury and illegal means to have him killed. He showed himself the king's good servant, but God's first. And he showed himself a man capable of laughter and forgiveness to the very end. St. Thomas More, pray for us!

From Fred Zinnemann's Man for All Seasons, based on the Robert Bolt play of the same name:

The Trial

The Execution

If you are interested in St. Thomas More, let me also suggest Sir Thomas More, a play written by a team of London playwrights, likely including William Shakespeare. Though the play treads lightly on the question of More's execution, it paints a vivid portrait of a man of the highest character who never took himself too seriously.

A tip of the hat to Gerard Wegemer, whose love of More stoked my own. As any student who has ever encountered him knows, Prof. Wegemer is a man of the the greatest kindness, with a sharp mind, a deep faith and a zeal for the truth - a mirror of the saint he studies.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Twenty four years ago today Ronald Reagan leveled this bold challenge to the Premier of the Soviet Union. But rather than trying to editorialize about this speech, I will let it speak for itself: