Joseph Susanka

Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. Currently residing in Lander, Wyoming -- "where Stetsons meet Birkenstocks" -- he is a columnist for Crisis Magazine and the Patheos Catholic portal.

recent articles

The Future of Film

Film is not dead. Well, film as a format might be dead. When such cinematographic greats as Dante Spinotti, John Seale, and the criminally underappreciated Roger Deakins begin proclaiming the extraordinary technical and artistic benefits of shooting digitally, the writing is definitely on the wall. But film as an art form? As an exciting, engaging … Read more

The Dreaded DST

This “Late Saturday Night/Really Early Sunday Morning” marked the arrival of one of my very least-favorite times of year: the dreaded Daylight Savings Time. (As you can see from the artist’s rendering of me on the right, there are deep bags under my eyes. I expect those to last for at least a month. The … Read more

John Allen on “There Be Dragons”

Over at the National Catholic Reporter blog, John Allen has an intriguing discussion of There Be Dragons, Roland Joffé’s upcoming film about the life of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. From a journalistic point of view, it’s tempting to style “There Be Dragons” as a sort of anti-Da Vinci Code – a pop culture portrayal of Opus … Read more

Life Imitating Art

As Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” Evidence in support of his statement can be found in this mind-boggling article, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal: Life isn’t easy for the self-proclaimed superhero who calls himself “Phoenix Jones, Guardian of Seattle.” A 22-year-old day-care worker by day, he dons … Read more

Self-Organizing Books

I’m pretty sure my books don’t do this. Why not, I wonder. It seems like a useful feature, though the “sorting by color” principle could get to be a bit irritating. [video: 635×355] (Today’s stop-motion gem comes to us by way of the ever-interesting/bizarre Within the Crainium.)

The Classical Grammy Tidal Wave

Over at Ionarts, Charles Downey discusses an overlooked portion of last week’s Grammy Awards: the Classical Grammys. Recounting that “they handed out the Classical Grammys in the parking lot before the show,” Downey seems unsurprised at the lack of attention generated by the classical genre. I suppose that should come as no surprise: no one … Read more

Hollywood: America’s Heartbreak Town

Over at “The Deacon’s Bench,” Deacon Greg links to a brutally sad GQ interview with Billy Ray Cyrus, the former country music superstar now probably best known as “Miley Cyrus’ Dad.” Fame has not been kind to Mr. Cyrus, nor to his daughter, whose recent escapades have been well-documented and greatly lamented.  Her rejection as an “appropriate … Read more

Words, Words, Words

If this Washington Post article is correct, modern-day Hamlets are going to have to find a new way to express their frustrations: Acronyms have been around for years. But with the advent of text and Twitter-language, it certainly feels like we’re speaking in groups of capital letters a lot more. It’s a question that intrigues … Read more

Speaking Truth in Love

Over at Whispers in the Loggia, the hard-working Rocco has an interesting post on Cardinal Wuerl’s most recent article on the issue of civil discourse, “Speaking Truth in Love”, noting that the cardinal’s high-profile (and, as head of the Archdiocese of Washington, unique) position in the American Catholic Church makes his thoughts on the matter … Read more

Coming “Soon”: The Other Side of the Wind

Hollywood, despite a history filled to overflowing with brash, bravado-driven, larger-than-life personalities, has seen few directors laden by such undeniable talent and bloodied by so many self-inflicted wounds as George Orson Welles. Recently, reports surfaced that, through the painstaking work of to Danny Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, and others, we were soon get the chance to … Read more

Mahler the Innovator

Aware of my life-long fascination with classical music, Laurance kindly passed along this intriguing Wall Street Journal article, entitled “How Mahler Rewrote the Score for American Concerts.” Surprisingly, the article is not about the significant musical contributions Gustav Mahler made to the classical repertoire. Instead, it focuses on the dramatic, oft-overlooked changes he brought to the ways … Read more

Emile Cohl’s “Fantasmagorie”

Since Margaret stole my “cool, historical video” for her Free-for-All, I find myself forced to fall back on my #2 OpenCulture option: “Fantasmagorie,” thought (by some) to be the first fully-animated film. It was created in 1908 by Emile Cohl, “The Father of the Animated Cartoon.” [video:! 635×355]

The Life You Live May Be Your Own

What would you do if you were in the habit of eavesdropping on the most secret aspects of someone’s life, and you overheard something that was a matter of life and death? What should you do with this knowledge — knowledge that you have no right to possess, and which serves as a constant reminder … Read more

Cardinal Bartolucci on the Restoration of Sacred Music

ZENIT has published an interview with the long-time (and now-retired) director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, the recently elevated Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci. A brief journey through the Interwebs reveals the 93-year-old composer to be a feisty advocate for sacred music, particularly the “classics.” In this interview, he reveals his belief that “for sacred music, the … Read more

Ryan Woodward’s “Thought of You”

No matter how far and how superlatively the folks at Pixar push the computerization envelope, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over my obsession with hand-drawn animation. I can’t quite quantify/describe the difference, but I sure can “feel” it. Ryan Woodward’s “Thought of You” is the latest example over which I have … Read more

The Kids Might Grow Up, But What About The Parents?

One of the things that has always fascinated me about “fly-on-the-wall-style” documentaries and their creators is the constant push and pull between their efforts to “just observe” and the unavoidable (and undeniable) impact a camera has on nearly every human being that has ever been the subject of a documentary film. (Exhibit A: the Maysles … Read more

Jets’ Sanchez Makes a Real Difference

I don’t like the Jets.  Their coach is brash and arrogant, their trainers cheat, their offense is hard to watch (a.k.a. boring and anemic), and the media’s disproportionate attention to all NYJets matters makes my inner SoCal Sports Fan mumble about “East Coast Bias” under its breath. GangGreen is exactly the sort of team I like … Read more

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of LG Ringtones

Smart phones scare me. I’ve never much enjoyed the prospect of having a device that is more intelligent than I am, and there’s the whole “irritating ringtone” issue to be taken into consideration, as well. But now, “thanks” to /Film’s link to LG of UK’s website, I might be forced to reconsider: Exciting news today … Read more

A Different Kind of Christmas Movie

Has there ever been a season that has stood by Hollywood longer or more faithfully than Christmas? From Clarence’s Twain-wielding celestial bumbler to Wallace and Davis dancing their former commander back to relevance; from leggy lamps and BB guns to John McClane’s profane holiday jingles — the list of memorable Yuletide moments is almost endless. Nearly … Read more

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