Patrick Coffin (www.PatrickCoffin.net) is known to many Catholics for his work hosting the top-rated Catholic Answers Live radio show. He is also the author of Sex Au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good For Your Marriage and is an alumnus of the first Act One: Writing For Hollywood program, in Hollywood, CA.
Patrick’s love of cinema is such that he can rightly be called a “cinephile”. And now, here at Catholic World Report, Patrick is “The Cinephile”. That is the name of his new regular feature for CWR, which debuted yesterday with his article, “The Unbearable Frightness of Being”, about the 40th anniversary of the scariest movie ever made: The Exorcist.
I recently asked Patrick a couple of questions about “The Cinephile”.
CWR: What is the purpose behind “The Cinephile”?
Patrick Coffin: “The Cinephile” is devoted to introducing CWR readers to lesser known A-list films. Some are classics in the traditional sense, others are sleeper hits that deserve critical kudos and a wider audience.
CWR: How does that relate to the “Catholic” in “Catholic World Report“? Are you hoping to use film reviews as a means of evangelization?
Patrick Coffin: A great deal of pre-evangelization can be accomplished through cinematic means, especially if the creators are lapsed Catholics — or better, secular Jews. When serious Christians make movies, they invariably succumb to the bullhorn temptation. They assume that the main thing is to preach. Biola University professor Thom Parham has a marvelous essay about this, titled “Why Do Heathens Make the Best Christian Movies?”
CWR: What type of movies are you most interested in? And why older movies?
Patrick Coffin: I have a weakness for Italian movies and for the romantic comedy genre (the most difficult of all to write). Too many films come out each month for me to keep up with recent releases. The good news is that thousands of high quality films have already been made and need only to be loved by today’s viewers.