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May 13, 1988     The Message
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May 13, 1988

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i i Entertainment I I II I May 13,1988 a mauipulation;: control and even darker responses sometimes are A parent-centered approach Parents should declare TV a 'controlled substance,' says writer ST. PAUL, Minn. (NC) -- Parents have the power to declare the family television a "controlled substance" which requires permission before use by kids, said a mother of three television-restricted children. "The best way to get kids to read more is to get them to watch television less," said Molly Stein in an article titled "How to turn your family TV into a 'controlled substance.'" The piece ran as part of a "Read for your life" promotion in April in the Catholic Bulletin, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. Ms. Stein, who lives in Duluth, is a free-lance writer and co-author of "The Catholic Wedding Book." "Most parents have a vague feeling that TV exposes kids to more sex, violence and mediocre dialogue than is healthy for young minds," Ms. Stein wrote. Capsule reviews of current films mw YORK -- The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the U.S. Catholic Conference Depart. ment of Communication. "Permanent Record" (Paramount} The repercussions of a popular high school senior's suicide are followed as the boy's friends attempt to deal with their grief, rage, guilt and bewilderment over his senseless death. Sensitively explores the emotional tur- moil experienced by adolescents when they lose a friend to suicide. Its pat resolution does not detract from the potential shown by its young director {Marisa Silver}. Incidental drug and alcohol use and abuse, some profanity and an unsettling subject. The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-M -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned I that some material may be rating is PG-13 -- parents inappropriate for children strongly cautioned that some under13, material may be inap- propriate for children under "A Time of Destiny" 13. (Columbia} Old-fashioned romantic "Sunset" {Tri.Star} melodrama set during World Witless, period buddy War 1I in San Diego and Ira- movie set in Hollywood" in ly. Traces the catastrophic 1929 features the unlikely effects on the family of a sleuthing team of cowboy wealthy Basque-American movie star Tom Mix (Bruce rancher when he interferes Willis} and marshal Wyatt with the elopement of his Earp (James Garner), who favorite daughter (Melissa uncover a bundle of dirty Leo) with a young, penniless linen in Hollywood's under- , soldier (Timothy Hutton}. world. Colorful characters The filmmakers, Gregory meander through a vapid, Nava and Anna Thomas ("El humorless plot. A bomb for Notre"), handle the themes director Blake Edwards. of young love, revenge and Several scenes of violence Old World values with played with alight touch, operatic relish. William Hurt some profanity, brief nudity is stuck in the confused role and implications of kinky of the black sheep brother. A sexual situations within a few scenes of intense brothel environment. The violence and some profanity. U.S. Catholic Conference The U.S. Catholic Con- classification is A-M -- ference classification is A-M adults. The Motion Picture -- adults. The Motion Pic- Association of America ture Association of America ' rating is R -- restricted. I "There is also the theory that television inhibits language development, shortens atten- tion spans and diminishes the desire to indulge in creative play activities. Children might deny this last assertion, point- ing out that without commer- cials, they wouldn't know what to play with," she wrote. But the Steins have a "parent-centered" approach to the use of television. "TV is a treat," she ex- plained. "The less TV our kids get, the more TV they want. And the more TV they want, the more they'll do to get it. It's as simple as that. "Why take a wonderful bribe, one that is essentially free, and give kids unlimited access to it?" she asked. "With the promise of TV," Ms. Stein wrote, the children "will pick up their toys, even those they weren't playing with, dust the bookshelves, re- roof the house, rotate the tires -- you name it." In her house television is con- sidered "a major appliance." Just as the children aren't allowed to light the oven or start the car, they aren't al- lowed-to touch the television without permission. "The television and everything in it belongs to Morn and Dad," Ms. Stein wrote. "Sometimes we share it, but mostly it is off limits." The approach has worked, she said. "Even if the kids are pretty sure it will be OK if they watch TV, they always ask first." Ms. Stein doesn't deny that the controlled access sometimes provokes grumbl- ing. "I am often reminded that every other child in Duluth has cable, The Disney Channel, HBO and no restrictions. "But after a while they give up and accept the TV rules as they accept rules about snacks and bedtimes," she said. "And when all is quiet on the domestic front, after dinner and before bedtime, you just might hear the sounds of someone looking for something to do, and finding that something on the bookshelf." ! I ill I i I.IIKkV $chnitztlbank U/-kuL RESTAURANT Friday Night  _., Slood IS.,m. 'ar  .. ,,. HOST ,mli, o - Larry and Betty I ,o.,,-to, ;'t:p.. HanNIman