Gerard

Enlightened movies

Recommended Posts

Blazing Saddles - is an amazingly enlightened movie that predicted almost exactly american politics & society over the subsequent 40 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blazing Saddles - is an amazingly enlightened movie that predicted almost exactly american politics & society over the subsequent 40 years.

 

For that we have this:

 

Being There (1979)

 

Also a very intelligent film, one of my all time favourites.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For that we have this:

 

Being There (1979)

 

Also a very intelligent film, one of my all time favourites.

I absolutely love this film!  Jerzy Kosinski wrote the book in 1970 as political satire, but he had a strong handle on Taoist principles, as did whoever adapted it to the screen.

 

It's one of the best depictions of a Grand Taoist Idiot you will likely ever see.

 

I remember being taken with how simple, gentle and odd Chance the Gardener was when I saw it in the theaters with my Father (I was only 10).  I remember my Dad being disappointed, as many were, that it was not like the usual Peter Sellers films of the time, but even though it was very simple and rather slow, I remember it left a strong impression even at that age.

 

I saw it again in College when I chose it as the subject of a paper and recall being blown away by its understated potency again.  Subtle, poignant and very powerful in its depictions of how many of us, will project what we would like to see onto a person or event, when little or no information is offered.

 

Interesting synchronicity for me that you post it now Gerard.  I just shared it with my wife out of the blue a couple days ago and the next day, as I am having tea at the new tea house in town here, I see a flyer and they are showing it this Monday as the first in their "Tea and a Movie Night" series. 

 

I had no real formal training in Eastern or Taoist philosophy when seeing it the first two times... so this recent viewing left me utterly stunned and highly impressed with the writing team.  I'm going to order the book now and devour it soon. 

 

Obviously, I can't recommend this film highly enough.  It is an incredible modern Taoist tale and I think it's Mr Sellers finest, most impressive work by far.  Ok, rant over...

Edited by silent thunder
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, a simple gardener who in the end was able to walk on water. Just a pure state of no mind:

 

 

 

Here's another charming movie with a very Taoist finale:

 

In the face of adversity, smile! (Modern Times, 1936)

 

...while you walk carefree with no set destination in mind. :)

Edited by Gerard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last Saturday my youngest step daughter fancied going to the Cinema, she dragged her Mum, my partner along to see something called "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". :blink: :blink: :blink:

 

They both asked if I fancied going along, but I declined.

(No **** way I wanna see that pile of crud, I thought!) :D :D :D

 

When they returned a few hours later, they'd both really enjoyed it and mentioned that I would have loved seeing all the Martial Arts in It !!  Bugger !! :o:wacko::blink::angry::(

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good friend of mine, whose opinion on theater, tv and film I highly respect, due to having worked with him closely on stage in classical theater for almost a decade, repeatedly touted and praised the film 'Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter'.  I'm still flabbergasted by that, but figure some evening I'll finally succumb to curiosity and give it a try... :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good friend of mine, whose opinion on theater, tv and film I highly respect, due to having worked with him closely on stage in classical theater for almost a decade, repeatedly touted and praised the film 'Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter'.

 

Sorry but that movie is mindless entertainment with no soul and lots of CGI.

 

Have you seen any of Tarkovsky's work (watch this please: Stalker,

) and Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar?

 

Let me also add: Zorba the Greek. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but that movie is mindless entertainment with no soul and lots of CGI.

 

Have you seen any of Tarkovsky's work (watch this please: Stalker,

) and Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar?

 

Let me also add: Zorba the Greek. :)

 

Stalker is easily one of my favorite films of all time.  I was riveted by the concept, the execution, the atmosphere, but especially the writing.  Wow, just wow.  The book that inspired it, Roadside Picnic, packs a serious wallop for it's few pages.

 

I'll add Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar to my list, I've not heard of it.

 

As for Abe and his Axe... I just can't imagine having that many extra minutes in my life to give it a shot... in spite of my buddy's recommendation that he found it clever and fun. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but that movie is mindless entertainment with no soul and lots of CGI.

 

Have you seen any of Tarkovsky's work (watch this please: Stalker,

) and Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar?

 

Let me also add: Zorba the Greek. :)

I turned off the Vampire Slayer movie after just a few minutes but I thought the book was rather well done in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mindwalk:  A powerful conversation between a poet, politician and physicist in an old Irish Castle, about the shifting awareness away from the Cartesian model toward Systems thinking.

 

 

So awesome - thanks!

Another movie I really enjoyed recently:

 

Bab'Aziz (2005)

 

 

"But where is this gathering?

- I don't know, my little angel.

But do the others know?

- No, they don't know either.

How can you go to a gathering without knowing where it is?

- It suffices to walk, just walk. Those who are invited will find the way."

 

Wonderful, inspiring and with Sufi wisdom written all over it.

 

Highly recommended.

 

:)

What I want to see next.

 

My pick;

 

Dhamma brothers (documentary): Vipassana is introduced into Donaldson maximum security prison in Alabama, and the ~1 hour doc looks at the inmates' experiences and a bit about how they ended up in prison.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched Koyaanisqatsi (1982), which is the first movie of its kind. Later on Ron Fricke (the writer of this film) directed two more which received a lot more attention: Baraka (1992) and Samsara (2011). These two are also great (note the exceptional scenes about

, and the
). But the very first and original movie is the one that borrows the Hopi tribe word meaning "life out of balance."

 

Great and very recommended film (like the other two).

 

There are also a fourth and a fifth films based on the same idea and by the same director which I haven't seen yet: Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002).

Edited by Gerard
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A really great series of films.  Thanks for the reminder, haven't thought of them in many years.

 

I was invited by a friend and workmate to go and see Koyaanisqatsi while living in Brooklyn.  They screened it at BAM in the late 90's with Phillip Glass conducting a live orchestra of the soundtrack.  That film and the experience shook my little snow globe of life and motivated me to seek out the others. 

 

I really appreciate art, people and experiences that pose questions, rather than attempt to provide answers.

 

Almost all answers seem to me now, to be attempts to describe a universe that is entirely fluid, in concrete terms.

 

And enough questions inevitably lead me to quiet.  Perhaps that's the only answer.  Silent observation.  Simple being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, my friend. Life is just one long experience that keeps repeating itself many times, different scenarios all the time...and we all got to endure it right until the end. :(

 

Those movies are very visual but also provide a question and leave it viewer to provide the answer. Still, our world due to the rat race phenomenon has placed an enormous pressure on everyone. As a result of this (and other historic events) the Japanese have created an art form called Butoh; grotesque yet highly aesthetic and meaningful.

 

Baraka is one of my all time favourite films. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

A film I cherish: Kurosawa's Ikiru ("To Live")

 

 

“Sometimes I think of my death,” Kurosawa has written: “I think of ceasing to be . . . and it is from these thoughts that Ikiru came.” The story of a man who knows he is going to die, the film is a search for affirmation. The affirmation is found in the moral message of the film, which, in turn, is contained in the title: Ikiru is the intransitive verb meaning “to live.” This is the affirmation: existence is enough. But the art of simple existence is one of the most difficult to master. When one lives, one must live entirely––and that is the lesson learned by Kanji Watanabe, the petty official whose life and death give the meaning to the film.

As with The Drunken Angel and High and Low, Kurosawa chose to break Ikiru in half. In the 1948 film, the reason was that he was tracing a parallel between doctor and gangster; in the 1963 picture, he was concerned with practice and theory (and illusion and reality) on a very large scale. In Ikiru it is important that the second half becomes posthumous, because much of the irony of the film results from a (wrong) assessment of Watanabe’s actions made by others after his death. Or, to put it another way, we have seen what is real—Watanabe and his reactions to his approaching death. In the second half, we see illusion—the reactions of others, their excuses, their accidental stumblings on the truth, their final rejection of both the truth and of Watanabe.

Perhaps for this reason Kurosawa insists so much upon the “reality” of the first half, and uses all cinematic techniques to make certain that we become absolutely convinced of this reality. Not that he insists upon the literal, far from it. He, along with the writer whom Watanabe meets, knows that “art is not direct.” Rather he uses a variety of styles (expressionistic, impressionistic, etc.) in conjunction with almost all of the techniques of which the camera is capable.

The picture begins with plain lettering, white on black (a bit like that of Citizen Kane, which this film in more than one way resembles but which Kurosawa had not yet seen) and under it is what becomes the main musical theme of the film. It is a fugue or, to be more precise, a ricercare. Whether this (ricercare means to search for again, to hunt for, or to follow) was intentional or not, it was certainly a happy thought because this, after all, is what the film is about. The first scene is a close-up of an x-ray. We are thus shown Watanabe’s inside before we are shown his outside, and we are shown the cancer (literally) as defining the man. In the same way, throughout the first half of the film, we are shown his body and what he does; in the second half the body has disappeared and we are shown––through the conversation of others—his soul, what remains of him.

Like Sartre’s Roquent, like Camus’ “foreigner” (who also knows he is going to die), like Kafka’s Gregor and Doestoevsky’s Prince Myushkin, Watanabe discovers what it means to exist, to be—and the pain is so exquisite that it drives him, it inspires him. He conceives the plan that will save him, though in the simplest of terms it is a form of insurance against having “lived in vain.” He rescues the petition from certain oblivion and turns wasteland into a park. He has flung himself onto this one thing that will keep him afloat. He forces the park into being.

The meaning is that Watanabe has discovered himself through doing. Perhaps without even grasping the profound truth he was acting out, he behaved as though he believed that it is action alone that matters; that a man is not his thoughts, nor his wishes, nor his intentions, but is simply what he does. Watanabe discovered a way to be responsible for others, he found a way to vindicate his death and, more important, his life. He found out what it means to live.

The office-workers (at least when drunk at the wake) seem to believe this. They are loud in their sobs of repentance and their praise of the dead (this wake is not in the slightest overdone—Japanese wakes are always like this: drunk, full of back-biting toward the deceased, to end in an orgy of praise and fellow-feeling around dawn) but––sober––they have forgotten their moment of truth. Only one—the one who first spoke up for Watanabe at the wake—remembers. He is reprimanded. He sits down, and Kurosawa has so placed the camera that he disappears behind his piles of papers as though he were being buried alive. He has—in his way—become Watanabe. And the final scene also suggests this. This clerk is on his way home. It is evening. Below the bridge where he stands is the park that Watanabe made. He stops and looks at the sunset just as Watanabe has in an earlier scene when he stopped, at the same place, looked, and said: “Oh, how lovely––I haven’t seen a sunset for thirty years.” It is as though this single clerk might remember Watanabe’s lesson—a man is what he does.

On the other hand, it is quite possible that Kurosawa would disagree with this interpretation of his picture. He certainly did not think of himself as an existentialist. Still, throughout his films there runs a moral assumption that has much in common with the existential thesis. The same thing occurs in Dostoevsky, a disaffiliate whom the existentialists have claimed, and it is telling that the Russian author should be the director’s favorite.

Of course, one of the fine things about Ikiru is that, like other great films, it is a moral document and part of its greatness lies in the various ways in which it may be interpreted. Here, as in the novels of Dostoevsky, we see layer after layer peeled away until man stands alone––though what the layers mean and what the standing man means may vary with the interpretation. Personally (as I have indicated) I think it means that man is alone, responsible for himself, and responsible to the choice that forever renews itself. This interpretation has never been better put than by Richard Brown, when he wrote:

Ikiru is a cinematic expression of modern existentialist thought. It consists of a restrained affirmation within the context of a giant negation. What it says in starkly lucid terms is that ‘life’ is meaningless when everything is said and done; at the same time one man’s life can acquire meaning when he undertakes to perform some task that to him is meaningful. What everyone else thinks about that man’s life is utterly beside the point, even ludicrous. The meaning of his life is what he commits the meaning of his life to be. There is nothing else.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

 

set in the ancient past, it is a retelling of an Inuit legend that has been passed thru generations/centuries in the oral tradition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites