/Conscious Creation

‘Thoreau’ explores the life examined

“Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul.” Director: Huey (a.k.a. James Coleman). Screenplay: Huey (a.k.a. James Coleman). Web site. Trailer. Exploring the nature of our life is one of the noblest pursuits in which we can engage, and writer-philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was undeniably one of the best seekers ever to have undertaken this endeavor. As a result of his experiences, he wrote a variety of works covering a range of subjects. But, while the name is a familiar one, many of us are unable to describe his work or ideas with specificity. Thankfully, that shortfall has now been addressed in great detail in the excellent new documentary, “Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul,” available for viewing on [...]

‘Hearts Beat Loud’ joyfully celebrates creativity, choice

“Hearts Beat Loud” (2018). Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Quincy Dunn-Baker. Director: Brett Haley. Screenplay: Brett Haley and Marc Basch. Web site. Trailer. Following our passion is something most of us dream about. But how many of us are able to see it through? Unfortunately, life often seems to get in the way. And sometimes we get in our own way, too. Clearing away the clutter, making a plan and working up the gumption to move forward all factor into the process, but how adept are we at these tasks? These are some of the challenges that a pair of would-be professional musicians face in the heartfelt new comedy-drama, “Hearts Beat Loud.” [...]

‘Neighbor’ showcases the spirit of kindness and compassion

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (2018). Cast: Interview Footage: Joanne Rogers, James Rogers, John Rogers, François Scarborough Clemmons, Yo-Yo Ma, Elizabeth Seamans, Margy Whitmer, Davis Newell, Joe Negri. Archive Footage: Fred Rogers, Robert Kennedy, Tom Snyder, Christa McAuliffe, John O. Pastore, Betty Aberlin. Director: Morgan Neville. Web site. Trailer. Showing a little kindness goes a long way, especially to those in need of compassion, nurturing and support. This is particularly true when it comes to young ones, who often struggle with the fundamental task of trying to understand how the world works, an increasingly challenging task in an ever-more complicated reality. For 30 years, an unlikely television personality undertook that very task, giving attention, encouragement, wisdom and support to those [...]

‘Book Club’ celebrates second chances at love

“Book Club” (2018). Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Alicia Silverstone, Katie Aselton, Wallace Shawn, Ed Begley Jr., Mircea Monroe, Joey Stromberg, Sabrina Friedman-Seitz. Director: Bill Holderman. Screenplay: Bill Holderman and Erin Simms. Web site. Trailer. As the years pass by, it can be easy to let our lives (and ourselves) slide. Those of us who have attained a certain age may unwittingly fall into the trap of believing that the best years are behind us, that the joys of our youth and young adulthood are no longer available or take too much effort to recapture. This is especially true when it comes to our love lives. But [...]

‘First Reformed’ assesses our choices and their results

“First Reformed” (2018). Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles, Victoria Hill, Philip Ettinger, Michael Gaston, Bill Hoag, Frank Rodriguez. Director: Paul Schrader. Screenplay: Paul Schrader. Web site. Trailer. The weight of the world is quite a load for anyone to carry, even those who believe they’re best equipped to do so. Holding up under such circumstances can easily be more than one can bear, but some take up the challenge anyway. Why? That’s a key question for a beleaguered protagonist in the gripping new drama, “First Reformed.” Pastor Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is, somewhat ironically, a troubled soul. As a former military academy chaplain who has suffered a number of personal tragedies and a crisis of conscience, he’s been [...]

2018-06-21T19:23:52+00:00 June 7th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Filmworker’ celebrates the beauty of creative vision

“Filmworker” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Interview Footage: Leon Vitali, Ryan O’Neal, Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Danny Lloyd, Stellan Skarsgård, Marie Richardson, Tim Colceri, Pernilla August, Julian Senior, Lisa Leone. Archive/Feature Film Footage: Stanley Kubrick, Malcolm MacDowell, Keir Dullea, Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Marisa Berenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Tom Cruise. Director: Tony Zierra. Web site. Trailer. Director Stanley Kubrick is arguably one of the most brilliant filmmakers who ever lived. Though he wasn’t particularly prolific and his productions came more sporadically in his later years, he nevertheless was responsible for such classics as “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964), “A Clockwork Orange” (1971), “Barry Lyndon” (1975), “The Shining” (1980), “Full Metal Jacket” [...]

2018-06-21T05:55:51+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Pope Francis’ leads by belief – and example

“Pope Francis – A Man of His Word” (2018). Cast: Pope Francis, Wim Wenders (narrator). Archive Footage: President Donald Trump, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli President Shimon Peres. Director: Wim Wenders. Screenplay: Wim Wenders and David Rosier. Web site. Trailer. In an age as cynical as ours, it’s rare to come upon someone who genuinely appears to say what he means and mean what he says. That’s especially true for those in positions of authority; their statements often ring hollow or are rife with hypocrisy. So it’s indeed refreshing to find out that there are those [...]

2018-06-20T05:10:37+00:00 June 3rd, 2018|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Disobedience’ dares to challenge taboos

“Disobedience” (2018). Cast: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola, Anton Lesser, Bernice Stegers, Allan Corduner, Nicholas Woodeson, Liza Sadovy. Director: Sebastián Lelio. Screenplay: Sebastián Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Book: Naomi Alderman, Disobedience. Web site. Trailer. Getting what we want from life, especially in an area as critical as romance, may push us to our limits. We may find ourselves saddled with constraints that push back against us, thwarting our efforts and keeping us from fulfilling our objectives. But these conditions are often wholly arbitrary, capable of being overcome with the right degrees of determination and self-reliance, themes explored in the new romantic drama, “Disobedience.” When a much-beloved but aging and frail rav (Anton Lesser) passes on, the faithful of his [...]

2018-06-14T10:20:25+00:00 May 27th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘God’s Own Country’ encourages us to find ourselves

“God’s Own Country” (2017). Cast: Josh O’ Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones, Melanie Kilburn, Harry Lister Smith, John McCrea. Director: Francis Lee. Screenplay: Francis Lee. Web site. Trailer. Finding the courage to assert ourselves and lead the life we want can be challenging, especially under unrelenting and oppressive circumstances. We can retreat from the world, drowning ourselves in various diversions, but, while that might take away the momentary discomfort, it doesn’t really solve the issue at hand. And the longer we put it off to the side, the longer the pain lingers and the more likely we’re to grow jaded and embittered. In the end, confronting the matter will provide the only real chance at a solution, but [...]

2018-06-10T22:07:59+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Third Real’ Named Awards Finalist!

I'm thrilled to announce that my latest title, Third Real: Conscious Creation Goes Back to the Movies, has been named a finalist in the New Age Nonfiction category of the 12th annual National Indie Excellence Awards competition! See the list of winners and finalists by clicking here. Third Real thus joins its companion title, Get the Picture?!: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies, as an honoree in this competition, having taken the top prize in this category in the NIEA's 10th annual competition, the winners of which can be found by clicking here. My thanks to the NIEA for this tremendous honor!