/Conscious Creation

‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ seeks to burn through the nonsense of needless drama

“Tel Aviv on Fire” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal. Yaniv Biton, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Nadim Sawalha, Salim Dau, Yousef “Joe” Sweid, Amer Hlehel, Laëtitia Eïdo, Ashraf Farah, Ula Tabari, Yaffa Levi. Director: Sameh Zoabi. Screenplay: Dan Kleinman and Sameh Zoabi. Web site. Trailer. We’ve all experienced situations where the drama meter unfortunately gets turned up way beyond manageable levels. We stand by in shock (and sometimes horror) as events spiral to a fever pitch on their way to careening out of control. In fact, all we need is a Greek chorus to drop in and fan the flames of the emerging spectacle. Woe, oh dreaded woe. But must we really head down that path? Perhaps there [...]

2019-08-23T15:59:54+00:00 August 23rd, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Luce’ ventures into the search for truth

“Luce” (2019). Cast: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Norbert Leo Butz, Andrea Bang, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Omar Brunson, Noah Gaynor, Astro, Christopher Mann, Hannah Cabell. Director: Julius Onah. Screenplay: J.C. Lee and Julius Onah. Play: J.C. Lee, Luce. Web site. Trailer. What is truth? That’s a question scholars, philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for eons. But, after all these many centuries, it still lingers, nibbled at by many deep thinkers though never satisfactorily answered. Perhaps that’s because it can’t be adequately nailed down, be it due to an undefinable or transitory nature, a plethora of conflicting opinions, or some other inscrutable quality. For what it’s worth, however, the quest continues, this time on the stage [...]

2019-08-19T10:56:26+00:00 August 19th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Mike Wallace Is Here’ charts the quest for one’s calling

“Mike Wallace Is Here” (2019). Cast: Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Steve Kroft, Don Hewitt, Barbara Walters, Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, Dan Rather, Harry Reasoner, Chris Wallace, Bill O’Reilly, Larry King, Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Oprah Winfrey, Dick Cavett, Jacqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Salvador Dali, Eldon Edwards, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rod Serling, Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Billie Holiday, Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Arthur Miller, Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, John Ehrlichman, Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, William Westmoreland, John McCain, Ayatollah Khomeini, Vladimir Putin, Anwar Sadat, Jeffrey Wigand. Director: Avi Belkin. Web site. Trailer. Finding one’s calling in life is often challenging enough, but, in an emerging industry [...]

‘David Crosby’ celebrates an icon’s quest for creativity, redemption

“David Crosby: Remember My Name” (2019). Cast: Interviews: David Crosby, Jan Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Cameron Crowe, Henry Diltz. Archives: Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Cass Elliott, Joni Mitchell, Christine Hinton, Jimi Hendrix, Dick Cavett, Jerry Garcia, Don Everly, Phil Everly. Director: A.J. Eaton. Web site. Trailer. It’s amazing how someone can embody both the best and worst of what we’re capable of. These qualities, polar opposites to be sure, seem incompatible with one another, yet, on occasion, they sometimes wind up residing within a single individual. Learning how to reconcile these extremes can thus prove to be quite a challenge for those of us who [...]

‘The Art of Self-Defense’ warns about the perils of fanaticism

“The Art of Self-Defense” (2019). Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, Phillip Andre Botello, David Zellner, Hauke Bahr, Davey Johnson, Nicholas Hulstine, Scott Goodman, Justin Eaton. Director: Riley Stearns. Screenplay: Riley Stearns. Web site. Trailer. Crossing the line from passion to obsession is a dangerous step. One need only look at the many high-profile examples found in our world these days. But this phenomenon is by no means limited to the events we see on the nightly news; it can crop up anywhere, even in seemingly innocuous places, a troubling subject explored in the edgy new dark comedy, “The Art of Self-Defense.” Thirty-something office worker Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg) could seriously stand to grow a pair. The [...]

2019-08-07T06:46:23+00:00 August 7th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Farewell’ explores how to arrive at the best outcome

“The Farewell” (2019). Cast: Awkwafina, Shuzhen Zhou, Diana Lin, Tzi Ma, Han Chen, Aoi Mizuhara, Yongbo Jiang, Lu Hong. Director: Lulu Wang. Screenplay: Lulu Wang. Web site. Trailer. When it comes to caring for the well-being of others, is total honesty necessarily the best policy? Isn’t it possible that there could be something to be said for “blissful ignorance?” But then isn’t it unconscionable to intentionally leave someone in the dark? These are thorny questions, much of which depends on one’s perspective, both individually and as part of a collective, issues that are among those addressed in the touching new comedy-drama, “The Farewell.” Grad student Billi Wang (Awkwafina) leads a full life In New York. While anxiously awaiting word on [...]

2019-08-05T07:33:55+00:00 August 5th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘This Changes Everything’ examines remedies for a glaring disparity

“This Changes Everything” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Marisa Tomei, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Chloë Grace Moretz, Meryl Streep, Zoe Saldana, Cate Blanchett, Gillian Anderson, Rashida Jones, Sharon Stone, Amandla Stenberg, Heather Graham, Rosario Dawson, Geena Davis, Mary-Louise Parker, Sandra Oh, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson, Rose McGowan, Brit Marling, Ellen Pompeo, Amber Tamblyn, Yara Shahidi, Jackie Cruz, Lena Dunham, Marg Helgenberger, Tracee Ellis Ross, Judd Apatow, Alan Alda, Paul Feig, Shonda Rhimes, Jill Soloway, Patty Jenkins, Catherine Hardwicke, Mira Nair, Kimberly Peirce, Lesli Linka Glatter, Julie Dash, Lynne Littman, Maria Giese, Cherien Dabis, Courtney Kemp Agboh, Callie Khouri, Anita Hill, Kalpana Kotagal, Melissa Goodman, Maureen Ryan, Howard Rodman, Clifford Alexander. Director: Tom Donahue. Web site. Trailer. Movies and [...]

2019-08-23T16:00:52+00:00 July 29th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Becoming Astrid’ explores how we become who we are

“Becoming Astrid” (“Unga Astrid”) (2018). Cast: Alba August, Trine Dyrholm, Henrik Rafaelsen, Magnus Krepper, Maria Bonnevie, Björn Gustafsson, Marius Damslev, Mira Mitchell, Maria Fahl Vikander, Maria Alm Norell, Willy Ramnek Petri. Director: Pernille Fischer Christensen. Screenplay: Kim Fupz Aakeson and Pernille Fischer Christensen. Web site. Trailer. As we grow up, we lay the foundations for our lives and for who we end up becoming. Some of us may feel that this results from a series of happenstance events, random occurrences that seemingly materialize with no rhyme nor reason. Yet, if we look closely enough, there’s a certain order to things, with elements that unfold from identifiable aspects of our upbringing, many of which, in hindsight, often appear purposeful, as if they [...]

2019-08-19T10:15:46+00:00 July 23rd, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Maiden’ chronicles a sea change on the high seas

“Maiden” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Tracy Edwards, Jo Gooding, Mikaela Von Koskull, Marie-Claude Kieffer Heys, Dawn Riley, Michèle Paret, Sally Creaser Hunter, Tanja Visser, Claire Russell, Amanda Swan Neal, Nancy Harris, Angela Heath, Sarah Davies, Jeni Mundy, Howard Gibbons, Skip Novak. Director: Alex Holmes. Web site. Trailer. Fighting for recognition can grow tiresome, especially for those who have had to do so seemingly forever. Yet nothing is gained without making the effort, difficult and frustrating though that may be. Nevertheless, when the attempt succeeds, there’s a tremendous satisfaction that comes from it, not only in terms of realizing a goal, but also in setting a precedent that many may have thought could never be set. So it was for an [...]

2019-08-15T08:57:23+00:00 July 17th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Greener Grass’ surveys our own personal turf

“Greener Grass” (2019). Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Julian Hilliard, Asher Miles Fallica, Mary Holland, D’Arcy Carden, Janicza Bravo, Jaxon Rose Moore, Jim Cummings, Hollyn Johnston, Abigail Kurtz, Allison Kurtz. Directors: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. Screenplay: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. Web site. Many of us would probably like to think we’re true to ourselves, being honest and forthright and acting in line with our truest intentions. But are we? What if we let other considerations creep into play, like feeling the need to be overly sensitive so as to cause no offense? Perhaps we might also feel a little competitive with others, succumbing to peer pressure and comparing our situations to theirs, fudging things [...]

2019-08-09T09:34:18+00:00 July 14th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|