/Conscious Creation

‘The Father’ seeks to confront what’s thought impossible

“The Father” (“Bashtata”) (2019). Cast: Ivan Barnev, Ivan Savov, Margita Gosheva (voice), Tanya Shahova, Hristofor Nedkov, Boyan Doychinov, Nikolay Todorov. Directors: Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. Screenplay: Kristina Grozeva, Decho Taralezhkov and Petar Valchanov. Web site. Trailer. It can be easy to get stuck. And it can be even easier to allow ourselves to stay stuck. Indeed, in such situations, we can readily convince ourselves that we’re trapped by conditions that can’t be changed, irretrievably ensnared by what cannot be altered. But is that really true? It may be possible to shift our circumstances, but it can take some effort to do so, as a mourning father and son find out in the new Bulgarian dark comedy-drama, “The Father” (“Bashtata”). [...]

2020-03-26T07:15:04+00:00 March 26th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘One Last Deal’ examines how to go out on top

“One Last Deal” (“Tuntematon mestari”) (2018). Cast: Heikki Nousiainen, Pirjo Lonka, Amos Brotherus, Stefan Sauk, Jakob Öhrman, Pertti Sveholm, Kristoffer Möller. Director: Klaus Härö. Screenplay: Anna Heinämaa. Web site. Trailer. When we come into the home stretch of our lives, we hope to settle our accounts, make amends and, one would hope, make a splash while we still can. But that process may prove challenging, especially if we’re loaded down with baggage, have difficulty making changes and come up against unexpected obstacles. Can we persevere under those conditions? That’s the test put to an elderly businessman looking to wind up his affairs in the new Finnish drama, “One Last Deal” (“Tuntematon mestari”). Aging, ailing Helsinki art dealer Olavi Launio (Heikki [...]

2020-03-19T09:29:38+00:00 March 19th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Balloon’ charts the flight to personal freedom

“Balloon” (“Ballon”) (2018 production, 2020 release). Cast: Friedrich Mücke, Karoline Schuch, David Kross, Alicia von Rittberg, Thomas Kretschmann, Jonas Holdenrieder, Tilman Döbler, Ronald Kukulies, Emily Kische, Antje Traue, Till Patz, Ben Teichmann, Elisabeth Wasserscheid, Peter Prager, Nadja Engel. Director: Michael Bully Herbig. Screenplay: Kit Hopkins, Thilo Röscheisen and Michael Bully Herbig. Web site. Trailer. It’s difficult to stifle our natural tendency to be ourselves, free of the restrictions that limit our personal growth and development. However, efforts to realize the potential behind that can be thwarted when hindrances are intentionally placed before us, keeping us from moving forward. That can become particularly frustrating and burdensome when we allow it to happen, further slowing our progress and perhaps eventually leading to discouragement. [...]

2020-03-12T23:26:08+00:00 March 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Babyteeth’ explores the choices of an uncertain future

“Babyteeth” (2019). Cast: Eliza Scanlen, Ben Mendelsohn, Essie Davis, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Andrea Demetriades, Eugene Gilfedder. Director: Shannon Murphy. Screenplay: Rita Kalnejais. Play: Rita Kalnejais, Babyteeth. Web site. Trailer. If you were up against your own mortality, how would you spend your time? That question might be a little easier to answer for someone who’s somewhat on in years and who has the benefit of a wealth of life experience to draw upon. But, for someone lacking such insight, that decision might be a little more difficult to make; you know you want to get something in under your belt with the time that remains, but the choices may not be readily apparent, given that you’ve never been through [...]

‘To Dust’ wrestles with expectations, obsession

“To Dust” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Géza Röhrig, Matthew Broderick, Leo Heller, Ziv Zaifman, Janet Sarno, Bern Cohen, Ben Hammer, Joseph Siprut, Marceline Hugot, Isabelle Phillips, Natalie Carter, Leanne Michelle Watson. Director: Shawn Snyder. Screenplay: Jason Begue and Shawn Snyder. Web site. Trailer. We all have expectations about how life is supposed to unfold. In fact, we may feel so confident about them that we even take them for granted. But what happens when they don’t materialize as anticipated? That can easily make us uncomfortable, perhaps even unnerved, especially when there are high emotional stakes involved. And, when that process moves forward seemingly unchecked, we may even grow obsessive about these unmet expectations. So it is for a grieving widower [...]

2020-03-08T01:32:52+00:00 March 3rd, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Truth’ urges us to remove the drama from the stage of life

“The Truth” (“le Verità”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, Clémentine Grenier, Manon Clavel, Roger Van Hool, Alain Libolt, Christian Crahay, Ludavigne Sagnier, Sébastien Chassange, Laurent Capelluto, Jackie Berroyer. Director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Web site. Trailer. Drama may have a place in life, but some of us have trouble determining the stage on which it’s most appropriate. Theaters and movie screens are certainly acceptable venues, but, when drama makes its presence felt on the stage of life, it may well have overstepped its bounds. That’s particularly true when it intrudes upon personal relationships, a place where its appearance may be unwanted, if not unhealthy. Such is the case in the long-tense dealings between [...]

2020-02-26T12:36:36+00:00 February 26th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Hottest August’ showcases how to survey the bigger picture

“The Hottest August” (2019). Cast: Clare Coulter (narrator). Director: Brett Story. Web site. Trailer. What does the future hold? That’s a question many of us ask ourselves often, both individually and collectively. But how wide a view do we take when answering it, again, either individually or collectively? That’s a subject addressed in the experimental new documentary, “The Hottest August.” It probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that, when we contemplate the future, we usually do so in terms of how it most directly affects us as individuals or in our peer groups. We think about our homes, our families, our communities, our professions and so forth, the aspects of our lives that have the most immediate impact. [...]

2020-03-26T07:15:44+00:00 February 25th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Knives and Skin’ charts the slow journey out of dysfunction

“Knives and Skin” (2019). Cast: Marika Engelhardt, Raven Whitley, Tim Hopper, Audrey Francis, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Grace Smith, Ty Olwin, James Vincent Meredith, Kate Arrington, Robert T. Cunningham, Kayla Carter, Alex Moss, Jalen Gilbert, Tony Fitzpatrick, Genevieve Venjohnson, Aurora Real De Asua, Ireon Roach, Haley Bolithon. Director: Jennifer Reeder. Screenplay: Jennifer Reeder. Web site. Trailer. When we feel like we’re stuck in a rut, escape seems almost unfathomable. And, the greater the dysfunction associated with that condition, the more onerous the circumstances become. But such conditions need not be an irrevocable sentence, especially if we can find it within us to search for a way forward. These are the challenges of a group of adult and teen residents in a [...]

2020-03-19T09:30:14+00:00 February 22nd, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Ordinary Love’ proves there’s nothing ordinary about it

“Ordinary Love” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville, David Wilmot, Amit Shah, Melanie Clark Pullen, Esh Alladi. Directors: Lisa Barrows D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn. Screenplay: Owen McCafferty. Web site. Trailer. “Love” is a word we often bandy about rather casually without really giving much thought to what’s behind it. That can be unfortunate, since such a practice frequently sells it short, giving us a diminished perspective on what it actually can do. Fortunately, there are tales out there that shed a bright light on the subject, showing us what it can achieve when employed skillfully and deliberately. So it is with the new touching romantic drama, “Ordinary Love.” Middle-aged couple Tom (Liam Neeson) and Joan (Lesley Manville) [...]

2020-03-12T23:24:56+00:00 February 20th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Corpus Christi’ asks, ‘Who speaks for God?’

“Corpus Christi” (“Boże Cialo”) (2019). Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Aleksandra Konieczna, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Zietek, Barbara Kurzaj, Leszek Lichota, Zdislaw Wardejn, Lukasz Simlat. Director: Jan Komasa. Screenplay: Mateusz Pacewicz. Web site. Trailer. Some of us are naturally inclined to feel the power of spirit, to experience its movement through us. As a consequence, we may well want to convey the essence of that divinity to others, especially those in need of comfort or guidance. But is it a practice for which we need the permission of authority figures? Or should we be free to express ourselves, regardless of whether we fulfill the “qualifications” supposedly required for carrying out this mission? Those are among the questions raised in the new fact-based Polish morality [...]

2020-03-03T10:37:02+00:00 February 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|