/Conscious Creation

Thoughts on the Moment

Recent events on both a national and global scale have given me pause to reflect on where we are and where we might be going. There are no easy answers, and opinions likely vary widely, depending on one’s own particular circumstances. As a consequence, this time in history could turn out to be a great tragedy – or a tremendous opportunity. This question is, “Which will we choose?” While pondering these matters, it dawned on me that I addressed this subject several years ago in the Epilogue to my most recent book, Third Real: Conscious Creation Goes Back to the Movies. At the time, events were well on the path to spinning out of control, but circumstances were nothing like [...]

2020-07-31T10:20:32+00:00 June 22nd, 2020|Conscious Creation|

‘The New Bauhaus’ dissects the creative process

“The New Bauhaus” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Interviews: Olafur Eliasson, Elizabeth Siegel, Joyce Tsai, Robin Schuldenfrei, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Barbara Kasten. Archive Material: László Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Walter Gropius. Director: Alysa Nahmias. Screenplay: Alysa Nahmias and Miranda Yousef. Web site. Trailer. A Chinese fortune cookie I once cracked open imparted a simple but inspiring message, “There is no greater joy than creation.” Those words have stayed with me for years, and I’m always moved when I see comparable sentiments expressed through other means. And, in that vein, a recently released film echoes that notion through a portrait of an individual whose calling epitomizes that very idea, the central figure profiled in the engaging new documentary, “The New [...]

2020-07-30T09:56:36+00:00 June 17th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Balloon’ examines the beauty, and difficulty, of choice

“Balloon” (“Qi Qui”) (2019). Cast: Jinpa, Sonan Wangmo, Yangshik Tso, Druklha Darja, Palden Nyima, Konchok, Kunda. Director: Pema Tseden. Screenplay: Pema Tseden. Web site. Trailer. We all value having choices in our lives, especially when they offer us a variety of pleasant outcomes. But what happens when we’re presented with options that seemingly hold no appeal, regardless of what we choose? We may feel like we have our backs up against the wall, unable to decide what to do. However, through it all, we must never lose sight of the fact that our power of choice is always with us, a paradox examined in the new Chinese cinematic fable, “Balloon” (“Qi Qui”). In 1979, the People’s Republic of China adopted [...]

2020-07-16T11:32:55+00:00 June 16th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Spider’ spins a troubling web of truth

“Spider” (“Araña”) (2019). Cast: María Valverde, Mercedes Morán, Gabriel Urzúa, Felipe Armas, Pedro Fontaine, Marcelo Alonso, María Gracia Omegna, Mario Horton. Director: Andrés Wood. Screenplay: Guillermo Calderón. Web site. Trailer. Truth can be a powerful weapon, one that can both avenge wrongs and operate as a force of devastating destruction, sometimes simultaneously. The power associated with it can have tremendous ramifications and in a variety of contexts. And, when evidence of truth in both its aspects surfaces, the implications can be staggering. So it is for three individuals whose stories are rooted in the past and thought forgotten until they’re unexpectedly revived in the present, an intense saga depicted in the taut Chilean political thriller, “Spider” (“Araña”). In 1970, socialist [...]

2020-07-04T05:26:19+00:00 June 13th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Papicha’ showcases the rewards of risk

“Papicha” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Yasin Houicha, Marwan Zeghbib, Zahra Doumandji, Meriem Medjkrane, Samir El Hakim, Nadia Kaci, Lina Boudraa, Khaled Benaissa, Malek Ghellamat. Director: Mounia Meddour. Screenplay: Mounia Meddour and Fadette Drouard. Web site. Trailer. Taking risks can be a scary prospect, and the bigger the risk, the greater the potential peril. However, the same is true when it comes to the prospective rewards involved. Of course, it takes considerable resolve to face such conditions, but that’s entirely possible, as showcased in the inspiring new period piece drama, “Papicha.” For those who lived through the perils of the 1990s Algerian Civil War – a time that came to be called “the [...]

2020-06-30T10:33:59+00:00 June 11th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘A White, White Day’ traverses the obscure fringes of reality

“A White, White Day” (“Hvítur, hvítur dagur”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Ída Mekkin Hylnsdôttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdôttir, Björn Ingi Hilmarsson, Elma Stefania Agustsdottir, Haraldur Stefansson, Laufey Elíasdôttir, Sigurður Sigurjônsson, Arnmundur Ernst Björnsson, þor Hrafnsson Tulinius. Director: Hylnur Palmason. Screenplay: Hylnur Palmason. Web site. Trailer. Feeling unsettled is one of the worst frames of mind in which we can find ourselves. We know something is genuinely disturbing us, but we can’t pinpoint exactly what. We might become restless or ornery and not even be able to say why. And, try as we might to determine the cause of this malaise, we’re often still left without an answer – that is, until we look deeper [...]

2020-06-22T08:04:28+00:00 June 7th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Alice’ colorfully examines the process of starting over

“Alice” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Jules Milo Levy Mackerras, Chlöé Boreham, Ariana Rodriguez Giraldo, Juliette Tresanini, Christophe Favre, Philippe de Monts, David Coburn. Robert Burns, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Marie Coulonjou, Marine Blake (voice). Director: Josephine Mackerras. Screenplay: Josephine Mackerras. Web site. Trailer. Life sure seems unfair at times. We may think we’ve got it made when, all of a sudden, everything evaporates before our very eyes. We might be shattered (and rightfully so), unsure of where to turn next. However, such a turning point could be one of the best things to ever befall us, a scenario explored in the new French domestic drama, “Alice.” From all appearances, Alice Ferrand (Emilie Piponnier) leads a stable, contented, reasonably [...]

2020-06-17T13:32:53+00:00 June 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Far From the Tree’ explores the extension of our roots

“Far From the Tree” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Andrew Solomon, Jason Kingsley, Emily Perl Kingsley, Jack Allnutt, Amy Allnutt, Bob Allnutt, Loini Vivao, Leah Smith, Joseph A. Stramondo, Howard Solomon, John Habich Solomon, Derek Reese, Lisa Reese, Tyler Reese, Rebecca Reese, Charles Kingsley (archive footage). Directors: Rachael Dretzin and Jamila Ephron. Book: Andrew Solomon, Far from the Tree. Web site. Trailer. When a couple settles down to start raising children, the parents-to-be generally assume that everything is going to turn out “normal,” that their hopes and wishes for the typical “mainstream” family are going to materialize free of challenges and difficulties. But what happens when things don’t pan out as expected? Significant differences in any number of areas, from physical [...]

2020-06-16T10:20:20+00:00 May 27th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘To the Stars’ charts the emergence from one’s shell

“To the Stars” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Kara Hayward, Liana Liberato, Adelaide Clemens, Malin Akerman, Tony Hale, Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham, Lucas Jade Zumann, Madisen Beaty, Lauren Ashley Stephenson, Sophi Bairley, Tina Parker, Matt Coulson, Natalie Canerday, Doug Jackson. Director: Martha Stephens. Screenplay: Shannon Bradley-Colleary. Web site. Trailer. Adolescence is seldom an easy time for many of us. It’s an age of exploration and experimentation, a period when we examine the world and ourselves to see how we mesh together. The fit isn’t always exact, though, particularly when our authentic selves differ significantly from what we see around us. It often prompts us to retreat into our shells, sometimes covering our eyes in the process as we struggle to [...]

2020-06-13T18:58:39+00:00 May 19th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|