/Conscious Creation

A Look Back at a Sci-fi Classic

Recently, a terrific 2018 article from Popular Mechanics magazine has been circulating social media telling the back story about a little-known and often-overlooked sci-fi classic from 1983, “Brainstorm” (web site, trailer). The film, which almost didn’t make it to the big screen, became somewhat infamous before its release, having earned the somewhat dubious distinction as being known as actress Natalie Woods’s last film (she died during a mysterious drowning incident off Catalina Island during a break from shooting shortly before the picture’s completion). Were it not for the persevering efforts of director Douglas Trumbull to see the project through, “Brainstorm” never would have seen the light of day. And, even at that, the film was a box office flop, despite [...]

‘Someone Somewhere’ helps us to find others by finding ourselves

“Someone Somewhere” (“Deux moi”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: François Civil, Ana Girardot, Camille Cottin, François Berléand, Simon Abkarian, Eye Haidara, Rebecca Marder, Pierre Niney, Paul Hamy, Maria Bunel, Patrick d’Assumçao, Vincent Scalera, Emmanuelle Bouaziz, Quentin Faure, Jeanne Arènes, Michel Lerousseau, Dady Saint-Thomas, Jessé Rémond Lacroix, Hamza Ouechtati. Director: Cédric Klapisch. Screenplay: Santiago Amigorena and Cédric Klapisch. Web site. Trailer. Being alone can be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences any of us can endure. The sense of loneliness frequently weighs heavily on us when we’re uninvolved; the lack of attachment, of connection, eats away at us and leaves us emotionally empty. What’s often worse, though, is having such an experience and not even realizing why we feel the way [...]

2020-06-07T22:59:56+00:00 May 7th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Bacurau’ showcases the virtues of standing one’s ground

“Bacurau” (“Nighthawk”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira, Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Thardelly Lima, Rubens Santos, Wilson Rabelo, Carlos Francisco, Luciana Souza, Márcio Fecher, Jr. Black, Val Junior, Lia de Itamaracá, Karine Teles, Antonio Saboia, Jamila Fecury, Jonny Mars, Alli Willow, James Turpin, Julia Marie Peterson, Brian Townes, Charles Hodges, Chris Doubek, Buda Lira, Fabiola Líper. Director: Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho. Screenplay: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles. Web site. Trailer. The impact of bullies has gained wider recognition in recent years. In most instances, this increased attention has focused on the detriment to individuals, but it can just as readily affect groups and entire communities, even if these situations don’t garner the same [...]

2020-06-06T04:12:03+00:00 April 17th, 2020|Action-Adventure, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Sorry We Missed You’ charts the challenges of starting over

“Sorry We Missed You” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone, Katie Proctor, Ross Brewster, Charlie Richmond, Julian Ions, Sheila Dunkerley, Maxie Peters, Christopher John Slater, Heather Wood, Alberto Dumba, Natalia Stonebanks, Jordan Collard. Director: Ken Loach. Screenplay: Paul Laverty. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever been so dissatisfied with your circumstances that you were willing to take drastic steps to change them? And, if so, have you ever subsequently found yourself no more fulfilled afterward, despite high hopes going in? What next? Do you formulate yet another new plan, or do you reconcile yourself to the futility of trying and give up on starting over? That’s a tough call, especially for the discouraged, but it’s [...]

2020-05-27T18:44:01+00:00 April 15th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Extra Ordinary’ urges us to broaden our horizons

“Extra Ordinary” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O’Doherty, Jamie Beamish, Terri Chandler, Risteard Cooper, Emma Coleman, Mary McEvoy, Jon Cheung, Jed Murray, Aggie Ellis. Directors: Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman. Screenplay: Mike Ahern, Demian Fox, Maeve Higgins and Ena Loughman. Web site. Trailer. At times, it feels like the world around us is shrinking (especially these days). But, if anything, it would be to our benefit in many ways to explore and embrace a broader view, one that expands our horizons and helps us to consider a wider range of possibilities. After all, we might never know what could come from such an effort unless we try, including in areas of our lives [...]

2020-05-19T05:19:27+00:00 April 9th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘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”). [...]

2020-05-17T00:01:02+00:00 March 26th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, 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 [...]

2020-05-07T09:27:22+00:00 March 19th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, 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. [...]

2020-05-05T11:22:54+00:00 March 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, 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 [...]

2020-04-17T06:53:20+00:00 March 8th, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘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 [...]

2020-04-15T17:32:03+00:00 March 3rd, 2020|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|