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The Golden Compass (2007)
Pan's Labrynth and The Goldern Compass
These are two very important films. They both speak to the struggle one faces if he or she is to live an authentic life. Both deal with the subject of defiance towards authority and the dangerous search to reconnect with one's true self. Pan's Ophelia and Lyra, the hero of the Golden Compass, are seen participating in one act of disobedience after another. However, the films remains true to the honesty of such defiance one must be disobedient, but only in the pursuit to obtain obedience to one's own self. I suggest that everyone watch these two films and compare them. If they speak to you, you might find the works of Joseph Campbell do so as well. Their teachings are truly a gift.
The Fountain (2006)
From beginning to end, one of the most quiet movies I have ever seen. Nothing even comes close. It took me 3/4 of the movie to eat my kid's reel meal sized popcorn because every time I put my hand in the bag it could be heard all over the theater. I have read the reviews, and many people loved the film. I tried my best to like it, but it never really reached me. Prehaps it was my mood - I don't know. The male lead role character annoyed me. This could have been the intent of the movie makers. The female lead role was the best part of the film. I liked the action scenes the best. The pace of the film was even but very slow. Production quality was above average. Very little music is used during the entire film.
Lady in the Water (2006)
Listening with something other than our ears.
In the beginning of the film, there are animated figures similar to what one might find on a rock painting in the desert southwest of the U.S. As we come to the last of the series of figurines, which is a person inside a cubicle/cave working on a computer, we are told by the voice over that we have stopped listening. Perhaps one of the reasons for the confusion over this film is because we have lost our connection to mythology - we have forgotten how to listen. So the question arises, how does one speak to an audience that no longer understands the language of symbols? This is what The Lady in Water is trying to do. The language of myth tells us that everyone and everything in the story is one person. All of the different elements, from the characters, the building, the pool, the creatures, and even the sprinklers - everyone and everything - are one character. This character is stuck in a psychological attitude, and the film instructs us how the various elements of the soul struggle so that the hero can become unstuck. If you read the film this way - mythologically - then it makes sense. If, however, you concretize the symbolic elements attempt to read them as facts rather than metaphor - then they lose their meaning and become absurd. After viewing the film, ask yourself which character really is the one who was stuck and what happened in the story so that they became unstuck? Then ask yourself what the seemingly disparate elements and characters represented in this one single character. The symbolic language of myths speaks to a place that transcends the human mind. Accordingly, if we are to hear the wisdom of their message, then we must learn to listen with something other than our ears.
Garçon stupide (2004)
Sensitive Look Inside a Soul
This film took me into another country and into another world. It is a sensitive exploration of a young man trying to get his needs met the only ways he knows how. Luic, the young protagonist, is sorely lacking in his ability to cultivate the potential for relationships that appear in his life. The longing and hunger for emotional connection is powerfully expressed throughout the film. I wanted the young man to reach out to the other characters in the film, and the frustration I felt echoed that of Luic's. Obviously, he did not develop meaningful relationships in his childhood. And this has placed him inside a glass fortress of his own design. The filmmaker captures the human suffering associated with the conflict between our needful souls and our quest to live a life that speaks to those needs. I look forward to more films from this young director.