Litebeing’s Guide to the Movies

https://commons.wikimedia.org
Alabama Theatre

 

In honor of the Oscars, I had to showcase some of my favorite spiritually themed films. Some of my choices are more obscure, and therefore less well-known. A few are controversial (big surprise!) while others are more mainstream, crowd pleasers.

Here’s an alphabetical list with my brief critiques below, enjoy!

Bee Season  (2005)

This movie stars Richard Gere who mentors his daughter while his family falls apart.  It was adapted from the book Bee Season about a young girl’s quest to win a spelling bee. It is a tale about both mysticism and alienation.

 

The Blue Bird  ( 1940)

I first stumbled onto this Shirley Temple feature as a child and was mesmerized by this story about the search for the bluebird of happiness. The way in which the future was characterized was both otherworldly and heart wrenching   The memory of this magical realm stayed with me for years and was just as captivating during a recent viewing.

 

City of Angels  (1998)

This story about an Angel who risks everything for the woman he loves stars Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage. The performances of the two principles are both soulful and nuanced.

 

 Close Encounters of the Third Kind  (1977)

This Steven Spielberg classic highlighted the theme of interconnection long before Babel, Crash, and Traffic and also demystified the concept of life on other planets. When I initially saw this film, I wondered if Spielberg was trying to prepare us for the possibility of some visitors! See it again with new eyes.

 

Cloud Atlas  (2012)

(  The last 4 digits of the URL are 1111, hmmmm. )

This was adapted from the book Cloud Atlas and features an ensemble cast whose multiple characters permeate each other’s orbits through time and space. It is a stunningly complex epic that left me enthralled long after the final credits. Incredible work by Halle Berry and Tom Hanks, supported by spectacular costumes, sets, and special effects.

 

Contact (1997)

Jodie Foster plays a lonely  scientist who seeks out communication from the cosmos and meets a charismatic theologian in Matthew  McConaughey along the way. David Morse’s performance as her father is noteworthy. Fabulous use of special effects adds to the appeal.

 

Defending Your Life ( 1991 )

This funny yet poignant story about the afterlife features Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks.  Shirley MacLaine discusses reincarnation in a cameo role. The plot focuses on the impact of love and fear on one’s evolution. Wonder if the writers read  A Course in Miracles ?

 

 Groundhog Day ( 1993 )

Bill Murray does what he does best as he tries to win Andi MacDowell’s heart on Groundhog’s Day.    After I watched the movie a few times, I was able to recognize the gradual soul development of Bill Murray’s character. There is more here than meets the eye.

 

 Heaven Can Wait  ( 1978 )

Warren Beatty is luminous as the football player who dies before his time in this remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan. His chemistry with Julie Christie here really makes the difference.

 

  Made in Heaven ( 1987 )

This is another love story starring Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis. They meet in the afterlife and are forced to find each other again on Earth before Timothy Hutton’s character turns thirty. His real wife at the time , Debra Winger, plays God. Two souls head out on separate heroes’ journeys in order to have a chance to reunite. Watch for the surprise cameos along the way!

 

  The Last Temptation of Christ ( 1988 )

I love Martin Scorsese so maybe I am a bit biased but I adored this over the top interpretation of the life of Christ based on the adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s novel . It is brilliantly acted by Willem Dafoe and thoughtfully depicts his inner struggle as he gradually comes to accept his divinity and ultimate fate.

 

 The Sixth Sense ( 1999 )

One of Bruce Willis’s best performances and shot in Philly to boot! If you haven’t seen it yet, the ending will blow you away. I would consider this film a modern-day classic.

 

 Sliding Doors ( 1998 )

This is a tale of parallel universes starring Gwyneth Paltrow as a young woman who makes different choices about her fate. It is a clever take on the road not traveled.

 

 Somewhere in Time  ( 1980 )

One of my favorites about reincarnation and time travel with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.  I especially liked Jane Seymour in this role as she seems to me to be from a previous era. Christopher Reeves also shows more dramatic range and magnetism that is less obvious in later roles. The story’s pace is nuanced yet compelling as you are transfixed by a stunning score, enchanting sets, and strong chemistry between the two leads.  A truly romantic treasure.

 

  Vanilla Sky ( 2001 )

Although I am not a Tom Cruise fan, I think he is fabulous as this cocky rich kid caught up in this trippy murder mystery. Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz are both excellent as the women in this enchanted love triangle. The ending was so incredible that I had to watch it over and over again to put the pieces together. Stunning visuals and great soundtrack by director Cameron Crowe’s ex-wife Nancy Wilson.

 

  Waking Life  ( 2001 )

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers and it is very cool that he took on the topic of lucid dreaming. Yes it is very conversational, but this animated feature is thought-provoking and highly recommended for anyone interested in dream exploration.

 

  What Dreams May Come ( 1998 )

This movie is an emotional roller coaster ride about suicide and the afterlife starring Robin Williams, Anabella Sciorra, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Using spectacular visuals based on Sciorra’s character’s paintings, you are taken on a journey of wonder, awe, and triumph. This is an intense story about tragedy and redemption.

 

What the Bleep Do We Know !?  ( 2004 )

Quantum physics, basketball,a Polish wedding, and a woman’s transformation; this is the cosmic voyage of What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? ( or What the Bleep Do We Know!? ) This extraordinary film incorporates interviews with scientists and thought leaders into a scripted tale of a woman played by Marlee Matlin who is trying to get on with her life after a marital crisis. It was panned by some critics and applauded by others . I really am amazed that this film was able to get a distributor and reach as many people as it did. The DVD version can be programmed to shuffle the scenes randomly. This cult phenomenon has to be seen to be believed!!

  Zardoz  ( 1974 )

What would it be like if you could not die? Zardoz attempts to give you a perspective on eternal life on Earth. It is a somewhat cheesy take on The Wizard of Oz with a 1970’s mentality. I found the premise fascinating, despite its flaws.

 

  Tell me about your favorite spiritual movies. What elements speak to you the most? :

Do you prefer sweeping cinematography, computer generated special effects, or an  artfully crafted screenplay carefully translated onto the screen?

What  role does the score and soundtrack play in your choices?

Classic black and white or strikingly vivid Technicolor?

Comedy, drama, documentary, fantasy, animated, sci-fi, , thriller, or mystery?

theatre image by https://commons.wikimedia.org

Collisions and Mortadella

By jeffreyw (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreyww/6315153551/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 
Here’s another precious little gem about synchronicity and trusting your gut. Yesterday I am driving up to Willow Grove to run errands. This all started because on Wednesday I order mortadella at the deli counter at my local supermarket. Mortadella is bologna on steroids, a rich garlicky meat studded with pistachios. I first tried it in Italy and have been enamored with it ever since.

The deli guy says ” We don’t sell it anymore , we end up throwing it away.” I reply ” I came here just for the mortadella.” An elderly lady loudly declares ” You must go to Sam’s Italian Market.” She said it’s somewhere in Willow Grove. Later while shopping she finds me again and tells me to watch my purse in the shopping cart! I thanked her and I knew from previous experience to listen to “strangers” offering sage advice.

So I google Sam’s Italian Market and discover it is near Barnes and Noble. ( Regular readers know about me and bookstores!!) So I am deciding how to best arrange my errands. I have several places to go and I want to be mindful of the mileage and the impending snowfall. I am really aware of the traffic delays while on the road. I have noticed this the past few days: it may be due to Saturn stationing ( Saturn which often represents delays and time itself, is preparing to go into retrograde mode and slowing down to a temporary but powerful halt, which is called a station.)

So I am beginning to get a bit anxious about completing my errands as quickly as possible. I am really struggling about whether to go to the bookstore first or the market. And on top of it all, I have to use the bathroom. Eventually I conclude that I will go to the bookstore. Finding a parking space is really contentious, seems to be the theme of this week for me. So I head into Barnes and Noble and see a woman coming out of the doorway. I remember what Marianne Williamson, author, activist, and teacher of The Course In Miracles says, ( paraphrase) ” Wherever you go, wherever you are, blast the place and people with love!” So I immediately made eye contact and smiled at this woman. She beamed a big smile back and approached me. ” Don’t I know you?” She is a former co-worker who was thought to have left the country permanently to return back to South Africa. We embraced , spoke briefly, and wished each other well. I thought to myself ” What is it with me and Barnes and Noble lately??”

I tell this tale because it reinforces that everything does happen for a reason and timing IS everything. I listened to the old lady at the counter. I listened to my intuition about going to the bookstore first, despite the fact that I was driving a bit out-of-the-way on my route. What matters is that the woman was leaving Barnes and Nobles and if I had found a parking spot quickly or more conveniently located, I probably would have missed this encounter. I am beginning to find that there is even more to consider than the beauty of these ” chance” encounters. My sense is that they come into your life to jar you into remembering who you really are. We are all interconnected. I have had this happen to me hundreds of times but I am sharing these tales because it is important to be awake!

 

http://www.imageafter.com/

 

Please share your stories of synchronicity with me! I am close to 400 views. This is beyond awesome. Let me take this moment to thank all of my views, likes, and follows. When I hit 400, who knows, perhaps a party is in store. In the meantime, remember to blast love everywhere and be kinder while driving. And think of me when I sit down to enjoy the ultimate mortadella hoagie!

see related post: https://lindalitebeing.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/calendars-and-collisions/

mortadella sandwich image by jeffreyw (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffreyww/6315153551/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

spiral by http://www.imageafter.com/

Musings – Subtle Beginnings

Wikipedia commons public domain

 

I typically get a few poinsettia plants each holiday season. While I did not grow up with Christmas, I always enjoyed Christmas trees, holly, and such. My favorite thing about poinsettia are the wondrous assortment of color combinations. Like most if not all life forms, each one is unique. I also am grateful for their resilience. Despite my history with plants, they tend to thrive in my care. I usually have better luck with animals than plants, but relish the color and festivity of poinsettia. This year I found a standard red plant, full and bright. Although it has lost some of its leaves, it is still holding court on my dining room table.  

A few days ago while watering my friend and clearing out the dead leaves, I noticed a few tiny green sprouts at the top of the plant. Have I never noticed these before? They are so tiny and delicate but loaded with possibility.  I felt many emotions in this moment; surprise, astonishment, humility, gratitude, and awe.

I had a sudden shift in perspective, a mini epiphany.  If everything in the material world can be seen as a metaphor, (the answer is yes) then this lovely poinsettia is teaching me about development. One must rid a plant of dead leaves in order to encourage growth.  Also nurture the new leaves, no matter how minute. Sometimes I focus much more on what is dying or disintegrating than what is bursting forth.

 

By Frank Vincentz (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Do you?

These questions come to mind when one is contemplating elevating their awareness.

Do you take care of your Self when taking on a new challenge?

Do you know when some creative spark is being neglected?

Are you more likely to dwell on obstacles and negativity in the midst of change?

What needs to be discarded from your life in order to go forward?

Do you place more value on history or novelty?

 

first image courtesy of wikipedia.org

second image by  Frank Vincentz (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Happy February!! Why Astrology Works- A Biased View

Solar_system

 

This brief  “rant” is to help the uninitiated understand why I love astrology. This love is illogical, unscientific, and 100 percent biased. Long before I owned an ephemeris or even knew such a thing existed, February was my favorite month of the year. Even though I don’t particularly love winter. Even though I was born in November. When I was a kid, most of my close friends were born within a few days of each other during the beginning of February. I met my teenage crush on February 1st and for a while considered it an unofficial holiday.  My first serious boyfriend was born on February 5th and one of my most magical romances began on Thursday, February 4th. (love the phonetic symmetry)

Once I began taking formal astrology classes and attending astrological lectures, I learned how to properly calculate my astrological chart ( the days before we had computers!!) . Then I discovered that I am an Aquarius Rising. It basically means that the sun enters my first house every year approximately between February 4th and February 6th. For the astrologers reading this, I approximate because I have altered my documented birth-time by a few minutes to correspond better with life events. No one is usually born at 1:00 pm on the dot!!

Why I am posting this ” rant” ? Because I am feeling the pre- ascendant energy take shape! I love the electricity that accompanies the transition from the 12th house to the 1st, the darkness to the light, the hidden to the brightly illuminated. It is truly a rebirth.

 

Aqr

constellation Aquarius

 
Happy Birthday to all my  February Aquarius friends . Come celebrate the coolest shortest month on our calendar. And to those who don’t get astrology, pay attention to when you come back to life. It may surprise you!

 

first image courtesy of  http://commons.wikimedia.org

second image courtesy of By Roberto Mura (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons