… on… immigration/closed borders….

ELLIS (review).
The film is currently available as a digital rent or purchase through Amazon.com and in iTunes.   The soundtrack is also available in CD/LP and download direct through https://www.erasedtapes.com/store

Ellis (2015 film trailer)

In a time of unbridled protectionism and closed borders – this short film stands out and serves purpose to pin-prick a reconsidation of our fears and get in touch with the human story of hope and immigration. It is beautifully envisioned by the French writer/director/artist JR and features Robert DeNiro, who is from Italian immigrant heritage. DeNiro’s narration is both passionate, reflective, evocative and The film is billed as a “short film” – so don’t let the 14+ minute length dissuade you from the beauty it embraces. Just consider it a long-form music video.

Filmed on Ellis Island (next to the small island where the Statue of Liberty stands) with its abandoned buildings still intact. The artist JR has transformed the location with immigrant images (by both well-known and unknown photographers). That it was filmed in winter perhaps best illuminates the difficulty immigrants face in their life-altering decision to leave everything behind and relocate to build lives elsewhere.

The score is by French music and video artist, Woodkid and German electronica and neo-classical composer/performer Nils Frahm. The score is a perfect complement to the images and spoken word weaving into the fabric of the film a beautiful emotional context that enhances the viewing experience.   While some soundtracks  aggressively drive the story (think of moments in Star Wars) – the best soundtracks, like this one, provide an addition supportive element that buoyantly allows the story to flow in the current of its timeline.

It makes me think that while some people may come to harm us – they are the minority. We need to re-open our borders for the majority in response to the purity of journey. Because an immigrants journey IS the American journey. It cannot be separated. The fears by those who oppose immigration of crime, terrorism, disease, the perceived unfair competition and the general “unknown do NOT cease to exist when borders are closed. Problems still exist whether borders are closed, or not, and can be dealt with in a humane way.
So, whether you are opposed to all immigration, selected immigration or in favor of open borders to welcome all races, genders, ages, beliefs regardless of income and social status – then let this film inspire thought, questions and lead you to explore all possible answers.

Immigration is about people, not things.  The people who emmigrate are taking a greater risk than those they will meet at their point of destination.

… on… time….

2012 Marking Time
I’ve been fascinated with concepts of time and our perceptions of it. I just saw this wonderful film that is an artful exploration of the subject of time.
It is titled THE END OF TIME by Peter Mettler…. It is mostly image and music but there is some spoken word. And wow, the spoken word has so many quotable quotes I would just say watch the whole movie. Here is a trailer to entice you.

Did you know that the root word for time and weather is the same in many languages? With that in mind here are eight questions and possible answers arranged in an hourglass shape.

Q: Are you rushing because you are Late?
A: I am getting wet.

Q: Do you like the hot afternoon sun?
A: It is 3PM.

Q: Are you really 85 years old?
A: The sun is setting.

Q: What time is it?
A: It is snowing.

Q: What time is dinner?
A: The wind is blowing.

Q: Where is the sun rising?
A: The dawn comes early.

Q: When does the moon rise?
A: The temperature is dropping.

Q: Do you have the time?
A: Can’t you see the clouds in the sky?

… on… harry dean stanton….

Well we lost another favorite actor today. Harry Dean Stanton (July 14, 1926 – September 15, 2017) was an American actor, musician, and singer. In my humble opinion one of the finest character actors of all time. I first saw him in Wim Wenders classic film PARIS, TEXAS. Ever since then I have sought out his work. He is always interesting. His characterizations have a level of reality and tangibility that few actors can match. He had a long life and great career. May he rest in peace. Here are clips/trailers of some of my favorite films which feature his work. But first the trailer of the biopic documentary about his life PARTLY FICTION.

… on… madness….

The Madness Of King George – a great film regarding the subject of George III King of England who suffered the indignity of insanity. He ruled England at the time of the American Revolution and was largely blamed for losing the colonies. This film is even more chilling when viewed again in the context of a Donald Trump Presidency. Lately there has been a rising chorus of those who question Trump’s sanity, mental stability in executing his office as President. Could we witness a replay of this scene in some fashion here in America in the 21st century? I can imagine this dialogue all to well between Trump and Doctors, “I am the President”…..”No Sir! You are the patient”.

… on… film analysis….

I’m a real fan of film analysis.  Films are more than just escapist entertainment and in many ways are the modern mythologies of our time.   So analyzing these films seems a necessary informative way to gain new understanding of our own cultural mythology.

This video is probably one of the best analysis I have ever seen.   If you haven’t seen the film yet that’s okay – this will be a good primer that will enhance your viewing experience.

Enjoy this video criticism for the film CHILDREN OF MEN [2006] – Dir. Alfonso Cuaron.

and here’s the trailer

… on … GREAT movies about art works

GREAT movies about specific art works you may have missed.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s THE WAY TO CALVARY in Lech Majewski’s THE MILL AND THE CROSS.


Rembrandts NIGHTWATCH in Peter Greenaway’s NIGHTWATCHING

…on Elia Kazan….

A great documentary about the man behind the camera and behind the typewriter. For Years I have been a fan of Elia Kazan’s films: AMERICA AMERICA, ON THE WATERFRONT, BABY DOLL, FACE IN THE CROWD, BOOMERANG, PANIC IN THE STREETS and EAST OF EDEN (just to name a few of my personal favorites). Enjoy this enlightening and inspiring documentary about a complex creative writer/director.

 

Good and Evil

*** note:  This post was first blogged on my other blog mobius faith imaging.   Since this blog will be about my spiritual and philosophical ideas It seemed an appropriate first post.

While I am an artist there are many things that inspire me and give me energy.   Music, Film, Nature and Mysticism.    There are times when I am in this meditative space where time seems to slow down.   A time/space when that which is normally solid and concrete becomes fluid and dynamic.  A time that leaves me feeling paradoxically exhausted, rested and energized.  While this doesn’t happen often – last night was one such time.   The following is the fruit of that time.

Many people want to think of God as all good and that God would never do any evil.   But I wonder if that’s true.   There are instances in the Jewish and Christian Bibles where God says he will “work evil…”  If that’s so then God is not only the God of Good but also the God of Evil.   God is not Good OR Evil he is the totality of Good AND Evil.   God cannot be divided.   God is the ultimate non-duality.    It is humanity and religion specifically that try to divide God.  And see Evil as something that must be eliminated.
While evil can be defeated it can never be eliminated.   So that next thing is how to defeat evil.   All that is evil can only be defeated when we recognize the capacity for evil within each of us.   We both hold the secrets of good and evil.   After all that was the whole point of the story of the Garden of Eden.   Humanity had consumed the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.    It has been with us from the beginning.

When we recognize the ways we can be evil and accept it – evil has no power over us.  It is always there.   It is always waiting for us to forget or deny its existence.  It’s always waiting for us, goading us and trying to get us to fight it.   Evil feeds on fear, pride and hate.  And when that happens — well — Shit happens!

And it’s not about control.   We cannot control evil.  We can only balance it with Good.  Co-existence.

The evil we see in others is the same evil that is within us.
Example :   Who am I to judge a murderer?  The evil in that person who murders is the same evil in me when I enjoy saying, “he had it coming to him.”   Just because I chose not to murder doesn’t mean I am less evil or that evil doesn’t exist within me.   It just means that I didn’t murder someone.  The person who murders has the same power as me to create or defeat evil.

Recognize the evil within you
Forgive yourself and others
Be at peace
Love yourself and others
Be the balance
You and I were created in the image of God
We hold within us the seeds of the totality of Good and Evil.