I had such fun with yesterday’s list post, and I learned so more about my friend Cathy and her hopes, that I thought I’d do another. This time list the movies you watch over and over again and why.

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

It’s a Wonderful Life – i totally relate to George Bailey – big dreams of doing great things only to find that I’m an average guy, with an average life, doing average things – when Jimmy Stewart’s characters says “I’m shaking the dust of this crummy little town off my shoes and I’m gonna see the world. Then, I’ll go to college, see what they know, then I’m going to build things, big things…that was me at 17 when i left home to seek my fame and fortune! On the positive side, It’s a Wonderful Life helps me remember that everything touches everything else and I wouldn’t be who i am today without all of the interactions I’ve had with people who have come in and out of my life…however briefly.

 

 

 

Trading Places – on top of being a very funny movie with Eddie Murphy at his best, it’s also a reminder to me that one day your Billy Ray (down on your luck, bum) the next day you’re William. Or vice versa, one day you’re Louis Winthrop the 3rd (everything is going for you – you have the killer job, hotwife, plenty of money) the next day your Louie (flat broke, homeless, a hooker for a girlfriend).

 

 

 

 

Last of the Mohicans – makes me run faster and train harder whenever i play the soundtrack of this movie in my head. It inspires me to live with purpose and intent, and to be intense in pursuit of what i want, no matter the cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossroads – i love the blues, i love the lines, and Joe Seneca’s character, Willie Brown is the king of verbal aphorisms like ‘a man ain’t no man ain’t got no car’ or ‘blues ain’t nothing but a good man feeling bad thinking about the woman he left behind.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Samurai – I’m always a sucker for a good warrior movie that emphasizes true warriorship and the deep connection to spirit the true warrior has to have to be a fully realised human being. I love the samurai and the Bushido Code – do everything as if it is the last time you’ll ever get to do it…kiss partner like its the last time you’ll ever kiss them (because one day it will be) that’s intense!

 

 

 

 

 

Point Break – not Kenau Reeves finest acting hour, but it’s one Patrick Swayze’s best in my opinion. I love the who surfing as a spiritual quest motif and the whole adrenaline junkie live free or die mentality, as Brodie, original Bodhvitsta says, “it’s not a tragedy dying doing something you love.” Conjures up that longing inside of me to be that passionate about something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Pie – When I’m feeling overly nostalgic for the good old days when the world was my oyster and me and my homies were masters of the universe and obsessed with getting wasted and getting laid.

 

 

 

 

 

American Beauty – There have been huge stretches in time in my life, particularly my early 40s where I was Lester Burnham – There are so many great lines in this movie:

Look at me, jerking off in the shower — this will be the high point of my day. It’s all downhill from here.

It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.

Our marriage is just for show. A commercial for how normal we are when we’re anything but.

And my absolute favorite line:

Both my wife and daughter think I’m this gigantic loser and they’re right, I have lost something. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I know I didn’t always feel this… sedated. But you know what? It’s never too late to get it back.

When I watch this movie, I feel like Lester, desperate to be passionate about life, to really, truly feel alive in the moment. The rhythm of eat, work, sleep – rinse and repeat, where every day is pretty much the same as the day before. Even now, my day today was no different from yesterday, and I suspect tomorrow will be the same as today on the whole. It’s beyond mundane and repetitive.

So which movies to you watch and over and over again? Write a post and tag me in it or leave your thoughts in the comments.

Looks like the new Joker movie has opened to some controversy:

But “Joker” is also causing deep unease. Some people, including a few rank-and-file employees on the Warner Bros. lot, worry that the violent, hyper-realistic movie is potentially dangerous — that rather than critiquing the societal failings that have given rise to America’s mass-shooter crisis, the film legitimizes such atrocities and could provoke more of them.

I haven’t seen it yet, so no spoilers here. What I’m finding fascinating is people’s reactions, one of empathy, toward the main character which I think is bound to happen when a villian is cast in the lead role. In story structure, we’re used to the main character being the hero of the story, especially in comic book movies.  But of course it gets crazy when people let the emotiveness of a movie spill over into real life. The FBI have sounded the alarm:

Amid the critical praise are scorching reviews that use words like “irresponsible.” The F.B.I. has warned about ugly online chatter surrounding “Joker,” prompting the police in cities including New York and Los Angeles to step up theater security and reigniting the debate over First Amendment rights versus Hollywood accountability. Relatives and friends of those killed during the 2012 movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., sent a letter to Warner Bros. expressing disquiet over “Joker” and its empathetic depiction of the character.

Warner Bros says it was not their intention to hold Joker up as a hero. They just wanted to make a gritty film with edge:

It was very much the intention, however, to make an audacious, boundary-pushing movie — one that could cut through the deluge of Netflix-Amazon-YouTube streaming content and get people out to movie theaters to buy tickets. When in doubt, sharpen the edges

I like the Joker as a character when he’s philosophically contrasted against Batman, especially as Nolan’s portrayed as a pure agent of Chaos, above and beyond the concepts of good and evil.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Joker’s re-invented backstory developed in a modern context.

Link: ‘Joker’ Movie Is a Risk, but a Calculated One, for Warner Bros.


 

“I was blind but now I can see!”

There’s a couple, two, three things going on with me at the moment. I’m standing at the crossroads where I have to decide whether I want to turn inward and go on another journey of personal transformation to see if indeed I can transcend previous versions of myself.

Or should I turn outward and re-engage with life in 3D, something I’ve been thinking about more and more as I fall deeper and deeper into the cyber-void.

The Internet is real life. Of that, I have no doubt. But I do believe we are missing something vital – something that connects with the life all around us. It’s becoming a cliche to say that people have their faces buried in their phones a good majority of the day. But it’s true.  Heck, next time you go into town, or if you’re in town now, take a look around you and notice how many people are looking at the phones right now.

Something in me wants to rebel against the trend, to reconnect with the world around me in a physical sense, to notice how blue the sky really is or the bumble bee climbing down the small hole in the middle of my garden.

I was two seconds away from going all in on the physical world and then I stumbled up a Psyche and Cinema video on Youtube called Consciousness and Transcendence. Basically what these guys do is analyze short clips from movies using Jungian psychology as the filter for their analysis. I’ve always found using popular culture as a mechanism for discussing philosophy, or in this case, psychodynamics to be useful. Pop culture makes it easier (and more fun) for us simple old infantryman types to understand.

For a conversation on consciousness and transcendence, they used the film Limitless starring Bradley Cooper who plays a frustrated writer named Eddie Morra.  Morra is suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. A guy gives him a new drug to take called NZT248. The drug opens up his mind and allows him to write a novel in a day.

NZT248 is an experimental drug that is supposed to allow people to transcend their limitation. We all have a tendency to want to tap into our full potential and transcend our limitations and be limitless.

Before Morra pops his first pill he asks:

“What would you do given such a choice?”

Would you take the tablet that would allow you to transcend your limitations?

This would be a chance for you to become conscious, to wake up to yourself, to wake up to the world you live in. You’d gain access to abilities you previously didn’t know you had like courage, resilience, insight and a purpose that justifies and makes sense of your existence.  Sounds good to me.

The ultimate question is this:

What is the catalyst in your own life that will allow you to transcend the limitation of our current paradigm – to become limitless?


image: link