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For better or worse addressed in ‘American Symphony’

The now-famous opening line of the Charles Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – has become virtually synonymous for describing situations that are simultaneously both joyous yet difficult. In many ways, this is a scenario that seems almost unfathomable, one whose very existence is hard to imagine, let alone endure. Yet many among us have nevertheless experienced such challenging, ironic and contradictory conditions, circumstances that ultimately push us to find the means to survive and to overcome the ordeals posed to us so that we can truly enjoy the best of what life has to offer while putting the worst behind us.

‘Godland’ chronicles a spiritually evolutionary journey

Contrary to popular belief, experiencing the breadth and power of the divine is not something necessarily limited to civil, sedate, well-mannered, rigidly choreographed rituals conducted in ornate indoor settings by individuals decked out in costumes not unlike what one would find in a Las Vegas floor show. Rather, in its purest state, it’s more of a wild, untamed force that unleashes its raw, unrestrained energy in potent, unexpected ways that often leave witnesses awestruck as to its sheer magnitude and expression, particularly in natural surroundings. It’s not exactly what most of us were taught in Sunday school or what we heard in sermons from the pulpit.

2023-09-10T20:24:11+00:00August 2nd, 2023|Conscious Creation, Drama, Foreign, Movie Reviews|

‘McEnroe’ surveys the perils of perfectionism

When we think about sports, we usually tend to consider the game in question and the competition involved. Yet rarely do we think about the participants engaged in such contests – the individuals who are taking part and what drives them to compete. Considering the dynamics of these scenarios, there are often powerful motivations at work, mindsets reflective of the drives, aims and goals of the competitors

2022-10-24T00:23:13+00:00September 20th, 2022|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Costa Brava’ compares engagement vs. escape

Staying engaged with the pulse of life is arguably the best way to get the most out of our existence. However, there are times when the pressures of everyday living can wear on us, making us feel as though we have to get away, especially if we believe that it’s placing our health, sanity and well-being in jeopardy. Retreating from such conditions can be rejuvenating and put us on a happier and more fulfilling path. But such isolation also has the potential to become a trap

2022-10-21T05:03:40+00:00September 12th, 2022|Conscious Creation, Drama, Foreign, Movie Reviews|

‘God of the Piano’ tackles the perils of desperation

“God of the Piano” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Naama Preis, Andi Lev, Ron Bitterman, Ze’ev Shimshoni, Alon Openhaim, Shimon Mimran, Leora Rivlin, Itay Zipor. Director: Itay Tal. Screenplay: Itay Tal. Web site. Trailer. Preserving a family legacy is certainly a noble goal. It provides a sense of continuity that links the generations and gives a family its character, reputation and even notoriety. But how far is one willing to go to keep up the tradition? At what point does a goal turn into an obsession? And what are the costs of going too far? Those are among the issues raised and addressed in the captivating new Israeli psychological thriller, “God of the Piano.” Anat Tal (Naama Preis) comes from [...]

2020-12-13T04:22:28+00:00October 27th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Cuban’ reminds us about making the most of life

“The Cuban” (2019). Cast: Louis Gossett Jr., Ana Golja, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Lauren Holly, Giacomo Gianniotti, Shiva Negar, Jonathan Keitz, Layla Alizada, Jeffrey R. Smith, Gerry Mendicino, Emily Piggford, Kane Mahon, Tabby Johnson. Director: Sergio Navarretta. Screenplay: Alessandro Piccione. Web site. Trailer. Many of us tend to believe that we have all the time in the world, especially when we’re young. But, as we age and the days grow shorter, we quickly realize otherwise and seek to make the most of what’s left. However, if we’re unable to bring about such results for ourselves, we may not be able to achieve what we set out to do, adding to the frustration we’re already experiencing – unless, of course, we have help [...]

2020-09-05T16:34:11+00:00August 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Love, Antosha’ fondly applauds a life of creativity

“Love, Antosha” (2019). Cast: Anton Yelchin. Interviews: Irina Yelchin, Viktor Yelchin, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Martin Landau, Jon Voight, Willem Dafoe, Bryce Dallas Howard, Frank Langella, Sofia Boutella, Mary Lester, Ian Cripps, Sophie Simpson, Nick Jones, Paul David, Nicolas Cage (narrator). Archive Footage: Anthony Hopkins, Larry David, David Duchovny, Mel Gibson, Karl Urban, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, Robert DeNiro, Felicity Jones, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Dinklage. Director: Garret Price. Web site. Trailer. When we look upon the works of artists of any stripe, we often gape in awe, admiring their output and wondering how they came up with their creations. We may even somewhat [...]

2019-10-30T03:20:54+00:00September 10th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘David Crosby’ celebrates an icon’s quest for creativity, redemption

“David Crosby: Remember My Name” (2019). Cast: Interviews: David Crosby, Jan Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Cameron Crowe, Henry Diltz. Archives: Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Cass Elliott, Joni Mitchell, Christine Hinton, Jimi Hendrix, Dick Cavett, Jerry Garcia, Don Everly, Phil Everly. Director: A.J. Eaton. Web site. Trailer. It’s amazing how someone can embody both the best and worst of what we’re capable of. These qualities, polar opposites to be sure, seem incompatible with one another, yet, on occasion, they sometimes wind up residing within a single individual. Learning how to reconcile these extremes can thus prove to be quite a challenge for those of us who [...]

2019-09-02T23:33:07+00:00August 9th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Smuggling Hendrix’ unleashes the call for freedom, harmony

“Smuggling Hendrix” (2018). Cast: Adam Bousdoukos, Fatih Al, Vicky Papadopoulou, Özgur Karadeniz, Georgia Constantinou, Toni Dimitriou, Marios Stylianou, Andreas Phylactou, Charlambos Charlambou, Pepper. Director: Marios Piperides. Screenplay: Marios Piperides. Web site. Trailer. What can we learn from our pets? Actually, quite a lot, as long as we’re paying attention. The trick, of course, is looking behind what they’re trying to show us, to see the real meaning behind their actions. But, if we do so, we might reap some tremendous benefits. So it is with a four-legged furry mentor in the charming new comedy, “Smuggling Hendrix.” On the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where combative Greek and Turkish factions have been living under a somewhat uneasy truce for more than [...]

2019-04-23T10:16:06+00:00March 25th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|
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