It’s quite something when an event happens that captures the world’s attention. Unfortunately, it usually involves some form of natural or manmade disaster or the death of a prominent figure. But then there are times when occurrences take place that collectively captivate us, bringing out the compassion and humanity in us all and frequently producing miraculous results.
To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, it takes a spark to light a fire. But sometimes such blazes don’t take on the first strike. There’s not enough energy behind it to catch flame. In fact, it may take multiple sparks before a conflagration erupts, a concept that’s applicable both literally and metaphorically. But, when things finally come alive, watch out...
Passing judgment is something that, for what it’s worth, seems to come all too easily to most of us. That’s especially true when someone engages in acts that affect us negatively, and, in some cases, such blame may be genuinely deserved. But what happens if such effects result from acts that originate with honest, benign intentions?
Our interpersonal relationships are among the most prized aspects of our lives. They’re cherished gifts to ourselves and to those we care about, and preserving them is of the utmost importance. But what happens when we drift apart, not necessarily because of intentionally malicious acts, tragedies or other negative influences, but simply because of circumstances brought about by separation of time and distance. Can those connections be sustained or, if needed, rebuilt?
Solitude can have its virtues, especially when we’re trying to complete a personally significant project or engage in meaningful introspection. But, if we’re not careful, it can become a little too comfortable if we allow it to persist for too long, making it difficult to get out of that trap. Knowing when to let go and rejoin the world of the living is crucial to avoid losing ourselves, a point driven home loud and clear in the new romantic comedy-drama, “The Outside Story.”
“Divine Love” (“Divino Amor”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Dira Paes, Julio Machado, Antonio Pastich, Teca Pereira, Emílio de Melo, Clayton Mariano, Mariana Nunes, Suzy Lopes, Thardelly Lima, Thalita Carauta, Tuna Dwek, Thiago Justino, Edilson Silva, Nataly Rocha, Calum Rio (narrator). Director: Gabriel Mascaro. Screenplay: Gabriel Mascaro, Richard Daisy Ellis, Esdras Bezzerra, Lucas Paraizo and Marcelo Gomes. Web site. Trailer. For many of us, faith is looked upon as central to our worldview and existence. Its form may vary somewhat from individual to individual, but its essence is generally the same. However, no matter how much we may proclaim we adhere to our faith, how authentic are we with ourselves when it comes to our practices matching our contentions in [...]
“The Artist’s Wife” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lena Olin, Bruce Dern, Juliet Rylance, Avan Jogia, Stefanie Powers, Tonya Pinkins, Catherine Curtin, Caryn West, Ravi Cabot-Conyers. Director: Tom Dolby. Screenplay: Tom Dolby, Nicole Brending and Abdi Nazemian. Web site. Trailer. Giving our all to a beloved partner is certainly an admirable ambition, one that many of us strive for in hopes of it creating a state of mutual love and support. It’s widely believed such a connection can benefit each spouse, yielding both a flourishing relationship and a foundation for significant personal growth and development. But at what point does such devotion to another become unhealthy, leading to a lopsided bond? That’s a question explored in the new romantic drama, [...]
Reeling 38, Chicago’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With movie houses just now beginning to reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home. In fact, in some ways, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future events, one that makes it possible to offer the festival’s films to a wider audience and providing flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented in theatrical venues. Because of this new format, I was able to screen a greater number of films than [...]
“Eternal Beauty” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Sally Hawkins, David Thewlis, Penelope Wilton, Billie Piper, Morfydd Clark, Alice Lowe, Paul Hilton, Spencer Deere, Robert Pugh, Natalie O’Neill, Elysia Welch, Boyd Clack, Rita Bernard-Shaw, Robert Aramayo (voice), Nicholas Lumley. Director: Craig Roberts. Screenplay: Craig Roberts. Web site. Trailer. Throughout our lives, we’re often bombarded by statements, observations and criticisms associated with what constitutes “normal.” But what is that exactly? It’s often considered something ordinary and everyday, yet it frequently gets elevated to a standard that’s essentially unattainable, prompting us to wonder what good it would be then. Finding our way through such a perplexing maze can become a challenge even under the best of conditions, but it’s especially frustrating for someone with [...]