🎬 #70 Film Viewing As 'Meditation.'
Watching a film in the cinema is one of the last sacred spaces where we can truly dislodge ourselves from the fizzy static of life. We can hone in, tune into another person’s POV and experience their problems and challenges. We can uncouple ourselves from our own minds and get into the famous flow state, not where we’re making or doing anything but just simply, focused. Not on our breath or our how our body is feeling but how these set of characters are dealing with the circumstances they find themselves in. Of course this ‘meditative’ effect is at it’s best when you’re at peace in a dark cinema, but it can still be felt when watching at home.
Both this week’s films operate at a pace that induces a sense of calm. Acting as a celluloid balm to help alleviate our own anxieties.
Happy choosing, happy viewing
FILM ONE: THE FALL
2006 Dir Tarsem Singh
'The Fall' is a stunning film directed by Tarsem Singh. It tells the story of a young girl named Alexandria who befriends a Hollywood stuntman, Roy. The two form a bond as Roy weaves an epic tale of adventure and fantasy, improvising as he goes. Given that the plot is essentially inconsequential - a fabrication designed to entertain a young girl - the film provides an opportunity to embrace the pure beauty of each frame.
The striking vibrancy and boldness of the palette take us to a different plane. The film serves as a panoramic space inviting us to lose ourselves within it - steadying our minds and quieting the inner narrators that follow us every second of every day.
Filmed in over 20 countries, The Fall showcases a range of almost unearthly landscapes, from the deserts of Namibia to the Taj Mahal in India. This vast visual tapestry allows us to immerse ourselves in the film's beauty - and escape our worries for a few hours.
TL;DR Embark on a journey into the realm of imagination, see the cinematic horizon unfurl before you while getting lost in the visual splendor of a film that captivates through its sheer beauty - tranquil and serene.
*Available for a small rental fee on Amazon in the UK, not currently available in the US.
Fact: Tarsem Singh was so passionate about his vision that he predominantly self-financed the film after various backers turned him down.
FILM TWO: A GHOST STORY
2017 Dir David Lowery
'A Ghost Story' is a profound meditation on life and the passage of time, delving into themes of love, loss, and the inevitability of death. But it's not as grim or bleak as it sounds. In fact, it's a comforting, transformative watch. The leisurely pace allows us to relax - to move as the central character shuffles through the afterlife and the vastness of time.
The film's minimalist storytelling approach invites us to look inside, to either examine our own thoughts or simply observe the protagonist as they go on their journey. The ghost's journey enables us to perceive life in a completely different way - a perspective once removed. It's like letting thoughts surface in our consciousness and then letting them go, without judgment, as if from a quieter, more distant place beyond ourselves. A perspective once removed, a silver screen separating us from our buzzing minds.
Films are more than mere entertainment; they can function as potent and unexpected tools for meditation and introspection.We often use phrases like 'zone out' when choosing something to watch. We inherently understand that cinema is the ultimate form of visual meditation - even if we don't consider ourselves meditators.
TL;DR David Lowery takes us far beyond a simple ghost story and into the essence of what it means to live. Step into the shoes of the titular ghost and gain a fresh appreciation for life once you finally pass back into life.
*Available for a small rental fee on Amazon, Apple, Google and YouTube in the US as well as the UK.
Fact: Casey Affleck is indeed in every scene, even when he's entirely covered by a sheet.
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