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Her – Review by MC

Fair Use/Dealing rationale for image from Her http://www.herthemovie.com/ - low res image for review and educational purposes

Fair Use/Dealing rationale for image from Her http://www.herthemovie.com/ – low res image for review and educational purposes

I watched Spike Jonze’s film, Her, the other night. A few more points came to mind that weren’t covered here, mostly about different types of love (eros, agape, and so on). But this was my first shot at audio reviewing, so I was lucky to get as much in as I did. No notes or excessive thinking beforehand. Just first impressions…

I should add that I was somewhat inspired by the New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, who takes fashion photos on the streets of New York and talks about them every week at The Times’ website. If the documentary about Cunningham is accurate, it seems that he takes a quick look at his pics on a storyboard before taping his weekly commentary. I like that spontaneity, and tried to emulate it here.

Maybe with practice I’ll be half as good at this as he is!


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Review – Reality UFO Series Volume 1: The Evidence is Here (DVD)

Reality Films

Dr. Roger Leir passsed away on March 14, so I thought it would be a good time to reblog this DVD review, posted back in 2009—MC

Reality UFO Series Volume 1: The Evidence is Here explores the possibility of alien life, expanded reality and directed human evolution.

The DVD features several speakers at the 2003 International Scientific & Metaphysical Symposium and an interview with a US reporter on the controversial Billy Meier case.

Part 1 looks at Dr. Roger K. Leir and his original theories about alien implants, genetic manipulation and accelerated human development. A down-to-earth medical man, Dr. Leir presents evidence from his alleged alien implant extraction procedure along with several decades of statistics on the changing rates of child development. But as a scientist he admits that he doesn’t have all the answers—only theories leading to more questions.

Part 2 introduces Travis Walton. Walton tells of his encounter with an alien spacecraft while working as a logger in 1975. Saying he was forcibly taken aboard the spacecraft, he carefully describes what he saw, right down to the unusual instrumentation panels and strange, morphing star charts. Travis wraps up his account by saying that he was rudely ejected from the craft, left lying face-down beside the highway and, utterly exhausted, having to struggls to the nearest town.

Part 3 features an interview with Michael Horn who gives an engaging account of the Billy Meier case. Horn summarizes Meier’s life and ideas and discusses the nature of knowledge and religious belief. Those interested in Meier, his prophecies, dire warnings and advocacy of a global “course correction” toward a peaceful New World Order will probably like this segment.

Part 4 includes Kathleen Anderson’s presentation on UFOs, the ancient Sumerians, theories about multidimensional reality and the relativity of space and time. Anderson’s relentless questioning, considerable research skills and cutting edge illustrations should compel even the most hardened skeptics, scholars and pragmatists to stop and rethink their beliefs about life and the world around us.

In short, The Evidence is Here is all about recent ET and UFO theories as seen through the split lens of science and spirit. Believers wanting to understand what goes on behind the scenes of the ET/UFO scene should love this DVD.

—MC


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Contention with the classics

Originally posted on Blog of Natalie Gorna:

The genre we have named “the classics” are a tricky bunch to like.  It’s not just that some are written in a foreign language or in a dialect of one’s native language that is centuries/decades old.  Or that the author takes forever to get to “plot progression” (in other words, making the story go on). Or that the whole book can be literally exhausting for the mind to understand.  It’s not the length, the subgenre, the writing style, the vocabulary, or the time period when the work was written.  Public pressure, media adoration, film adaptations: these are all factors to consider. Usually every person has expectations (e.g. from recommendations and favorite TV series) for the classics, especially in view of that worldwide thought that classic reading is good reading. And when it comes to reading certain classics, it’s literally like trying to translate your modern understanding of the work and/or your preconceptions into a entirely different language when your mind is processing the actual, original text.

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Rose – Review

Rose_300

Courtesy kemalyildirim.com

Title: Rose
Genre: Urban Drama
Producer/DirectorKemal Yildirim
Writer: Stephen Loveless (with Jack James)
Stars: Mike Mitchell, Helen Clifford, Patrick Regis

Back in 2008, UK director Kemal Yildirim released an impressive sleeper film called Rosereview). The film was based on a true story about a young woman tragically hooked on drugs. In 2012 Yildirim retold the story with a revised cast and storyline. The reimagined Rose review) was a giant leap forward from the original film’s promising beginnings.

Today, we have a third Rose. To be honest, having reviewed the story twice, when asked to review the third incarnation I wondered if the director could really make it any better. Hadn’t Yildirim already made a bold statement with his 2012 remake? The critics seemed to think so.

Well, a couple of years have passed and Yildirim clearly hasn’t stood still. His artistic sense is sharper than in earlier versions of this film. This new Rose is about 30 minutes shorter than its predecessor. But the edits are so seamless that it’s hard to tell exactly what was altered. Nothing seems missing and everything comes off fluid and coherent.

Indeed, this version of Rose is cinematic proof that less can be more.

Although the basic storyline remains unchanged, there is a subliminal shift in emphasis—slightly less sex and violence and a more nuanced treatment of the relationship between Rose and her daughter Ellie. At least, this is how I saw it. For those, like me, who’ve already watched the second Rose, this new take presents an opportunity to reflect on how we’ve grown as viewers. Is our new understanding of the story based on changes within the film or on changes within ourselves?

Rose and Ellie

Rose and Ellie

Not to say that Rose is an ink blot. It definitely has a focused message, that of redemption against all odds. And a lot happens. But the film maintains a kind of soulful detachment that keeps it from falling into the genre of “action flick.” Several techniques are used to achieve this effect. Glide shots, ceiling shots, and steady sequences reminiscent of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, where dialogue is implied rather than heard.

No, Rose isn’t an action film. It’s arguably a meditation. And if viewed that way, we gain insight not only into another side of life, but maybe even into ourselves.

Strong leading performances and an enticing supportive cast ensure that this haunting film hits home. So if by chance you’ve seen earlier incarnations of Rose and think you’ve seen it all, think again. This rendering gets under our skin like no Rose before.

—MC


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Indo-Americans object to derogatory remarks in Jason Bateman movie

English: Jason Bateman at the 2007 Toronto Int...

Jason Bateman at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Special to Earthpages.org

Indo-Americans are upset over stereotyping their community in upcoming Jason Bateman comedy “Bad Words”.

Referring to Red Band trailer of the movie, Indo-American Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that addressing an Indo-American kid as “Hey Slumdog” and using the words “curry hole” for him smelled of xenophobia and racism.

Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, stressed that Indo-Americans were for free speech as much anybody else if not more. But unnecessarily belittling a community with stereotyped remarks, even in a comedy, hurt the community. Filmmakers should be more responsible while handling race and faith related subjects, as cinema was a very powerful medium.

Moreover, talking to a young child that way was really inappropriate and disappointing, Rajan Zed argued.

Zed has urged the filmmaker to remove the words derogatory to Indo-American community in the movie and trailer and offer a formal apology.

Directed and starred by Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)  and rated R (Restricted), “Bad Words” is scheduled for release in USA in March next.

As indicated at the beginning of the trailer, don’t watch this if you don’t want to hear crude and vulgar language… (ed.)


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Review – Secret Societies and Sacred Stones: from Mecca to Megaliths (DVD)

Courtesy: Reality Films

Title: Secret Societies and Sacred Stones: from Mecca to Megaliths
Genre: Conspiracy, History, Occult
Production Company: Reality Films

We tend to make a distinction between organic and inorganic substances. Not too many question this. On the chemical level, the difference between organic and inorganic materials gets pretty complicated. Some inorganic materials, for instance, transform and become organic after entering an organism.

In the everyday world of things we can see without the help of high-powered microscopes, anything that eats, passes waste and reproduces is called organic. Inorganic materials aren’t as dynamic as organic compounds. So conventional wisdom tells us that organisms are alive, while inorganic things merely exist devoid of consciousness.

With these kind of cultural assumptions under our belt, we merrily blast out rock obstacles to build roads and bridges without feeling the slightest bit guilty. We’re not really hurting anything. Rocks just are. They don’t have pain receptors and don’t cry out when blasted sky high.

At least, that’s what we think. Another Reality Film, Apocalypse 2012: The World After Time Ends, puts forth the opposing idea that the entire Earth is alive (read my review).

Secret Societies and Sacred Stones is the perfect follow up to Apocalypse 2012. It outlines some of the unconventional beliefs informing the idea that the inorganic realm is truly alive.

But before I get into the specifics of this DVD, I should mention two things that those familiar with subatomic physics will already be aware of.

First, the centuries old distinction between matter and energy is hopelessly outdated. Second, inorganic substances, like rocks and stones, don’t just sit there. Inorganic material vibrates. We can’t normally see, hear or feel the vibration because it’s subatomic, and must be measured with a high-tech instrument.

And maybe I’ll mention a third thing. I’m going to tell a little story about myself. A story that happens to be true.

When I was a teen my parents owned a place in Georgian Bay. It was an old summer cottage built on the Precambrian rocks that are known as the Canadian Shield. These rocks are more than ancient. They’re literally billions of years old.

The Precambrian rock floor at Georgian Bay

One day at the cottage – and I can’t remember why or how, but I do know that I was completely sober – I suddenly had an intuitive flash. Sort of like a minor epiphany. But this wasn’t about God. It was about the island on which the cottage stood.

I saw it all in a completely new light. The rocks underneath me, extending out several hundred feet to the waterfront, were vibrating and alive with an incredible, vital energy. I believed that I saw those rocks as they really were. Not how we see through the eyes but, rather, through the soul.

It was awesome. Afterward, I went outside and stood barefoot on the rocks. I was overjoyed. Looking at the small black ants busying themselves on the rock surface, I realized that they were the same stuff as the rocks, just more organized (today I’d say I believed instead of realized they were the same stuff, only because I’ve had many more years to think about these kinds of things).

If I hadn’t had this experience, I probably would have thought that the ideas in Secret Societies and Sacred Stones were flaky. But I don’t take such a simplistic approach any more.

So that experience, combined with the findings of subatomic physics, has given me an open mind to appreciate what this DVD has to offer.

Secret Societies and Sacred Stones is a useful compendium of all things mineral and immaterial. It compels us to question the age-old distinction between animate and inanimate reality. It does this by delving into a broad array of topics which, so it suggests, are intimately related.

Underlying the film is the notion that stones have power. And this power was known to ancient cultures, including the Egyptians. Sometimes the power was good. Other times bad.

To ward off evil, stones like lapis lazuli, emeralds, and turquoise were used, sometimes as amulets and other times as ceremonial objects. Stones also had the power to sing. This idea is not only biblical (Luke 19:40) but is also found in Gnostic secret societies.

Stones could also be used for darker purposes. The film tells of failed Kabbalists whose intention isn’t pure and, like Darth Vader, are eventually consumed by the dark side. These Faustian reprobates use stones to try to control people, nature, spirits and wandering souls. It seems the stone acts as a kind of amplifier for their own darkened minds.

Again, I might have found this hard to believe. But, and to add to my own story, I brought a palm sized stone home with me before our Georgian Bay cottage was sold.

I first went to Georgian Bay as a baby. Born in May, my parents took me to the cottage for the May 24th weekend, which is a big deal in Canada. So I was just a few days old when first exposed to the rocks, pines and clear blue waters of the Precambrian Shield. And I walked barefoot on those rocks every summer during my childhood and teenage years. So the connection is deep.

And now, when the time is right, if I pick up that Precambrian stone in the city, I can inwardly see and feel the whole summer scene at Georgian Bay. It all comes back, almost as if I’m holding some kind of magical audiovisual recorder.

So yes, I do believe that stones can open doors to the unknown. But mind you, my only experience with them has been positive.

Whether or not God gives me certain memories when I hold the stone, or whether the memories are facilitated by the stone itself, I cannot know. But the memories do come. And in 3D.

Along these lines, Secret Societies and Sacred Stones tries to link up the inner technology of Kabbala, the pseudoscience of alchemy, and the modern science of chemistry. As one of the experts in the film puts it, chemistry is merely further down a “stream of ideas.”

The DVD also suggests that stones mirror what’s inside ourselves. So, on the one hand, stones have power. And, on the other hand, this power ultimately resides within. Additional areas covered are divination, runes, and Grail legends. Apparently Grail legends can be traced back to emerald cups of power and, possibly, to simple sacred stones.

To top it off, the film touches on the idea that our planet was seeded by life forms that fell to Earth from meteors.

All very far out stuff.

Or is it?

As for production values, director Philip Gardiner makes ample use of dark vignetting, old film effects and cgi. Whether or not one finds these techniques effective would probably depend on where one’s at, artistically and spiritually.

What this film occasionally leaves out in factual detail is compensated by its unusual breadth. To fully enjoy this DVD, I had to lay back, forget the small stuff, and just absorb all it has to offer.

Secret Societies and Sacred Stones is the perfect solution for anyone wanting to learn more about esoterica, alternative histories, spiritual warfare, and the quest for the eternal self.

Special features include unseen footage and comments from the cast of The Stone Movie, also by Gardiner, along with several haunting music videos and trailers.

—MC


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Mistified – Upcoming indie film about the Maori, self and spirit

mistified_edited-1

Courtesy mistifiedthemovie.com

We now have Part 2 of an interview about the upcoming indie film called Mistified, a story about the Maori living in New Zealand (Here’s Part 1, if you missed it).

Kathy Wilson, producer of the film, has spent much time among the tribes and has dived full-heartedly into making this project a success, not just for them, but for what they stand for; their relations to the earth and spirituality.

Why do you see Mistified as a movie and not a book?

Why a film: because there is no other media that provides the opportunity to immerse a group people into an experience. Words, sounds, and visuals can create an inspiring and sometimes transformational experience that an individual may carry with them for the rest of their life. Films are the quintessence of “sound” and “light,” the transformative frequencies we humans resonate with.

I believe Mistified will trigger ancient memories that will encourage viewers to embark on their own epic, magical journeys. Hopefully, the heroine and her journey will trigger you down the “yellow brick road” of your own creation.  What the movie has done for me, I believe it will do for others.

How have you changed spiritually after your time in New Zealand?

It is hard for me to evaluate my spiritual progress into words. I can still get overwhelmed with all the things I think I need to be accomplished each day, however, I do have more of an awareness that things seem to happen in their own divine order when I stop trying to control everything.

Did you experience a phenomenon while spending time with the Maori? If so, was it life changing?

Yes. On my first trip when I journeyed with my friend, Barry. I went to explore some rock formations by his home. There are three distinct groupings of very large boulders. When you enter there is a rock that resembles the Mother Mary. The legion is that each area represents a different lineage of tribe: the water, stone and air peoples. When we hiked into the area I had no idea where we were. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was enjoying the majesty of these huge boulders. I wondered off onto a ledge overlooking a valley. I sat on the edge totally engulfed in the beauty, the warmth of the sun and soft, gentle breeze were glorious. I’m not sure how long I stayed, as time seemed to stand still, but when I got up and turned to go back, all these beautiful giant boulders around me now looked very different. They appeared to be in the shapes of sea animals. Everyone I looked at resembled a different sea creature and the biggest shock was when I turned and looked at where I had been sitting. It was a huge whale and I had been sitting on the tail. I was then told I had been in the section of boulders that represented the water people. I don’t know what others see when they go there, but that was my experience and for me, a very awe-inspiring moment in my life.

How do you expect to be changed after working on this production?

I can’t say for now, however, I know it will be a grand adventure with possibilities beyond my wildest dreams.

Lastly, how can we follow the project?

There are five ways we would love you to connect with us:

  1. Join our mailing list at www.mistifiedthemovie.com
  2. Like our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/mistifiedthemovie
  3. Chat to us on Twitter (don’t have as yet)
  4. Donate at http://www.indigogo  (link coming soon)
  5. Read our blog at www.mistifiedthemovie.com/blog

Haere mai, welcome…..come on in and join us.


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Mistified – Upcoming indie film about the Maori, self discovery and the beyond

mistified_edited-1

Courtesy: mistifiedthemovie.com

Earthpages.org is happy to post Part 1 of a recent interview about the upcoming indie film called Mistified, a story about the Maori living in New Zealand.

Kathy Wilson, producer of the film, has spent much time among the tribes and has dived full-heartedly into making this project a success, not just for them, but for what they stand for; their relations to the earth and spirituality.

Are you excited about getting this campaign off the ground?

I am very excited about getting our Indiegogo campaign off the ground. It is our opportunity to start creating our community, to let people know about our project, and to create the initial funding needed to move the project forward.

Is this film only for the spiritually educated?

Not at all; it is a universal story. I believe we are all spiritually educated, yet some of us might not have learned how to listen to the part of us, the inner guidance, that speaks to us, whether we listen or not.

You seem to be dedicated to this project. How is this different from your past endeavors?

I am a very persistent person when it comes to seeing something through. In my corporate and business life, I have accomplished things I would have never deemed possible.  Although I have questioned my sanity on many occasions in regards to this undertaking, there is something within me that just won’t let it go. At times it seems if I were to listen to the experts and statistics, common sense would say “turn and run.” Yet, for whatever reason, logic is not what is driving this project. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I do know one thing: I will see it through to the end.

What can we learn from watching the film?

How life takes us on unexpected journeys that we could never have predicted. Whether you believe there is a guiding force in your life or not, each road you take can have a purpose for preparing you for the next fork in the road. That sometimes embracing the unknown and having a willingness to go down the rabbit hole just might result an experience beyond your wildest dreams. Life sometimes takes great leaps of faith. Those that learn how to take those leaps, start to find their way through the maze. The trick is not to get stuck in always having to know. Sometimes the power is in not knowing and being open to all possibilities.

How can we be a part of the Mistified community?

We would love for you to go to our website at www.mistifiedthemovie.com and join our community. Our blog will keep you updated on our progress. Please also check out our Indiegogo campaign which is running from Nov. 13th until the middle of Jan. 2014.  We have some amazing “Perks” and all donations are tax deductible.

» Go to Part 2 of the interview.


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Rock and Roll in Church

What some people say! – Image via Tumblr

By Verona Raymond

Why do some churches have old time hymns and others have several guitars, drums and other types of instruments that weren’t in churches twenty plus years ago? Are we getting away from what a Christian church should be, and forming something else that maybe isn’t acceptable to God today?

I know some conservative churches that never allow anything but a piano and a church organ for their music. They sing the old time hymns (from when I was a child in church), of which many are still beautiful and really nostalgic.

Other churches allow most any musical instrument. Christian songs by new Christian artists of today are played and sung as well. I’ve got to admit that some of the music that is popular is really beautiful, and touches my heart. One of them is “I can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. It describes what we will feel when we are standing before Jesus someday. It gives me goose bumps every time it’s played! There are many more beautiful Christian songs that are out right now as well.

Do you ever feel the Lord’s presence within you at church when you are singing? According to the Bible, singing and praising the Lord is what he loves for us to do.

Here is a verse from the Bible that talks about David:

David and Saul

David and Saul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 2 Samuel 6:5

It seems like there was quite a collection of instruments! I don’t recall any drums mentioned in the Bible, but cymbals were mentioned and timbrels which are similar to tambourines. Psalteries were stringed instruments that were made out of a flat wooden box.

I really believe that when you are in church and praising the Lord with singing, it doesn’t matter what style it is as long as you are joyful in doing so. Singing feels good and makes your heart glad that God loves us, and at the same time you are thanking God for all he has done and continues to do. Singing out loud is a perfect release!

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psalm 98:4

About The Author

Verona Raymond – Living Life with God’s Purpose in Mind

Verona maintains Christian websites filled with uplifting Christian articles and information.

This article may be reprinted freely as long as all links remain active.

http://christianarticles.christianrhapsody.com

Article source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/religion/article_283.shtml


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The Disease

Paradise Lost – Paul Gustave Dore (via Tumblr)

This poem was written somewhere between 1997 and 1999. I’d just completed my Ph.D and was living in an apartment in an old, run-down house in Ottawa.

Initially, I saw “The Disease” as a metaphor for oppressive ideas and images like J.-P. Sartre’s bad faith, Erich Fromm’s mechanical man and Albert Camus’ The Plague. The sociological notion of false consciousness also came to mind while writing it.

The poem wasn’t planned. It came, more or less, in a stream of consciousness. While tapping it out on my old Toshiba 286 laptop I remember noting just how foreboding it was getting (“rotting sky…all are doomed to die”) and not really knowing why. But I followed my instinct and didn’t delete the heavy parts.

After 9/11, I realized that this unsettling verse could be taken as a premonition. As the new millennium approached, not a few artists and sensitives seemed to be picking up something truly terrible on their radar.

That said, around the time of writing I was reading John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno. So one could say that I wasn’t foreseeing anything—just subconsciously aping the greats and their treatment of evil.

God only knows.

The Disease

I’ve watched it grow
I’ve seen it sow
true minds into despair

souls of sorrow
ladened deep
burning horrid stares

I’ve seen it work
at lightning speed
to destroy mankind’s seed

through the air
it does its deed
this is its only care

sans partiality
sans decency
Yes, this is “the disease”

You over there!
you believe you’re clear
of this melancholy breeze?

Well let me tell you
if you please
it’s a fatal,
dreadful siege

For once contracted
once enacted
you’ll go on normally
“it’s okay”
“I’m just fine”
“yes, I think I am still free”

But then, alas!
the grippe is tightened
beyond all points of ease
and shipwrecked sailors on the sea of life
all drown
irrevocably

Yes I’ve seen this blight
‘cross this land
and winds are blowing high
no apple pie nor starlit nights
will save this rotting sky
all is darkened
all are dead
all are doomed to die

Lance it fast while time remains
avoid a fearsome plight
destroy this curse
and rest assured
your mark is
for the
light

Cast it out and let us pray
“Lord give us back our sight”
Cast it out to guarantee,
Truth shall conquer might


The Disease © Michael Clark 1997 to present. All rights reserved.

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