SOMEWHERE (2010) is a film where nothing happens, either internally or externally.
The film The Enchanted Cottage (1945) shows love developing between two people based on their knowledge of one another, in direct opposition to the film Sleepless in Seattle (1993) which shows love between two people who have never even met. The latter serves to perpetuate certain fantasies that we have about romance: that there is someone out there just perfect for me, that my life will be complete once I meet him or her and, lastly, that I don’t even have to know (or get to know) this person to feel certain they are my soul-mate.
‘Get Low’ (2009) starring Robert Duval, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray, offers powerful lessons about the lasting effects of guilt and shame.
The movie, “I Am” is a documentary made by Tom Shadyac (director of “Ace Ventura”) chronicling his quest to make sense out of life after a serious accident. The film focuses on quantum physics, consciousness studies and social activism, as well as the effects of consumerism on humanity. The message put forth is to truly understand that we are all one and that by changing our beliefs, the world will in turn change. Human nature is referred to as being cooperative instead of competitive; I believe both qualities are to be found in humans. The film is one-sided, only exploring the “positive” side of human behavior to support its point of view. What the film exhibits is “spiritual bypass,” looking at transcending the darker sides of humanity instead of transforming them, which would require the sometimes painful work of digging deep inside of ourselves.
‘Love and Other Junkies’, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, relies on the Hollywood romantic comedy formula but makes some interesting observations about narcissistic ‘love’ along the way.
The movie, “Fight Club,” is a great example of how our psyches split into Good and Bad, acceptable and unacceptable. Additionally, it has much to say about contemporary male issues. Part of working with our Shadow is figuring out ways to express the repressed or hidden parts of ourselves without making a mess of our lives. In “Fight Club,” our hero eventually turns his rage into the ability to stand up for himself, and turns his aggression into assertiveness.
Through the archetypes of Hero and Villain, we split people and qualities into “good” and “bad,” what we deem as bad typically, for most of us, being repressed and put into our Shadow. In looking at the movie “Collateral” we will see an arc of transformation, as our “hero” reclaims some of the “bad” characteristics of the “villain” to become a more integrated and fully developed person.