Exploring the Empty Nest in “The Kids Grow Up”

Like many good films, books or conversations, independent filmmaker Doug Block’s "The Kids Grow Up" can stimulate our own self-inquiry, leading us to ask ourselves questions about where we are with the topic presented. More than supplying answers, these kinds of works elicit personal examination, much as Block did in his excellent documentary, "51 Birch Street," examining his parents’ marriage. In "The Kids Grow Up," he provides an interesting road map of the terrain of one of mid-life’s milestones: when our kids leave home. One of the many questions this film poses is what our lives as parents are going to be like after this bittersweet passage.

Exploring Relationship in “A Walk on the Moon”

Even though this film was made in 1999, and took place in 1969, many of the themes covered in A Walk on the Moon are still relevant for some women and some relationships today. Set in the 60’s, a time of change, this film poses questions of unlived lives, longing, sacrifice, duty, and choice. Our characters grieve for what cannot be, explore new territory, and experience initiations.

Container and Contained in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”

The film "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" gives us a way to look at “holding” through the ideas of “container” and “contained.” Some of us have a tendency to play the role of container or holder, sometimes to escape our own sense of neediness by taking care of others. And some have a tendency to crave and bid for containment or holding, perhaps due to early childhood deficits. As we mature psychologically, a play seems to emerge between being a container, being contained and cultivating self-containment as well.

Love Lost and Creativity at the Movies (Part II)

In Part I, I wrote about ideas of lost love and creativity; here are some film examples of creativity after loss. I believe our quality of life is enhanced by our ability to feel our whole range of emotions, including our grief. It is challenging to be a fully feeling human being, but being so allows us more access to our creativity and depths.