Envy and Jealousy

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...

General

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

"My heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill” ~  Fiona Macleod

“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (1968) is based on Carson McCullers’ novel of the same name, starring Alan Arkin as deaf-mute John Singer. His best and perhaps only friend is Spiros Antonapoulos, also a deaf-mute.

Due to his growing lack of impulse control because of mental illness, Spiros is...

General

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 these ideas.

Facing Windows (Italian, 2003): Giovanna finds her creative passion, becoming a pastry chef, after realizing that the neighbor she’s idealized and desired for so long is not the answer to her discontent and yearning.

500 Days of Summer (2009): Tom has been blocked creatively for years, writing Hallmark-type cards for a living...

General

Love Lost and Creativity at the Movies (Part I)

Certain films point to the creativity that can follow in the aftermath of an impeded, unrequited or lost love, or simply a love that just doesn’t work out.

Sometimes a juncture is reached in a relationship in which it can go no further, whether through death, divorce, rejection, betrayal, circumstance or choice. There are various ways we can react to such loss and grief. We can be in denial, numb out, avoid...

Mental Health

“Cracks” with Eva Green: Psychological ‘Growth’ by Annexation

If you enjoy smart, well-acted and beautifully filmed British movies where psychological nuance drives the story rather than plot, then be sure to see Cracks (2009), starring Eva Green.

This exquisite film was directed by Jordan Scott, and produced by her father Ridley Scott and uncle Tony Scott.  Based on a novel by Sheila Kohler, Cracks revolves around a charismatic teacher Miss G (Eva Green) at an English boarding school for girls,...

General

Male Sexuality in Movies

Is this man sexy?

It seems challenging to find a “good” man (especially a father) who is presented as a sexual being in movies. This seems to reflect the “split” in our society; having lots of sex and being sexy is touted as being supremely desirable, especially in advertising, yet we don’t see many male role models in television or film depicting an integrated male sexuality.

What I mean by this...

Anger and Hatred

Attributes of a Good Father in “My First Mister”

Adolescence is a tricky time for fathers and daughters. The film My First Mister (2001) presents some ideas of how to skillfully traverse this territory.

Jennifer (Leelee Sobieski), who goes by the name of “J,” has just graduated from high school. She self-mutilates, is a “goth,” and is alone, lonely and nihilistic. Her parents are divorced. Her mother (Carol Kane) is Pollyanna-ish; the mother and daughter are polar...

Movies

Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones in “The Company Men”

When I decided to watch The Company Men with Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, I was hoping it might show how crisis can teach us the importance of truly meaningful work in our lives. Or maybe how men who define themselves almost exclusively in terms of their professional roles can learn and grow when their self-perceptions are challenged.

While The Company Men briefly toys with such ideas...

Anger and Hatred

Wholeness vs. Goodness: Pleasantville (Part II)

In Part I, we saw big changes in Pleasantville, now: the Mayor tries to regain control of the situation by organizing a town hall meeting. He represents the fascistic part of our Super-Ego clinging on to old value systems for dear life by rallying defense mechanisms.

This part rejects, banishes, and excludes those aspects of ourselves that bring up unwanted painful and shameful emotions in order to keep things...