Team Sport

Imagine a room full of animated people all talking at once.  

                 “It’s all about the script.”    

                                                                              “No way, it’s all about the acting.”                                                          

 “Are you kidding?  The director is the vision. Everyone knows it’s the director’s baby.”                                                                                        

 “Without the sound you don’t have a film.”                                        

 “Oh, yeah. Try to do it without an editor.”

What a cacophony of voices, each claiming dominance. And yet, once the cameras roll, it all comes together to create something wonderful. Movies are truly a group effort.  So many individuals coming together for one purpose – to put together a work of art. 

If you think about it, watching movies is also something enjoyed more with others than alone. There’s a special feeling you get when the lights go out and the audience gets quiet. That moment when we all break out in laughter or share a sense of awe can be electric.  

So, whether you’re at the local cinema or home for family movie night, pop up the popcorn, get comfy in your seat and enjoy the show.


The Parallel Universe of Film

After studying films for decades, literally decades, my group at La Honda Films reached a point where…we had to eventually activate our own creative faculties and into the world of film making for ourselves.

We were movie hounds from our days in Chicago…remember the Triple features? Heaven!! We’d go and take in all the previews and cartoons …. Days of fun!!! Popcorn and Orange Julius…you could really have called it the Church of Film. We did.

You see, films were more than ordinary escape on the cold winter streets of Chicago in the 60’s. Films were transformative, because they take us on amazing journeys, through parallel universes, where we could learn great things, experience mighty emotions and sense ourselves in the lives of others, while earning very little personal karma and opprobrium.

This is the “karma-dharma” potential of great films, and maybe even films that just attempt to be great.  We can learn many of life’s lessons, in the brilliant course of an hour and a half or so, and then return to our own lives unharmed.

This is the amazing power of film…Shakespeare the writer archetype, Van Gogh the cinema-photographer, Beethoven the sound track…

As for the actual movies?  One way to start is to look at the directors. Certain directors stand out in my mind, for their work of integrating the different elements. Let’s start with two,Frank Capra and Federico Fellini

Frank Capra holds an opening spot for his story arc and belief in the power of community.

It’s a Wonderful Life is just so archetypal it’s hard to really accurately judge.  I mean, the film is an “angelic intervention” with a time reframe where Jimmy Stewart meets, like Scrooge in Dicken’s work, the world altered without him.

All I know is the human touch of Capra has me openly weeping.  And it gets more intense each time I watch his work – especially It’s a Wonderful Life.

Fellini for his pure genius and madness combined. Because a film production reaches a point where it’s no longer a script, it’s a film production, and the actors and the crew are slowly seizing the work for their own, delivering a film to an editor.  I’s here in the trenches that the script  is an idea in a writer’s mind, and then at a certain point it belongs to this “collective production soul”.  Fellini understood just how insane that moment is.

The genius of Fellini was to revel in the madness, embrace it and channel it toward his final post-production.

There is a point in a story, script and film production where the “arc” is culminating …the beginning of the film is yielding to the end of the film and the middle is wandering in between.  THIS is where Fellini excelled, at this mad point of no return in the story where the production is seizing its day, the writer is receding and the arc point is at its height.

Square root of negative one , where the arc is joined by the greatest of imaginary numbers. This is the genius of Fellini, to grasp the arc midpoint and allow it its own imaginary space…

Films Can Be Called Living Dreams…

They reflect a world just beyond the one we live in–real and unreal at the same time.  A movie can transport us to other times and places…break our hearts or make us laugh out loud. They are a wonderful example of what can be accomplished with collaborative effort.

Picture and sound meld and become more than the sum of their parts. We’ve all felt emotions being elicited by images but that can be greatly enhanced by music. Talkies changed the world, but even before people were talking on screen the music was adding its own flavors.

When we head to the cinema, we have expectations. We want to be entertained, uplifted, amused. Sometimes we need a good cry.  Or, maybe we’re looking to have our minds blown with some out-of-the-box ideas. No matter what motivates us, it’s worth consideration that the film began as someone’s dream. They are taking us on their journey and that can be quite a ride.

Tolkien and the White Ship


. . . in the minds of the thousands of lovers of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Perhaps this is as it should be.  Frodo departs with the Elves.  We see Gandalf & Galadriel there too and it all seems just.  Without being aware of it, J.R.R.Tolkien’s Fae’re has subtly adjusted all of our misgivings about death.

Everybody deals with death in their own deeply personal way.  Lord Dunsany hardly kills off anybody but then, he’s interested in an entirely different set of approaches unto Fae’re.  There’s plenty of room for everybody, including The Brothers Grimm and Ridley Scott’s “LEGEND” style of making movies.

The White Ship is definitely a symbol for students of this genre.  A ship that sails westward and eventually ends up sailing perpendicular to the planet’s circumference?  Land appears and it’s definitely this planet but more, a blessed land that was once approachable but is no longer accessible–these authors were Christian, indeed!  But Beowulf was not really Christian.  The Mahabharata is not Christian either but flows & weaves its elaborate tales as did Tolkien.  So, there is something about Fae’re that speaks “all things to all men”.  

Great stories transcend time.  By overcoming the 4th dimension, the writers of Beowulf can be simultaneous with J.R.R. Tolkien & synchronous with Ganesh, in the land where the White Ship docks.

The White Ship resolves everything.



. . . and stretch your consciousness.  It’s true we tend to spin around on about 10 synaptic pathways. Enjoying them as old friends who require no thought — ah, the simplicity of repetition!

Wake up! Start the motor going. Read something new. Study something you don’t know. Delve deeper.  Ask yourself the hard questions. The world of spirit is all around you. . . waiting for you to say ‘Good morning. How can I be of service?’

Somebody is always telling us an inner truth. It’s our duty to figure that out. Be constant, be gentle, be persevering.

Always remember you are a great soul.