Movie Reviews From a Spiritual Perspective


January 28, 2012

"... when I become a doctor, what I want, more than anything, is to give people back their freedom, the way you gave me mine." - Sabina Spielrein, A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method is the Reader's Digest version of the story of Carl Jung and his relationship with Sigmund Freud.  It is also the story of his non-professional relationship with his patient, Sabina Spielrein, who inspired him to think outside of the box in all areas of this personal life and his career as a psychoanalyst. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this film for what it presented and not it's historical accuracy.  I did a little research on Sabina Spielrein and found out that she may not have been as enlightened a character after her emotional breakthrough as was portrayed in the film.  I have to say that Keira Knightley made a daring performance as a grotesquely wild, straightforward, and extremely intelligent, nerdy woman in true Cronenberg style.  Yes, a lot of what was presented in the film may have been idealized, but I really liked those idealizations. 

When we first meet Spielrein, Knighley deftly portrays a woman who was holding in her feelings so severely that when she expressed herself at all, her body contorted as if her emotional energy was trying to rip itself out of the clutches of her body.  Jung took Spielrein through Freud's "talking cure" which produced amazingly quick results.  After sharing all her repressed feelings and experiences through this therapy, she became much more centered and able to function in the world.  Just goes to show you that when one acknowledges and lets emotional energy flow, life becomes more balanced. 

The Spielrein character contributed many spiritual ideas, while in relationship with Jung, that he later used in his work and research.  There are so many great quotes in the film regarding these ideas.  One quote by Spielrein (to Jung) I especially like about male and female energies is, "Don't you think that there is something male in every woman and female in every man?"  It is especially important in our spiritual awakening to acknowledge our male and female energies which create a whole person.  Denying either one creates an imbalance, lack of awareness, and lack of the ability to live a full life.

Spielrein shared with Jung her experiences regarding her "inner voice" or "angel" who told her she was an exceptional person and gave her power to know what people are going to say.  She also expressed interest in interplanetary travel, although flippantly.  Her unusual experiences supported him in exploring intuition and psychic phenomenon.  He grew to challenge Freud's point of view regarding psychological interpretation in light of sexual experience and said, "There must be more than one hinge into the universe."

Jung called Spielrein a catalyst in inspiring him to expand his boundaries in all areas of his life, especially his own sex life.  Otto Gross, Jung's patient and fellow therapist played by Vincent Cassel, maybe went a bit overboard in his views of sexual freedom.  But he brought up an important life changing point when he said regarding sex, "It seems to me a measure of the true perversity of the human race that one of it's very few reliably pleasurable activities should be the subject of so much hysteria & repression."  Jung later elaborated by saying, "Why should we put such a frantic effort in suppressing our most basic instincts?" 

So why is this film called "A Dangerous Method?"  Because, theoretically, the method allows people to become self-empowered and thereby grow out of the box created by the oppressive rules of society.  For me, this film is quite inspiring about the early ideals of the field of psychology.  I think if emotional healing were more respected in psychology and spiritual practices, people would be experiencing a greater sense of enlightenment and freedom today.  Jung expressed his therapy goals this way in the film, "I don't want to just open the door and show the patient his illness, squatting there like a toad.  I want to try to find a way to help the patient reinvent himself; to send him off on a journey, [where] at the end is waiting the person he was always intended to be."

A Dangerous Method is widely available on DVD.  I highly recommend it from a spiritual perspective.



December 27, 2011

"Off to the movies we shall go, where we learn everything that we know.  'Cause the movies teach us what our parents don't have time to say." - South Park the Movie

2011 has been a big year for 2012 predictions of Alien Invasions, fake or otherwise. And I find it quite interesting that there have been a plethora of alien invasion movies in 2011.  Why does Hollywood think that alien invasion films are so popular now?  For decades or more, we have been trained in the U.S. to think that we are al...
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V (2009): Most Believable Alien Invasion Scenario

December 13, 2011

"People are scared.  The world's in bad shape.  Who wouldn't welcome a savior right now?" - Father Jack Landry, V (2009)

If you are wondering how a real or fake alien invasion could take place, take a look at the 2009 TV series, V.  So why am I thinking about an alien invasion? Well....In the UFO community, there are many people who are waiting for disclosure. That is, people are hoping that governments, especially the U.S. government, will disclose to the public their knowledge and involveme...
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November 24, 2011

"Listen up. There is a storm coming like nothing you have ever seen and none of you are prepared for it!" - Curtis (Michael Shannon), TAKE SHELTER

Take Shelter in one way is the simple story of a working class husband and father who has visceral dreams of a strange powerful storm coming and reacts by expanding his storm shelter.  And in another way, Take Shelter is an emotionally complex story which questions a man's sanity.  It is also a story filled with loosely connected metaphors and sy...
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TREE OF LIFE (Why Dinosaurs?)

October 7, 2011
Photo from Film

I was clicking around on LAMB (Large Assoc of Movie Blogs) Forums and came across this video review of Tree Of Life by Anders Wotzke.   I agree with what Wotzke says in general and was inspired to answer his question on "why dinosaurs?".  I have not yet come across any reviewer who has an explanation for the dinosaurs in this film.  So I am offering my insights here.

In thinking about this...
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September 16, 2011
"There are things up there so beautiful; sometimes I've cried just thinking about them.  Beautiful & terrible." - Harvey, the photographer from Alien Autopsy.

Alien Autopsy is a fictionalization of the true story of the two British men who created the original fake Alien Autopsy film in the 1980's and why they faked it.  I keep wondering if this incredible story is really true.  It's a great story.  It starts out with Ray Santilli, played by Declan Donnelly, advertising that he is looking to...
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Harry Potter Series

July 22, 2011

The Harry Potter series: An epic story about the dismantling of the inter-dimensional dark matrices

This is not so much a review of the Harry Potter movies as it is a spiritual analysis of the series in general from my point of view.  Some of my friends told me that the Harry Potter series was very spiritual.  I innocently enjoyed reading the books and viewing the films and never thought about it until I watched the very last film in the Harry Potter series (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hal...
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June 18, 2011

A Japanese classic made into a tamer version for a U.S. mainstream audience.

This was my first opportunity to see the original Japanese Godzilla movie called, Gojira. It was one of the first foreign films to be cut and dubbed for a U.S. audience which usually Hollywood assumes can't or won't read subtitles .  I can see that the U.S. film producers tried to dub the film gracefully.  Raymond Burr's character, U.S. reporter, Steve Martin, was inserted into the original film and was used to narrat...
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May 28, 2011

(Photo: George Clooney with baby goat and Iraqi prisoners in The Men Who Stare at Goats.)

"Mother Earth, you're my life support system. As a soldier I must drink your blue water, live inside your red clay and eat your green skin. Help me to balance myself. As you hold in balance, the Earth, the sea, and the space environments. Help me to open my heart, knowing that the Universe will feed me. I pray my boots will always kiss your face, and my footsteps match your heartbeat. Carry my body throug...
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TEMPLE GRANDIN - True Story of an Autistic Inventor (Sleeper)

March 26, 2011

"...different, but not less." - Temple Grandin

This HBO film, Temple Grandin is the true story of Temple Grandin, Ph.D. who is the first autistic person to write about and lecture about her own autistic experience.  She is also an inventor that has created humane systems for herding cattle which are utilized by 50% of the cattle industry today.  This is the most uplifting, inspiring film I have seen in the past few years.  It won 7 Emmys in 2010 for star, Claire Danes and HBO.

The film shows Te...
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My Definition of Mainstream Movies: Films that you can easily get on DVD and/or see in the theater.

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