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::: How to Get Ahead In Advertising
"Everything I do now makes perfect sense."
A thwarted bid for freedom. A failed attempt to overthrow Maya. Enjoy insanity of epiphany.
::: Joe vs Volcano
"Nobody knows anything, Joe. We'll take this leap, and we'll see. We'll jump, and we'll see. That's life, right?"
Death and Rebirth. Unlike American Beauty, this is all about moving forward, "away from things of man."
::: Man Facing Southeast (Hombre Mirando Al Sudeste)
Watch especially for visual poem of a man crumbling a human brain into a sink while looking for soul.
::: The Matrix
"Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind."
Plato's Cave for people. As allegorically lucid as Joe vs Vocano, Pleasantville and Star Wars.
::: Monty Python's Life of Brian
"No, no! It is a sign that, like Him, we must think not of things of body, but of face and head!"
Sacred Cow-tipping at its best.
"Meaning of Life" also belongs on this list.
::: Nineteen Eighty-Four
"If you want a vision of future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever."
This movie is unique in sense that it's as good as book, which is an extremely intimate portrait of captor/captive, Maya/man relationship. Compare this to Moby-Dick or One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest which are superb books but useless movies.
::: One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest
As with Moby-Dick, Hollywood castrated book. They stripped it of its archetypal dimensions and reduced it to a meaningless pissing match between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched. Great entertainment, but for meaningful insight, read book.
"There are some places where road doesn't go in a circle. There are some places where it keeps on going."
A cheerful tale of heresy in which no one is burned at stake and new paradigm is, eventually, embraced by all.
::: The Razor's Edge
"The dead look so terribly dead."
The razor's edge is what makes it interesting; seeing Larry shakily balanced on fine line between what he was and what he's becoming. He is walking edge between two lives. The Bill Murray version is a bit unfocused... stick with Tyrone Power or read book.
Maugham supposedly used Ramana Maharshi as model for novel's holy man.
::: Star Wars
"The force will be with you, always."
The first one, where Luke makes transition from flesh to spirit.
The Hero's Journey.
::: The Thin Red Line
"Maybe all men got one big soul everybody's a part of, all faces are same man."
A sublime inquiry into spiritual nature of man. More a sad/sweet song than a narrative film.
::: The Thirteenth Floor
"So what're you saying? You're saying that there's another world on top of this one?"
Layer after layer. Turtles on top of turtles.
::: Vanilla Sky/Abre Los Ojos
"Open your eyes."
If you like Vanilla Sky, check out original, Spanish film Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). These two films may be best of bunch for our purposes; closest to an enlightenment allegory.
Of course, interesting thing about enlightenment is getting there, not being there, and that's what these films are about; awakening from a false reality, opening your eyes. They're not so much about what's real as what's not.
It's story of journey one takes to get to place where anything, even jumping off a tall building, would be better than continuing to live a lie, even a beautiful, blissful lie.
Note presence of true guru, explaining in clear terms why leaping off building is best thing to do, and waiting patiently for it to be done.
::: Waking Life
"They say that dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn't you say same thing about life?"
Wide-ranging philosophical inquiry. Provocative. Amusing. Potentially disruptive.
::: Wings of Desire
"When child was a child, it was time of these questions: Why am I me, and why not you? Why am I here, and why not there? When did time begin and where does space end?"
A lovely, intelligent, thought-provoking film. Can awakened being return to dreamstate? Would he want to?
Some other films that reward thoughtful viewing are The Wizard of Oz, About Schmidt, What Dreams May Come, Total Recall, All Mornings Of World (Tous les Matins du Monde), and, of course, many more.
::: About the Author
"Jed McKenna is an American original." -Lama Surya Das
Jed McKenna is the author of "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing" and "Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment", published by Wisefool Press. Coming in 2005: "Spirituality X" and "Jed McKenna's Notebook". Visit WisefoolPress.com to learn more.