HAPI Guide Summer 2017 - Page 39

CONSCIOUS CINEMA

“ Samsara ” ( 2011 ), a cinematic meditation depicting images of the natural , cultural and artistic elements that combine to constitute our world , for better or worse . Upon screening this visual feast , viewers are likely to come away with a renewed perspective on our existence , how all of its components fit together and our place in it .
Of course , if we wish to improve upon the qualities of our interconnected world , it helps to have tools to work with in accomplishing this task , be they metaphysical or tangible . That ’ s where two additional documentaries come into play . “ Something Unknown Is Doing We Don ’ t Know What ” ( 2009 ) provides us with insights into a variety of extraordinary paranormal or psychic skills that offer evidence of our connectedness and that we can work on developing to create better lives for ourselves and the world at large . And then there ’ s “ Lo and Behold , Reveries of the Connected World ” ( 2016 ), director Werner Herzog ’ s examination of the Internet and related technologies , tools that have the potential to bring us closer together or , conceivably , to drive us seemingly further apart , depending on how we use them .
Connection is not exclusively the stuff of documentaries . Our sense of entanglement is also reflected in a number of fictional works , such as the Academy Award-winning comedy-drama “ American Beauty ” ( 1999 ), the saga of an unemployed husband and father ( Kevin Spacey ) seeking to maintain his personal integrity ( and his sanity ) while preserving the important connections in his life to keep his increasingly disrupted reality dissolving before his eyes . This may involve a shuffling of priorities and a rearrangement of relationships , but they all depend on the connections he ’ s able to forge with those who are – and who become – significant in his life .
Although not always obvious , the connections in our existence often extend well beyond our immediate surroundings . This becomes apparent , for example , in “ Babel ” ( 2006 ), a seemingly disparate but nevertheless intertwined series of stories that span the globe , including the unlikely linkages between an American couple ( Brad Pitt , Cate Blanchett ) vacationing in Morocco , a southern California housekeeper ( Adriana Barraza ) attending a family wedding in Mexico , and a deaf Japanese teenager ( Rinko Kikuchi ) who craves the attention of peers and her often-distant businessman father ( Kôji Yakusho ). How the threads of this tapestry are intrinsically interwoven with one another will mesmerize viewers – and offer up a new perspective on how we ’ re all part of the same global family .
On a metaphysical level , our linkages don ’ t stop with geography ; they also extend across dimensions and other realities , such as those governed by traits like time , as seen in the compelling but much-overlooked epic “ Cloud Atlas ” ( 2012 ). This ambitious offering from the Wachowski siblings ( best known for “ The Matrix ” series ) presents six stories spanning the ages , from the adventures of a young lawyer ( Jim Sturgess ) on a mission to the South Pacific in 1849 to a Hawaiian tribesman ( Tom Hanks ) seeking to survive in a post-apocalyptic world hundreds of years in the future . Through this inventive offering , the filmmakers show us how our lives are connected across time and how the acts
39 | HAPI Guide
CONSCIOUS CINEMA “Samsara” (2011), a cinematic meditation depict- ing images of the natural, cultural and artistic el- ements that combine to constitute our world, for better or worse. Upon screening this visual feast, viewers are likely to come away with a renewed perspective on our existence, how all of its compo- nents fit together and our place in it. Of course, if we wish to improve upon the quali- ties of our interconnected world, it helps to have tools to work with in accomplishing this task, be they metaphysical or tangible. That’s where two additional documentaries come into play. “Some- thing Unknown Is Doing We Don’t Know What” (2009) provides us with insights into a variety of extraordinary paranormal or psychic skills that of- fer evidence of our connectedness and that we can work on developing to create better lives for our- selves and the world at large. And then there’s “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” (2016), director Werner Herzog’s examination of the Internet and related technologies, tools that have the potential to bring us closer together or, 39 | HAPI Guide conceivably, to drive us seemingly further apart, depending on how we use them. Connection is not exclusively the stuff of documen- taries. Our sense of entanglement is also reflected in a number of fictional works, such as the Academy Award-winning comedy-drama “American Beau- ty” (1999), the saga of an unemployed husband and father (Kevin Spacey) seeking to maintain his personal integrity (and his sanity) while preserv- ing the important connections in his life to keep his increasingly disrupted reality dissolving be ɔ)̸́Q́䁥ٽٔ͡ՙɥɥѥ)ɕɅЁɕѥ̰͡Ёѡ䁅)ѡѥ́éѼɝݥѠ)ѡ͔ݡɔLݡLͥЁ)́)ѡ՝Ё݅́٥̰ѡѥ́)ȁѕѕѕݕ役ȁ)єɽչ̸Q́́ɕа)ᅵq tؤ͕䁑Ʌє)Ёٕѡ́ѕݥ͕ɥ́ѽɥ́ѡ)ѡՑѡչ䁱́)ݕɥ ɅAа є )Фمѥ5ɽͽѡɸ ɹ)͕Ȁɥ Ʌ鄤ѕ)ݕ5᥍)͔ѕ(I-ՍݡɅٕ́ѡѕѥ)ȁѕхЁͥ͵ѡȀ/ѩ)e͡!܁ѡѡɕ́ѡ́х䁅ɔ)ɥͥ䁥ѕݽٕݥѠѡȁݥ̴)ɥ锁٥ݕ̃Lȁ܁ѥٔ)܁ݗeɔЁѡͅ)=хٕͥȁ́eЁѽ)ݥѠɅѡ䁅ͼѕɽ́)ͥ́ѡȁɕѥ̰Ս́ѡ͔ٕɹ)Ʌ́ѥ͕́ѡ)Սٕɱq ՐѱϊtȤQ)ѥ́ɥɽѡ]ͭͥ(ЁݸȃqQ5ɥt͕ɥ̤ɕ͕́ͥ)ѽɥ́ѡ̰ɽѡٕɕ́)չȀ)Mɝ̤ͥѼѡ)MѠAѼ!݅ɥ͵Q)!̤͕Ѽ٥ٔеѥ)ݽɱչɕ́啅́ѡɔQɽ՝ѡ)ٕѥٔɥѡ́͡܁́܁)ٕ́ɔѕɽ́ѥ܁ѡ