Wednesday, May 03, 2006

2006 Inspiration Film Festival

The second annual Inspiration Film Festival was held at the end of April in Santa Monica, CA. Personally, I didn't know there had been a first annual festival. One of the cool things about being alive is that you can literally learn at least one new thing every day.

According to the site:
An Inspiration Film is a movie that inspires us, lifts our spirit, or transforms our lives. An Inspiration Film makes us feel more hopeful, more thankful, more connected, more passionate, and better about life in general. We identify with an Inspiration Film's characters on a deep, emotional level, and are motivated by their stories to pursue positive change in our own lives. An Inspiration film honors the belief that simple choices can change the world and inspires us to make a difference.
Based on that definition, these are the films that were selected (submitted?) for this year's festival:
Akeelah And The Bee
Peaceful Warrior

Into Great Silence
What the Bleep Do We Know?! - Down the Rabbit Hole
The World According to Sesame Street

Grocery Store Wars: The Organic Rebellion
The McCombie Way
Meatrix II: Revolting
New Boobs
Picket Fenced-In

Looks like an interesting assortment of films. Mindwalk(which is from the early 1990's, I believe) is a special presentation -- I suppose they are honoring the history of the genre. I vaguely remember liking this film, even though the Fritjof Capra stuff was a bit tired by then.

Akeelah and the Bee has gotten some good press, considering that this is Starbuck's (yes, the coffee folks) first foray into film making -- including a glowing review from none other than ~C4Chaos. Akeelah won the Gaia Merit Award at this year's festival -- I think that means they liked it. Apprently, Ebert and Roper also gave it "Two thumbs way up!"

Peaceful Warrior is also getting good press. Here is a bit of one review:
There's no question that legions of Millman's fans will embrace this film version of the 25-year-old best-seller. But in adapting the first two-thirds of the book, director Victor Salva and writer Kevin Berhardt clearly aimed to do more than preach to the personal growth/self-realization choir; for the most part they avoid self-congratulatory New Age philosophizing and focus on character.

And then there is What the Bleep . . . . When I first heard about this new, extended version of the first highly boring and laughable film, I posted this commentary.

All of the other films are new to me, so I look forward to seeing some of them.

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Steve said...

I saw Mindwalk years ago and loved it. Wilber may call Capra's "web of life" perspective "flatland," but I think that many of the ideas he expresses in such works as The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point, Belonging to the Universe, The Web of Life, The Hidden Connections, and Mindwalk are still as timely and important today as they've ever been, and I've always admired the earnestness of his efforts and the clarity of his expression.

I also read Way of the Peaceful Warrior when it came out years ago, and even though I felt partly inspired by its sorcerer's apprentice theme and partly put off by its New Agey aura, watching the trailer for the film makes me think that I might enjoy it.

Thanks for calling our attention to these and other inspirational films out there.


william harryman said...

Hi Steve,

Glad you found this useful. I think I want to try to make some kind of review of current films in this "genre" a feature here. Kira and I have divergent tastes in movies, but this is one area we can usually agree on.

I liked Mindwalk too. It was just that when I saw it (back in college) I had already read Capra's Tao of Physics and The Turning Point and thought of this stuff as "old news" -- of course, I had just started reading Wilber at that time, which made everything else seem like child's play.

The folly of youth.