Recommended Viewing: February 2010
- Published: 13 February 2010
- Hits: 2231
Check out this month's selection of DVDs for smart, creative thinkers.
Black, White and Gray
Director: James Crump
Details: Black, White and Gray
Yale-educated and born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Sam Wagstaff’s transformation from innovative museum curator to Robert Mapplethorpe’s lover and patron is intensively probed in Black White + Gray.
During the heady years of the 1970s and 1980s, the New York City art scene was abuzz with a new spirit, and Mapplethorpe would be at the center of it. Wagstaff pulled him from his suburban Queens existence, gave him a camera and brought him into this art world that seemed to be waiting for him, creating the man whose infamous images instilled emotions ranging from awe to anger.
In turn, Mapplethorpe brought the formerly starched-shirt preppie to the world of drugs and gay S-and-M sex, well-documented in his still-startling photographs. Twenty five years separated the lovers, but their relationship was symbiotic to its core, and the two remained together forever. The film also explores the relationship both men had with musician/poet Patti Smith, whose 1975 debut album “Horses” catapulted her to fame.
Director: Jay Weidner
Details: Sacred Mysteries
Featuring Gregg Braden, Dannion Brinkley, Renate Dollinger, Stanislav Grof, John Holland, Dzogchen Ponlop, Robert Thurman, Alberto Villoldo, Neale Donald Walsch and Brian Weiss.
What happens after we pass from this world? Is there a life after this one? Or do we just disappear forever? These are the questions asked in this powerful and poignant feature documentary, Infinity: The Ultimate Trip. Many may be surprised by the answers.
Featuring noted experts Gregg Braden, Dannion Brinkley, Renate Dollinger. Stanislav Grof, John Holland, Dzogchen Ponlop, Robert Thurman, Alberto Villoldo, Neale Donald Walsch and Brian Weiss, Infinity: The Ultimate Trip brings a message of hope and optimism concerning the most mysterious act in a human life; the end of this life and journey to the beyond.
Using vital and beautiful imagery, along with personal accounts of near-death experiences, reincarnation and more, Infinity brings forth the story of our own infinite nature, what to expect after death and the magic and beauty that awaits us on the other side.
Here we learn of the energetic landscape of the world that we enter after we die, the angels, or beings of light, who assist us in the passing and the promise of a new life. Infinity: The Ultimate Trip is an honest and hopeful assessment of the greatest journey that any of us will ever take. It changes our view from that of dread and pessimism to one of hope, joy and light
Directors: James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch
Details: Food Matters
"Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food" - Hippocrates. That is the message from the founding father of modern medicine echoed in the controversial new documentary film Food Matters from Producer-Directors James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch.
With nutritionally-depleted foods, chemical additives and our tendency to rely upon pharmaceutical drugs to treat what's wrong with our malnourished bodies, it's no wonder that modern society is getting sicker. Food Matters sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide 'sickness industry' and gives people some scientifically verifiable solutions for overcoming illness naturally.
In what promises to be the most contentious idea put forward, the filmmakers have interviewed several leading experts in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.
The focus of the film is in helping us rethink the belief systems fed to us by our modern medical and health care establishments. The interviewees point out that not every problem requires costly, major medical attention and reveal many alternative therapies that can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than conventional medical treatments.
The ‘Food Matters' duo have independently funded the film from start to finish in order to remain as unbiased as possible, delivering a clear and concise message to the world. Food Matters.
Soundtrack For A Revolution tells the story of the American Civil Rights Movement through its powerful music -the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.
The film features new performances of the freedom songs by top artists, including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, and Ambassador Andrew Young.
The freedom songs evolved from slave chants, from the labour movement, and especially from the black church. The music enabled blacks to sing words they could not say and it was crucial in helping the protesters as they faced down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. The infectious energy of the songs swept people up and empowered them to fight for their rights.
Soundtrack For A Revolution celebrates the vitality of this music. Directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman (Nanking), and executive produced by Danny Glover, Soundtrack For A Revolution is a vibrant blend of heart-wrenching interviews, dramatic images, and thrilling contemporary performances -- a film of significance, energy and power.
Director: Luis Lopez
In 1960, Cuban photographer Alberto “Korda” Díaz captured a photo of Ernesto “Che” Guevara during a mass funeral.
History conspired to enable this dynamic portrait to explode on the world scene in 1968 throughout Europe and Latin America, when it became an international symbol of protest and dissent. In the last decade, with the establishment of the Internet, the image has once again traveled the globe in many forms.
From protest to commerce, it is constantly transformed and reinvented. It is considered to be the most reproduced image in the history of photography.
Why and how did this photograph become so important?
Chevolution is a film about a photograph. It explores how the Che image traveled from Korda’s studio in Havana to the streets of Europe and beyond. We investigate how this portrait with its enigmatic gaze became a symbol for countless visions for change.
The School: Humanity’s New Future
In the foothills of the highest mountain in Europe, in a valley with glacier-fed springs, surrounded by ancient megaliths and natural power spots, there lies a school where the future of humanity is now being forged. A bright future.
A dream? A reality!
For three decades now a Russian visionary Mikhail Shetinin has been shattering both mainstream and ‘alternative’ views on education, while creating humanity’s new future.
At his School, the children have designed, built, and decorated their own campus. They cover the entire high-school curriculum in one year and get official Master’s degrees by the time they are seventeen. They cook their meals, do administrative work, and write their own textbooks. They contemplate the meaning of the Universe and swim in mountain streams.
They dance, draw, sing, and pick strawberries in the surrounding fields. They can shoot from an automatic rifle and fight with swords. They master ancient folk crafts by awakening their ancestral memory, which goes deeper than any written history now known to us.
The girls choose not to wear miniskirts, make-up, or flashy jewelry. They have no interest in TV or video games. They do not prepare themselves for ‘life’ — they live every moment they breathe. They do it all with a mission to reclaim our true essence and to bring back to planet Earth the era of awareness and peace... The School will fill you with tremendous inspiration as you witness the enormous creative power revealed in each human being.
Do you know of an inspiring or political or feminist or quirky DVD that encourage social justice or change? We are keen to promote DVDs from across the world, particularly non-fiction documentaries. If you're a documentary film-maker or have suggestions for any recent (within a year) DVDs that fit the bill, please email Katrina Fox at: editor [at] thescavenger [dotnet]. suggestions.
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