Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Movie

From time to time I’ll mention a book, movie, or television series that gets my attention. The other evening we were watching the latest Netflix arrival of The Lovely Bones. The premise sounded interesting – a teenage girl, Susie, is murdered but watches over her grieving family from the other world while her killer prepares for a new victim. The film, directed by Peter Jackson, is a slow paced, absorbing work presented through the consciousness of a teenage girl. I say slow paced  because the killer-on-the-loose element is usually fuel for action adventures. Lovely Bones is a remarkable adventure and the action is, well, thoughtful.

Riveting is the best description of Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal of the young teen who missed out on her first kiss. Much of the film involves her learning the nature of her new existence – one filled with symbols reflecting her feelings and those she remains close to, such as her father (Mark Wahlberg.) It is these otherworld landscapes and operations that really got my attention. An instantaneous quantum-ruled existence where everything moves in and out of form according to the prevalent thought or fixation. As the film unfolds Susie realizes she can’t simply move on because she wants vengeance – a desire her father acts on, in a learning moment for her.

There are similarities with two other favorites who trod these realms, Ghost (1990) and What Dreams May Come (1998.) Like Ghost, Susie is aware of the nefarious plans of her killer, as Patrick Swayze tracked his in Ghost. And, like Ghost, a medium provides a crucial moment permitting the deceased to finally move on.

But it is the dream-like landscapes and quantum-formations that distinguish Lovely Bones and recalls the never-quite-dry paint world Robin Williams experienced as a newly deceased in What Dreams May Come.

The films base their story on consciousness continuing after physical death and the protagonist learning the range and scope of his/her “new” ability. Consciousness is the creative element. And what it conjures is remarkable.

Oh, there's a reason for the title The Lovely Bones.  The movie did not end the way one might expect early on.

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