INCEPTION, BLACK SWAN, HEREAFTER, THE WAYSHOWER, SPIRITUAL WARRIORS, STONE, ATLAS SHRUGGED, - all of these films defy the current trend of comic book heroes, remakes and sequels daring to go into new territory with exotic locales and journey's that dig beyond the surface and challenge us to understand our actions through the complexity of our beings. They dramatize the connection between the actions of our minds, hearts, subconscious and soul and the action our conscious self takes, all up there on the big screen. A mighty message and overdue relief, enlightenment as well as entertainment, thought provoking not mind numbing, -- Welcome to Nirvana.
Combining world class locations and stars like Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood delves into unexplored terrain with HEREAFTER -- a drama that bridges life and death, about how our inner lives, our gifts, affect us and others and how there's a whole other universe happening independent or interdependent on the world we know if only we would awaken to it.
In the soon to be released, ATLAS SHRUGGED, Ayn Rand's mystery is not about the murder of a man's body but about the murder and rebirth of man's spirit examining the role of man's mind in existence. Jsu Garcia embodies Francisco d'Anconia, the striker masquerading as a playboy, responding Atlas would simply 'shrug' off the weight of the world on his shoulders.
A perfect segue, Jsu Garcia gets behind the camera in THE WAYSHOWER partnering with his 'Wayshower', John-Roger, to write, produce and co-direct Eric Roberts, Peter Stormare and himself in a film that solidly balances his outer journey with forays to Machu Picchu and the Saharan desert with an inner one in exile in John-Roger's birthplace, Utah, where they challenge us to see our internal life by dramatizing it. Characters represent our complexity, our inner conflicts. We see how they go far beyond the Angel whispering in one ear and the Devil in the other. The narrative jumps as our minds do, traveling to different locations, time periods and incidents.
SPIRITUAL WARRIORS, John-Roger and Jsu Garcia's companion film, explored life's greatest mystery, ourselves, in a journey across time down the Nile to Egypt's great pyramids, into ancient Rome and realms like Petra then back again to Los Angeles and life as we know it today, all in an effort of one man to know himself.
Natalie Portman in THE BLACK SWAN pirouettes into madness, blurring the line between reality and hallucination showing what is going on in Nina's head. Edward Norton's STONE crawls into the mind of Robert De Niro even as he attempts to get into his own in a meditation on who of us has the right to judge another. One has a spiritual epiphany while the other falls prey to his darkest impulses. In Christopher Nolan's INCEPTION the action is within our minds, in our subconscious and it is rich, multi layered and complex. Our mind plays tricks, our heart its accomplice. The characters are adrift in time and experience, with new geography, new terrain and Leonardo Di Caprio's dream or nightmare seems to be saying we wake up to truth when we are faced with death.
Good films need audience participation. The movie doesn't end with the credit roll, it goes on when we leave the theater, with us. We take the character's journey home and finish the story in our minds and hearts because these films touch a place inside of us that is inside of all of us. We identify with the hero, the characters, we empathize and learn as we laugh or cry living vicariously and learn or acknowledge something in ourselves. These films show us a way, an awareness in their hour and a half and we become richer more complete because of them. Instead of dulling in mindless escapism, they force us to become passengers, participants on the ride of our lives.
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