Film DVD & Video Resources
Film – DVD Resources:
Resurrection (Universal Vault Series) – Available on demand from Amazon.com
Ellen Burstyn (Actor) Sam Shepard (Actor) Daniel Petrie (Director)
In Resurrection, an unforgettable story of love and devotion, Ellen Burstyn delivers a tour-de-force performance as a woman who experiences clinical death and returns to life with the amazing ability to heal others. Attributing her powers to human love rather than divine intervention, she begins to aid the residents of her childhood town. After healing a zealous young farmer (Sam Shepard), she starts to fall in love with him. As their affair develops, he tries to make her confess that her powers come from God and not from within. Her refusal leads to a violent climax that will change the healer and all who touch her forever.
Released at a time when psychic auras, near-death experiences, and Kirlian photography were all the rage among early New Age proponents, Resurrection achieves a spiritual depth rarely found in Hollywood movies. In one of her finest performances, Ellen Burstyn stars as Edna McCauley, a transplanted farm girl who develops healing powers following an accident that left her widowed and paralyzed. Returning to her Kansas homeland, she attracts awe and controversy, performing healings while deflecting any pretense of religion. That’s a risky position in the Bible belt, and even Edna’s new beau Cal (Sam Shepard) responds with zealous incredulity, fearing what he can’t understand while others embrace Edna with unquestioning faith. Through it all, Edna remains calmly resolute as the conduit of an extraordinary gift.
Sensitively written by Lewis John Carlino (The Great Santini), Resurrection tenuously mixes spiritual significance with John Ford’s homespun tradition. Burstyn superbly conveys Edna’s heartfelt determination, and both she and stage veteran Eva LeGallienne (in a rare and final film performance, as Edna’s grandma) deservedly earned Oscar nominations. The movie dares to suggest that miracles reside within everyone, and that pure grace will manifest itself in unexpected ways. To that end, Richard Farnsworth is warm and wise in a brief but perfect role; Burstyn’s final scene with Roberts Blossom (as her disapproving father) is a heartbreaker; and the film ends with an act of compassion that brings the story full circle as an affirmation of life’s greatest mysteries. –Jeff Shannon
Our modern, rational culture floats like a small boat on a huge, dark ocean of unknowable depth. Richard Chamberlain, in perhaps his best role ever, is a lawyer specializing in the arid technicalities of corporate taxation who is, by chance [well no, not really, as it turns out] drawn into the Shamanic world of the tribal aborigines who, unknown to most people, still inhabit Sydney, Australia. Little by little, the comfortable everyday world in which Chamberlain’s character lived starts to dissolve, or at least become transparent, before the unguessably ancient and very different world around it. Meanwhile nature is acting very strange, paralleling the breakdown in Chamberlain’s character. A wonderful movie, full of rich metaphors and images (including the final one) that remain in the mind long after the film is over. Even the soundtrack: some aboriginal instruments, some very nervous-sounding Australian-Irish dance music, and some spare but oh-so-telling chords, can stay with you for days. What are dreams anyway and what do we buy by living in a daylight world where we cannot see them?
The word Baraka means “blessing” in several languages; watching this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage of images that transcend language. Filmed in 24 countries and set to an ever-changing global soundtrack, the movie draws some surprising connections between various peoples and the spaces they inhabit, whether that space is a lonely mountaintop or a crowded cigarette factory. Some of these attempts at connection are more successful than others: for instance, an early sequence segues between the daily devotions of Tibetan monks, Orthodox Jews, and whirling dervishes, finding more similarity among these rituals than one might expect. And there are other amazing moments, as when sped-up footage of a busy Hong Kong intersection reveals a beautiful symmetry to urban life that could only be appreciated from the perspective of film.
Shot in breathtaking 70mm in 24 countries on six continents, Baraka is a transcendent global tour that explores the sights and sounds of the human condition like nothing you’ve ever seen or felt before. These are the wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, harmony and chaos. Baraka has now been fully restored from its original camera negative via state-of-the-art 8K UltraDigital mastering to create one of the most visually stunning DVD ever made. 2- Disc edition includes over 80 minutes of Bonus Features.
First-time filmmaker Godfrey Reggio’s experimental documentary from 1983–shot mostly in the desert Southwest and New York City on a tiny budget with no script, then attracting the support of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas and enlisting the indispensable musical contribution of Philip Glass–delighted college students on the midnight circuit and fans of minimalism for many years. Meanwhile, its techniques, merging cinematographer Ron Fricke’s time-lapse shots (alternately peripatetic and hyperspeed) with Glass’s reiterative music (from the meditative to the orgiastic)–as well as its ecology-minded imagery–crept into the consciousness of popular culture. The influence of Koyaanisqatsi, or “life out of balance,” has by now become unmistakable in television advertisements, music videos, and, of course, in similar movies such as Fricke’s own Chronos and Craig McCourry’s Apogee.
The documentary The Knowledge of Healing is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices.
Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gyüshi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950′s and 1960′s, and many physicians were executed.
Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.
The Knowledge of Healing is not propaganda for alternative medicine, but a thorough, objective examination of an ancient interpretation of human physiology, and a compelling investigation into an alternative approach to healing.
The Illuminated Chakras – A Visionary Voyage into Your Inner World – Anodea Judith (Director)
The Illuminated Chakras is a breathtaking 28 minute open-eyed journey through the seven chakras, offering a visual and musical experience of each level of consciousness. Innovative animation of great beauty by 3D artist Alex Wayne works synergistically with a magnificent original soundtrack by Robin Silver to bring the viewer directly to a subjective experience of each of these important power centers.
The Illuminated Chakras is a breakthrough in meditation enhancement and spiritual technology that brings the essence of this ancient system to homes and studios everywhere. It is especially valuable for yoga practitioners, meditators, students of world religion, and anyone wishing to experience the transcendent power of their own chakras.
Anodea Judith, Ph.D. is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on the chakra system. She is the founder and director of Sacred Centers, and a groundbreaking thinker, writer, and spiritual teacher. She holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology and Human Health, a 500 hour registered yoga teacher, with lifelong studies of healing, mythology, history, sociology, systems theory, and mystic spirituality.
She is best known for the chakra classic, Wheels of Life and the groundbreaking psychology book Eastern Body-Western Mind.