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The choices we make in movies are reflective of the variety in tastes and personalities that exist among us. A specific movie, as glorified or awarded as it might be could just be mediocre to some. Really, no matter the amount of a praise a movie can receive by movie critics, or even your family …   Read More

The choices we make in movies are reflective of the variety in tastes and personalities that exist among us. A specific movie, as glorified or awarded as it might be could just be mediocre to some. Really, no matter the amount of a praise a movie can receive by movie critics, or even your family or friends, there is a chance that a particular movie could really just not work for you. Why does this happen?  Often movies touch upon personal aspects of ourselves, sometimes they reflect or reveal an interest or perhaps resemble our own lives, so they can “touch us.” Others might have nothing to do with us, or we have no interest in the subject or plot of the movie. Personally, I have such experience with the movie American Hustle (2013) which star Christian Bale, whom I personally was looking to see in this role, because I have already come to admire his work as Batman and other movies like The Prestige (2006). Of course, no matter how much praise the movie receives, no matter the awards or the hype, I could not myself finish watching the film, It simply did not grab me. Having acknowledged these differences in movie tastes, I would still dare to extract eleven life lessons from eleven films. I think these movies have the potential to cross the “taste” boundary and have the chance at least influence your way of thinking.

11. Seven Years in Tibet

This movie is wonderful in that it shows us a tad about the lives of the Buddhist monks during the time where the Dalai Lama was still in living in Tibet. We see this through the eyes of an Austrian who is portrayed by Brad Pitt. The movie does a good job at showing many of the most admirable tenets of the Buddhist religions, such as is the respect for all living beings. In a specific scene in the movie, the Buddhist monks had to dig up a perimeter around the monastery. The Dalai Lama ensured that not even earth worms be harmed! The movie will be impact because of this and a few other lessons that this religion has to teach and it does well pertaining that his is after all a Hollywood film.

10. Awakenings

This movie was fantastic in that it captured the essence of what matters most in life. Leonard Lowe (Robert De Niro) who developed an incapacitating illness at an early age. So, the movie shows us Leonard being a normal healthy child, then show Leonard grown into a adult, all while being in a vegetative state. The wonderful part starts when Dr. Sayer (Robin Williams) tries an experimental drug on Leonard to discover that it works and brings him back from his vegetative, so we see Leonard rediscovering life, like a new born child but lived through the eyes of an adult. awakenings

9. Dead Poets Society

This movie will probably remain as of the most inspirational movies if you were ever a student. Specially if you watched the movie while you were going to high school. There is only quote that is most important to mention about this film and that “carpe diem” which is Latin for seize the day. Of course, this has little meaning unless you are captured by one of John Keating’s (Robin Williams) brilliantly executed monologues, because it is about taking a step back from our every day lives and look at life from up above, in the movie Mr. Keating asks his students to stand up on top their desks and change their perspective in life. To change your perspective in life means a whole lot because it allows us to take hold of our lives and not allow anyone take the driver seats of its direction because otherwise we lose. deadpoetssociety

8. The Fountain

This movie is beautiful not just by the special effects, but because it does a good job at representing a powerful loving relationship between two people, accentuated because one, Isabel Creo (Rachel Weisz), of them has an incurable disease, one which her husband, Tom Creo (Hugh Jackman) does the impossible to find a cure. The visuals (the soundtrack is very much worth mentioning) do give probably enough reasons to watch it, if you are into spiritual symbolism, this will be an eye pleaser. The movie does a very job at telling a story, as it is written by Isabel, that complimented by a excellent interpretation through out time.

7. Samsara

A list of movie lessons wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few good documentaries. Director Ron Fricke has been known to shoot ground breaking documentaries, shot over five years and in 25 countries purely with the sense of opening our eyes to the beautifies and realities of our world. In Samsara, the director has more a spiritual motivation to show spirituality, more than just showing churches or mosques. Fricke’s documentary are known to have no dialogue, the dialogue is made possible through narrative of shots that although come from various parts of the world and cultures do seem to have single binding commonality; they represent the human endevour to aspire to something greater than themselves. samsara

6. The Century of the Self

This is another documentary that shows its beauty in that it very well lays out the background of how we have come to live in the world today. Perhaps, the most important point in the documentary is that it shows without the shadow of a doubt is the very mischievous use of psychological techniques applied to the world of public relations. Of course public relations being the parent concept from which advertising, marketing, propaganda would eventual steam from. Primarily it is the story of Edward Bernays work who applied the work of his uncle Sigmund Freud onto the masses. Having understood this reality will change the way you look at things from there on. Most of all why The Century of the Self is so important because inherently laid out the work followed, not only by companies to convince people to buy their products, but also driven politicians the likes of Adolf Hitler to manipulate the minds of nations. This is an expose on mass mind control, still used today. thecenturyoftheself

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is unlike any other romantic comedy you would ever see. In fact, it is not a romantic comedy, it is more like a romantic drama with dark comedy in it. Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) put out a marvelous performances together, they do match other and so their relationship is very believable thus adding to the intensity of their memories together where they spilled out a number of defined adult memories, some of which give the viewers a very good portrayal of a genuine love that only goes array because of Clementine’s disturbed past rather than a falling of love for Joel. eternalsunshineofaspotlessmind

4. Interstellar

This film did what other space films have failed to do as of yet, it depicted an actual science validated scenario as to what it would be like to explore the depths of space. The verdict on whether or not Interstellar is accurate is that movie is not right right, but rather mostly right. It does paint a possible scenario onto what could happen in a worm hole and scientist have been rather pleased with the results. But this is not why the movie would leave a mark on those watch it, put aside the majestic used of visuals and special effects, the idea of what is human?  Why do we leave for? What space is there for our souls? Those very deep questions are explored in the interactions between the characters. Most of all the concept of love transcending across time and space, to identify love as an abstract but equally almost to gravity, love being not a human emotion but a powerful force. interstellar

3. The Matrix

Where to even begin with this film, much has been written about this film, but If I had focus one thing about this film is that it did a good job at put establishing a very interesting idea about the nature of our reality by posing this question: What is real? How do we know we are real ourselves? Are we just dreaming? Even before The Matrix the question has been played around through other movies like Dark City (1998). The-Matrix

2. The Pursuit of Happyness

Movies based on real inspiring stories are like gold mines waiting to be discovered. With the right cast, right directing and vision to tell the story, we have a success story told through the eyes of a struggling salesman (Will Smith) who fights to keep custody of his son (Jaden Smith) while desperately pursuing a career in the stock market. The movie has so many quotable scenes, but perhaps there is already small quote that summarizes the main teaching of the movie “go for your dreams.” The movie hits close to heart because it represents the struggle that is very relatable for anyone who ever faced a struggle. The-Pursuit-of-Happyness

1. Spirited Away

The seemingly simple story of a 10-year girl going to the country side with their parents unfolds into an adventure of magical proportions only possible due to the genius of Hayao Miyazaki, the visionary director, writer and creator of an entire sub genre of Japanese animation. Animation house, which is arguably second to only Disney’s animation studios, Miyazaki’s genius is shown because of the almost unimaginable, if not only through our own dreams. The story unfolds in a totally unpredictable manner taking is in the eyes of Rumi and exploring the many eventualities of what makes human. To try to describe in words what happens in the movie is nearly impossible, so watching it is your only option. Spirited-Away

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