Archive for the ‘Film/DVD’ Category

Climbing Films – Reel Rock Tour

18/10/2011

This will get your attention - Click on the picture to play the trailer

The Bro Code

27/09/2011

How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men

An important documentary - see it.

The Media Education Foundation does it again with another solid documentary, although this one, The Bro Code,  is a bit hard to watch. The sad fact, that we all know, is that men are indoctrinated from day one to act and behave a certain way, especially towards women. This film lays bare the ways in which men get trapped into the tunnel vision of how they fit into the world.

In MEF’s powerful new release, The Bro Code, filmmaker Thomas Keith takes aim at the forces in male culture that condition boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women. Keith breaks down a range of contemporary media forms that are saturated with sexism — movies and music videos that glamorize misogyny; pornography that trades in the brutalization of women; comedy routines that make fun of sexual assault; and a slate of men’s magazines and cable TV shows whose sole purpose is to revel in reactionary myths of American manhood. The message he uncovers in virtually every corner of our entertainment culture is clear: It’s not only normal — but cool — for boys and men to control and humiliate women. By showing how there’s nothing natural or inevitable about this mentality, and by setting it against the terrible reality of men’s violence against women in the real world, The Bro Code challenges young people to step up and fight back against the idea that being a real man means disrespecting women.  Featuring interviews with Michael Kimmel, Robert Jensen, Shira Tarrant, J.W. Wiley, Douglas Rushkoff, Eric Anderson, and Neal King. To see the trailer click here..

The Ugly American Turns Beautiful

18/09/2011

Outsourced - A great source for cultural awareness

Outsourced
By R Richards
Says one movie critic about the movie Outsourced, “It does for cultural differences with humor, what ‘Crash’ did with intensity and violence.” I found it to be a wonderful treatise on the Ugly American turned good. Using the metaphor of outsourcing, Yankees are forced, through humor, to reassess the American way of life.  According to United States Government Accountability Office, about 28 percent of the U.S. population has a passport, and the main character in Outsourced is no different. But he eventually awakens with his first trip to India to learn not only about a rich country, but about himself.  See this movie.

Outsourced is a modern day comedy of cross-cultural conflict and romance. Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) spends his days managing a customer call center in Seattle until his job, along with those of the entire office, are outsourced to India. Adding insult to injury, Todd must travel to India to train his new replacement. As he navigates through the chaos of Bombay and an office paralyzed by constant cultural misunderstandings, Todd yearns to return to the comforts of home. But it is through his team of quirky yet likable Indian call center workers, including his friendly and motivated replacement, Puro (Asif Basra), and the charming, opinionated Asha (Ayesha Dharker), that Todd realizes that he too has a lot to learn – not only about India and America, but about himself. He soon discovers that being outsourced may be the best thing that ever happened to him.

See the Trailer

Outsourced debuted with its world premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, and following a successful run at festivals around the world, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, the production company behind Outsourced, has chosen to distribute the film independently in select theaters around the US and on DVD

Asylum in Czech Republic on Ecological Grounds

30/08/2011

A true story, this short documentary from Culture Unplugged is about a Danish citizen who seeks asylum in the Czech Republic.  I include it here to stimulate self-assessment of your assumptions. Tell us what you think.

Brian Kulkaer Larsen of Copenhagen

Water, The Great Mystery

04/06/2011

Water, Check it out.

Austrian Researcher Alois Gruber states in the movie, Water – The Great Mystery, by Hopscotch Films, “At the level of thought, a person who thinks negative thoughts is polluting his own water of which his body is 75-90% composed, and giving it a negative charge.”  The movie had my attention.
The film’s narrator continues, “As it records new information, water acquires new properties yet its chemical composition remains unchanged. The structure of the water is much more important than the chemical composition.

H2O

The structure of water means how its molecules are organized. Water molecules join together into groups which are called clusters. Scientists *theorize that these clusters work as memory cells of a

certain sort in which water records the whole history of its relationship with the world as if on magnetic tape.”

Water's structure in clusters

“Of course remains water, but its structure, like a nervous system reacts to any irritation. Modern instruments have made it possible to record the fact that within each of the water’s memory cells there are 440,000 information panels each of which is responsible for its own type of interaction with the environment. “

Molecules coming and going

Marc Chaplin, Professor and Laboratory Chief of London University says, “If you consider a cluster as a specific group of molecules, then it can only survive a short amount of time,  but if you consider it as a structure, whereby molecules can leave and other molecules come in, the  cluster will survive in effect, for a very long time. Water can record and store information, like a computer memory.”

H2O has "memory panels"

“Basically water has photographic memory and you can imprint it with very subtle energies, even from 10,000 km away”  says Professor Rustum Roy, of Penn State University, and Member of the International Academy of Science.  “Does that mean remote communication can happen between human beings who are structures essentially composed of water?” asks the film.

Subject A in Russia

“In Februrary 2005 a professor and colleagues conducted an experiment  to confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis that remote communication between people is possible.  Two people were 10,000 miles apart, one in Moscow, the other in South America. The “virtual brain” of the experiment’s participants showed with EEG’s and EKG’s as well as other systems being monitored.

Subject B in S. America

Suddenly the two people had tuned themselves to the same wave, synchronization of areas of their brain, breathing patterns, and pulses. The theory is, liquids in the body carry out an information transmission system.”
The book the Secret Life of Plants was one of the first early works exploring and describing the reactions and relationships of plants to external stimuli in their world.  The author hooked up house plants in his office to a lie detector machine and to his surprise saw the plants react to his thoughts, regardless of whether he was in the same room or not, or the same city for that matter.

Subject A & B's synchronized scans

Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of “The Secret Life of Water”  was also interviewed in the film. Emoto, in his experiments, exposed different water droplets  to different thoughts, words  and intentions.

Water Crystals presented with Bach

These words and thoughts were directed at droplets before they were frozen, then images of the resulting water crystals were captured on film. The stunning results, such as  “beautiful” or “ugly” depended upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water.    If you ‘re not familiar with his book or images, one of which is included here, check it out.

This led me to a logical conclusion from my shamanic studies in Peru, where the Inca and Quechua concept of Ayni, (reciprocity) runs throughout the mountain cultures in the Andes.

Q'ero Priests in the Andes

I learned to give words and form to what I had intuitively, (and most likely all of us have) had  known all my life from growing up in woods of New Hampshire, and later, mountain guiding in the mountains of the world –  that the mountains, streams and rivers, and other natural features give off a certain energy, and that we can interact with them as we would a person.  We can exchange energy, ask for support from the mountain, or lake,  and give back that support through emotional prayer, conservation protection and simple acknowledgement of the mountain’s energy and presence.
This might sound silly to the western logical mind, but the indigenous cultures who lived closer to the land knew and lived this life, and many still do, on a daily basis.  The western mind  is too busy, the channels are too clogged with data, to recognize the subtle signals that come from the old oak tree or the master mountain on the horizon.
The people of Cusco have twelve main “Apu’s “ or Mountain Spirits around their city, two of which are named Ausangate, Salkantay, Each main mountain or other geographic feature has its own characteristic such as male or female, strength,  allowance, introspection etc.. and the spirit of Ayni pervades all interactions with these mountain spirits.  As a side note, when I named our organization Mountain Spirit Institute in 1996, I had no awareness of the Andean “Apu’s”.
I took what I had learned, and melded it with my own intuition and experiences. When back in the U.S., I started to give more form to my relationships with the surrounding mountains and water features in my hometown of Sunapee, NH.  I started to see Mt. Sunapee in a different light, and in fact, took a job as a ski patroller mostly because I wanted to interact with the mountain energy on a daily basis. I wanted to, protect it, be in on the mountain, feel its power, and ask for strength from it as well.  Now that I think about it, maybe when Catherine Busheuff and I decided to move forward with those early meetings at the library, that later turned into the Friends of Mount Sunapee, maybe part of the seed that led to the mountain’s protection that exists today, came from those early interactions.  Many individuals have since carried forward  with their own passion to protect the mountain from abuse and over-development. I hope to think I may have had a small part in that.

Communication w/Lake Sunapee from NZ's Lakes District

I also started relating to Lake Sunapee in a different way as well. While I always felt the water was in my bones, this film, and Emoto’s book, gives me some credence that the water memory from where we come is actually part of us.  So after seeing the movie, I spontanisouly  meditated on the waters of Sunapee from here in New Zealand. I started feeling the healing power of the waters of Lake Sunapee, even though I’m down here on New Zealand’s south island,  very long way away. I could feel the exchange of energy, of love and gratitude.
So what’s this all mean – from the shamanic studies in Peru, to experiments in Russia to meditation and communication with a body of water in New Hampshire from New Zealand,  from one water body to another body of water? It means, at least to me, that we can interact more with trees,  mountains, rivers, lakes and each other on a level far deeper than conventional society believes. Traditional societies know about this connection, and its knowledge may just mean we learn to survive as a species.
I started Mountain Spirit Institute because I feel I can contribute to helping people reconnect to the natural environment, each other and a deeper connection to themselves by setting the stage for powerful transformative experiences. This film is an affirmation that I, and our board of directors are on the right track. Visit our website for more information on our core values, and our mission, and do see the movie!

Water's structure as important as chemical make-up

Chapters of the movie Water, The Great Mystery, include:
The Structure of Water
The importance of water,
Dead and Heavy Water
Natural and Artificial Water
The Effect of Water on the Body
Water as the Medium
The Power of Faith
A Water Crisis
Nature Disasters
Love and Gratitude

* While I didn’t look for footnotes to the research mentioned in the movie, nor check into the science, I decided to write this post to share my personal experience of the movie, and in life.

There was much more fascinating information in the movie than I was able to include here. Do see it to learn more about agriculture, hydro power, our public water supply and one of the world’s most pristine water supplies in Brazil.  All images are screen shots from the movie and are intended and used for review purposes only.

Joe Simpson’s Beckoning Silence

26/05/2011

Bravo, Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson’s documentary, The Beckoning Silence, is a well-done re-enactment of Tony Kurtz’s infamous climb on the Eiger. It’s part adventure, part history and part personal reflection. It shows the insight of wisdom that, in this case, comes with age. Having almost died more than once, the first time in Peru, Simpson has arrived at place in his life that is refreshingly thoughtful. Simpson is a climber who is growing older and facing his own mortality. Congrats to Simpson for making this “on the edge of your seat” film and letting us into his personal growth.

I reflect on Eckhart Tolle who writes in his first book The Power of Now about thrill seekers such as climbers who get addicted to the calm that comes with climbing, where past and future fade away and one must focus next move or ice axe placement,  because “taking your attention away from the task at hand, even for a split second can mean death”. Tolle  adds, “Fortunately you don’t have to climb the north face of the Eiger in order to feel the presence of the moment,  you can do it, right here and now*.”

I just did a bit of leading on rock yesterday, for the first time in a while, getting out from behind the desk here in New Zealand. It was great to clear the head and be on the  cliffs right outside our house here in Kingston on Shirttail Cliffs.

Top of Shirt-tail Cliffs, Kingston, NZ

Great quality climbs in a spectacular setting. Moving on the rock again felt great, and motivating, being on the sharp end. However,  I’ve never had that wild-eyed look of adrenaline, pumped, on the sharp end, need of the thrill . I like to test myself, but my survivalist instinct is too strong to be too bold. There are old climbers, bold climbers but not a lot of old bold climbers.   I know quite a few fellow climbers who I’ve lost to the mountains over the years, including one of my mentors, Alan Bard. I think of these things too, as does Simpson, as we have a baby boy expected to arrive in four weeks.  It’s good to be in the mountains, but to those hardcore dudes, don’t be afraid to take the easy way up, it won’t kill you.

*A free translation

Bolivia: Fighting the Climate Wars

20/04/2011

From: The Guardian
John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day. Their president has called for an urgent 50% cut in emissions – action that is essential for the country’s survival. Click on the image to view video.

Excellent Video on Bolivias Iniatives

World Population Video

31/03/2011

"The Dot Map", Hard to forget

“The Dot Map” as it’s commonly referred to is a video that stuck with me. I vowed to track it down on the internet today after having seen it some twenty years ago on VHS.

The DVD version can be purchased here for $20.00 which goes to a good cause: www.populationeducation.org
Highly recommended if you want a look at our population growth. It’s hard to get our head around it, but this video helps with an indelible visual.
Ed Note: This online version doesn’t do the original justice. The dots are hard to make out, consequently the experience isn’t quite as impactful. Buy the video for best results.

This Way of Life.. An Inspiring Film

09/02/2011

Don't Miss This Dose of Inspiration

The film This way of  Life is as inspiring as it gets. Filmed in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island, this documentary is about a Maori family: a good and strong man and his wife who bring up their kids in the out-of-doors, raising wild horses. Peter, the father, is someone this writer admires for his steadfast adherance to what is right action in the midst of some people around him who act very badly.  We happened to pick up the movie at the library the other day, and were wowed by it.
A lot of what we strive for here at Mountain Spirit Institute is encapsulated in the documentary, and how this family lives their lives. No nature deficit disorder here. But the hardships, and even the new house where the kids get their own rooms, don’t sugarcoat the difficulties faced by the family.  We are about to bring a child into this world, and this film has added fuel to our fire to continue to head for the mountains. A cure for affluenza, for sure.

Director: Thomas Burstyn
New Zealand, 2010, 84 min.
Against the stunning beauty of New Zealand’s rugged Ruahine Mountains, Peter Karena and his wife Colleen instill in their children the values of independence, courage, and happiness. The family is poor in possessions but rich with a physicality and freedom within nature that most of us can only dream of. The children ride bareback, hunt, and play in the wild. Shot over four years, this film is an intimate portrait of a Maori family and their relationship with nature, adversity, horses, and society at large. Special mention at Berlin International Film Festival, 2010 Hotdocs, New Zealand’s Oscar shortlist.

You can learn a bit more about the family and the film on their Facebook page.
See the Movie Trailer

Glacier Melting & Time-Lapse Photography

27/09/2010

“More ice is released into the global ocean, from this glacier*, than from any other glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. If sea level rises, this is where it all begins. This is it, ground zero.”

EIS's James Balog

From: NPR’s Living on Earth
A photographer was one of this year’s Heinz environmental award winners. James Balog’s project — the Extreme Ice Survey — documents the rapid melting of glacial ice through time-lapse photographs from cameras in some of the world’s most remote areas. Host Bruce Gellerman talks with James Balog about the Extreme Ice Survey.

GELLERMAN: Winners of the prestigious Heinz environmental award have just been announced. This year the Heinz Foundation is honoring a wide variety of environmental innovators including a distinguished academic for his work in sustainable transportation, a pioneer in green chemistry, and a scientist who studies the suspected endocrine disrupting chemical BPA.

Awards and checks for a hundred thousand dollars will also be going to several winners who focus on climate change, among them James Balog. He’s director of Earthvision Trust and a one-time climate change skeptic. James Balog joins us from Boulder Colorado. Welcome to LOE…and congratulations.
BALOG: Well, thank you so much. It’s a wonderful week, and a wonderful honor and a privilege. I feel very blessed.

GELLERMAN: A climate change skeptic winning one of the premier environmental awards. Now, that’s an achievement.

Greenland ice sheet melting fast

BALOG: Well, I’m not a skeptic, and I haven’t been in a long time. Twenty years ago, I thought this whole science was based on computer modeling, and I’m a bit of a technological Luddite, and I thought that if it was all based on computer modeling, there could be something wrong with it. But then I took the time to learn about the evidence that was in the ice cores, and then I got out into the field and looked at what was happening to the glaciers, and I realized that this was not about models and projections and statistics. This was incredible concrete and real and immediate and happening really quickly.

GELLERMAN: In a sense, seeing is believing.

BALOG: Yeah, absolutely. As a photographer, my whole career and as a once-upon-a-time experiential educator for Outward Bound School, and as a mountaineer for forty years, I am quite keyed in to the feeling of experience. You know, seeing things, feeling things, touching things. Letting the vibrate in your chest, well when you are standing at the side of these glaciers and you’re watching huge masses of ice go away, you really get it.
Read the rest of this interview….