a fugitive breeze, a rustle of leaves, choral insects

Quiet, please.

In contrast to “Baby Driver,” with its high-decibel cacophony, this week also brings Patrick Shen’s “In Pursuit of Silence.” It isn’t really silence that’s being pursued in this beguiling, meditative and elegantly photographed documentary. As one murmuring head after another observes, absolute silence can’t be achieved in these earthly precincts, and doesn’t warrant chasing after in any case. What’s de-stressing for the body and nourishing for the soul is quiet that contains benign sounds—a fugitive breeze, a rustle of leaves, choral insects, a bird sending signals from the far reaches of a serene acoustic surround.  The film begins with a tribute to “4’33,” the seminal composition by John Cage in which music is not played—by a pianist, or a full orchestra—for the four minutes and 33 seconds of the title. In Mr. Shen’s evocative sequence, words are not spoken but, if you listen carefully, sounds of nature and even human laughter can be heard under—or over, or within? —a succession of graceful images.

~ Joe Morgenstern, from ‘In Pursuit of Silence’ Review: Dulcet Symphony. A meditative documentary explores quiet and the auditory world around us. (wsj.com, June 29, 2017)

Note: Rotten Tomatoes Movie Review

Dream Alliance

“Dark Horse” won “The Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition” at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

“He was bred from allotment. How can he be a success?”

Whether you are a horse person, or not (I’m not), this was something to see. Don’t miss it. 87 minutes of inspiration.

Find it on Amazon Video.

Thank you Susan.

His commitment, full, all his molecules

If you were a fan of comedian Chris Farley, I highly recommend the new documentary on his life titled: I Am Chris Farley. The trailer above gives you a snapshot.  The quotes below are a few of my favorite testimonials from the film.

Mike Myers: “I was very influenced by his commitment, full, all his molecules, and anybody around him’s molecules, pulled into his performance.”

David Spade & Lorne Michaels: “Because everyone can fall down and whatever, but you can’t do it this good. He doesn’t put his hands up, which is what I would do. So he doesn’t block his fall, and you can’t do those forever. I think Chevy Chase warned him not to do that.  Because Chevy’d always had something there just before he fell so he could break the fall, but Chris was just taking it as paid. He wasn’t paying close enough attention to see that there was a way you could do it and not hurt yourself. His commitment was total.”

Bob Saget: “Then at one point there was a little fluffa that happened. There was a line that got skipped, and I just like pushed his glasses up and his eyes crossed. It was this delicate moment that made me very happy.  He came from that background where you pull everybody up – that you are there for everybody. You don’t leave anyone hanging. So when you are working with him, he was right there, helping you.  “Come on buddy”, you know, and that kind of thing.”

For a film review by Variety.com: “Film Review: I Am Chris Farley


“Mohammad Azmi, a 55-year-old former contractor, has dedicated his life to rescuing stray dogs and cats, despite living in a country (Malaysia) where dogs are considered taboo and filthy…However for Mohammad Azmi, who is fondly known as Pak Mie, his love for these animals is unconditional, as he, with the help from his wife, splurge their savings on the stray animals by providing a shelter, food and medication on daily basis, apart getting donations from concerned citizens… This also means that they have to lead a simple life; so simple that they sleep in the car parked outside the shelter that they built just to make sure that no one harms the animals during the night. Although Pak Mie knows that he will never get anything in return by sacrificing his normal life, he is hopeful that he will continue to do so until his last breath.”

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

A Stray Hero from Hisyam on Vimeo.

Sunday Morning: They are the last

Leonardo Da Costa is a lighthouse keeper stationed in Cabo Polonio, a remote cape in a stretch of Uruguayan coastline rich in shipwrecks and sunken treasures.  Cabo Polonio’s light has been guiding ships since 1881, and Da Costa is the latest in a long line of watchmen who have operated the tower with care and attention. He leads an unassuming life, the tranquility of the almost intact landscape keeping him company. Serenity and silence merge with the daily tasks and chores he carries out. Da Costa represents a rare profession that still survives in a few countries. Take some time to appreciate a gentle and enlightening way of life, for once it is gone, it will be missed.

Good Sunday Morning…

They Are The Last from Kauri Multimedia on Vimeo. *Music by Volt Heist: voltheist.com

Source: Explore

A Man Named Pearl

Here’s some help to clear your cob webs from last night.  Pearl Fryar, in a “A Man Named Pearl“, is a 68-year old man with no education in horticulture.  He creates an astonishing topiary garden in an economically depressed Bishopville, S.C. He infects his entire community and thousands of visitors who come to visit each year.  Pearl is a soft-spoken, humble, hard-working and self-made man.  An inspiration like no other.  Here is a 2-minute trailer to wet your appetite.

  • They really didn’t want him in this neighborhood because he wouldn’t keep up his yard
  • There will always be obstacles in life.  You can’t let those obstacles determine where you are going to go
  • The man can tame trees
  • The garden feels like it has a spirit within it
  • I wanted to create a feel that when you walked through, you felt differently than when you started

This 75-minute “Sunday-morning” feeling documentary is available instantly on Netflix or at Amazon here.  I watched this film 18-months ago. This man, his work and the feeling of his garden are still close…

Sources: Background and bio from Amazon

Sunday Morning: Happy

I watched a movie on Netflix yesterday called “Happy.”  It is a shortish ~70 minute documentary which blends the current research on what makes people happy with heart warming human interest stories.  Research has found 50% of our happiness is genetic and that we return to a range of happiness within “our genetic set point.”  A mere 10% of happiness is determined by our job, our economic status, our social status and our health.  A whopping 40% is determined by intentional activity and behavior that we choose.

This is a Sunday morning “feeling” movie.  I’ve shared a short movie trailer below.  If you haven’t seen it, I would encourage you to do so.  No pun intended, but it puts you in a happy place.

I came upon a post on a widely followed blog I follow called Barking Up The Wrong Tree.  The post is titled What Ten Things Should You Do Everyday To Improve Your Life and it summarizes many of the key recommendations in this documentary. I have included key excerpts below: [Read more…]

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