DVD AND MOVIE REVIEWS
Yoga To Go (DVD)
Prorduced by Guru Yogi Ramesh
Universal Yoga Founder
Instant Stress-Free Oxygen Power and Hatha Yoga
This DVD took me over to the lighter side of life, literally... Through controlled breath and laughter, Guru Master Yogi Ra-mesh shares his 45 years of teaching Yoga through this fun DVD. As I watched him enthusiastically demonstrate a body-breathing technique, I found myself caught in the spirit of the activity too. It was easy to join with him as he chanted “I am happy and I am relaxed” over and over. Yogi explains the benefits and power of breath on the DVD in a lively, encouraging manner.
It is well known that laughter is a tonic for stress release, freeing the mind, and great for the lungs and circulation. Yogi’s laughing yoga (Hasya) has been around for 5,000 years. He trained in India and teaches the traditional form of yoga in his studio and on cable TV shows in the Southland.
His experience and passion is evident in his HO HO HOs and HA HA HAs as he encourages you to laugh along with him. I felt a bit silly at first, but that soon gave way to an energized and relaxed state after just one session.
I would recommend this DVD to anyone who really desires a simple and proven
method to feel great with natural, healthy benefits. You will laugh yourself
healthy! With his series of DVDs, Yogi makes yoga easy, affordable and
“Laughter and breathing are the very best medicine for heart disease, weight loss and stress release. Energize your body and mind for ten minutes a day. Be happy and relaxed all day,” Yogi advises.
The DVD is available from his website for $17.95 including tax and shipping. Visit the “Yoga Store” at www.universalyoga.org or call (877) 367-9642.
Yoga Classes for Seniors and Everyone
“Yoga Healthcare for America” is his slogan and quest for the millennium. Yogi Ramesh teaches classes for seniors at the Downey Senior Center weekly and also in his Paramount studio (Universal Temple of Yoga). The emphasis is on spirituality and health for heart disease, cancer control and life extension. Yogi says it is time to be happy and love life through yoga — a tool for everyone, including children.
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis
THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN
The Epic Tale of a Maverick Midwestern Farmer
Narrated and Written
by Farmer John Peterson
Produced by Awakened Media
Farmer John Peterson was born on a farm in the Midwest. His parents were farmers, and eventually, he takes over the family farm. This DVD is a retrospective and scrapbook of his life, with a happy ending that allows the community to once again be connected to the land.
Instead of trying to explain the plight of the farmer in our age, Peterson shows us with poignant still life and movie clips dated from the 1950s and forward. The piece includes nostalgic scenes of children playing with farm animals and on tractors, which segues into Peterson’s young adult life as he transforms the farm into a hippie commune and artistic folk hangout.
Eventually, we see the demise of the farm, a slow liquidation of all he holds dear, culminating with the death of his dear mother. He then journeys to Mexico to “return to artistic pursuits” and to find himself and his destiny. He returns with new hopes to, once again, restore his farm to fruition.
We are made to realize that Peterson’s failure as a farmer was due, in part, to the lack of community involvement. Enter the concept of Community Supported Agriculture. Peterson is presented with a request to bring organic food to the local community through an innovative collective program.
This is when the story becomes one of ultimate success. Although it takes
Peterson six months to decide to embark on a food-cooperative program, he
finally succeeds in bringing his farm to life again.
The happy ending and moral of his story is that a single farm now provides bounty for 1200 shareholders. And as a result, the shareholders were able to further invest in neighboring farmland, starting the cycle once again.
For show schedules, check your local theater listings, or visit:
Reviewed by Sonia von Matt Stoddard
Produced by Louniveral Releasing
Directed by Bret Car
Revolution, the much anticipated and highly-acclaimed hit of the year, is soon to be on the big screen and debuts locally at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on April 28. Designed to create catharsis via a uniquely-structured story, and a powerful climactic scene never before experienced in a motion picture, audiences are journeying with LOU as he transforms from a violent, extreme stutterer into a powerful communicator.
Revoloution has not only won Jury Prizes and nominations at 10 of the 20 top film festivals in the world, but more importantly, hundreds of people have left Revoloution screenings having had life-altering transformations.
Endorsed by Jane Fonda, Will Arntz, (Director of ‘’What the Bleep Do We Know,’’ and Gay Hendricks (founder of Spiritual Cinema Circle), Revoloution is the most complete and heartfelt body of work that has hit our screens in recent times.
Bret Carr (director and lead role) who stars as a stuttering Lou Benedetti, takes you through a whirlwind of emotions that will have you grabbing for the tissues as he plays a gentle man in a fighter’s body…. a man to whom even the simplest sentence is the greatest challenge…and who becomes the heavyweight champion of the word.
Revolution asks the question ‘’How radically would it change your life, if you could stop reliving the drama of your childhood…in your current relationships…hoping to get the love that was not there?’’ Through a process of spiritual enfoldment balancing comedic and heartwarming events, protagonist Lou Benedetti shows us why one must confront their darkest moment in order to find their light. Hendricks calls this “an inspirational masterpiece destined to change lives,” portraying the step-by-step transformation of a man.
The idea for Revoloution, “the transformation of Lou Benedetti,“ came when Bret shared an instantaneous transformation he made in his own life with Quinn Redeker, the writer of five-time Oscar Winner “The Deer Hunter.” Bret enrolled Quinn with the thought that if Quinn could duplicate the Russian roulette scene from the Deer Hunter in a version of Bret’s experience, it might liberate as many lives as did the “The Deer Hunter.” Quinn was on.
The first several years of ongoing production were financially realized by Bret’s painting of dreams on individual grains of rice, an ancient Buddhist art, which he commercialized on the 3rd street promenade in Los Angeles. Having walked away from his position as vice president of a billion-dollar holding company, Bret chose to take the long road to craft a more soulful life and a contribution to society. His reward was being discovered by producer/writer Mary Helen Shashy who found him painting on the street in between shooting days, she visited the set the next day, and then jumped onboard to help finish the film.
In its test run, the Principal of “Hillcrest,” Cincinnati’s felony correctional facility, walked out of the movie in tears, saying, “I’ve got 147 of him (LOU) in there, just dying to get out. This movie is going to change their lives.” One month later, Revoloution was approved by the state court to be the first film screened in that facility.
For every advanced online ticket purchased at the website:
www.areyoulou.com, a portion of the proceeds will go to The Foundation for
Conscious Humanity to send a Youth at Risk to see REVOLOUTION.
Reviewed by Steven McCrory
THE WILD PARROTS OF TELEGRAPH HILL (DVD)
Produced by Spiritual Cinema Circle
The big news in documentaries last year may have been “March of the Penguins,” but just down the street another animal documentary was making a splash of its own, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. This small-budget crowd pleaser has received two thumbs up from Ebert & Roper, high praise from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and dozens of other critics while finding its way onto hundreds of big screens in 2005.
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is the true story of Mark Bittner, a formerly homeless street musician, and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco. While he is not a scientist and this is not a “nature film,” Mark becomes something of a parrot expert after consulting local birders. He feeds, names, studies, and protects the cherry-headed conures — escaped pets who have begun to breed in the wild of the city. A surprise ending completes this engaging film that reveals answers to life’s biggest questions for both Mark and the parrots.
Now an entirely new audience will discover The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill when it becomes the feature film selection for the March 2006 Spiritual Cinema Club which licenses uplifting, inspiring shorts, documentaries, and features from around the world and selects a collection of films for its monthly DVD.
Seeing the wild parrots express behaviors that we recognize as love, fear, and jealousy, and the surprising spirituality of the parrots will be a treat for our subscribers, says Stephen Simon, co-founder of The Spiritual Cinema Circle.
With members in 82 different countries around the world, The Spiritual Cinema
Circle serves millions who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious.
Join now and you will get your first month free (you pay just $3.95 shipping & handling). Visit www.spiritualcinemacircle.com
Reviewed by Arielle Ford
Produced by Stephen Simon
Directed by Michael Goorjian
Illusion is one of the most entertaining, moving, fascinating, and life-affirming spiritual films in many years. I hope and trust this film will become an instant classic that will be loved for as long as films have a life somewhere in people’s hearts. In the film, Kirk Douglas gives the most touching and indelible performance of his career and co-star/director Michael Goorjian has emerged as one of the most sensitive and visionary directors of his generation.
Legendary film director Donald Baines (Douglas) is shown three visions of the life of a son he never knew. As he lies dying alone in his private screening room, watching the films he has devoted his life to creating, he is given one last chance to affect his son’s life. Having isolated himself from family and friends, he now regrets many personal decisions. The rejection of his illegitimate child, Christopher, brings him the most pain, having seen him only once 30 years ago.
Late at night, Donald is awakened by the ghostly image of Stan, a favorite
editor who has been dead more than 35 years. Suddenly Donald finds his deathbed
transported to an old movie house. Stan informs Donald that he has come to help
and that he will show him three films — three visions — each vision representing
a different period of Christopher’s life.
Illusion grabs you by the heart in the very first frame and never lets go. Michael Goorjian’s direction of the film is sensitive, visually arresting and well paced.
Someone once said to me that our most crucial goal in raising children is to make certain they love themselves. If they love us in the bargain, that is a bonus. The several stories within the film —and the progression of Goorjian’s character — are heartbreaking in their illumination of the deep and lifelong effect a negligent and disparaging parent can have on the psyche of a child. Douglas’ act of rejecting his son at such an early age sets in place a sense of self-loathing that literally stops his son from ever achieving any of his heart’s desires.
As Douglas watches the Akashic records of his son play out in front of him on
the big screen, he becomes more and more anguished and aware of the devastating
effect he has had on this boy he never knew. Douglas is absolutely amazing in
his performance, both in its nuance and in its bravery.
One can only hope that Academy voters will be reminded of this film at the end of 2006. Douglas should not only be nominated for an Academy Award, but for a Lifetime Achievement Award and both the film and Goorjian’s direction deserve major consideration as well.
For show schedules, see your local theater listings or go to www.illusionthemovie.com
Reviewed by Stephen Simon
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