St. Andrew's United Church in Toronto that corresponded with the season of Lent. Along with host Day Merrill (a great life/career coach and friend) and Rev. Mark MacLean we chose 7 empowering films about redemption and had inspiring group discussions afterwards. The venue was like a cozy rec room filled with comfy, cushy sectionals for about 20 attendees.
After each film we would talk about which characters experienced some form of redemption. Some people just shared what touched them about the movie. It was also a joy watching these films with people seeing them for the very first time. As always, I discovered a personal golden nugget of inspiration from each of the 7 movies.
The Shawshank Redemption 1994
This movie is one of my all time favourites and it still inspires me every time I see it. What I discovered was the joy of seeing this film with a small intimate group of movie lovers. The shared experience was exciting and actually mirrors one of the themes in the movie that other people can make life much more enjoyable.
This movie still amazes me that it is based on a true story. One of the many scenes I loved was at the final rugby game where 2 of the bodyguards who hated each other at first (one was white the other black) almost hugged each other when their team won. A funny and inspiring moment that differences can be overcome.
Always loved the building of the barn scene and how the Amish welcomes Harrison Ford’s character because he was a skilled carpenter. In real life Ford was a carpenter before becoming an actor. It was inspiring to see art imitating life. Plus the lush, country scenery took me away for awhile!
Leap of Faith 1992
I saw this film for the first time during this series and loved it. There was a scene that moved me where Steve Martin's character tells a disabled boy this inspiring line, "Everybody's a loser one of these days. Trick is not acting like a loser." It's a powerful message for anyone feeling hopeless or held back.
Life as a House 2001
I saw this for the first time in this series and did not expect how powerfully moving it would be. An audience member said it was a "2 tissue box" movie! For me it was a big mirror for my life on several levels. Familiar themes came up about tearing down an old house (old fears, anger) and building a new one with the help of people who care (see tip#400). The next day I experienced a profound release of emotion (see tip#446)
What Dreams May Come 1998
This movie gets better and better every time I see it. Some of the audience found it exhausting and it is a long movie with a multitude of themes like soul mates, the afterlife and reincarnation. In the discussion there were several people visibly emotional and I started to think that these movie nights could be cathartic. People could attend just to have a good cry.
The Last Temptation of Christ 1988
At the time of its initial release this movie was highly controversial. Depicting Jesus as an ordinary man with the same fears as anyone else inspired some of the audience members. One fact I discovered and shared with the group was the strange and final shot where all these bright colours come onto the screen. Director, Martin Scorsese said that light leaked into camera exposing the film just as Jesus closes his eyes and dies. Serendipity or divine intervention? You decide! See: Final shot on Youtube
Seeing movies with others can be a powerful experience. Personal insights can arise or an emotional release can occur. And when there is a group discussion afterwards people can discover more epiphanies about the film they just saw.
Next time you see a movie with a group, talk about the thoughts and feelings that come up. You could be helping one another to break through current challenges you are facing!
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© Emmanuel Lopez 2011