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Jim Weed

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About Jim Weed

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  • Birthday 05/19/1975

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    I don't post much but lurk occasionally.

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  1. Jim Weed

    Film as Therapy

    Thanks for the link Andrew. I saw Elling based on a recommendation from this thread. It's worth the watch. The film shows people with mental illness rather than "sick" people. I don't think it perpetuates any negative stigmas towards those with mental illnesses although I wonder about it's portrayal of recovery.
  2. I've heard Gary Cole mentioned to play the role of David Brent for the American version. I still cringe at the idea of an American remake because it's going to try so hard to be something it isn't. I can't get enough of this show. Ricky Gervais was born to play this role.
  3. Jim Weed

    Film as Therapy

    I think I know that Scandanavian film--it has a red cover with the two men standing on it. I believe the title is the name of one of the characters. It's eluding me but it's something I want to look into. Is it Elling? Any films on disabilities that aren't mental illnesses? Like Elephant Man or My Left Foot?
  4. Jim Weed


    amcoffin- The same things happened at the same moments at Sundance. Scattered people walked out throughout the film as well. I figured the final chapter heading was kind of like Von Trier laughing at himself a bit and we were laughing with him. I was a little troubled when the crowd cheered at Kidman's punchline and I imagined that if he was sitting in the theater at the back of the room, he would have smirked when the audience laughed.
  5. (M)Leary: What is the title of the book? I really appreciate Jason Bortz's explanation of why 2001: A Space Odyssey was a spiritual experience for him. I have to admit that there was a time in my life where both Fight Club and Interview With A Vampire really resonated with me, in spite of my theological disagreement with some of their premises. Anyone ever read Nietzsche? I'm not too familiar with him but what little I know, it seems like he gets a bad rap from religious folk that might not be entirely warranted. It seems on this thread that "Most Spiritual Film" evokes two types of responses: one, a film that portrays spirituality or spiritual experience in a theologically accurate way and two, a film that evokes a phenomenological spiritual experience in the viewer--where the act of watching the film is spiritual. For me, Ordet fits both of these definitions.
  6. Paul Scrader's book discusses transcendental film style and the implication is that this nebulous idea, transcendental/spiritual, whatever you want to call it, isn't an experience limited to religious folk. See any film by Ozu. There is something spiritual about them. I guess people can describe it differently and attribute it to different things but there seems to be something pretty universal there. That's a good point, mike_h, about how "most spiritual film" can mean many things to many people.
  7. Jim Weed

    Film as Therapy

    Thanks for suggestions and keep 'em coming.
  8. I added that book to my wish list at Amazon. I've been looking for something like this, only I didn't know it. Yeah. It's hard to "sit" with these films but something comes of them. I guess complexities like this make life more interesting. Peter, I never considered watching Secretary until I read what you had to say.
  9. Jim Weed


    Compelling stuff. I'll let it marinate. A few quick responses. (M)Leary: Well put. This is what bothers me about a lot contemporary academic and media film criticism. I'm keeping an open mind and interested in what more you have to say. I'm thinking of expressionism dealing mostly with emotion and experience and not politics (yes, everything is political and all of that but there is a distinction which is why I use the word "overt"). Now that I think of it, Murnau et al were cinematic expressionists. Say more. Yes, yes, yes. Why do I let the artist's ego get in the way of what valuable things he has to offer?
  10. Jim Weed


    stef: There is certainly an archetypal element to Dogville. It could be America, it could be capitalism, it could be Christianity, it could be all of the above. To me it felt preachy. stef:
  11. Groundhog Day could vie for most existential film. You could make a religious and/or spiritual interpretation but I don't get the impression that the film is overtly spiritual. My vote is: Dreyer's Ordet
  12. Not sure if this has been addressed but I didn't see anything in my cursory skim of the criticism threads. In An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis suggests that as readers, we should focus less on evaluating a text and more on listening (not that we should abandon the process of evaluation, just re-prioritize it). He advocates approaching a new text by casting aside preconceived notions and judgements and giving ourselves completely to the care of the author. In other words, we "Christianly" approach the text and show faith in the author. This reminds me of Kierkegaard's suggestion to "rest transparent before God." It's kind of like giving up control and insistence. My attempts to do this (mostly with film) have yielded mixed results. When a text is more didactic and "readerly," I'm more prone to resist it--even if I like what it's "saying." With a more "writerly" text, I feel like I participate in the creation of meaning and there is some kind of mutual respect between the creator and the viewer. I feel a little conflicted when I see films like Saved! and Dogville because I feel like there is a humanistic and worthwhile impulse driving their creation and at the same time, I resist them because their ideologies are so overtly political and I just don't care much for political art. So how do you reconcile a film that offers some worthwhile ideas and at the same time has repulsive negativity in it? One of my favorite therapists, Irv Yalom, advocates "creating a new therapy for each client" instead of using an all-encompassing theoretical orientation that can be applied to every person. I kind of like the idea of creating a new criticism for each film but this certainly induces some anxiety. Any thoughts? Do we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Has anyone been strongly moved by a film that he or she also resisted?
  13. I found out today that Saints and Soldiers got an R rating. So they're going to cut it to get a PG-13. A lot of Mormons refuse to see R-rated movies and it's kind of a dumb hot topic within the culture.
  14. Jim Weed

    Film as Therapy

    This is excellent. Thanks for the suggestions. The summaries are particularly useful because many of the films I haven't seen. "Creativity and Mental Illness" is the topic for only one day of class. We will cover a variety of topics so many of these suggestions will be useful on other days. Here are a few upcoming topics: -"multicultural issues" -"disabilities" -"forensic/criminal psychology" -"does the media impact behavior?" -"family dynamics" -"intimacy" -"addiction" -"adolescent issues" -"stigma" -"jung: myth and archetype" This class explores psychological concepts and uses all media (mostly film) to illustrate ideas. One of the other goals of the class is to also explore the impact of the media on the individual so I'm considering different angels for different topics. For example, the class on eating disorders" we discussed media literacy. If anyone has any other suggestions on a particular text (it could even be a song or a video game), as well as a way to approach one of these topics, I'm taking notes.
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