Mr. Arkadin

Arts & Faith Top 25 Films on "Waking Up" Discussion Thread

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I nominated The Color Purple (1985). The clip that I posted on the nominations board shows the awakening of an entire community. In this scene, Shug Avery, a singer known for her promiscuity, is singing and abruptly changes songs, a powerful metaphor for the transformation that comes with a spiritual awakening. With the second song she sings, she starts walking towards the church her father pastors, reconciles with him, and a mass of people following behind her called into this awakening. This is just one of many spiritual awakenings that happens in the The Color Purple; I highlight it because it involves so many people. The whole story, though, is an awakening for the main character Celie, who wakes up able to move beyond the horrible past of victimhood to abuse from her father and then from her "husband" who she calls "mister." She awakens to regain lost relationships, self-respect, and an answer to all the prayers we've seen her praying as she walks in the field since her childhood.

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Thanks to EdB99 for compiling the list of films. I'll try to set up a proper list (maybe a spreadsheet on Google docs) when I get a moment.

I've just been kinda drained since the nomination period kicked off, but I'll be giving this process more of my attention once I get past Easter weekend.

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I nominated two films with very dark portrayals of waking up. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) shows characters awakening from their delusions of patriotism and heroism into the reality and horror of what war really is. Pressure Point (1962) shows us the process of a Neo-Nazi's indoctrination, waking up to his newfound view of self and others while. The Nazi character (played terrifyingly by Bobby Darin) is in prison in the 50s, and his story is told in flashback by his psychiatrist (Sidney Poitier), and we see many times where the the psychiatrist has to deal with his own fears of having his own dark "awakening." The more he learns of the evil his patient is capable of, the more he is tempted to "wake up" to the hatred and evils that he may be more prone to. The trailers that I posted for each of these films on the nominations board shows the dark "awakenings" that I'm talking about very well. 

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I nominated Now, Voyager (1942). The Bette Davis character wakes up from an existent bound by a controlling, abusive mother. With the help of a great psychiatrist, she becomes willing to take the risk to go on a vacation by herself through which she wakes up to the bigger world beyond the walls of the house and the mother she's been bound to. On the vacation, she develops a romance with a married man, and the romance is what's most talked about with this movie and it certainly is an important part of her waking up but much more significant is that the romance paves a way for her to facilitate an awakening just like she's had for her lover's daughter. 

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