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at 21:02, 14 Nov 2006
Posts: 0

I recently had an opportunity to see Sally Potter's "How To make an American Quilt" which I found to be a very moving film. The subject of old age, birth and death and the power of visuals is something I alluded to in my previous post about "The Fall of The Hollywood Empire" but feel it important to touch on other aspects as well. Namely, moving into a spiritual awareness of the world we live in as we all look into the abyss in a world at war.

I think there should be more women filmmaker's because they bring a fresh perspective to the filmmaking process unlike their male counterparts. Or is it because we are moving into the age of the "goddess" or from a patriarchal to a matriarchal consciousness, that is, breaking away from so called male dominated society? The fact is, while there are many women producers, men still control the motion picture industry to a great degree and this has not changed since the invention of film. That is, there are very few female film directors.

Women filmmakers were always regarded with suspicion. They weren't "bankable." Only two women filmmakers immediately come to mind, the late 1950's director Ida Lupino and New Zealand filmmaker, Jane Campion of "The Piano" fame. And now Sally Potter. I'm sure there are other notable women but their body of work is small compared to men. Else, they are relegated to TV and documentary work.

For example, we have not seen the female "Steven Spielberg" who has had a tremendous impact on the film scene nor a body of work to compare. Again, I think there is an innate fear that women may somehow show a perspective about the human condition that may not be considered "boxoffice." I'm not talking about romantic comedies now I'm talking about real serious cinema as they did in the 1960's with the explosion of French, Italian and German new wave. Fellini, Jean-Luc-Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Fassbinder to name a few. Where is the new, new wave?

Be that as it may, with the advent of digital cinema and new technology growing faster and more sophisticated each day, anyone with a decent video camera and a computer over a period of a year can realistically make a feature film from thier own pocket and distribute it from their website to the ever-growing Internet market. This then is the revolution that will change film art forever as more and more people begin exploring unknown emotional terrain with fresh new visions.

What struck me most about Sally Potter's "American Quilt" were the images. What sticks in my mind the most is the film's last shot which takes us back to a previous flashback earlier in the film about one woman's rememberance of a love in her youth and the idea of abandonment. The image of course is that she is that age again as in memory, diving off a springboard into a swimminbg pool. The shot is high above looking down and as she disappears into the water in one glorious jump, the film fades out. It was great.

From a Buddhist or Eastern religious perspective there is never any death at any time and that basically we are all spirit souls on temporary sojourns that will take birth again and again depending upon our karma or "works" in this current embodied life. This also is the next big thing in film. Bringing people an awareness about birth and death and the temporariness of one's existence in this world whether they believe in reincarnation or not. But the facts are this, the body that we all currently possess will disappear today or tomorrow or 100 years from now. These are facts. No one can escape birth, death, old age or diseases.

Knowing the vulnerable nature of the human being within the "scheme of things" how can future filmmakers and writers bring this reality to the general masses in a palatable and dare I say, commercial way?

To share this vision then, it is important that more producers and those who weild the power in Hollywood raise their consciousness and come to grips with the fact that with each generation comes a new set of storylines. I sometimes call this a "vegetarian consciousness" as opposed to "new-age." How this new revolution will begin and just what the subject matter will be remains to be seen but is definitely out there getting ready to inspire the people in a way that we cannot imagine. We're all watching and waiting.
at 06:42, 24 Nov 2006
Posts: 1
How to Make an American Quilt
Many thanks for your post. The film, How to Make an American Quilt was not directed by Sally Potter, however, but by Jocelyn Moorhouse. Please refer to the following link for further details.

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