TOPAZ Issue 8 / 2003
Welcome
A Musical Tribute
Understanding Competition
The Template of Sacred Architecture
Helping hand for ADHD children
Brief history of humour
More about Humour
How to watch films
Shakespeare’s Private Theatre
A Day in the Theatre of Life

The Film Review - Ways to watch films

We often watch a film to relax and as a way of resting our mental faculties. In this review we have gathered a number of ideas for watching a film that will promote mental activity and hopefully trigger intelligence. The idea of this is to be able to engage oneself in a process of discovery whilst also relaxing and enjoying the film.

Many times we can experience an 'after-the-film' feeling of exhaustion or blankness, whereas exercising oneself in this way can leave one bright-minded and with energy to spare. The ideas mentioned here can obviously be expanded, and if you find some concepts that work very well, maybe you could write them up and send them to us, so we can publish them in our next Topaz film review.

Exercises

An exercise in awareness - try to spot as many odd objects, items, ornaments, etc. in the film, things you might observe in the reflection of a window... Look for the things that have nothing to do with the film (might be awkward if you actually want to see the film!) We once saw a film about knights in the middle-ages and spotted in a small corner, behind the castle of the king, a modern football field! It is fascinating and fun to become aware of the details.

An exercise in detection - watch as an example the postures and the movements of the characters in the film. Are the postures open or closed, inviting, defensive, intimidating, warm? What are the speeds in the film - fast or slow? What does it cause? Look at the clothes. How are the main characters dressed? What does it say about the role that they have?

An exercise in perception - Try and use the film that you are watching as an analogy for your own life. Try to fit the characters to the people you know. See if it can help you to understand your own life better.

An exercise in summation - Try to see the decisive moments in the film: At which exact moment do you know what the story is about? At which exact point does the story take a turn? At which point are the characters in the film set?

An exercise in spotting the message - What were the intentions of the people that made the film? Why was it made? What does it promote?

An exercise in formulating values - Try to describe what you valued about the film.

In this way, we have discovered many times that watching a film does not have to coincide with switching off our entire systems. In fact, it is possible to use good films to have good processes. To further fuel the list of recommended films in the Topaz we want to offer the following top 10 list that are great to watch, even when not applying the exercises (as there is, of course, nothing wrong with relaxing!).

We offer them in the five colours that we think are significant against the nature of the films, so that you can choose a film in relation to the colour that you feel most attracted to, or that you think you need most:

White / history : The Legend of 1900 Blast from the Past
Red / action : The Thin Red Line Spy Game
Blue / principles : La Vità e Bella
(Life is Beautiful)
The Contender
Yellow / magic : Field of Dreams The legend of Bagger Vance
Green / strange : Unstrung Heroes Ghost

By Sander Funneman, The Netherlands

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