A Flickering Reality: Cinema and the Nature of Reality

A Flickering Reality: Cinema and the Nature of Reality

by F. Peat


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How real is the external world? How valid are our memories? Could we ever go back in time? Are there parallel universes out there? What happens when we are touched by the famous Butterfly Effect? Are we really the people we think we are? Are we truly in control of our own minds?

From quantum theory to chaos theory, from Freud and Jung to neurobiology, from manipulated memories to parallel universes, our sense of reality has been sent reeling. And where is this most vividly experienced? When "dreaming in the dark" in a movie theater.

A Flickering Reality is an exciting journey into the world of films as they reflect our changing experience of human consciousness and explore what lies beneath the surface reality of the cosmos. The book explores the most exciting, creative and mind-expanding movies of the last decades: movies that stretch our vision of reality to the limit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788895604091
Publisher: Pari Publishing
Publication date: 03/16/2011
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

F. David Peat was born in Liverpool and was awarded a PhD at Liverpool University before moving to Canada. In 1979 Peat decided to focus on writing and is now author of over twenty books that deal with such topics as Jungian synchronicity, creativity, chaos theory, quantum theory, and the Native American universe. In 2000 he founded the Pari Center for New Learning in the medieval village of Pari in Tuscany.

Table of Contents

Introduction 13

I Reality 15

Scientific reality 17

The quantum world: A veiled reality 18

Reality and film 20

The Truman Show 20

Memento 23

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 26

Total Recall 27

Fight Club 29

The Matrix 30

Artificial Intelligence 33

A brain in a bottle 35

Consciousness: The hard problem 37

Nirvana 38

A magic show 40

Subjectivity and objectivity and the New Age 41

Parallel universes, wormholes and the rest 44

Donnie Darko 46

Time's arrow 46

The Jacket 48

K-Pax 49

The butterfly effect 53

II Psychology and film 55

Synchronicity: Magnolia, Crash and Closer 62

The projectionist and projection 65

Psychological projection 66

The Dark Knight 67

Dead Poets Society 68

House on Haunted Hill and the Blair Witch Project 69

Ghosts 70

The Persona 71

Being There 71

Persona 75

Catharsis 77

The Other 78

Aliens 85

Mental Spaces 89

III Story 91

What really happened? 93

Lost in Translation 93

Picnic at Hanging Rock 94

The French Lieutenant's Woman 96

The scriptwriter as character 100

Director or script: Sunday Bloody Sunday 102

Barton Fink 104

Hollywood endings 106

Breakfast at Tiffany's 106

Splendor in the Grass 112

New York, New York 113

The Way We Were 114

Hollywood and anticommunism 118

High Noon 118

On the Waterfront 118

IV Films about films 120

The Confessional 120

Cinema Paradiso 123

Terence Davies: The Long Day Closes and Distant Voices, Still Lives 124

Sunset Blvd. 125

V Documentary 128

Film creating reality 132

VI Directors 133

Hitchcock 133

North By Northwest 138

Rear Window 139

Vertigo 140

Stage Fright and the false flashback 142

Stanley Kubrick 144

Who was Strangelove? 145

A Clockwork Orange 146

The film and the novel 150

Kubrick and literature 153

David Lean 154

Michelangelo Antonioni 155

Ken Russell 157

Federico Fellini 159

La Dolce Vita 161

81/2 162

Fellini's later films 166

Orson Welles 167

Woody Allen 169

Alice 171

Crimes and Misdemeanors 172

Peter Greenaway 173

The Draughtsman's Contract 173

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover 174

Drowning By Numbers 175

The Coen Brothers 176

Alain Resnais 178

Constructing our Reality 178

David Lynch 180

The Freudian slip 180

Blue Velvet 182

Mulholland Drive 184

Lindsay Anderson 186

The Politics of the Cinema 186

IF… 187

Dogme 95 188

Derek Jarman 189

The artist as film maker 189

VII Creators and creation 190

Death in Venice 190

Mathematics: The language of nature 193

Proof (2005) 195

A Beautiful Mind 196

PI 198

Pollock 199

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus 202

Amadeus 204

Round Midnight 205

Babette's Feast 207

Modigliani 209

VIII Adaptations 210

Marie Antoinette 214

Cabaret from book to film to film 216

The Titanic: One disaster-two films 216

IX The Musical 219

Carousel 221

Return to Earth 222

Black Orpheus 223

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg 224

The Next Generation 225

De-Lovely 225

X No conclusions 227

XI Appendix: The grammar of film 229

Time travel and the flashback 229

The close-up 231

Perception 232

Shots and angles 232

Crossing the line 233

Zooms, cranes and dollies 234

Speed 235

Aspect ratio 235

First and second unit 236

Lens flare 236

Sound and voice-over 237

Editing and montage 238

Jump cut 242

Voice-over 243

Color 244

The image 247

Semiotics 249

The Hays Code and those cigarettes 249

Index 253

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