Micro/Mini Movie Review (BURIED IN BARSTOW)

In BURIED IN BARSTOW, Angie Harmon stars as Hazel King, a kick ass woman with a dark past who owns and runs a diner outside of Vegas. She is beautiful, somewhat scratchy voiced, and entertaining in this new, trashy suspense drama on the Lifetime Movie Network. Her high heels, leather jacket, and form fitting pants add to the high camp factor.

My Pet Peeve About Many Post Coital Scenes in Movies

A pet peeve of mine: Post coital scenes in movies where both lovers are wearing underwear. Now, I’m not gratuitously lascivious, just a viewer who appreciates realism where indicated, in this case complete nudity immediately after sex in a bed. Otherwise, dear film directors, please simply angle the camera more discreetly or drape a sheet or bedclothes over the actors if on-camera exposure of genitalia is a concern.

Dream About Brainspotting Senator Warnock

I woke up from a dream in which I was doing Brainspotting with Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, the “spot” being his intention to win re-election. The imagery was interesting, as I had Mr. Warnock focus inward on a circular image representing his achieving this goal. I felt confident and focused in the dream.

I just made my fourth small donation to his campaign. I hope I can help make this dream come true.

I can’t recall any other time where I dreamt of my work and national politics converging. Wild.

On Dropping Down Inside With Attuned Silence

I am realizing how I have often just scratched the surface as a psychotherapist, the surface of so much talking to and with others. Entering further into a focused, attuned silence with clients has allowed them to drop down into deeper parts of their brains, beyond the verbal, eventually leading towards more lasting calm and clarity, among other states. This goes below the culturally conditioned back-and-forth of talking. Powerful.

Movie Review (THE AFTERMATH)

THE AFTERMATH (2019) is generally well-done and deeply moving in a few places, particularly a scene where Keira Knightley’s character plays “Clair de Lune” on a Steinway piano and becomes overcome with grief.

The cultural, political, and subsequent relational tensions between English military personnel with their spouses as one social group and German citizens as another are effectively explored in the movie. From there, the major theme/wider implications of navigating cultural and political differences towards finding shared or common threads within humanity come through in THE AFTERMATH, which is primarily a tender post World War II love story set in the fall and winter of 1945 Hamburg, Germany.

Alexander Skarsgard portrays a widowed German architect who is forced to host a married British couple, played by Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke. Clarke is Lewis Morgan, an Army colonel charged with assisting in the post bombing cleanup of Hamburg. The two have lost their young son a few years before. This leaves an emotional rift between them, creating the perfect situation for romantic intrigue to develop between the gorgeous, cultured, yet sad Stephen Lubert (Skarsgard) and Knightley’s lonely and grief-stricken Rachael Morgan.

I enjoyed the gradual build up of tension between characters in such stark back-drops of a bombed out city and a large, solid house filled with beautiful things. Like hollowed out and anguish-filled Hamburg, the pristine house the main characters inhabit also feels hollow and anguish-laden.

I’m not sure if this movie is particularly original and/or intellectually challenging or stimulating with any of its themes. However, it is generally pleasant and relaxing to watch, especially if you’re in the mood to view something that moves along while not being over-stimulating with too much visual busyness or details to remember and follow.

Mini Movie Review (THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING)

THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING is beautiful and poignant, exquisitely so I might add. The colorful visuals are lush and fun, expressions of rich, sensual imaginations. I often felt like I was watching a series of moving paintings. Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba play their roles fabulously, but the whole cast is terrific.

This movie is indeed a lovely, thoughtful adult riff on THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. I was moved to tears towards the end.

Djinns have long fascinated me since childhood. This is the most dynamic, compassionate, and sexy portrayal of a djinn that I’ve ever seen on screen.

Bravo to director George Miller and everyone else involved in the making of this cinema gem.

A Training I Attended Where Time Management Was Neglected

I generally enjoyed the Phase 3 (i.e., advanced level) Brainspotting training with David Grand, PhD that finished just hours ago. Three days of intensive online learning have left me feeling pretty tired. However, I was displeased with the poor time management of the whole thing. Dr. Grand spent too much time answering participants’ questions, at the expense of shortening breaks, including our lunch time (on two out of three days), and having to trim back one, if not two, break-out practice sessions. I so value practicing treatment methods in order to truly learn and then apply them with clients. I felt a bit shorted by this missing out on some scheduled one-on-one practice time with other attendees.

I left the end of the training seventeen minutes past the time it was supposed to end, whilst Dr. Grand was beginning to answer “just” two more people’s questions. I privately informed the main training assistant that I needed to leave. I then logged off shortly afterwards, bothered at the lack of closure but tired and needing to get home.

At one point, on the third and final day, I had to ask Dr. Grand to show the steps of a certain technique after he had skipped doing so, opting instead to go right into a demonstration with a training participant. At least a few others besides myself were left confused with what the actual steps of the technique were. He’d had to skip showing us them because, again, Dr. Grand had taken too much time to answer questions. My and others’ particular query could have been naturally answered if he had stuck to the schedule.

Frankly, I think it’s a group/class facilitators’ and their assistants’ responsibility to set time limits and stick to them. Many people love to engage back and forth on and on, including asking questions and having them answered, and most certainly so with someone they highly admire. I think I take time management as a given in trainings because I guess I’ve been spoiled by instructors and their assistants almost always keeping to a set schedule, anticipating the difficulties of doing so, and effectively communicating with us course/training participants about time management challenges. Such effective communication includes actively involving participants in choosing how to proceed with a needed schedule change, and preferably not down to the very last minute when any choice/s then often end up feeling forced on participants. Time management is a crucial organizational component of a well-run class or training.

This training’s time management was sloppy and neglected, which, for me, was simply unprofessional and disrespectful to us participants. I will be commenting about this issue on the course evaluation form whenever I happen to receive one.

On Attunement and Listening

I continue to grow in my capacity to listen. It’s about attunement, attuning my whole body along with my ears. It’s about how and where I listen from, namely from a place of open curiosity and compassion. Often, my busy, agenda-filled mind distracts me away from listening, but I return, constantly, to attuning to the person before me and resuming listening. And any feedback I give to the other comes from a place of accurately attuning to and hearing something(s) they have said. I have not perfected non-stop attunement and listening, and I probably never will, which is ultimately fine. But, I am getting better and better at more readily returning to attunement and listening.

The same applies inward to myself too, attuning and then listening in to what my body– which includes my brain– is saying.