Film provides hours of entertainment and brings escape from grim days filled with war and scandal. Yet how much meaning can actually be taken from these products of Hollywood?
A lot, says Colorado Springs resident Paul Burke, a self-described "writer, editor, facilitator and cultural observer." Burke hosts a weekly film series called "Life, Meaning, and Videotape," which he says allows people to come together and discuss the films' deeper meanings.
Among the films shown: Groundhog Day, The Truman Show, American Beauty and Gandhi. "My interest is dealing with the inner life, the inner evolution," Burke said. When the movies conclude, attendees stay to discuss their reactions.
The film series is free, open to the public and held mostly on Saturdays at Penrose Public Library downtown. A couple of dozen people generally show up. (Burke is taking a break for the summer, but you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about future viewings.)
Burke says that he sponsors the film series "in hopes that if I have seen or experienced something that you didn't and I can tell you about my experience, then you can see it [too] and vice versa." Additionally, he strives to "challenge people to broaden their perspectives, to open their mind and to think differently."
Facilitating this event is one small thing that Burke says he does to help make the world a better place. With people continuing in their own consciousness evolution, Burke believes, society will only reap benefits. "When I look at anything that goes on -- politics, business, war and peace, the environment," he said, "I see that if enough people expanded their consciousness in any of these fields, things would have to get better."
-- by Michael Beckel
photo by Blanca Middlebrook